Planning

It is preplanning and I've been fixing computers like crazy! Just got in my new HP elitebook with 8GB of RAM but unfortunately HP forgot to include the 64 bit version of Windows 7 in the box — so I'll be without a school notebook another day, I guess.

I'm just wondering how those teachers who don't have preplanning make it. I'm about to lose my mind and I have three days!

So, I was thinking of some good examples for those who think preplanning is not important to teaching.

Not having preplanning before starting school is like:

  • Giving a 5 hour workshop without taking any time to prepare. (unprepared)
  • Going to the mall without getting in the car to get there. (And how would you do that? Good question!)
  • A person trying to shoot a movie without a storyboard and script. (unorganized and without vision)
  • Having the first day of play practice with no script. (unplanned)
  • Having your first football game without having practice. (unpracticed)
  • Showing up for a job interview late and without a resume. (unprepared)
  • Going on a field trip without permission forms or knowing where you're going. (no direction)

What other examples can you name?

It is completely preposterous to just “start” school. Hey, maybe the best example — trying to start my car without going to get gas first.

These are the things that are harming education.  When test scores go down and we've cut preplanning, post planning, and professional development – will the lawmakers blame themselves? I doubt it. This is still squarely the problem of educators to deal with. (And note, I DO have preplanning – I'm one of the lucky ones.)

I just see erosion of the commitment of many to help education move forward. Kind of like when the upped my quota to sell more cell phones and cut the number of sales reps I had to sell! Unfair and unrealistic and also, my ticket to get away from that company. People at the top have the luxury of “playing with numbers” but true leaders realize that there are consequences to the numbers.

Keep your noble calling teacher but also speak out in ways that others can understand.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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5 comments

Jessica Belair August 11, 2010 - 4:01 am

Hi! I just found your blog through “Successful Teaching”. I’m starting my teacher training program next month and I’m extremely excited. I’ve never looked forward to the end of summer, but I guess with teaching being something I’ve looked at as my career goal since Grade 2… I’m allowed to be enthusiastic, right?! Anyways, I look forward to reading your posts!!

Jessica

You can find my blog at http://www.runningfromcupcakes.com !

Lisa Parisi August 11, 2010 - 12:10 pm

Our preplanning time is just expected. Part of the job. My custodian has been sending out emails all summer letting everyone know which classes are ready so teachers can come in and set up. All summer! How’s that for preplanning?

Laura Blankenship August 11, 2010 - 12:17 pm

Having come from higher ed where we had no paid preplanning time, I’m just planning anyway. In higher ed, they don’t pay you for anything extra, but expect it to happen anyway. I do know that we have the week before school starts and I believe that is paid, but I have no idea (It’s my first year). I suspect many teachers will plan for their classes whether or not they’re paid, but of course they should be.

Kimberly August 11, 2010 - 6:29 pm

My district has 5 days of staff development and work days for teachers before school starts.

Monday and Tuesday campus staff development. Our principal is pretty good about targeting things we need and getting us training we want.

Wednesday 1/2 day campus staff development 1/2 day convocation (Werein they like to pretend the 1st adminment and establishment clause do not exist)

Thursday District level staff development. Pretty good. Last years was great about interactive notebooks.

Friday Workday/planning day.

On top of that most people have been in their rooms this week and I know teams have been planning together.

california nursing schools August 12, 2010 - 12:19 am

There are really a lot of stresses that comes with being teachers. There are stresses about the lesson, the children and what have you. Teachers really need to learn how to be spontaneous and flexible. Good luck with your planning. Don’t take it too seriously or you might go nuts!

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere