Thursday, February 25, 2016

Scheduling Matters: Establish Positive Patterns

The schedule is a critical component to teaching well in the elementary school. Without a good schedule, teachers can't do the good work possible.

Overall we have a good schedule this year, but it could be better. We have a few hours during the week that are clumsy in that we have little bits of time, not enough for anything substantial or interrupted time that prevents the good learning possible.

In the best of worlds, I think the scheduling for the year ahead should begin in late winter. At that time, I think that teaching teams should have time to analyze what works and what doesn't work in the schedule. For example for our team, the rotations work quite well--that's awesome. Specials have been well planned too. The big challenge has been the RTI times since the time planned is not ideal for a number of reasons. We also have some lag time after lunch we may be able to be remedied.

Once teaching teams have a chance to weigh in, I believe that schedulers should have substantial in-school time to plan the schedule. I'm sure there's computer software that can help out. While everyone is at school is a good time to figure out the issues and share drafts until a final cut is created before the end of the year.

If the scheduling were done by June, teachers could use some of their summer study to prep for the year ahead. Also we'd have an easier time getting things rolling in the first two set up days and the initial days of the year.

I don't think all people understand the complexity and power of an effective schedule when it comes to teaching children well. I understand the challenge of this, but I also realize the potential too. What do you think?