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Lesson Plans in NYC

September 11, 2007 am30 4:08 am

There was a discussion at Happy Chyck Wonders (tell us about the potato chips again, please?) about lesson plans being collected. In the comments section, I quoted our UFT contract on lesson plans (teacher’s discretion, etc, etc, good stuff). But I couldn’t find the bit about routine collection not being allowed.

Lesson Plan Graphic

Enter District 11 District Rep Paul Egan and his horribly organized, but wonderfully inclusive UFT D11 website. He’s got the “Know your rights” pamphlet. And he’s linked the circular*. And here’s the key text:

If the development of a school instructional plan is a collaborative effort among supervisors and teachers, as part of that process teachers may be encouraged to share and coordinate lesson planning. Since the mechanical, ritualized collection of lesson plans does not further these goals, it is prohibited. – Spec Circ No 28, 1990-91

* Maybe the on-line version at the UFT website already had the link? Don’t care. I like Paul; found it on his site. He gets the credit.

( And the contract language, below the fold —->)

The development of lesson plans by and for the teacher is a professional responsibility vital to effective teaching. The organization, format, notation, and other physical aspects of the lesson plan are appropriately within the discretion of each teacher. A principal or supervisor, may suggest, but not require, a particular format or organization, except as part of a program to improve deficiencies of teachers who receive U-ratings or formal warnings (ie, the teacher’s discretion can be limited if the teacher is having problems.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2007 am30 4:15 am 4:15 am

    What about lesson plans not being collected but randomly checked. My administration doesn’t seem to care what the plans look like as long as there is something written somewhere. They occasionally go around (without warning) and check the plans of each teacher.

  2. September 12, 2007 am30 4:47 am 4:47 am

    I do not know the answer. It sounds like it is banned by the circular, but that’s to my ears. Bring it to your Chapter Leader (link to the circular, download, print), and if the CL has not investigated before, ask him/her to bring it to the DR.

    There’s much precedent in details of these sorts of things, and you need answers from people who know, rather than those who guess. And in this instance, I would only be guessing.

    It is far too close to the line not to check, though.

    If, finally, there is some problem working through your CL (close friend of principal, don’t actually have one, have one, but doesn’t really do the work) e-mail me at [thisblogname] [at] [gmail] [dot] [com], and I’ll try to direct the inquiry properly.

    Oh, and if you get resolution (either way), please come back here to let us know. Thanks!

  3. September 15, 2007 am30 3:40 am 3:40 am

    Thanks for the credit, jd2718. Love to hear your suggestions for better organizing of the site. The idea started to help Chapter Leaders and then the members find stuff like Special Circular 28. My goal is to have all the forms, regs etc available in one place rather than having to jump from the DOE site, the UFT site, or elsewhere. Any suggestions for additions are more than welcome as is any complaints.
    How many times have we all said “I know it is the rule but don’t know where it is in writing”. Special Circular 28 is not online anywhere so put it there.
    On the lesson plan front, it is the teacher’s professional responsibility to have one and the administration can ask to see that you have one. They should not be taking it away as then you would not have one for your lesson. Format, notation etc can not dictated.

  4. September 15, 2007 am30 3:57 am 3:57 am

    Well, “horrible” was a bit of an exaggeration. What I like is what you said, everything is there. I’ve got a few ideas. If you’re around before Lynne’s meeting a week from Wednesday… or I could e-mail.

    What about the woman above, who’s principal spot checks for lesson plans? How frequent do the spot checks have to be considered “ritual?” Like every day, we know that’s not allowed. But if she’s taking them once a week? Twice a week? If she’s looking without collecting? I know that this is closer to the line, I just don’t know which side it falls on.

  5. Debbie permalink
    October 14, 2009 pm31 9:08 pm 9:08 pm

    Is it allowed for a Principal to collect lesson plans in advance for a week in advance? a month in advance? i read the 1990 rule, but is it allowed now in 2009? Hope you see this! thanks

    • October 17, 2009 am31 10:45 am 10:45 am

      Under normal circumstances they are not allowed to routinely collect lesson plans. However, your ability to resist rests in part on the strength of your chapter and the willingness of your chapter leader to stand up.

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