01 March 2006

Keep on Planning

The Curriculum department is having a retreat today and tomorrow in order to do some planning. A lot of this is about what we can do to coordinate our efforts and package things for teachers and principals. The ideas being generated will certainly mean a change in the way things are done.

The literacy content specialist isn't particularly happy with the way things are going. Right now, she has five full-time coaches under her direction that work out in various elementaries. Math has one. Science has none (we don't even have a full-time specialist). If things keep moving in the direction that we've been talking about, then the coaches will just be "general" and a certain percentage of their time will be devoted to working with teachers on math and science needs. The math person and I are thrilled at the prospect (I might now actually get one whole day per grade level each year to work with teachers), the literacy person isn't thrilled about having less people in her department.

Teachers do have to teach more than one topic. And as nice as it would be for buildings to say that they just want to focus on one thing (like reading) for a school year, that's really not possible anymore. But if we're going to ask them to expand what they do, we need to be ready to support them.

Tomorrow will involve some "nuts and bolts" planning. I'll be interested to see what we come up with as communication tools and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.


Mike in Texas said...

As a teacher, I shudder when I hear things like "retreat" when admininistrators, and by curriculum dept. I'm assuming you mean people who mostly do not teach. I imagine them sitting around coming up with ideas they have no clue will work. I suspect this is why our 2nd grade teachers have been forced to use a Math program they think is garbage.

If you're doing planning are you inviting any teachers along?

The Science Goddess said...

I'd shudder, too, if our retreat was focused on devising new ways to "help" classroom teachers without inviting them to join in our planning.

Fortunately, it wasn't quite like that. "We" were really trying to find ways to coordinate our services better and make the most of our resources. We also need to improve our communications with administration.