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Can I look at your planning?

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

  1. Leigh1999

    Leigh1999 New commenter


    But I’m going to be a bit controversial here...

    Yes, one’s line manager does have the right to see evidence that a colleague is “planning” lessons. The issue is what does this constitute? Does the manager just need to see the teacher’s planner or is something more substantial needed? A grey area.
  2. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    1. Good scheme of work
    2. Adequate resources
    3. Clear expectations
    That’s all. Off you pop and don’t let the door hit you on the **** on the way out.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Whether the OP is a wind up - the situation it describes is all too common these days.
  4. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    How do you know they weren’t planning effectively? The most experienced teachers don’t need to really, or they do at least 90% less than a newbie!

    My recent time at a highly prestigious independent I would see senior staff commenting first thing on a Monday morning “Right, what am I teaching today?”... This school was at the top of regional league tables.

    Of course, not all schools are like that. But asking to see planning is asking for trouble. It’s done as a department, that’s all.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    FollyFairy and agathamorse like this.
  6. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    I would do an Inset on planning and share examples of good planning.
    blazer and rolysol like this.
  7. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    The OP could be in my school - he has demanded that every teacher has to complete all their planning until May half term by first week back. I need to fill in an A4 form for each lesson with differentiated questions etc! I teach primary and secondary plus 2 different GCSE's.
    He has also told us to enjoy our hols and to make sure we rest!!
  8. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    I COULD give you the world's best written planning - complete with bells and whistles and key questions and assessment opportunities.... BUT it actually doesn't matter a hill of beans. The impact comes from the delivery, confidence and subject knowledge of the teacher and the engagement and progress OVER TIME of the pupils.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, I think they are entitled to see what people are doing, provided that the school has given them authority to do so. Which is probably true for a line manager and any other manager the school chooses. However, the only time this might be justified is if there is clear evidence that poor planning is producing poor lessons and, even them, it should be the manager talking with the teacher concerned about how planning could be improved. Otherwise, trust the teacher to do what is right for them. My plans were often just a few words, say "continue vectors" perhaps with a comment about where I wanted to get to.

    Appalling. If nothing else, how can you be sure where you will have got to in the previous lesson?
  10. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Exactly!! It's so infuriating!!
  11. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    As a linguist I wod be very fed up if a drama teacher criticised my planning. I might be tempted to hand in my planning sheets completed entirely in the foreign language.
  12. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Er, quite a few of them seem to.
    Either you haven't known many or you've been very lucky
  13. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    That's ridiculous, Follyfairy. A lot can change between first week back and May half term, in which your planning may well need adjusting (will need adjusting, actually), as the children grasp some things, but not others.
    May I ask, though, how are you teaching such a wide age range? ( Primary and secondary).
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Totally agree that I will have to tweak my planning as weeks go on... it seems to me to be an 'action point' so SLT can say this is what we're doing to improve things, blah, blah...

    Without giving away too much in case I'm identified, I work for a school which offers education from 4-16 on one site so I teach all years.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Don't go down this road. Scrutiny seems to have replaced support somehow. By scrutinising planning (especially on a seemingly blanket basis), you will end up going down the road of proformas which stifle teachers, add to workload and build resentment.

    Planning is mainly a thought process and is not about formats and uniformity, which is the direction you will end up going in.

    It's a waste of people's time. If there is effective teaching, there is effective planning. That is the measure. If a teacher is deemed to be ineffective, they need to be supported. Read: supported, not hounded or "capabilitied".

    If a teacher is teaching consistently good lessons or better, there should be no questions or issues raised with how they plan. If you've less experienced teachers struggling to be prepared for lessons, perhaps inviting these more experienced teachers to... I don't know... Share what they do with an emphasis on respecting and being grateful for their knowledge and experience, you might find out more about how they actually plan and the thinking that goes into their teaching decisions with an aim of working with teachers to ensure everybody understands what effective planning is, AND the fact it can look different for different people. There's more than one way to skin a cat.
  16. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    A non specialist, drop in observer (hence no formal lesson plan - just my usual brief notes for myself) once questioned my method of teaching an abstract concept to an a level class. In the course of feedback I was asked, how long I’d taken to plan the lesson.
    About 30 years

    ( I think the ‘problem ‘ was - no card sort/role play / group work or obvious VAK etc.)
    notreallyme75, blazer and agathamorse like this.
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I suspect this is part of the problem that some people end up as SMT and then realise that there is not really enough to do, so jobs need to be invented. Actually reading all those plans gives them something to do. This is not an attach on all SMT, just those who do this sort of thing.

    I have done a little observing of lessons in and, just occasionally, out of my specialist area, and did find it interesting to see plans, but I would not presume to tell people what form those plans would take. Sometimes reporting lines do mean that people need to be observed by non-specialists. Actually, I used to find those lessons very interesting and found it hard to stop myself asking questions during the lesson.
    agathamorse and ajrowing like this.
  18. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Why don't you look at the policy on monitoring and training?
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  19. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Planning is evidenced in the teaching of the lesson not in the pre-writing or scribing down of one's plans.

    OP, sorry, but you sound like a nightmare manager. If you want to discuss pedagogy with your teachers do so. They might know more than you think. Ask them to outline their pedagogical ideas rather than scrutinise their scribed planning,
  20. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Sorry, here's a long post, I couldn't help it.
    It's not really ok to wholesale demonise the Op's management skills in this one.
    They have been fed a line and given a remit, and cleary zesty in dong their job well it is simply not in their interests to dissect the merits of looking at lesson plans.
    They have been asked to do it.
    This is perfectly clear from their statement about lack of plans before their arrival.
    How do they know this?
    Because their manager has told them. That's the only possibility.
    They haven't been asked what makes good teaching, they haven't been asked how planning relates to anything; they have been asked to check plans and, presumably,create some sort of spreadsheet against the names of teachers.
    This has got to be a performance management issues. It is quite possibly a cost cutting strategy.
    So actually it is not in their interests to embrace a large number of the responses here. Their question is "how do I get teachers to share their plans with me?". Not "should I look at plans?"

    So-addressing their query more directly-OP-this is what you need to do. Go back to your managers and ask what format you want the plans in. Then make it clear to your staff and tell them. Go back to your managers and tell them that staff need time (departmentally? on an inset day? Whatever, during directed time) and allow them to confer on the best way to do their plans. It is at this point where they can address issues of workload, required detail, copying and pasting, sharing, corner cutting. Maybe deriding you too. Probably resisting you. Because the request is bothersome and irrelevant to their job.
    This, I sense, is where you have fallen down. Your remit as a middle (or higher) manager is in part to mediate. Take the issues from those below and seek a decent and human solution from those above.Your remit is not to go in all guns blazing and demand, criticise, castigate in order to blindly please those above.
    I fear from your opening post you have already embarked on the latter.
    If you have a conscience, an understanding, and a will, it does not have to be like that. Tell your staff you understand the issues they have, but you are required to pester them anyway. Tell them you are just doing your job,instead of telling them they are not doing theirs.
    You'll get the plans if that is your instruction, but you also have tremendous power to either make things easier or way more difficult for yourself.

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