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Is this the same in every school? re planning

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by studentfairy, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    My school expects all plans to be uploaded to the shared teacher drive, so they can be accessed by anyone at any point. We also print off our plans and record on them any changes that were made to the lesson (a task I find quite difficult as often my lessons change a lot from the original plans!). Then, every half term, the SLT will go through the plans and the children's books and check all the lessons match up, literally checking the dates and the written tasks. If anything doesn't match up, or any days are missed, I will be questioned.

    Just wondering if this is normal practice for schools? I felt awful when I was told this because the thought of being checked up on like this makes me feel so nervous and twitchy.

    Piranha and Teacher_abc123 like this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Union? This sounds ridiculous management overkill.

    If they insist on it, I'd work out how long extra it would take me per lesson/per week and demand extra cover...Perhaps your Union could organise some industrial action to block this?
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    This seems a bit out.
    In secondary we uploaded schemes of work but never lesson plans.
    Fine to see evidence of planning in observations or if there are serious compliance issues. But routine? Don't SLT have lives (or classes)?
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Much as I agree with @FrankWolley there is always the danger that the rest of the staff will say, "Well it's not that bad" and then go off with stress or just bail out.

    Then again such a blatant disregard for staff workload might be the catalyst that means the staff organise themselves against such rubbish.
  5. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    Thanks for the replies! I'm an NQT so obviously this is my first school (which I do really like) and I have really no idea if this is standard practice.
  6. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    In secondary no. Back a long time ago in primary it was expected at the school I was at but I'm led to believe that even that has changed
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Total waste of time. Check with more experienced teachers to see how they get round this. I think some may just be submitting same stuff time and time again and no one really checks. Maybe ask a non management colleague.
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Management obviously have too much time on their hands!

    This is one of the differences between being managed and being led!
  9. sparklebanana

    sparklebanana New commenter

    We have to submit plans for all subjects on the shared drive and apparently this is checked and noted if you miss uploading something. I’m not sure if the plans are then checked against the books but we do have to submit a sample of books every few weeks so I think it’s possible they are being checked against plans.

    I have worked in other schools and this has not been the case.

    It’s not a nice feeling, especially for experienced teachers, but you do get used to it quite quickly.
    alexmurraybrown and studentfairy like this.
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I remember I was asked to submit student feedback forms for something. My colleagues and I submitted the same set every time and no one noticed. It does happen. To really check all this out and follow it through is massively time consuming. Time that could be better spent doing other things and honestly... What is the point? On Wednesday x you wrote in plan you were doing ex 4b on p 125 and now I discover that pupil z did ex 4c instead?
  11. Teacher_abc123

    Teacher_abc123 New commenter

    Such a waste of time, honestly. My head denied my pay progression from M2 to M3 because of this, but I appealed and won before it got to the final hearing. Governors and union were horrified!
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    But this is an ideal opportunity for personal development!
    Go and see one of the managers who is involved in this.
    Tell them you are not really sure how this works.
    Ask them if you may have one of their excercise books from a day or so ago and ask them to show you the plan for that same lesson a day or so ago. Ask them to sit with you and indicate the features in the book which marry with the lesson plan. Make sure you gain a thorough understanding of the indicators of a match. Don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Repeat this with all different managers involved in this system until you can be sure that you have imbued one or more of them with a complete sense of inadequacy. (If you are unsure how to identify this in one of your managers, just watch out for an unusually rapid changing of subject, a sudden fleeting semblance of aggression, or a poorly-concealed desire to not be very near to you at all.)

    Bingo-personal development!
    Never forget the proper definition of this-if you want to look good, simply make others look worse.
  13. Eflmeister

    Eflmeister Occasional commenter

    My response to this is W T F! This is absolutely absurd. So you have to plan lessons in detail (by the sound of it), but then any deviation from said plan has to be recorded as well so that afterwards the EXACT tasks that the students have done match up precisely with what is on the second version of all your lesson plans?! I'd be looking for a new job already - never mind being an NQT. (Edited because apparently even the acronym I've now written with spaces between each letter is filtered out!)
  14. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    Yes Eflmeister, that's my understanding of it. My mentor says they want to see the plans scribbled all over showing any changes etc because this is 'good practice'. So effectively, if my plan changes that much, I'm rewriting my plans to match what's in the books.

    My thoughts align with what everyone has said on this thread, thank goodness. I think it is a colossal waste of time.

    Up til now, I've done my initial plan, submitted it on the shared drive, and then just changed bits in my head during the lesson. I didn't realise I was meant to be printing said plans off and annotating them with any changes afterwards. :/
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This morning when I woke up I planned to wash the dishes, pop in to see a neighbour and then go and collect a parcel for which I was out during the week. If you don't believe me, I wrote all those things down in a list on a piece of paper-PM me if you'd like to see it. My neighbour has a copy too. And my mum. Just in case.

    When I went to collect the parcel, the man at the counter said "hey, nice surprise, there are in fact two parcels-here you are"
    I told him "you have ruined my day! The second parcel was not on my plan at all. Please hang on it it so I can go back home, write the plan to collect it and then return next Tuesday when I shall be free to do so without demonstrating that I am incapable of sticking to my plans"
    "I completely understand" said the man. "I shall return it to our already cluttered shelves and await your extra expenditure in petrol and staff time"
    "Thank you!" I said, and returned home. The contents of the parcel I had collected turned out to be faulty, but luckily at least I could still feel satisfied about my professional adequacy in how I had conducted my morning...life is good.
    I have now put a gold star on my piece of paper.
    Perhaps you too would like a gold star? PM me if you'd like to see it or would like advice on writing your own plans before you next leave the house.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    speaker2, lee31, caress and 14 others like this.
  16. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    Ahaha, this is literally it. Ughhhhh. The staff in my school are so lovely so I'd hate to quit over this... and how would I know that my new school wouldn't expect this too? :(
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Don't quit over it.

    You could have parallel books, where they log the actual lesson, and which you keep locked in your car boot, and scrutinised books where you get them to write the plan which you uploaded and nothing else. It could be a good settler every lesson. Make sure you crumple these books a bit, and if the kid is Pupil Premium, make sure you put a smiley face in green pen every now and then. Leave these books on your teacher table at all times.
    A sort of classroom based version of Donald Crowhurst.

    If the staff in your school are lovely, it's worth staying.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We upload planning to the shared drive, so I suppose anyone could look at it if they wanted to. But mainly it's a place to save the plans, got to save them somewhere, so it may as well be there. We have a fair amount of freedom in the structure of the plans, so it isn't all that onerous.

    In theory core subject leaders do book looks. In practice one does and writes a whole load of utter nonsense as feedback, which one can safely delete from one's inbox without ever having read it. The other never seems to get round to doing them and is open about the fact she doesn't approve of them.

    Most people do print their plans, so they can look at them in lessons and generally people write on them here and there, but only what helps or suits. There is no expectation of what will or will not be recorded or what form the annotations should take.

    Basically we are expected to plan and prepare lessons, and to adapt them as appropriate. A general wander around the school at various times of day tells SLT who actually does this and who does not. The nonsense micro-scrutiny mentioned by the op doesn't appear to be necessary. But then again we have very, very experienced teachers as head and deputy...neither feel the need to 'prove themselves'.
  19. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    What a ridiculous amount of micromanagement.
  20. sparklebanana

    sparklebanana New commenter

    So do other schools not need to submit their plans? What about book scrutinies? I had assumed that all schools do this now?

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