What is your personal daily/weekly routine like (re: lesson planning, etc.)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by amethyst, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I am nearing the end of my first semester of student teaching, and next semester I will be doing lots more lesson planning!

    I am trying to get myself into some sort of rhythm/schedule for lesson planning/assignment, etc.

    Obviously everyone is different, as far as preferring to go in early, or stay late, or doing more work in the classroom or more at home.

    I am curious to hear how other people do-- and especially how teachers find any sort of balance between all the work we have to do besides the actual teaching part, and actually having life!
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I don't work very well AT work. I think it's because I'm slightly introverted, so being "on" for the kids, always performing, makes me completely useless during my planning. I need to recharge and I just don't focus. I usually have a few meetings a week, but other than that, I wander, talk to other teachers, plan my drama club stuff, surf CNN, etc. So I always end up spending 2-3 hours at night planning and grading. I work best late at night anyway, though, so it works for me. So I'm usually at school from 6:30-2:30 or 6:30-4:30 (depending on whether I stay after) and then I usually work from 9-11/12. I tend to reserve "fun stuff" for weekends, but again, I'm not a big people-person.

    It's not an ideal situation and I don't have kids to take care of, but it works for me. :)
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I work best at home, but I don't want to work at home :)
    What I like to do is spend a few hours (often it's more like 6 hours) on a weekend to plan the upcoming week's lessons. I map out what I want the students to do, create my powerpoint with the warm up, activities, etc. I don't create tests yet, and normally I have to go back to finetune things, or move them around (because we're ahead, or behind or something came up), but this way I just need to spend a little time on a Wednesday afternoon.

    This is what would work for me on the long run (and has been my plan):
    In the summer I planned out what we would be doing for the whole semester, and planned the lessons for the 1st quarter. I just had to finetune things.
    I didn't plan lessons for the 2nd quarter (Oct. 11 to Winter break), but knew what we would be doing. This is where I fell behind. I was supposed to be working on this in September, but things happened in my personal life, I had to move from my house, find a new one, pack up everything, it was very stressful. Because of that, and falling behind with grading a little, I was doing things almost on the daily basis.
    I survived it, but it's not ideal.

    Now during Thanksgivign break I will plan everything for the next 3 weeks. I shouldn't have to do anything, but grading. I still have BTSA, so I will have things to do.
    Then during Winter break I will plan out the whole Spring semester, and plan every lesson up through Spring break. Then during Spring break I will plan the lessons for April and May (we're out in the beginning of June)

    Of course I will still spend some time on the weekly basis, but that should amount to 1-2 hrs at most.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2013

    My schedule is awful:

    Monday-Friday: Meetings, meetings, meetings, and hopefully dragging myself home by 5:30. I never bring work home, because I'm too tired to do it anyway.

    Saturday: Cleaning, errands

    Sunday: Go into school to plan for the upcoming week anywhere from 4 to 12 hours
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I prefer to take work home rather than staying late at school. I feel more relaxed being at home on my couch than I do at school, so it makes sense for me. Most days I leave around contract ending time. That's why I hate when I see people posting about the "bad" teachers that don't do any extra work/always leave at contract time...just because I'm leaving doesn't mean I'm not doing the work elsewhere, or worked responsibly during planning times to do everything there.

    I actually have a pretty good system for getting work done at school this year too. I'm in a new school and have a lot more planning time than I've ever had before, so I had to work out something so that I was actually getting things done at school, haha. We also do have an 8 hour contract day, which apparently is not typical in other parts of the country, so that may be why we seem to have more time. I have 45 minutes before the kids arrive in the morning. During this time I get my room ready, clean/organize, put up the daily learning targets, go over my plans for the day and make sure I have all of my materials ready. I teach three classes and then I have a 60 minute planning period. On Mondays, I work on IEPs since my meetings are on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, I do all of the other paperwork that goes along with the IEPs that my district requires (lengthy checklist, data form, parent form, etc.) On Wednesdays and Thursdays I plan for the next week. On Fridays I do grading/data recording, file papers, and make sure student data notebooks are up to date. During my 30 minute lunch, I catch up on e-mails each day while I'm eating. After school, we have 30 minutes of contract time left after students leave. During this time I fill out my daily service hour log, answer any remaining e-mails, and take care of notice of meetings or other parent contacts.

    I'm enjoying it while I can because my district keeps talking about how kids in our low SES area need more hours of school to catch up with their peers in higher SES areas. They say that it will still be within our contract hours, but that still means more to plan for and less planning time to do it. A nearby district similar to ours has a student day of 8 hours. I hope my district doesn't go that drastic! In my previous districts students attended for 7.5 hours a day, so that cut out a lot of the before/after school planning time.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I've been teaching 15+ years. I generally have an idea of what I'm teaching each week, sketch it out in my plan book and pull from a variety of files, resources for my lessons...I DON'T write full blown lesson plans except for the weeks I'm scheduled to submit to my P.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2013

    We actually don't have a prep period :( the payoff is that our days off short, we have 8:15 - 1:55 with students, contracted time is 'supposedly' 7:45 - 2:30 pm.
    Most teachers, myself included get there at 7:30, and some (including myself) leave right after students are off campus, around 2:15 pm.
    We are with the students non-stop, have to supervise them during break and lunch. Of course we can eat during lunch, but our duty free lunch is technically from 2-2:30. Sounds kinda weird, but that's the only way it can work at this school.
    So I could stay at school until 2:30 and get things done, but most time I find myself wanting to go home, relax, and then work later if I have to.
    BTW, our P is totally ok with us leaving before 2:30 pm.
    So actually I don't work more than as if I had a prep period every day. I'm actually amazed at hoe efficient I have become, because not just a year ago I would make things way too difficult for myself.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 24, 2013

    We have that schedule with a prep!
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 24, 2013

    Sunday: freak out with planning any lessons I didn't finish planning on Saturday and usually writing materials
    Monday: have night classes for 4 hours
    Tuesday: have night classes for four hours
    Wednesday: no class! Doing homework instead
    Thursday: night class for 4 hours
    Friday: relax
    Saturday: teacher meetings in the city for 5 hours. Doing plan units and lessons
    The cycle begins again.

    I rarely plan during the week because I get it all done on the weekend. I grade during my prep and after school because I hate bringing home grading.
     
  11. FourSquare

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I am the opposite of most people here. I can't get ANYTHING done at home. I have a 1 hour prep each day except Friday where I am mostly gathering materials and making phone calls. My week is as follows:

    Mon - 7:00am-3:00pm work. I also have grad school from 5pm-8pm.

    Tues - 7:00am-3:00pm work. I go home and finish work for grad school.

    Wed - 7:00am-5:00pm work. I have 3rd grade homework club after school. Go home and finish work for grad school.

    Thursday - 7:00am-3:00pm work. I also have grad school from 5pm-8pm.

    Friday - 7:00am-6:00pm work. Traffic is horrendous on Fridays, so I try to stay late to finish plans, grade, etc.

    Saturday and Sunday I literally sleep all day. I like to say I clean, but that's not a real thing. :lol: Sometimes I'll go in Sunday morning from 9am-1pm to get a head start on the week/unit planning, etc. I also have had a Sunday assignment due for one of my classes, and I get much more work done at school than at home, so I was doing that in my classroom as well.

    It's all very...busy.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 24, 2013

    Monday to Friday
    • up at 6:30
    • school by 7:30
    • kids from 7:50-3:00
    • leave around 4:00
    • bed around 11:15

    Saturday
    • sleep late
    • house work & laundry
    • shopping once a month for groceries

    Sunday
    • up at 9:30
    • church at 11:00
    • Mom's for lunch
    • school from 2:00-6:00

    Random Items
    • department meeting after school 1-2 times a month
    • committee meetings after school 1 time a month
    • team meetings Tuesday & Thursday during planning
    • tutoring Monday & Wednesday during planning
    • allergy shots on Mondays after school
    • supper with friends 1-2 times a week

    I don't bring work home unless I have no other choice. I go in on Sundays to prep for the week, grade papers, and clean up the room. I could do something at home every night, but I need down time.
     
  13. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I do some of it on Sunday afternoon. I use my prep period wisely as well, but the majority gets done in the mornings. School starts at 7:30, but I arrive at 5:45. There is only one other teacher there that early so it is very easy to make copies and get other things done.
     
  14. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I don't grade/plan at school. Mostly planning time is reserved for parent conferences, meeting with my mentor, meeting with team teachers, etc. After school, I do parent calls, documentation-related stuff, straighten desks, file, dust, wipe things down, and make copies for the next day. I officially can leave at 3:15, but all this work means I usually leave between 3:35 and 3:50. My commute is 50 minutes.

    Actual planning and grading papers I do at home. I like being able to kick back in my pajamas and plan or grade. I usually grade the work from that day at night and check emails between 8 and 10--although sometimes I go one or two nights without grading and it's all piled up on me later in the week. I usually spend Sundays between 11 and 5 planning lessons, creating worksheets/activities, and logging who is doing corrections for me (in math), and finishing up grading.

    I reserve Saturday for cleaning my house, running errands, etc.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2013

    At this point in my career, I'm doing a LOT less planning than you are.

    This year I'm teaching Algebra I, which I haven't taught in 4 years. But, still, I've taught it so many times before that I don't need a lesson plan. I need a topic and, sometimes (depending on the topic) some problems to assign-- some topics I can just come up with the topic. And I need the homework assignment. That's it.

    So I do my planning over the weekend; I did this (3 day) week in about 5 minutes this morning.

    I do most of my grading in school, during my study hall and prep period.

    Once I come home, I generally morph into Mom.
     
  16. cvm

    cvm New Member

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    Nov 27, 2013

    On Saturday or Sunday (never both), I will plan my lessons for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I teach Kindergarten so things usually take a little bit longer than originally expected. This is why I never plan an entire week. On Wednesday after school, I'll stay late and finish my lesson plans for Thursday and Friday.
    My preps are usually spent preparing a big science lesson or printing off important notices home.
    I give myself one day on the weekend that does not involve anything that has to do with teaching. No blogs, no teachers pay teachers, no planning. I feel like I need that time for myself.
    Hope this helps!
     
  17. live

    live Companion

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    Nov 27, 2013

    My plan time is randomly scattered throughout the week; some days I have no plan time and other days I have 2. During this time, I mostly grade, print off progress reports, send e-mails, or file. I rarely make copies or plan during this time. I like to make sure I'm getting feedback to the kids as quick as possible, so checking over their progress is a priority. Sometimes I work through my whole lunch, but always at least half of it (I have about 50 minutes for lunch/recess). Often grading will still need to be taken home, and I'll spend 1-2 hours a night on that. I'll also spend time doing other miscellany things, like putting to getting newsletters or making a poster.

    I do planning at home, because it's pretty leisurely for me. I browse the internet to come up with ideas. This part is fun to me, so I'll just do it whenever and collect things as I go. I can't even tell you how many bookmarks I have for different lessons and websites that I like!

    My actual written plans consist of an objective for the subject and a brief overview of what I'm doing. I have to turn these in, but the requirements are pretty basic and it only takes me an hour since I've been collecting things as I go and have an idea about what I'd like to do. I write these up on Sunday evenings. I find myself changing things up throughout the week anyway.

    I get to school 45 minutes before the kids do to make copies and prepare for the day. I also stay after school for 30 mins for dismissal/tutoring, but I usually get some work done during this time if all the kids are gone. Since I do a lot of work at home, I leave right at the time I'm allowed to (unless I have meetings, which happens about 3 times a month).

    I don't have kids and I'm not married, so I'm not nearly as busy at home as a lot of other teachers. I constantly feel like there's something that I COULD be doing, but rarely is it very pressing. I get the important stuff done quickly and first. Honestly, it's incredible to me what so many other people are able to balance between work, home, and other things in their lives.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Nov 27, 2013

    I plan 2 weeks on a Sunday. It takes literally all day but it's so worth it because then I get a weekend off. I do everything I need to do, lesson plans, find articles, guided reading lessons, graphic organizers, worksheets, everything. The fact that I don't have a single lesson to plan this Thanksgiving weekend feels so good.
     
  19. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 27, 2013

    I rough out a general sketch of what I will be doing usually during my planning time on Wednesday or Thursday. I don't write up specific lesson plans. I use my plan time on the rest of the week to make the copies I will need for the week. We are bound by our curriculum so while its not scripted, it is pretty much all there.
    I work from 8:15-4:45 or so, but I'm only contractually obligated to be there from 8:35-4:15. I spend every morning entering grades, reviewing the days lessons, talking with my co workers, checking email. I spend the time after school cleaning and prepping the room for the next day.
    I take dance class two nights a week, but other than that I spend my time with my hubby.
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I don't have a routine. Our meetings/conference can be scheduled with 24 hours notice, so I never know when I'm going to actually have a prep or time after school. I just fit everything in when I can and hope it doesn't involve my weekends.
     
  21. fraudelong

    fraudelong Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2013

    I always grade during my prep. I never take anything home because I won't do anything with it...so then I'm just schlepping it around.

    As far as planning goes, I still plan a LOT because I am in year 2. I also use PowerPoint almost every day because I need to convey my vocab via pictures, so I typically find a slideshow online and adapt it because making a good one takes hours. I start this when I'm done grading, and finish it in the morning before school if need be. I'm too exhausted when I come home, I'd rather do it in the morning or wake up early.
     
  22. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I don't do a lot of prep. Very little, in fact. Every Monday I will go over the week plans but that takes 15 minutes at the most.

    I grade at school, and if it's school-related that's where I keep it. I rarely bring work home and when I do, it's normally because I have a craft or a project for my class and I want to work out the kinks. It's just a general rule of my mine that work and home be kept separate. So far I have been successful!

    I'm still a fairly new teacher but I have a system down pat and I do't feel overwhelmed. I'm blessed :love:
     
  23. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    ...How? You teach primary and you don't do a lot of prep? I don't understand that at all. I teach first and I have a multitude of activities and lessons to prep every week. I'm printing, writing, cutting out, creating interactive whiteboard activities, etc etc. Sometimes my TA helps with the simpler prep but I would rather use him for intervention than cutting/gluing/stapling.

    And you "go over" the plans? So you mean you have already written them? Or does somebody else write them...?


    I'm in my second year, and I'm in the bad habit of doing my planning and prep on Sundays, just like last year. I started out the year this year really great, doing my planning on Thursdays after school, but it has just been one thing after another this year - observations, BTSA (work for new teachers in California), our report card program not working, meetings meetings and more meetings, etc. We're also in a new building so things have been really chaotic because the building is still not finished yet.

    My contract time is 7:40-2:30. Student hours are from 7:50-2:10. I'm usually at school from 7:15-4:30, sometimes later. On Fridays I force myself to leave by 3:00 - that is the afternoon I give myself off. I'm trying to push my mornings up earlier to 6:45 or so, because I work MUCH faster in the mornings, but it's just so hard to wake up and get myself to work that early!
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Nov 29, 2013

    I'm not saying you can't have a life, but I really don't see how you can do so little prep for primary. Does your school have an evaluation system?
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 29, 2013

    15 minutes to do your plans each week? Seriously?
     
  26. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Nov 29, 2013

    I plan for about 2 hours on Saturday. I usually finish grading and the rest of my planning in school. I stay after for an hour if students sign up for extra help. If not, I go home.
     
  27. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Nov 29, 2013

    I should explain; my planning gets done early in the summer. Occasionally I tweak planning but rarely. My TA does most of the printing, activities work and that's what she is there for. I'll demonstrate, show her an outline etc. She will update me on her progress and we work together to ensure it gets done.

    If it's a project or craft activity I demonstrate it to my TA first but normally I do the majority of the work for that activity myself.

    So no, technically I don't do a lot of prep. I would not have the time throughout the year. For me, it's about time management and juggling responsibilities.

    Yes, seriously. 15-20, yes. I don't really have to spend a lot of time on it. Not creating and outlining since that is done, but I review prior to every week. Normally I have a pretty good handle on the material. I go by day.

    Creating plans during the summer gives me more time to tweak and beef up my lesson plans. I would feel way too rushed during the school year. But like I said, it makes prep much easier.
     
  28. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Nov 29, 2013

    ...you do an entire week's worth of lesson plans in one night?
     
  29. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    What grade do you teach?

    I would never be able to make plans that far in advance. We have pacing, yes, but not plans. Too many things change during the school year once things get rolling.

    It sounds like you have a full time TA just for prep? That would certainly be nice...! I have a TA about 3 hours a week, but he is supposed to be used primarily for instruction, not prep.
     
  30. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Kindergarten. It's very nice! Yes, she's full-time, which was new for me and at first I wasn't sure how to utilize her time... I was apprehensive about it but having her has been a complete godsend. She helps out with the students but mostly she assists me with prep.

    Wow, only three hours?! Bless your heart! Do you only see each other once per week?
     
  31. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    For me, it's trial and error. Things I thought might work while planning during the summer might fall through or maybe I might need to rewrite or tweak an idea or lesson. It does happen but that's why I plan during the summer to have my back ups in place.

    I'll go over my plans during Christmas break to see if we are where we need to be. I just do it that way because early summer is where I can really think and plan out accordingly.

    I'm not so rigid, but I'm still a new teacher so I put a lot into my lessons during the summer, but my plans aren't super detailed. No need.
     
  32. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Nov 29, 2013

    Three times a week. Maybe it's a bit more than 3 hours. I share him with my room partner and we alternate days. He's only there during ELA. I feel very fortunate though because TAs are a dying breed in CA. Most public schools don't have any at all. I'm at a charter.

    When do you plan and prep activities, etc to go with your plans? Is that during the summer as well?
     

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