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20 lesson plans due Monday morning...

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Sarah_Moran, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I am a Science NQT at a school who just had a focused Ofsted science inspection last week. The department got a satisfactory.

    In order to try and improve the department SLT are putting a number of measures into place. One of these includes having to hand in all lesson plans for the week ahead on a Monday morning. This means I have to hand in 20 lesson plans on Monday morning.

    I of course plan my lessons, but I feel that this is a huge extra amount of work, and a huge extra pressure when I am already under pressure and struggling quite a bit. I love everyone in my department, but the support is just not there in terms of schemes of work, and support with dealing with difficult pupils, of which I have a lot.

    I was wondering are there any thoughts on how I should handle this? As I think having to hand in 20 lesson plans by Monday is slightly unfair. However, I am only an NQT and only 22, so I don't really know what the norm is following Ofsted inspections.

    Many thanks
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You have my sympathies.
    Whenever I planned a full week of lessons I'd invariably end up NOT teaching what was planned as the first lesson of the week with each group would lead to me tinkering with (or substantially changing) the later lesson plans.
    If Assessment For Learning means anything, and it is the initiative of the moment in teaching, it involves using observation and judgement in lessons to inform your next teaching of the class.
    I wonder how the more experienced teachers in your department are feeling as I suspect that they will have simple notes in their planners and will not take too kindly to having to undertake a laborious paper exercise.
    Surely it would be better for the department to work on a detailed SOW that ensures that all of the course will be covered in the time available? Speak to your colleagues.

  3. goatherd

    goatherd New commenter

    I too have to have all lesson plans for the week on Monday morning, and discuss them with my mentor.
    This works out again at 20 lessons, but is for 17 different groups, and 16 different topics across all 3 sciences.
    I am finding it very difficult to keep on top of - but am told that it does get easier :)
  4. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I also had to do this x
  5. Hmm
    and in return I assume that the SLT will be feeding back on those plans to you with ideas for improvement and ideas for changes in time for you to revise the lessons before you teach them. In addition - when you change the plan as a result of reflection on the lesson you have just taught - how is this getting to the SLT and how are they going to handle the flow of information?? I also assume that the SLT are all experts in your subject area and so can make meaningful comments and construvctive feedback?
    If you are hadning in 20 lessons each Monday, on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday ask for feedback and if none comes then clearly there will be no issue - if they then try to say that the lessons are not good enough then your reply is that they were good enough for no comment.
    I had a head once who insisted on seeing the homework set for every class everyweek as he was reacting to parental complaints about 'poor homework'. This lasted for about three weeks - when we as a department constantly wanted confirmation of the 'quality' of the homework we set and if he was not happy, suggestions as to exactly what changes we should make - he just got frustrated and said 'how do you expect me to know? I'm a histoiry teacher not a scientist - it's your job to set the science homework not mine!" - strangely enough he stopped asking for it after that. Later I was told by one of my team that he simply sent exactly the same homeworkj for all classes for all three weeks and the head neever spotted that it was identical.
    I all too often see such sweeping 'action' and it is not thought through - the SLT will not review all these lesson plans (I assume it is all teachers in the department so all lessons). Quite frankly it is a nonsense. It would be far better to instigate a buddy system for lesson planning where you pair up with a colleague and sensibly exchange lesson plans and ideas and critically appraise each others lessons on an ongoing basis, including observing each other teach these plans and someimes planning a lesson and seeing a colleague teach your lesson. That way the work is shared between all and meaningful progress can be made. Perhaps you could suggest this as a better system for improvement.
  6. Thanks for all the advice - I handed in all 20 lesson plans on Monday (as did all members of the department).
    I received feedback today on 1 of the lesson plans which consisted of a few comments (basically questions) written in red on my lesson plan. The maximum any teacher got was feedback on one lesson plan - some teachers have not received any feedback on any of the lesson plans they handed in. So as you said they are not being reviewed. And they are not science specialists either.

    Handing all lesson plans in on Monday is not helping us to move forward which is their aim. By the time Friday comes the lessons have totally changed based on the learning that has taken place during the week, so we are spending hours writing plans that then get changed. When we could be using those hours to mark coursework and books. It just seems like going backwards rather than forwards.

    I have suggested having a buddy system for lesson planning, so hopefully this is something they will consider.

    Many thanks
  7. What a waste of time. There's no point planning more than one lesson ahead. If you do, surely you're demonstrating a LACK of ability to personalise your plans to the needs of the students. has somebody actually brought that up with them? Perhaps SLT are from subjects like D&T or PE where in some schools, you only see each group once per week.

    I could've handed in all lesson plans on Monday in my first school, where I saw 20 different groups in the one week! Here I see each group twice a week and I always change my plans after the first lesson.
  8. I can understand metors asking traniee teachers to hand in lesson plans for the week but not when you have qualified.
    I personally think it is out of order for SLT to ask for that. Considering that many of them probably don't teach any more and don't know your classes I find it hard to belive they will be able to offer enough advice on your lesson plans to make it worth while. If they feel planning is an issue in the department surely an INSET day would iron out any minor issues.
    It should really be your head of department who should say something to SLT and I would very much hope they would.

    I don't think there is much you can do other than give them what they ask for. Unfortunatly this will mean a huge amount of extra work for you and I wouldn't be surprised if the quality of your lessons suffer as a result of being so tired. But at least SLT are getting your lesson plans...
  9. If it helps:

    At my school each lesson plan (individual no weekly plans or unit plans) has to be 2 pages to included all the bumph that are 'required' including key questions etc.

    That weeks planning (18 x 2 pages min) has to be handed in on Monday morning along with the previous week (another 18 plans) to show you have annotated, evaluated and assessed.

    This is along with the head/deputy/smt/governors/other teachers/random other people having access to your plans and just come in with a clipboard and observe and grade you with no prior notice.

    Can't you just tell I bloody love my school!!!
  10. I am primary btw
  11. Dear lord Shoesies...you really need to find a new position. That's utterly, utterly insane.

    What on earth do your SLT think they will achieve other than working their teachers to death? Gosh.
  12. The joy of SM schools.... we will get out of it in record time but at the expense of goodwill and a social life (what's that???) New SLT and new teachers (apparently trying every method going until we crack it)
  13. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    And a record number of teachers having breakdowns. I understand the importance of being a reflective practicioner but actually handwriting 20odd lesson evaluations, picking apart your performance, and producing 36 pages of lesson plans is a bit keen.
    Its almost like being a PGCE student.
  14. Shouldn't your department be dividing up the workload so that the lessons for the week are divided up equally <u>by year</u> or <u>by ability</u> and then given to individual teachers for personalisation and differentiation?
    Look at it this way: say there are 4 classes of Year 7 students. Are you seriously saying that <u>four</u> the teachers in your department are <u>individually</u> planning, from scratch, the lessons for their classes and handing them in? Would it not save a vast amount of time if <u>one</u> teacher planned the bulk and then the other three staff simply took the time to plan for differentiation based on their class? This would also lead to greater sharing of ideas/resources/expertise...(that's standard C6 covered right then and there).


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