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When do you do your planning?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by JaneBennet, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. JaneBennet

    JaneBennet Occasional commenter


    A boring query, I'm afraid, but I'd really appreciate any answers. I'm teaching more hours next year so am thinking about little changes to my day to make me more efficient. All tips welcome - and, specifically, I wondered when you plan.

    I currently map out what to cover each half term in overview, then sort the specifics of each day early that morning. I'd prefer to do this at the end of the day, though, to save my precious morning energy for big, scary admin. etc. tasks I've been procrastinating on - but I get so tired then...

    Like I said, a boring query, but I'm genuinely curious as to what works for you, and any other time-saving tips to help me salvage some precious hours next year...



  2. therunningman

    therunningman New commenter

    I plan out the half term ahead each half term break/Easter/Summer/Christmas.

    Each Saturday morning I spend about two hours planning the following week in full detail.

    Then, every morning I spend preparing whatever resources, etc. I need for the day ahead. After school I mark and adapt planning as needed.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. JaneBennet

    JaneBennet Occasional commenter

    Thanks, for answering, Arnie!

    Anyone else, thoughts much appreciated: really worried re. next year & any tips would help.

  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Constantly. I have a big plan at the start of the year and I spend the rest of the year deviating from it as needed. It's scribbles in the diary stuff, though, not 6 pages in triplicate with every utterance scripted and thousands of differentiated worksheets.
    Lara mfl 05 and whitestag like this.
  5. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I use the curriculum to start with. I have a general idea of what I'm going to do a few weeks ahead. That's it. I have a really nice chunky teacher's planner that I got a few years back and it lives on my desk. I might scribble a few things in it day to day to remind me where I'm up to or if I need to go over something again.

    I do, however, write up a lovely-looking weekly plan on the school's format during PPA time (with a nice cup of coffee by my side) because my boss tells me I have to and I'll have to go on the naughty chair if I don't. The magic of cut and paste takes care of that and it goes into a file in the office. Never to be read or used by anyone ever again.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I tended to follow therunningman's format. Termly objectives worked out over the hols and then weekend preparation for the week, which I then tweaked/ adapted as the week progressed. Mind you I did mine in the evenings as it was all go when i got to school getting out materials/ resources and there wasn't the time.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  7. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I write my own SOW (one person department), then plan for the half-term, thinking ahead what big resources I needed, then on a weekly, then daily basis.

    We just finished up for Easter (independent school); I have two workbooks to create over that time (but they will be used next term); then prepare the powerpoints for the first few lessons, then no panic and can adapt as I go along. I take notes on what works or doesn't, and then look weekly, then check I am prepared for the next. It means that much of my prep is done and I have time to relax with my toddler at home....
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Being retired, I do not plan. I take each day as it comes.
    kibosh, wanet and lindenlea like this.
  9. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Left the system, now in TEFL, plan between 8 and 9 am, teach 9-12.30
  10. JaneBennet

    JaneBennet Occasional commenter

    Thanks all. I think I'm going to try spending a short while on it each evening from now as I like the idea of knowing the next day's sorted for when I arrive, but you remind me that it's ok to take things as they come to a degree...
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do it before you go home?

    I don't see how you can be responsive to need if you plan way ahead. It's not fair to the kids. They are more important than the curriculum. Yes, you have a bigger picture. You have a context and a framework. You think you know where you are going. But there's usually more than one route.

    So I admire @whitestag Knowing that the stupid system enforces the weekly plan so doing it as painlessly as possible.

    But scribbles are best. They remind you that you can't rest on your laurels or be complacent. I always felt that I might have a better idea at any time and I didn't want to run the risk of doing a worse lesson just because I'd invested a lot of energy in it. Trust yourself. That way you open your mind to new things and it keeps you on your toes and interested.
    kibosh, cissy3 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    This was key for me, and why I hate the way things are going today.

    I actually used to like planning (I know, you'll think I'm mad!) because I could get in some variety. If I got bored doing the same lesson several times, I imagined that the kids would too.

    Being told what to teach, how to teach it, and then to re-type it all every week for the benefit of, well, nobody but Ofsted driven SMT killed the creative side of it for me, and if you're supposed to be teaching a 'creative' subject, it's just hell.

    Anyway, good luck OP
    Lara mfl 05 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Most of my planning was done when I took the dog for a walk each evening.
  14. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I plan in my PPA.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, in your HEAD. Exactly.

    I often thought mine up driving to school.

    I liked doing all the research. I was often only a few steps ahead and I think that helped. It was fresh for me so I could make it fresh for them.

    (Primary and SEN btw. You can't expect me to have a thorough mastery of everything. Don't JUDGE ME!!!!) ;)
    kibosh likes this.
  16. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I always did my planning in my head, whenever the fancy took me, so it was always much more spontaneous.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    On Sunday I have a quiet hour or two either out on the bike or I go for a walk, most of my planning that I haven't sorted already is done then but if you've been in this job for a bit the planning time does decrease.

    I suspect the quiet time is just therapy. I've been through several low times in teaching but the present is not one of them so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  18. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    It depends what you mean by planning. I have always the sort of planning that is useful to me in my head. If you mean the sort of planning beloved of SMTs, with every activity timed to the second, answers to anticipated questions, covering several sides of A4, etc., etc. then goodness knows when anyone finds time for it.
    cissy3, grumpydogwoman and Kartoshka like this.
  19. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I take stock of the schemes of work every half-term, during the holiday, and do some mental planning as to where I'd like to be, in terms of content covered and assessed by the end of the next half-term. That doesn't take too long.

    At the end of the teaching day I review what I have done with each class and plan for their next lesson whilst it is fresh in my mind. I ensure photocopies are made, and that I can locate any electronic resources as necessary. I then ensure that all lessons for the following day are planned and that resources are ready. I make a "to do" list for the following day, and then I go home - usually some time between 5pm and 6pm.

    I arrive at school by 7.30am, check my "to do" list to see what I can get done before the working day begins. I also refresh my memory as to what I plan to do each lesson that day. If I have time before registration, I do a bit of marking.

    I often don't do much at the weekend, apart from sixth-form marking, but I have small groups so it is not too onerous. I prefer to do a substantial working day (as I only have a very short commute) and leave it all at school.
  20. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    After a few years of teaching the same thing, if I just wrote "DO reflexives" or "DO perfect tense with avoir" that would be enough for everything to cascade through my mind. I could teach it in my sleep yet still come up with ideas to keep it fresh. Thank God I never worked in a school where plans had to be detailed, in triplicate and submitted for scrutiny. My daily planner was my bible and packed with notes, scribbles, ticks, crosses etc and it served me well.
    sabrinakat, cissy3 and grumpydogwoman like this.

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