Tuesday, February 10, 2009

common planning time

one of the things that is special about our school is our common planning time. now, i know what you're thinking, you're thinking that common planning time happens in lots of schools. the big high school that i taught at last year also had common planning time. all of the social studies teachers had planning time together. all of the math teachers had planning time together etc... you get it. but here's the kicker- at nchshs all the teachers have planning time together. all of us. in one room. at the same time. talk about common planning.
this works surprisingly well. we have all of our desks set up in a room that we call the "bullpen." we all sit in here together and plan at the same time, after lunch. we are able to do this because students are in p.e. or project time or an art class of some form. these classes aren't taught by our regular teachers. that way, all of us can be in CPT together.
we solve all kinds of problems in common planning time. we can plan cross-curricular units. we can do staff training. our curriculum coach also can use this time to work with us. this time is very valuable to us and it allows us to communicate, learn, and share with one another.
this kind of set up means that we are able to have all kinds of input into what goes on in our school. we also know what is happening in each others classes and we can talk about those things in our own classes to reinforce learning in other teacher's subjects.
it also allows us time to goof around with one another for a few minutes every now and then. with all of our desks shoved in here close together, we can throw stuff at each other pretty easily.

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