What do teachers do during prep period?

Most schools give teachers what is called a preparation period during the school day. A teacher is prohibited from taking on teaching duties during the planning period, even if he volunteers to do so on a paid basis. Preparation Time Matters From the outside, preparation periods can be misinterpreted as time for teachers to relax, recharge, or catch up on work. You may miss your preparation period if you are outside the building on a class trip at the time of your preparation period.

McCall, an elementary school teacher, said her preparation time “doesn't take into account the meeting with diverse teams of students last week, all my preparation was used for that,” McCall said. Sometimes I also run meetings on Wednesdays after school, so this preparation is sometimes used to prepare me for them. However, many schools make arrangements for teachers to have their preparation periods when they return, even if they were traveling during their scheduled preparations. If principals wanted more professional development time, he suggested that teachers make up the morning preparation time they lost during the longest school day, a request the union has made, or that any additional preparation time led by the principal be ordered to be used specifically for teachers' collaboration, a need he said his members did recognize.

Under the current proposal, three of the five preparation periods would be led by the principal for primary school teachers and six out of 10 preparation periods would be led by the principal for secondary school teachers. While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much preparation time is sufficient, there is no magic rule of 10,000 hours, recent research by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) shows us how much preparation time districts give their teachers.

Jerri Ament
Jerri Ament

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