By Suzanne Klein on
6/19/2014 8:55 AM
Vivian Maguire is an English teacher at Transmountain Early College High School in the El Paso Independent School District. Her post was originally published on June 10, 2014 in Education Week. Thank you Vivian for letting us share your article! Check out her blog, StoryMother, or follow Vivian on Twitter: @maguireteacher.
I am an English teacher who has been in the classroom for nine years. As an experienced educator, I have endured and complied with many new school policies and changes, most of which mainly affected teachers. But earlier this year my school was informed of some changes that would ultimately affect our students, and that I couldn't stand for.
The district had decided to cut teachers' planning time in half by instead sending teachers into other teachers' classrooms to serve as aides. The assumption was that teachers are not using that time effectively anyway so why not put two teachers in every classroom?
A teacher’s planning period has always been viewed by some district administrators and school board members as “free time” that can be taken up with meetings, extra classes, hall-duty, or any other assignment that they happen to think of. But in fact, good teachers really do use their planning time. In fact, most would say it’s essential for creating engaging lessons and improving student outcomes. Losing that time is particularly fear-inducing for hard-working teachers because we know that once we lose it, we will never get it back, and we need every minute we can get.
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