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Can I look at your planning?

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

  1. ajrowing

    ajrowing Established commenter

    I completely agree with your opening line. The OP came asking for advice, and they are much more likely to take on board advice if it is given politely.

    I disagree completely with your second line. Any manager who is doing their job properly will take time to consider and ask why they have been asked to do something, what impact it is likely to have on those who are affected by it and if as may be the case in asking to see teacher's planning (depends on the exact circumstances) it is likely to create extra work and upset among staff. Having thought about these they should then raise any likely issues before they arise with their boss.
    ridleyrumpus and agathamorse like this.
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Yes, but they have a directive.
    And the directive is "check staff planning".
    If they go and say "I query this" then they have no directive.
    It's not about considering the request and discussing it. Managers in school are employed precisely not to do this.
    I'm being realistic and knowledgable here, not saying what would be nice. It is the way it is.

    If they are going to query at all, the best way to do it is to say "in order to meet your directive I shall need...". Hence the rest of my post.
    JohnJCazorla and annascience2012 like this.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    How about asking for " a lesson on X that you taught this week that went well." and "startersand plenaries" to build a library. Sharing good practice is the way forward.
    rolysol and agathamorse like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Hey, I did apologise for saying it. Sometimes you got to tell people. I work very hard to surround myself with people who tell me home truths and don’t just say yes to all my suggestions. I’m not demonising the OP. I’m saying, the industry has moved forward. This practice was fine just 24 months ago. However, since then, the profession has taken to heart the idea we need to make teaching a sustainable profession again. When you ask a team to scribe all their planning and then critique it you are asking for rapid turnover. There are other ways to raise the standard of teaching in a school.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    That is how I and, I suspect, others interpreted it. Perhaps we misread the tone of your post, and I apologise if that is the case. @sbkrobson has made some helpful suggestions, which I agree with. If it seems to your staff that you are working with them to make sure planning can be improved if necessary (not assuming that it is necessary in many cases) then you are more likely to create the right atmosphere for improvement. Too often, managers go in with the attitude that I an right and you are wrong and we will do things my way. Even when this is not true, it can seem like that to the person being managed. But if you treat it as a consultation exercise, perhaps discussing how you plan and seeing if you can learn from each other, that is a different thing altogether. One thing I enjoyed in my limited management at school was learning from the people I managed.

    Sadly, there may be people whose poor planning means they do not teacher decent lessons and they are not prepared to change.. Then, I am afraid, you do need to do something about it. But it should not happen often.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    My response to a manager who asked to see my planning in a legible written form would be

    absolutely! it would be an complete pleasure to swap say 4 hours of manic activity in the classroom for 4 hours with my feet up and a cup of tea in my hand typing out full detailed lesson plans for a week.

    Which 4 hours of teaching are you going to take off me to accommodate this?
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    of course if the manager was merely attempting to impose the additional 4 hours of typing out lesson plans on top of my 70-80 hour week, my resignation would be in their hand by lunchtime, and I would be in the school next door who is desperately short of physics teachers and keeps promising a lighter work load and flexible part time
    bevdex, Curae, FollyFairy and 4 others like this.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I don't think any of my teachers ever had written lesson plans. Yet not one made the basic literacy errors that some of today's teachers do. They also tended not to leave a school after only a couple of years. Perhaps there is a correlation?
    Sadly, even if this post is, there will be many cases of such a person thinking and doing such things in schools these days. This post might have only been written on 1/4 in previous decades...now it could be written on any day.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Lead by example.
    If you are in charge of the department... I assume that is what a 'manager' is. I assume you are a teacher. You are a teacher aren't you? Not just a pen pusher who has never planned a lesson in your life?
    Then provide your staff with detailed schemes of work with exactly what assessment objectives they are meant to be meeting, how they should be checking learning and possible ways of implementing differentiation. Staff can use your SOWs to plan detailed lesson plans. On INSET day you can have a staff meeting and they can tell you how helpful your planning has been and maybe suggest changes and improvements.
    (I always knew I was meant for greater things. Sigh! I should have been a manager ;))
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Given the OP came back to the site on Friday evening, but made no comment on here tells us a fair bit.
    They would have seen three pages of posts, so plenty to comment on.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Clearly the OP is just trying to get a rise out of posters here. Can I ask to see planning? Hilarious.
    dunnocks and agathamorse like this.
  12. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I would say that anyone who can't do this shouldn't be a manager. Even with a class that you don't know.
  13. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Science teacher generally plan, at least for practical lessons as they write their technician order sheet
    blazer and JohnJCazorla like this.
  14. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Much of my planning was done whilst walking the dog. little was written down once I was experienced.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    Maybe they plan things in their head? Or perhaps with a few scrappy notes in their planner? Either way I'm sure they'd benefit from using one of those scatter-brained 5 minute lesson plan sheets full of bubbles and cogs and other BS.
  16. Delerium

    Delerium New commenter

    Ha. I’m currently on a support plan because my planning isn’t good enough, apparently, to meet the Teacher Standards.
    I’ve been teaching nearly 30 years, always successfully, until this school.
    My classes are great, and they learn and write brilliantly. But...
    “How do you plan..?” “Show me personalisation.” “Why haven’t you...”

    I think planning might be the Next Big Thing to be a stick.
  17. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    If you cannot see their planning how do you know it was or was not being done?

    How have you ascertained that the planning wasn't effective if you haven't seen the planning?

    Was progress satisfactory?
    blazer and annascience2012 like this.
  18. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    No. The assumption here is that bad planning is happening.

    Unless there is evidence it is not being done then this inset would be another opportunity lost for giving training on something more practical for once.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I have found the most useful INSETs I have been on were when teachers shared practices which worked for them, and I learned thing in areas where I was already doing OK. The advantage of doing an INSET rather than demanding to see people's plans is that it is a positive way of helping people improve instead of appearing to accuse them of not doing things well enough. Indeed, as you said.
    So, if the school suspects that some teachers are not planning properly, the only way of being sure is to demand to see everybody's planning, but we know people will hate that - I would. But an INSET could do the job effectively without causing resentment. And, let's face it, schools struggle to find useful things to do for the whole of their five INSET days each year.
  20. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    Of course you can! You have eyes don’t you? Yes? Then of course you can see it!
    bevdex likes this.

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