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Planning and the ridiculous expectations.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Why is nobody speaking to the tlhead about this?
  2. We were inspected last week and the inspectors pointed to folders and folders of paper and said "This is all your planning - we're not even going to look at it. Why do you do all this planning?" !!!!!!
  3. Because in my case, it is the T&L head (who is also DHT) who is insisting on it being done this way. As you probably gathered, they're not a class based DHT!! I wonder if they'd insist so much if they walked a mile in our shoes?! I doubt it very much!!
  4. I feel for you because planning takes a lot of hours of my life too. We are asked to do very detailed planning which demands a lot of time and energy. Sometimes I don't have time to prepare the resources for my lessons because I spent so much time preparing the planning! Last year we had an inspection and we showed to the inspectors very nice planning folders. They liked them but they told us that learning is more important!
  5. I can relate to this.The intricate planning of today has taken away the spontaneity that used to exist when I started teaching. It was fun and the children learned without the teacher having to tick boxes! I am glad I am now retired. To my mind, the best teacher is the one who can teach the children in an engaging, flexible way that the pupils enjoy and to which they respond with sound learning.
    Those were the days!
  6. 'Oh dear oh dear. No idea of looking at things critically to examine if they need changing then? Just do more and more and more - because that's got to be better, right? The powers that be must know best? '

    How true is that?

    Aren't we teaching our kids to be critically aware and yet being asked to do quite the opposite? My weekly planning works perfectly as far as i am concerned (F2). My EAs refer to what is happening at a given time, I know what is happening at a given time ... but it could change at the drop of a hat .. and it should if young children are to learn from first-hand experiences.
    Admin and management teams have become just that, but sadly forget that 'the coalface' is not always about careful and definite planning. I's can't always be dotted and T's can't always be crossed, but as long as your class is LEARNING as a result of you TEACHING isn't that what is really important?
    Colour coding - nice if you have the opportunity to sit in front of a computer screen all day; but isn't this just another form of the the dreaded colouring in' - that thing that produces conforming and uninteresting individuals?
  7. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    Ooh, I think that's a whole new thread!

    I remember a post on here ages ago asking if being a TA was now a profession (as a friend who had just got a job as a TA said she considered herself to now be a professional with a career, as opposed to the shopwork 'job' she had previously). Many people replied saying the 'Teaching Assistant' role wasn't a professional one, but neither was a teacher...

    This was not to say either were not *acting professionally*, but that they weren't considered being in a profession. I thought it was quite interesting!
  8. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    Thought this paragraph from the White Paper may be of some interest (my bold)...

    2.55 Similarly, we support the idea that teachers should have a plan for their lessons. But that doesn't mean imposing a centralised planning template on schools. So we will make clear that neither the Government nor Ofsted require written lesson plans, let alone in a particular format. And we support the view that skilled and precise assessment of pupils' work - both of the level at which children are working and of what they should be learning next - is an essential part of good teaching. But we do not need to impose national requirements as to how this should be done. So we will not be prescriptive about the use of the ‘Assessing Pupil Progress' materials and the new National Curriculum will not specify the methods teachers use

    However, my concern is that stating there is no requirement for written plans or prescriptive assessments means thats no need for two of the PPA requirments, and so another step towards removing the statutory entitlement. I'm waiting for Gove to start talking about the "teachers who say that they resent the time they spend away from the classroom and their core purpose of teaching". Then I'll know PPA is on its way out.

  9. I saw a lovely cartoon today: Two teachers in a staffroom, one says "it's the teaching I mind, it gets in the way of the paperwork" !!
  10. Wow you could start a whole new thread with this dusty67.
    While Govt and OfSTED dont require a planning format it is the duty of Heads to ensure that staff are planning appropriately for the pupils in their charge.
    When Im feeling brave enough, Ill take you up your other points! But as you say watch this space.
  11. Sadly, you are totally wrong.
    I am in my 8th year of teaching, I am an AST, have won a teaching award and am Key Stage 2 leader - and yes I STILL TEACH - in fact I have a class responsibility. I work damn hard but I still have a life outside of school and the children I teach make good progess, they're happy and I influence positive changes in the learning of other pupils within my own school and others across my local area.
    I do notice however that you only teach part-time - so you didn't last yourself then?
    Every change I have affected as a curriculum/phase leader and everything I do as a classroom practitioner is for one sole purpose - pupil learning - that's my job and I get paid a decent salary to do it and get 13 weeks off a year!
    I do everything I do to maximise pupil learning and if it doesn't then I don't do it.
    Sounds like you and some other people of here need a reality check and I reiterate my earlier sentiments -

  12. So you have posted twice - both on this thread, with immediately confrontational opinions - and you expect us to take you seriously?
    I dont give a t0ss if you won a teaching award - my ex head teacher won a teaching award, and the following year was suspended for professional misconduct. It means nothing.
    Also, you say you have managed new initiatives etc. I have no problem with new initiatives that are GOOD, PURPOSEFUL and have an impact on learning. Unfortunately most of the codswallop I have to put into my planning just for shows sake is neither of those.
    If nobody ever argues anything, challenges anything, tries to eradicate pointless and useless practice - then how does anything ever move forward?

    "Nah - that square is a perfectly fine shape for a wheel - why change anything here, its my job to create them in this shape and thats what I shall do!"
  13. We've recently been told to get the chn to record L.O for our warm-ups as well, which is more time wasted - playing a game or doing something interactive and we still have to record it in books, why?? 'Well, how will we know what the children have done in that lesson?' Look at my bloody planning!!!!!!
    Evidence, evidence, evidence, my TA spends her time signing individual sheets of paper every day to prove that she has worked with chn - again, it's on the plan!!! What a waste of time..and thats without me starting about the planning issue!!
  14. We have to have the children record evidence of m/o starters and plenaries, too. They record LOs for every lesson and our planning has more colours in it than Joseph's lovely coat.
    Like others on here, it often takes me more time to fill in my planning document than it does to teach the lesson, and I know that the resources I am able to find/make/adapt or the games and activities I am able to prepare for are impacted on because of it.
    I then have to revisit my planning at the end of the lesson to record yet more evidence of learning. Aaaarrggghhh.
    (And our planning is regularly scrutinised, alongside the pupil's books, to show that what we wrote down in all the tiny little boxes actually did happen in the lesson!)

  15. I quite often dont do whats in my planning, because I alter my teaching according to how the children are doing in the lesson and what I feel is important.
    This particularly applies to plenaries - I would love to leave this box blank and just write "Something that is relevant to the misconceptions/achievements/interests of the children during the lesson!"
    Yesterday afternoon my plan was for children to create a poster advertising an african safari as part of our topic work. One of my boys took himself off to the roleplay corner with a clipboard, pen and plastic binoculars he had found, stood in a cardboard box and proceeded to discuss and write down every african animal he 'saw'. I abandoned the poster-creating task in favour of what he was doing, and my plenary ended up being a discussion between me and the children about what else we could do/make for our 'safari' roleplay.
  16. Glad I am in a sensible school - surely if it takes you longer to plan than to teach you are not going to be in the best state for teaching?
    We have been told that planning is there to be adapted as the lesson unfolds - if we see the kids who aren't "getting it" or who are going to need to take something further we are to be flexible and work with them, to help them over a hump or to extend. Seeing who these kids are is a skill more valuable than planning in ridiculous detail IMO. Plus quality resources are important - you need time to make or find these surely?
    If your planning is very complicated then you lose the spontaneous relationship with the children - reading your planning while teaching can't be interesting for them (and yes, I know people who do this -because their lesson plan is a page for each lesson) - I certainly can't remember more than a little of a plan at a time! I work with some Ofsted outstanding teachers, and their planning is minimal. It's what they actually do that makes them so great.
  17. Plannng can be a pain but I generally manage to not do the manic planning many teachers feel impelled to do. How do I do it? Simple! I know my subject very well and stick to the same projects as much as possible. I teach Resistant Materials,Graphic Products and the Engineering Diploma, as such I need good projects that inspire creativity, test the pupils research and manufacturing skills and that my pupils love to do. As such new projects are introduced only after my technician and I have worked through them meticulously over several months. By this time we know what will be done nd roughy how long it will be done. A rough outline is written down as we do the work through and only after having run through the project completely with pupils will anything be written down. I write a lesson by lesson overview and file it way.
    Now, lessons are set in my mind and I never do the same lesson twice, what good teacher does? I allow the pupils to dictate what is done and when as long as the deadline can be met. Meandering is good, unexpected questions and ideas are accomodated and the end results are superb. If I am expecting a lesson observation or a trawl through lesson plans I write ony what is needed.
    How often does a good or outstanding teacher stick to a lesson plan exactly? Never. So why botheer writing a detailed plan only to not use it? My lessons are fluid, the pupils stateits the one subject they love above all others and the results are very good. I see colleagues stressing over planning while calmly do my thing and provide the plan for the lesson needed as asked when asked and not every lesson. No stress, no fuss only enjoyable, productive and rewarding lessons for everyone.
  18. missied

    missied New commenter

    Reading some of these posts makes me greatful for the amount of planning we do at my school. HOWEVER, A NOTE OF WARNING, in the Ofsted we had in December they ASKED to see the planning and queried it with us at the end of lessons. A brilliant example of inconsistency within the system!!!!!!!!!
  19. Yes, we are a profession (whoever posted the comment) and it's highly professional to ask- 'Is planning value for time? Does it impact positively?' And, if not, change it! Ask what and who it is for and do no more than is necessary.
    As a head, I think all paperwork (especially curriculum planning) should be minimal and hate monitoring it; I'd rather look in books, talk to teachers and children and pop into classes.
    Also as a head, sometimes required to cover at very short notice, I adhere to the 6 step lesson plan - that is whatever you can think of to do while taking the last 6 steps before you get to the classroom! (I accept this isn't the best long term strategy, but sometimes days go like that).
    Surely, if overplanning is producing tired, stressed staff who cannot teach to their best ability, we have our priorities wrong somewhere.
    I knew a teacher who worked in a school in which the Head collected planning each week. He handed in the same plan each time for 2 years and received no feedback!
    Members of SLMT, please evaluate the impact of your own monitoring and requirements and ask yourselves some searching questions about the function and content of planning and how it improves the lives of children.
  20. When I was doing my PGCE one of the other trainee teachers wrote out 4 full lesson plans with evaluations, copied them 30 times, put them all into different plastic wallets and produced a fantastic lever arch file of detailed lesson plans. No-one ever noticed the were all the same!

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