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Can I look at your planning?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shikara, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. shikara

    shikara New commenter

    I am a manager in a school in which the teachers, prior to my arrival were not planning effectively - or sadly at all in some cases! I have a very difficult task ahead. Some of the teachers have denied me the right to look at their planning, saying that it belongs to them. Any advice on how to handle this?
  2. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    We don't do weekly or daily planning-at least not in a formal "hand it in" sense. Teachers can plan/not plan as they want. We look at progress in books over time.
    We have one-page termly planning that shows what we will be covering in different subjects but that's it!
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I can imagine that this would set hackles raising. A new manager, telling the teachers they're not planning effectively and demanding to see their planning.

    Why do you consider it ineffective? Have you explained this to them?

    Other than outline early plans, my planning is largely in my head, not written down. Doesn't mean it's not effective.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You could start by not making assumptions like the one in your initial posting.

    Have you been a manager very long ?
  5. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

    I would have thought that the first thing to do, before asking to see anyone else's planning is to model what you want to see in all of your lessons and in that process sharing the resources and your ideas for common courses with your colleagues. Hopefully they will then see the wisdom in doing your ways, and if not, it may lead to an open discussion of what works for them.
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    yearly not early, of course
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    Sorry to be blunt, but all I can think about is how I would hate to have you managing me from the tone of your post.
  8. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    Who has told you they are not planning effectively?
    Have you got the evidence of their “ineffective planning” impacting on the progress of the students??
    Have you seen, and analysed said planning in order to reach this conclusion? (At least the planning you say you have been allowed to see)?
    Were you told at interview that planning is of concern and ineffective, and so is it your remit to sort it out??
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    People who have little or no regard for the professionalism of staff they don't know and make assumptions about their capabilities without proper evidence should not become school managers.

    I spent three years with one of these people.
  10. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I am not going to make any judgements about either the OP or his/her staff.

    It may well be that there are some staff who are not planning effectively and are 'winging it' - it does happen sometimes when the pressure is off, for example in a school previously regarded by Ofsted ten years ago as 'outstanding' but not inspected since.

    Sadly, not all teaching staff are professional and neither are all school managers.

    Before commenting further...

    I should like to know what position the OP holds at the school. HT? DHT? HoD? I would also like to know what level of planning is expected and why exactly the OP thinks no planning is taking place.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The fact you refer to yourself as a manager and imply you have a right to see planning tells me all I want to know.

    Leave your staff alone, unless you have evidence no child is learning.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours....at a time of my choosing.
    Preferably when you are not expecting me.
    And really really busy with other things.
    For example, actual teaching.
    And if I see the teaching and it seems good
    But you then tell me-ooo, I can't put my hands on the plans right now,
    Well, I'll be very very disappointed in you
    And pass your name on to my seniors
    As "not good enough"
  13. lavender_hill

    lavender_hill New commenter

    The only time SLT should be interested in planning is when a teacher needs development and support. If a teacher I am watching is consistently good or better, I don't care if their planning is done on a roll of toilet paper … the pupils are learning and making progress and that's all that matters.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    One of the biggest problems in teaching these days is a rapid influx of young staff who (some of them anyway) have been promoted much too quickly and want to be promoted further even faster.

    In many cases they don't have enough teaching experience but the biggest problem is that they have not enough people experience. Some of them lack any empathy at all and they are very difficult to work with because they don't know how to communicate with older staff in particular. they resort to a big stick very quickly because they don't know what else to do.

    They often end up causing huge issues for teachers by jumping straight into trying to get them on capability of through disciplinary procedures.

    Some of these young managers are terrific (we have one at my current school who is very good) but some of them are not.

    The first sentence of the OP really worries me..
  15. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    When you say that teachers have not been planning effectively or at all, is the implication of this that the quality of teaching has been of a poor standard and this has effected pupil progress.
    You could start from the position of the quality of teaching and learning, if these are of a high standard, and pupils are making good progress, then clearly the current system is working well. The phrase ' If it works don't fix it ' could be applied.
    If pupils are not getting the quality of teaching and learning they deserve, you could try showing staff how their quality of planning could be used to the benefit of the pupils learning and progress, if appropriate.
    The key point is does the planning benefit teaching and learning and if so how?
    This does not mean that staff should be writing out detailed hour by hour plans for every day, this is simply time consuming and of little purpose. Also not required by OFSTED, I believe.
    If you have individual teachers whose teaching is a concern you have all the mechanisms you need, book scrutiny , learning walks and lesson observations to tackle the issue, gather evidence etc.
    It does sound as if you may have tarred all the teachers with the same brush.
    If teachers who are working hard, teaching effectively and whose pupils are making good progress are made to feel that they are not doing the job properly then it is not surprising that they become a little defensive and even obstructive.
    Consider the point of this - why do you think written evidence of planning will make a difference?
  16. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    Some of my best lessons haven't been planned at all... After a certain amount of experience you can walk in, work out what they know, and adapt your lessons to fit the needs of the class. Works particularly well when you know the class well and have a good relationship. There is such a thing as over planni g which stifles creativity, limits room to adapt and explore and is a waste of time.
  17. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Schemes of work, fine.

    Tracking, fine.

    Lesson planning? Leave me alone.
  18. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

    I would argue that no one should be promoted to a leadership position in teaching until they have enough experience to be able to walk in to any of their classes and teach a perfectly adequate lesson with no planning, so many are the times that something turns up that needs one attention urgently that means that planning doesn't quite happen in an ideal way.
  19. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It's a wind up....;)
  20. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    Yes, hence “Mmm..” from me! :)
    mothergoose2013 likes this.

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