Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daily Planning Time - What's That?

  Keeping An Eye On Time    Spent an hour or so today working with one of our master teachers.  We met at the closest Starbucks.  The weather was beautiful and the creative juices were flowing.  If I could only capture that moment in a bottle.  Then I would uncork it and let the elixir flow through my veins whenever it was needed.     Isn't it funny how we, in the world of education, never seem to get that quiet time for contemplation and creation.  Oh, we may get our 45/60/90(?) minutes of "required" planning time but how often is that time kept sacred?  How often are we interrupted by students, fellow teachers, administrators, or parents?  When we do, finally, get 5 minutes of quiet time and the creative juices are really flowing there is almost a guarantee that the phone will ring, the door will open, or there will be a disturbance in the hall requiring our presence.  And, just like that,  the moment is gone.
     So what do we do?   Most of us have figured out the beauty of having an active PLN that we can rely upon for bouncing ideas off of when we are in the comfort of our own home.  Sometimes we use our PLN to get ideas.  Then there are those really great days when we are the ones providing the great ideas.  But for most of us we just don't have quality time to work, shoulder-to-shoulder, with our fellow educators.  And that's a shame.
     Now is the time for all of us to tell our administrators that we want uninterrupted planning time.  That, no, we won't take a call from Mrs. Smith regarding her son.  The guidance counselor will have  to wait until later for an answer to that pressing question.  Even our family members will have to leave a voice mail.  It is just that important. 
     If we are to be professional educators then we must be allowed to prepare to bring our A-game to the classroom.  We shouldn't have to "wing it" because we had to limit our time to plan that activity.   Our students know when we aren't on top of our stuff.  They know when we are "faking it."  Give us the time we so desperately deserve.