Overheard: Allocating Time to Plan

Feb 12, 2013

weekly_roundupI recently delivered a Together Teacher professional development workshop to a great high school in Harlem. Afterwards, I spent time with the principal, Lisa F., discussing ways we could make sure the new habits would really stick.

Lisa pondered for a bit, and then decided to give an hour of time to her staff on Friday afternoons for a whole school Weekly Round-Up. Whoa, huge deal!

Here’s how she explains her decision to give the time to her team:

“The school is only as good as the teachers in it, and a significant part of being an effective teacher is feeling like you are effective.  Time management is key here, as is the sense that I, as an individual, can control my schedule.  Maia’s session was fantastic, but I could see our teachers look concerned when they heard ‘Allocate an hour to plan your week.’”

“Planning ahead was quickly becoming ‘another thing to add to my to-do list,’ which is why I carved the hour out of Friday Professional Development time. Yes, we could be reviewing Lemov, aligning to Common Core and doing 100 other things–but ensuring that our teachers are managing their time, planning effective lessons, and feeling confident in front of their class was going to give the school the traction it needed so that when we tackle those 100 things–and we will!–it will be with teachers who are experienced, confident and better equipped to charge forward.”