Planning How Lesson Planning Should Work
Most schools afford teachers a period or two of planning time within each instructional day. The reality of these time periods is that they tend to be used for a myriad of things, other than planning — meetings, finally getting to the restroom, grading, extra help, parent calls etc.
In recognition of the importance of planning and the lack of intended use of the period, I suggest a different model. Planning time should be considered learning time for teachers and designed as such. Principals, please consider these principles in putting together your master schedules. Planning periods should be considered teacher learning periods and designed as such. Teachers should be planning in groups, with other teachers who will be teaching the same material.
The planning period should be long enough that the team can settle in and wrestle with a problem of practice they are trying to solve. The planning period should happen regularly enough that the team can come back together and discuss how their plan worked, compare results, and make revisions or improvements.
In short, planning should be much less about creation and documentation of lesson plans and much more about the creation of improvement cycles within a team of teachers trying to improve their craft. Removing the regulatory element of lesson planning will help planning to become much more powerful in shaping student learning.
All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.
– Albert Einstein