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Planner checks!!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Oldfashioned, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Sitting quietly in a meeting this week I was woken from my boredom by a request from the HOD for mine and my colleagues planners. This in order to audit them and check we were tracking and intervening and doing short term planning.

    Surely nobody can ask to check my personal planner and plans, or how I record marks? I'm not a student teacher or an NQT I find the whole idea patronising and a bit seedy. How a teacher plans is up to the individual and my scribbles are for my use only; aren't they?

    We have dept long and medium plans. There are dept spreadsheets for tracking. There are whole school tracking requirements on SIMS. What on earth is this about?

    Am I wrong to be offended?

    Any thoughts or advice appreciated.

  2. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Please don't tell me you are on UPS as well!
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    Not sure that I like this idea.

    I would have thought a quick check of your markbook was ok, as an easy way to see that you are setting and marking work at the frequency set out in the policy (much easier than a book scrutiny to just check frequency) but your planner?

    Have you bought and paid for the planner yourself? Or is it actually school property?

    Best wishes

    ValentinoRossi likes this.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    According to my union the planner is indeed for your use only. It might help a supply teacher stepping in at short notice but it is not a tool of management to assess your performance. Obviously. You could be using shorthand or a graphic system of your own devising.

    Oh, do it! Present them with a load of squiggles and tell them it's your personal communication system!
    Lara mfl 05 and Oldfashioned like this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    In all schools, the planning process should be agreed, simple and streamlined. It should not require teachers to transpose information from one planning sheet to another for any reason, including monitoring. Where collaborative planning is required outside pupil session times, this should count as the weekly meeting for those teachers who are involved.

    The assessment procedure should be a single, simple, integrated system, which has been the subject of consultation with staff and the NASUWT. It should be capable of being accessed by support and administrative staff to enable them to extract data for monitoring and other appropriate purposes
    ValentinoRossi and Oldfashioned like this.
  6. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    The planner was provided when I started but its the normal teacher planner you see everywhere. Honestly, I rarely use it. I plan in my own way and it works for me.

    As for checking my markbook: not something I've ever heard of either. Work set is all part of the normal teaching of English. I level or grade when needed and the pupil books and school tracking systems suit me fine for monitoring.

    We all plan and teach differently. My way is no more or less effective than anyone else's.

    Yes I'm an experienced teacher. Never, ever had this asked of me. Seems nuts.
  7. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    GDW- you repeated what I said to my colleagues. Glad I'm not losing it.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    They could clamp down and say you must all use a common process. But they'd have to devise it and have it agreed by the staff. They haven't done that.

    There is no expectation that you should make your planning available to SMT. You cannot be judged on your planning. It does not form a part of your assessment.

    Marking may be a little different. But, provided you are submitting the data the school requires, the school does not need to have sight of your list of what Jessica got out of 20 in the times tables test on the 3rd October.
  9. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    GDW- Sage words, that match my own thoughts and understanding.

    I adhere to the marking policies and input grades and levels when required. I don't understand why they would be interested in anything else I do.

    Seems utterly ridiculous and I've not handed my planner in. Not that it would make any sense to them if I did. It's mostly used as a coaster for my coffee cup.
  10. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    My school a;ways provided me with the standard teacher planner -which was no use at all to the way I thought. I bought my own which accorded with how I thought and worked. As long as your planning is working i.e. tasks completed on time, lessons planned, marking done etc (and as others have pointed out there are other ways of monitoring this) what's the point. I suggest it is a lack of their competence that they are flapping around to justify something.

    My response would be (but this of course depends on where you are at in your career!) to ask
    • What is the aim/objective of this action
    • Why has this not been planned in advance (I'm guessing this is out of the blue)
    • How does this fit in with the whole package of monitoring and support procedures
    and most importantly for me
    • Shall we go through this together so you are better informed about my thinking and actions and you are thus more able to identify any support you could offer me.

    (I always requested the last point when my books were taken for monitoring - because of course the checking was about improving things - not just finding fault or catching me out!)
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  11. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Lizziescat: Some good points.

    This isn't about support it is a box ticking exercise. I don't use just one form of planning, Sometimes I write it in my planner, sometimes I do something on the computer, sometimes I just go with an idea. As long as I am within the dept medium term surely anything else is irrelevant?
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'm pretty sure that you are asked to plan but nowhere does it state that you must KEEP those plans.

    Most teachers do, I think. I never bothered though because I had a written curriculum/some idea of where we were going and children were different every year so I taught to accommodate their needs. So I might have to take a lot longer than a year ago to get through the same work.

    No, I liked to make it fresh and new every time. I wanted to think about THEM. OK, I taught Primary and (latterly) SEN so I had more latitude than someone who had to get through GCSE History in two years. But I'd have still aimed for fresh and new.
  13. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    GDW- I have numerous lessons that I have kept and I introduce many new ones. There is a fairly in-depth medium term to follow, so I do. However, what I do in my individual lessons is all up to me and y creativity. I don't need somebody telling me how to write down my plans or where to keep them. It is simply a lack of trust and speaking to colleagues across other departments it seems many are in agreement with me. If only they'd also refuse to hand in their planners.
    Landofla likes this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    They won't refuse though .Meeeh, meeh, how high do you want me to jump, oh esteemed headteacher-person meeh mmeeeeh?
  16. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    When I was teaching ours had to be handed in for scrutiny every half term. You got them handed back with little post it notes on saying things like "Why was insufficient homework set on 25th January?"
  17. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    When my union told me that I shouldn't have to hand them over due to NAS/UWT action I tried politely refusing. I was told "You" (finger jabbed in face) "will learn how unwise it is to say no to me" :(
  18. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter


    There's a lot to be said for covert recording....
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    "And YOU (without the finger-pointing) will be facing action for bullying."
  20. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I tried. Nothing doing and my mental health wouldn't allow me to keep pushing it. Ranks were firmly closed anyway.

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