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Can I look at your planning?

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

  1. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    I read the OP and immediately felt I had to reply...And then, thank goodness, found that lots of people beat me to it with the exact same ideas!
    OP, please listen to these people's advice because they want to help you, they're not trying to tear you down.
    Inspect your own practice and ethos first:
    1. Are you confident in your own teaching? Do you feel able to teach a good lesson without a written plan?
    2. In your opinion, what are written plans for, are they aide memoires for the teacher, subject knowledge crutches, accountability reports, what?
    If you don't have a confident answer to all of these questions, then chances are you could learn from your team as well as them learning from you. Why not consider them more as peers and do peer observations with them.
    I echo some other posters that I have had my fair share of managers who did not have a confident classroom practice, particularly subject knowledge. They initially tried to impose their coping strategies on me (powerpoints, pre-made worksheet booklets etc etc) and surprise, the kids hate that stuff. Please OP, try to learn from your team. I have no doubt they have much to learn from you too but it should go both ways. The only bit of your post I agree with is that you have a difficult task ahead - checking your preconceptions and opening your mind. Gosh if I could save just one teacher from the horrors I have been through...
  2. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    Ah I didn't think of this... not sure though because it rings very true to my experiences of new managers :( and I've had a new manager every year for three years
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    My eyebrows are up at this one.

    To the OP - some advice. If you have evidence - clear, hard, crystal evidence in terms of data, lesson observations, and results that planning is non existent, tread carefully. Coming in gung-ho and making it clear that your staff are the problem making life so hard for you is more likely to end up with them wanting to give you a smack in the mouth than their planners. No-one likes a martyr. Particularly one who to them earns over £70,000 a year and sits in an office seemingly avoiding the harsh realities of classroom life.

    Do you know the context? What's been going on at the school? Constant staff changes - poor SLT management - no money for resources - difficult student intake? Or, is this a case where staff are complacent and really do not do their planning? If its the former, you need to think about how you can make demoralised, disgruntled staff feel better. If its the latter, you need to be a little more amenable. Unless you want a mass walkout.

    Of course, this could be a wind up. In which case...there's the door.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    One science dept I worked in demanded that one week's planning was put onto one side of an A4 sheet. In fact it was a calendar for the week. If, say. P2 Tuesday said 'Atomic Structure' they the HoSci was happy with that. He was happy that his staff were competent enough to be able to produce a 1 hour lesson that covered that area of the topic.
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The OP has been a member since May 2007 but has only ever posted 4 times. A drama teacher I think.
  6. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    Yes, this should be all an experienced teacher needs. You want me to teach year 13 gravitational fields: escape velocity and the fate of the universe? Bam bam bam, I could reel off what I'm going to do. I've perfected that lesson over years and could do a version for low ability, SEN etc etc. Only less experienced teachers need written lesson plans, except as an accountability report.
  7. MissMultitask

    MissMultitask New commenter

    More Orwellian practices. Are teachers not autonomous any more? The best lessons I have ever delivered have been on a post it of planning and a wing and a prayer. More mirco management, and what qualifies this manager to scrutinise other dept planning?? it sends shudders down my spine, would a surgeon put up with this carp- tell me how r u going to plan the operation of Mrs Xs bowel obstruction?? well it depends - if I can get in there first with an endoscope, if not, plan B- open surgery and lets see what we get...
    Unless this 'manager' has indepth expertise of a range of curriculum topics and exam boards, then I suggest that the depts are left to plan and manage themselves without more scrutiny. Ridiculous.
  8. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    "Planning should not be done simply to please outside organisations"
    The above is a direct bullet point from DfE workload reduction. There's lots more if you google it!
    Ofsted has similar advice saying that planning is not important, only how effective it is in enabling pupils progress. If there are other methods to enable pupil progress...etc etc etc.
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Our dept of 3 and some small amounts of p/t did this:
    SoW saying which topics to teach, which sequence (sometimes having different grous in different sequences to make sure the apparatus was available to all) and an indication of time for each.
    SoW indicated what resources were available centrally: no compulsion to use them, nor to make your own.
    Weekly dept meetings with about 15min to discuss (NOT check) progress and make decisions together on tweaks to the strategy
    No requirement on anyone to produce or hand in plans at all, beyond making sure technicians had sufficient notice for kit (1 week usually, less in emergency and with negotiation, teachers accepting the inevitable "I don't have time" and re-organising if needed).
    It worked. Good results. Motivated staff and pupils. Next to no expenditure of management time. Very little expenditure on mega-formal planning. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    In the very distant past I worked for a very effective HoD. No planning at all. He would drift into the Dept before a lesson, ask the technician what he'd done with the class last lesson, sweep into the lab and start from there. I think this approach would terrify a "manager" but it was ever so successful. It might inspire a "leader" rather than a "manager."
  10. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I like the distinction between leader and manager. We are awash with managers but real leaders are thin on the ground.

    And agree with all of those above who point out that teachers don't need written plans, it's managers who don't trust teachers who need to see it written down. It's never about improving the teaching, always about providing the evidence.
  11. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    You can go away is what you can do. Managers like you are part of the problem.
    blazer, mr1303, ridleyrumpus and 4 others like this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    11 years from starting a BEd to becoming a 'manager' maybe?
    4 years training.
    1 year NQT
    3 years teaching
    2 years middle leader
    1 year senior leader
    Now a manager...
    Think this about sums it up! :rolleyes:
  13. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    Planning “effectively”... do one. Got to be a joke post hasn’t it?
    agathamorse and mothergoose2013 like this.
  14. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Hello, OP? OP?
    Where is the OP?
  15. MissMultitask

    MissMultitask New commenter

    Busy planningrThink this is a spoof post. No 'manager' would consider themselves to be so perfect to judge a whole range of curriculum planning without subject expertise.
    Guess what the secret of an outstanding lesson is?It can be written on a post it. :eek:That's all that's needed with years of experience and an ability to engage your audience with clear boundaries no nonsense and a sprinkling of humour
  16. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Are you?

    Does this sound like you are a manager?

    How can you possibly know this ?

    You mean that you have been told this by someone senior to you and you have foolishly taken this as the gospel truth and now the staff are responding negatively, whatever could have caused that response then?

    Obviously you try another job somewhere else.

    Alternatively you could try building bridges.

    Have you tried going back to the source of "before I arrived"? You should ask this person or persons if they had the same response that you had. You should also ask yourself how would you feel if someone new arrived at your establishment and behaved to you in exactly the same way as you have to your staff.
  17. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    Pure gold.

    OP may be utterly deluded, have the experience of a potato, suffering cranio-rectal inversion, have a fun / life deficit issue, or is just causing trouble as others suggest. Possibly a combination of all these.

    Whatever the truth a distinct change of attitude is the only constructive move I can think of.
    agathamorse and MissMultitask like this.
  18. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    [QUOTE="Skeoch, post: 12793102, member: 3082451"

    In the very distant past I worked for a very effective HoD. No planning at all. He would drift into the Dept before a lesson, ask the technician what he'd done with the class last lesson, sweep into the lab and start from there. I think this approach would terrify a "manager" but it was ever so successful. It might inspire a "leader" rather than a "manager."[/QUOTE]

    Only problem with this HOD was that they were being lazy - It is not the technicians job to remember what you are teaching. They are there to prep for lessons not act as a diary for the teacher.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  19. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    I'd suggest it also helps in avoid those situations where one teacher is running around looking for the department flux capacitor whilst another teacher is using it, or another teacher has left in in their lab or so the department Igor can rig up the wire on the clock tower in plenty of time.
    blazer likes this.
  20. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I am convinced this post is a wind up.

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