I have this theory about teachers and time. It goes like this:
1) If teachers had more time to get their work done, they would do a much better job.
2) Too often, teachers do not get the planning time they are supposed to get.
3) This is a problem.
Obviously, there are bigger issues in education that deserve serious attention, and thanks to people like Diane Ravitch, those battles are being fought. In the meantime, I’d like to study this one. Because it seems to me that very few people outside the profession understand just how much non-teaching time is required to make the teaching time go well. I would guess that ideally, we’d have one hour of planning for every hour of teaching (Can you imagine!), but for a start, it would be nice if the planning time we got in reality matched the planning time we got on paper.
So let’s take the month of March to gather some data, shall we? For the next few weeks, I’d like you to keep track of how much planning time you actually get every day, what other activities cut into it, and how much time you spend outside of school hours on planning and grading. If I can prove my theory, then we can start talking about serious ways to address the issue, and with numbers on our side, we’ll have a better chance of making that happen.
To participate, just take one minute every day to complete the survey below (use the same form every day). Try to get log at least ten consecutive school days, and be sure to record those days when you do get a reasonable amount of planning time. If you miss a day, just complete the survey twice that day. Just be sure that each time you complete it, you’re describing a different school day.
And please pass this on to every teacher you know. Although the survey is anonymous, I will have a count of the number of participants we have. The more participants we have, the more meaningful our final numbers will be, so share and share!
Update: This project closed on March 31, 2014. Click here to view the results.