Something I need to get off my chest RE: Planning time

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by gr3teacher, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 3, 2014

    So my principal always stresses to teachers that she wants us to get as much done during contract hours, that she doesn't want us taking work home or staying late/coming in early. Yeah, fine. We all know that taking work home is a part of life, but I'm sure we'd all like to be able to get work done on contract time, too.

    Here's the frustrating part... I'm supposed to get two hours a week of "free" planning time, and another two hours a week of "PLC" time with my team. The two hours of PLC time are basically a waste. They are poorly run, our coaches run roughshod over the meetings... long story short, we basically spend two hours a week getting lectured and talked to by our math/reading coach. The whole point of PLC time is for it to be team-run, but if the team tries to run it, we get written up. Then I have planning time. Yay! Except... I don't ever seem to actually get it. During the month of December, I had about two hours total, between meetings, specials getting cancelled, etc. The week I come back to school, I get one hour, on Thursday. I'll probably actually average about an hour a week during January.

    How in the WORLD can I be expected to accomplish everything that needs to be done with one hour of planning time in a week (or with two for an entire month)? It wouldn't be so bad if not for my principal always saying, "work smarter, not harder" and "you shouldn't have to work outside contract time." It feels like she's just rubbing salt in the wound.
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2014

    It's definitely not possible to get everything done in an hour for the week. I'd feel annoyed too if my principal kept commenting in the way yours does. Ours encourages us to not stay too late, but realizes we're going to do what we feel we need to do. So when he comes around at the end of the day for his good byes (he usually does this only on Fridays) he'll just make a friendly comment along the lines of "Have a great weekend, try not to stay too late." and leave it at that. We only get 90 min of prep time each week so we certainly can't get everything done in that time.
     
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jan 3, 2014

    I agree, I feel the same thing coming from our administration this year. Last year, our principal was great about making sure that everyone got planning times and not dragging out PDs or staff meetings so people could get back in their classrooms. She opened the building on saturdays as an option for anyone that wanted to come in and work, which I often did because I like going home after school on time during the week and just spending saturday morning at school to catch up. This year, our new principal keeps pushing and pushing that we aren't doing enough to get our students where they need to be, but we have meetings scheduled during our planning times and have absolutely no in school time to work on things. He refuses to open the school on weekends, and oftens sends emails on fridays or makes an annoucement over the intercom saying "Enjoy yourself, don't work on anything this weekend". Back in October, I was having a really important person from downtown come observe my classroom and see how I was doing some lessons, and I emailed and asked to come in on a saturday morning for an hour or two just to get everything the way it needed to be and his response was "try to relax and take time for yourself. see you monday".

    Ugh.
     
  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2014

    It would really irritate me if I had a principal tell me when I should be getting my work done. I'm only a second year teacher, and I already feel like things take me way longer than most people. I don't need my admin to reinforce that fact.

    I definitely don't have enough planning time (at best, 130 minutes, at worst, 30 minutes a week), and I do a ton outside of contracted hours. Thankfully, it's accepted at my school and no one says anything about it.
     
  6. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Jan 3, 2014

    Yeah it really frustrates me when planning time is taken away and then they question why we are not getting things done quickly enough :/ I understand working past contract hours just comes with the territory of the job, but wish it wasn't taken advantage of
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jan 3, 2014

    Even though due to a strong union my prep is never taken from me, I never actually get planning done during my prep. There's usually so much else to be done- making charts, filing papers, tidying up, hanging bulletin boards, grading, etc. etc. that I always have to do my planning at home and I'm used to that. The only planning I get done is when my co-teacher and I sit down to discuss what we'll teach the next week,but usually we end up having to do that after school. Still all my lesson plans are typed up at home. I'm used to it, and just hope next year to be able to finally re-use some things since we'll be using the same curriculum again (hopefully!)
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jan 3, 2014

    I don't get any planning time. I'm made to do after-school groups during my planning time (ours is only after school). I don't get paid for any of the groups since I'm still technically getting paid for planning time. Even though all of my groups go way past the end of planning time...I love my school, but I'm ready for a change. I also have to sit through a lot of meetings that have absolutely nothing to do with music. I don't usually mind since I've taught general ed longer than music, but it would be nice to get some time to plan.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2014

    Have you mentioned your concerns to your principal?
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Last time a member of my team tried to talk to her about planning time issues (because at the time we got half an hour less per week than any other testing grade), she redid the special schedule... to cut our planning time by 30 minutes (so now we get nothing on Mondays). And told us that we were welcome to bring up any additional concerns, and she would redo the schedule appropriately. Needless to say... we... decided not to press the issue.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Jan 4, 2014

    This is typical boss talk.
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 4, 2014

    My principal encourages us to be productive during our planning. Some use it as a break/visit time. They do that by having someone watch their class at other times to call parents, etc. She knows that we stay late and come in early. She doesn't come in early, but often stays late with us. The only time she said anything to use about not coming up was before Christmas break. We had to have our grades in before we left, so she encouraged us to spend as little time as possible up there, and for us to take the time with our loved ones.
     

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