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Time for Lesson Planning...AGAIN!
Old 01-12-2020, 08:57 AM
 
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I'm just curious how other teachers deal with lesson planning:

(1) How many hours do you spend on lesson planning each week?

(2) Does you principal require that you do your plans in a specific format or template?

(3) Does your principal have a "due date" for your weekly plans?

I am feeling like I am doing something wrong because it takes me 5-6 hours to get my plans written out on the weekend. With grading and all the other responsibilities that go with teaching, I feel like I am lucky to get a a day off on the weekend. Of course, that is filled with errands, laundry, and cleaning a house that looks like it should be featured in an episode of "hoarders"!


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Old 01-12-2020, 01:13 PM
 
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Based on what Iíve read on here, I am fortunate to not have to spend an insane amount of time on this.
1. Maybe an hour or so a week. We have teacher manuals so no need to plan out lessons I just read, plan and prep what is needed weekly.
2. No
3. No

Only 1 time in my many years of teaching did we have to turn plans in. Iím in a huge building so it didnít happen again.

Does it matter that Iím in a public school, union state? Iím not sure.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:23 PM
 
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I've been known to spend all Saturday and Sunday planning. And I don't have to turn them in. Part of the problem is that I have no curriculum to go off of...no teacher's guide or anything. I am making everything up from scratch.

And my house is a wreck too!!!
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:34 PM
 
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(1) How many hours do you spend on lesson planning each week?
Probably ten hours a week, but that is just me being a perfectionist for no reason. We do have curriculum for all subjects. I teach reading, writing, word study, math, social studies and science. We have two new curricula this year, so that part is time consuming to prepare.

(2) Does you principal require that you do your plans in a specific format or template?
No, but before I was tenured, I was required to write plans in a specific format. We are expected to teach using the workshop model.

(3) Does your principal have a "due date" for your weekly plans?
No, but before I was tenured they were due by Monday morning. She expected written reflections on all the plans by Friday and would comment back. It was pretty intense!
At this point in my career, I am planned out weeks in advance, but I only see the plans. Usually my plans get slowed down because I need to reinforce concepts.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:03 PM
 
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In my first teaching job, I had to turn in my plans once a month for the week. You can imagine how much more detailed plans were on those weeks We had to turn them in using our regular plan books they gave us (handwritten), but we were supposed to include all these standards and the boxes were WAY too small for that. It was ridiculous. This was in the mid-'90s, though.

In my other major teaching job, we never had to turn in plans. The time I spent varied. This was also true for us:
Quote:
And I don't have to turn them in. Part of the problem is that I have no curriculum to go off of...no teacher's guide or anything. I am making everything up from scratch.
I was teaching in a language immersion school, so we had no materials in that language and had to make up all our own stuff for all subjects (specials included). One teacher or less per grade (I taught a combo 4-5 grade) meant little collaboration (both good and bad). I spent a LONG time on that. I don't remember how long.

My current teaching job does not require me to turn in anything, but I spend hours working on class stuff. Typically most of the weekend :/ I think that's in good part because these are all new preps for me. I hope that when I get to teach these things again, my prep time will be much less.


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Old 01-12-2020, 02:41 PM
 
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My P doesnt need me to turn in my plans so they really are just for me to wok from, get organized, and think lessons out fully so I can try to have my differentiation ideas supplies ready before hand.

(1) How many hours do you spend on lesson planning each week?
Only about 1-2 hours. MY first couple of years in this school and at this grade it was a lot longer but now I just reuse my plans from year to year and tweak them as needed. Sometime I have to give a previous lesson the boot and and plan something new from scratch and some time a lesson, or series of lessons needs to be overhauled because of the specific needs of my class that year. Those weeks it take 2+ hours but an average week its more like 60-90 minutes.

(2) Does you principal require that you do your plans in a specific format or template?
Nope she never even sees them

(3) Does your principal have a "due date" for your weekly plans?
Nope
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Thank you for the insight!
Old 01-12-2020, 02:47 PM
 
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I have a math series and it comes with detailed lesson plans, but I literally have to rewrite them to fit the format the principal wants. Makes no sense to me to re-invent when it is already there, especially when we are told to follow the series religiously! We are transitioning to the new science standards and this year is a ďtrialĒ run, but weíve been given very little and am having to create from scratch. Donít we have curriculum people at district to do this for us (rhetorical question) when new standards are being implemented? Theyíve had three years to get things ready for roll out this year! I am just feeling my precious free time is being wasted to jump through hoops. And they wonder why there is teacher burn-out and people leaving the profession.

Iíd like to plan and grade after school, but we have so many meetings on top of other school commitments, there isnít time. Iím trying so hard this year to get a better work/life balance and leaving school at school, but itís darn near impossible when your life doesnít even feel like your own. Even other teachers can make you feel ineffective or give you the old stink-eye if you donít dedicate all your time to teaching! Thanks for allowing me to vent...back to lesson planning and no life.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:06 PM
 
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Lesson planning was one of the things that really spurred my retirement 2 years ago. I was likely spending up to 5 hours a week. And that was after having done this type of plan format for enough years that I could often cut, paste and edit from the previous year.

I made my own template using Excel, but the components were required (Standard/objective, procedure/method, resources/materials, assessment).

Plans for the week were due before school started each Monday.

I hated Sundays!
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:11 PM
 
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I spend about 5-7 hours throughout the week, BUT I only plan for 1-2 days at a time so it doesn't seem too overwhelming. I'm also including making/copying/prepping/organizing materials in that time. I have lucked out to be under the radar as far as turning plans in, so I don't have to worry about someone else seeing them, but we do still get frequent walkthroughs and the expectations for how well planned/prepped we are at my school are very high.

A couple of years ago we all got Apple TVs and I wish that would have never happened. After we got them, everyone started doing google slides presentations for each and every lesson, to the point where it felt like it was an expectation. Last year I was doing them for everything and this year I gave up on that madness and only do them for 3 reading classes that it really makes sense for. Otherwise I just display the learning target and success criteria which is a requirement for us. In my sped position I have 9 different classes to teach per day and none of them are working on the same thing.

Several years ago I started only planning for one day at a time and find it so much less overwhelming. I also feel that my lessons are better now because they're really tailored to what happened in class that day and I can really reflect on what I need to do differently for the next day. And I'm not wasting time "tweaking" things I thought were already done mid-week.

I work on plans during contract time before and after school as well as my planning time, so although it takes quite a bit of my time it's definitely not on weekends. I make sure to have the next day finished and when I have extra time I start planning things that I'm more sure about two days out. By the end of the week I'm "ahead" enough to spend more of that time on paperwork instead. For example, for this week I have tomorrow completely planned and 2 lessons for Tuesday planned. Tomorrow I'll finish Tuesday's plans and do a few lessons for Wednesday, etc.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:44 PM
 
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We don't have to turn in plans, thank God. If I did, I'd quit. No joke.

As it is, I spend as much or as little time as I need. If I'm motivated, I'll spend a lot of time. If I'm not motivated, zero time (other than making copies as needed).

I am very good on my feet and have been teaching for 16 years, so I can wing it if necessary. I know the curriculum and the standards and know what students need to be able to know and do in prep for the next grade level. My P trusts us, thank goodness!

I am SO sorry not all have this same situation. It makes a huge difference!


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Old 01-12-2020, 03:47 PM
 
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Haley23, when do you have time to grade?
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:46 PM
 
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I spend maybe 15 minutes a week. It's more a rough plan than anything. Kind of like:

Monday: Math: 3.6 Literacy: Unit 4 Week 1 Day 1 Thematic: Winter

My P never sees it. It's really just so I know what materials to grab out of the cabinet that day.

It makes me really sad to read teachers spend so much time (especially their own personal time!) doing this.
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I am retired now but...
Old 01-12-2020, 05:04 PM
 
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I would say my plans took me at least as long as long as yours. If I wanted to take time off on the weekend, I had to put in extra time after school to get them done. My principal collected them on a rotating schedule, but we had a lot of walkthroughs from other administrators and were expected to be able to document where we were on the curriculum map continuum for the grade. It is one of the things in retirement that I truly don't miss about teaching, and it was hours of my life I will never get back.

We did not have a specific template, but had to show state standards. Since NJ dropped the Common Core and had its own standards, they were not listed in the materials we used. The principal didn't know the difference, so sometimes I just used the CC standards if I couldn't find the NJ ones for what I was doing. It was another layer of time wasted.

Part of the problem for me was we had unannounced observations. When we only had one announced observation, the stress about lesson plans was less. She also wanted to see evidence of technology and differentiation where possible.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:49 PM
 
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I work in a job share, so each year how we plan seems to be different depending on our family schedules. This year we tend to meet once a month on a weekend and plan/prep almost everything for the month. I'd say the actual planning takes maybe an hour, the prepping a lot longer. We don't have to turn things in, and we've been together a long time, so our plans are very sparse since we generally know what they mean. I can't imagine having to turn in detailed plans every week!
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:46 PM
 
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I start my lesson plans on a Monday. Generally, it takes about an hour to complete lesson plans. I pull materials as I go and get items copied early in the week. We all use Planbook, but no specific format. We are required to add standards in when we can. Lesson plans are due by 8 a.m. on Monday. I normally send my on Wednesday the week before they are due.
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This sounds right:
Old 01-13-2020, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
I've been known to spend all Saturday and Sunday planning. And I don't have to turn them in. Part of the problem is that I have no curriculum to go off of...no teacher's guide or anything. I am making everything up from scratch.
I teach HS SpEd so the time is dependent on how much material I already have gathered for the concepts at the time. I have no set curriculum in any given subject. I do have some resources I have accumulated over the last 15 years.

I try to do as much at school as I can though. If I can get textbooks or workbooks or both online as pdfs, even better.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:40 PM
 
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You only spend 5-6 hours on lesson planning a week? What is your secret? I tend to spend at least 7-8 hours on a Saturday so I can have my Sundays and weeknights off. But like you mentioned, add to that grading papers and other bureaucratic work and 7 hours turn into at least 14 hours.

Needless to say I dread Saturday because I hate lesson planning. Granted, my admin does not care what format of lesson planning I follow - I might as well plan on a napkin - I still hate this process as this takes over my life.
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