Teacher Planning Time

Importance of Teacher Planning Time

The key part of effective teaching is teacher planning and preparation. Issues like reducing the number of days each week that students come to school, increasing the number of periods in a day, putting school on double schedules, etc. often face cuts. This sometimes appears as the importance of planning time lacks concern. Many teachers do not get sufficient time to accomplish so many tasks given to them. The education policymakers must understand the importance of time required for before-class preparation.

20-30 years ago, when the educational policymakers were in high school where students use to read quietly while the English teacher is grading the articles, students checking each other’s papers. Many policymakers have misconceptions about what goes on during periods and planning.

A Teacher’s Changing Role

Today, teamwork and problem-solving are increasingly focused on instructions. Teachers can no longer do the grading while the students are reading textbooks, and students cannot check each other’s papers in many school districts. There is a dramatic increase in the number of papers per student because many students do not work without getting any credit. So earlier articles were few so it could be easily graded during class but now due to rapidly growing piles they can be dealt with after the class.  

Class size also impacts the amount of work to be graded. If the teacher is allotted five classes of 35 students each, then grading a one-hour assignment would require 9 hours if the teacher averages 3 minutes each. It may be difficult to manage the grading assignments that take only one minute because to grade one student 3 hours would be needed and also during the planning period, other tasks must also be accomplished.

It becomes difficult for the teachers to explain why the time is insufficient and what they do because the teacher’s planning activities vary from day to day, which is one major reason for disregard for planning time.

What the Sample Planning Periods Show

 A teacher who works efficiently during her five 60 minutes planning periods, has given writing assignments to the five classes of 35 students each. She would not be able to grade even one class during the allotted planning time in the sample week of planning activities.  Thus the feedback to the students will not be given timely. Therefore, the job cannot be done if the teachers do not bring work home. Earlier in history, to give time to their families, teachers were not allowed to marry. But today, teachers get married and thus have children to look after so they don’t have extra 20-30 hours for grading. 

Negative Effects of Reducing Planning Time

Fewer writing assignments and more machine graded tests are given to the students as decided by the policymakers because of scheduling too little planning time. Students eventually get teachers’ feedback with the help of effective teaching strategies like peer evaluation with rubrics, cooperative learning, which decreases the paper load. These days’ teachers make the lesson plans by taking into account the amount of grading required for the assignments. Students’ quality education is deprived, and it becomes less likely to attain a higher standard due to insufficient planning time.