How many hours do you spend a day/night planning ? What days do you plan ?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Dragon02, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Dragon02

    Dragon02 Rookie

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    Jan 25, 2019

    2nd year teacher here, wanting to know how long do you spend planning. Do you plan for the week in one day? Do you plan nightly ? I'm curious to know how other teachers do it.
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 25, 2019

    It varies. I try to get most planning sone during my planning period each day. I'll occasionally need to plan something at home, like looking up a video or finding a resource or something, but that's always extra. I'm lucky that this is my ninth year teaching the same content, so I have materials pulled already, and even though I tweak each year the core of what I'm doing is done.
     
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  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 25, 2019

    I build a class calendar that I use for long-term planning and usually plan out the "bones" of a whole unit at once, usually for about four-six weeks at a time. Then I create (or revise) my detailed plans on my planning period (which I have every other day -- block schedule), usually for one or two 100-minute class periods ahead of time. I am in my fourth year teaching one prep and my second year for my other, so I am mostly just tweaking things at this point, but I still always have to move things around and make sure I'm prepared. It takes me about thirty minutes to plan for two block period lessons at this point, although I could do it faster if I needed to.
     
  5. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Jan 25, 2019

    Every Thursday and Friday before the next week, I plan and prepare for the following week. I sometimes have to stay later on Tuesday or Wednesday to prepare for the rest of the week.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 25, 2019

    We do a pacing guide and outline of the units during work days in the summer. I stay after Friday evenings to get ready for the next week. I work with my grade level partner when needed, which is maybe once a week. That is usually planning or PLC meeting day.

    I don’t take work home.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jan 25, 2019

    I planned everything out years ago and rarely plan except when I am asked to teach a new class over the summer.
     
  8. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Jan 26, 2019

    I write a unit of work that tell me week by week what I will be teaching and what resources I will be using. I just refer to it throughout the year and I don’t really spend a significant time planning. Certainly not after work or during the weekends. That document took forever and a day to write but it’s been a life saver not only for me but for other teachers.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 26, 2019

    This year I started doing independent study so that means I spend 0 hours outside of work with work related things.
    But for 6 years I taught high school English. It is really hard to give you a specific amount of time, but this how it worked on average for me.
    Long term thinking: curriculum was always in the back of my head, even during the summer or weekends because I had to create curriculum from scratch, something different every year (nothing reused since we had the same students) So I often figured out out months ahead, even for the following year what novel they would be reading or what the focus will be.
    somewhat long term: at the beginning of the semester I would have figured out wha novel they would read, how long it should take, what I would supplement it with, which essays they will be writing, etc. For me a lot of ideas come up during the weeks and months, so all this is very flexible,it usually develops into something really great, so I'm not too rigid on keeping the original idea.
    short term: I would aim for the general idea to be on paper for a week or two, and usually on the weekend before (couple of hours) or during the week work on getting everything ready for the week, and have everything on powerpoint, have all answer sheets typed out, everything printed and copied until at least Wednesday. I would say after all the "back of my mind" thinking for weeks this really only takes 2-3-4 hours.Then Monday - Wednesday, during work hours I try to get everything done for Thursday and Friday, and then during those days for the upcoming half week.
    So ideally after the initial time and effort investment, it really doesn't take much time during my own time, as long as I use my time wisely. I would say on average about once a month I spend a few hours at home / during the weekend to do some planning.
    I used to be consumed by all the planning and extra time spent on my own, student teaching (way too much time), 1st and 2nd year, still a lot, but I also enjoyed it, so I didn't mind. I was happy to have a contracted teaching job. But after that I told myself I won't be one of those teachers who shows up 2 hours earl and stays 3 hours late and still works on the weekends, because that bring burn out. I don't mind working hard during the week, but my weekends and most of my afternoons should be mine. It took a while to figure out my system, but it worked.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2019

    I, too, worked very hard in my first year and I was lucky to have such supportive admin and an encouraging department head because their advice paid huge dividends in the future.

    When I was hired, they told me to digitize everything and to write comprehensive lesson plans (that include a measurable objective, ancitipatory set, standardized test prep, detailed step-by-step lesson of the day, guided practice, formative/formal assessments utilized and how I assessed student learning, homework assignments/projects with due dates, standards covered, materials and resources needed, and accommodations/seating plan) for every lecture and I thought they were crazy at the time because it would take so much work and be so time consuming. It was a lot of work, but it changed the course of my career thereafter. In fact, my preps are practically nonexistent now and I get all of my grading done during my prep periods so my gradebook is updated every single day, even on days that students turn in tests and quizzes — they’re done and uploaded before I leave for the day. I also don’t ever take work home with me and very rarely do I ever work on the weekends. That’s me time and I am so glad that I did what I did in year one. It has greatly simplified my job and I can focus just on teaching (and eventually administrative work once I take the CPACE).
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 26, 2019

    We used to get 30 minutes prep time, but the last 2 years we had none !! Well, we had 30 minutes in the morning (half of that time was taken by morning supervision, every other week, so on those weeks we had 0 minutes), and besides in the morning you can't really prep or grade, only thing you can really do is set up everything, maybe make last minute copies.
    At the end of the day we had 15 minutes prep time but most of that taken by supervising student leaving (at the gate), or cleaning things and getting ready to go home.
    So I've learned to do whatever I could during class time. If the kids were independently reading for 15-20 minutes, I used that time to grade and work on lessons.

    It was unfair that either I suffered because I would have to do things on my own time, or the students suffered because I included a lot more independent reading and work. I mean they still got a quality education, they're high school students and they need to know how to do things on their own, not always together as a class, but my lesson activities were somewhat driven by my need for time to grade / plan during class.
    a lot of teacher did a whole lot more of that, some taught directly from textbook, students working on their own and maybe at the end they went over answers. We had a teacher who had to teach biology, earth science, US History, World History, Economics and Civics. With the prep time I described. How can you possibly prep for that? So he did what he could: kids worked out of the textbook.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2019

    Wow, that IS unfair that you had/have so little prep time and had to work at home or stay late! I am glad to hear that it is better now.

    I currently teach two periods of AP Stats, one period of AP Calc BC, and one period of Calc III and I’m given one prep for each of the different classes I teach. At my school, AP teachers are typically given one prep period for each different AP class and so my schedule looks like this:

    1) AP Stats
    2) Prep
    3) AP Stats
    4) Prep
    5) AP Calc BC
    6) Prep
    7) Calc III

    I absolutely LOVE this schedule because I can get everything that I need done and don’t have to teach back to back with little breaks in between.

    Concerning your colleague, that is rough because biology and social science classes are so dense with information. That is just crazy that his school did that to him... Sheesh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 26, 2019

    yes, I agree As far as I'm concerned, I only worked a lot unpaid during the first 2 years (not counting students teaching) after that I quickly figured out how to be a teacher and have a life.
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Hey, look at this way, our jobs are smooth sailing here on out, on the average, until retirement! :)
     
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  15. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 27, 2019

    I spend about 3 hours on Sundays. If I didn't have to write the detailed lesson plans that my admin wants--I could get it done in 30 minutes. I have 5 different preps, but I have so much material ready from previous years its just pull and alter slightly.
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2019

    And after this year — assuming you stay and have about the same or same schedule — you shouldn’t have to plan nearly as much!
     
  17. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 27, 2019

    In theory, yes, but they change their wants and the template every year, so I'll still be doing 3 hours.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Even if they change their templates, they require the same information, no? If you include everything they can possibly ask like I did/do (please see one of my previous posts above), then it shouldn’t matter, I would think.
     
  19. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 27, 2019

    You would think--but they don't. And actually, the template we're using this year is fairly close to last year, with a few tweeks, and my plans were fine last year, so I was reusing some of them, with the new information added, but apparently, they weren't right this year (I have an stupidly difficult P), so I had to redo them. Luckily, my students are wonderful, so I can usually just close my door and pretend she doesn't exist.
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    What is the template like this year? I’m just trying to figure out what more they could ask for beyond the things I previously mentioned.
     
  21. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 28, 2019

    This year's template looks like this:

    Learning Intention/Success Criteria
    SOLs - word for word from the state website
    Warm-up - must include the name of the activity, the steps to the activity, at least 2 scripted questions during it, any grading criteria/rubrics and time frame
    Activities - minimum of 3/ class, also detailed as in name, steps, at least 4 scripted questions for each activity, grading criteria/answer sheet/rubrics and time frame
    Closure - same as above, has to be a specific activity
    Technology - links to whatever we're using if it's online, (must have technology every lesson)
    Materials - listing of what we're using each day, even if it's the same
    Accomodations - if we have them, and then again, very specific, even down to each individual child
    Blooms Taxonomy for each activity
    Marzano for each activitiy

    Last year's wasn't as specific, and the year before that was even less specific. The realy kicker for me is this--I teach AP/Dual Enrollment English, so a lot of my classes are discussion based. So for example, at the end of every unit, we have a Socratic Seminar. I do not field questions during the Socratic Seminar, unless I have to. But, I still have to have scripted questions for it. I have to write the steps downs for a Socratic Seminar, as in -- Students will circle their chairs. Students will discuss openly readings as follows: (List all the readings). If they're taking a quiz, I have to write --Students will complete a quiz online (must provide the link), Teacher will circulate as students take the quiz, Teacher will help students as needed. Then I have to have the quiz and the answer sheet in the attached documents for each lesson plan.

    All of this is every day, for 5 different classes. And I have to turn them in a week in advance. They're supposed to be turned in on Thursday, but I don't have time to do those during the week, so they get done on Sundays.
     

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