Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wake wants to give teachers planning hour

Wake County schools, the state's largest school system, will shake up school starts and ending times systemwide next year - if its school board agrees. Officials are proposing to release school early once a week, and they're doing it to give teachers more planning time and to facilitate discussion among teachers on classroom strategies.

In Raleigh's News & Observer this week, school system spokesman Greg Thomas said:
"The more heads you get together, the better you are. This is standard for the private sector."

It may be, but some critics are panning the idea, noting that it would increase childcare costs for some families. To dismiss an hour earlier one day a week, the system would have to add an extra 10 minutes to each school day to meet the minimum 1,000 hours of instructional time the state requires each year.

"There is a financial impact," said Robin Woodlief, a working mother of two eastern Wake County school students. "It will make child care costs increase and especially hurt low income families." Woodlief suggests a return to study halls overseen by teacher assistants if teachers need more planning time.

But the plan resonated with PTA president at Knightdale High School Tami Sakiewicz.
"If they're doing this in response for teachers needing more planning time and they've asked for this, then it really needs to be looked at and considered because we need to do what the teachers need," said Sakiewicz.

In the face of so many complaints, at least some school board members say it may be wise to delay implementing the scheduling changes to another year. "Maybe we don't need to start it now because of the budget," said Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board. "We can say that it's not the right time." The board is also scheduled to vote on the idea next week.

What do you think about early release days for teachers to plan and strategize?


Anonymous said...

Teachers already have a planning hour. It is between the time school lets out and the rest of the world is still working.

Anonymous said...

"Teachers already have a planning hour. It is between the time school lets out and the rest of the world is still working."

You don't teach, do you? Good.

Anonymous said...

Teaching would be a great profession if it weren't for the students. (from someone who would like to be a teacher..and actually teach)

Anonymous said...

Students are a part of the deal, and they are the reason a teacher can't plan during the day when students are in the room. All teachers need some time to connect with other teachers on ideas and lesson plans.

As usual, there is an idea that because a person becomes a teacher he/she also becomes a public servant, with emphasis on "servant."

Why the hate for a school schedule that the teachers don't set?

Anonymous said...

yes,that would be a great thing to other jobs you need time to catch up on any kind of work.if the top brass would allow it..