When teachers have the time and resources to make extraordinary lesson plans come alive, it goes a long way to achieving outstanding student outcomes. Despite the fact that many more teachers are now doing plans in a digital format, 800 teachers in a recent Lesson Planning Survey admitted that they need more support to be successful.
Is it Just Lipstick on a Plan?
At a minimum, most school districts have abandoned the practice of turning in paper binders in favor of some digital platform. However, it's clear that this is not enough.
A shocking 73% of teachers polled say they were frustrated with the time consuming nature of lesson planning. 56% were irritated that time spent identifying and correlating standards to specific activities manually takes away from crafting truly unique and differentiated lessons.
The transition to digital planning often comes with the misconception that technology will intrinsically reduce roadblocks. However, those surveyed STILL report several of the same burnout-inducing challenges of planning on paper. So how can administrators make meaningful, sustainable improvements to this process?
"Instead of taking 8 hours to do lesson plans, it now takes 2." Anonymous Respondent
What Teachers Asked For
One of the top concerns for teachers was the tedious nature of identifying and correlating standards to lesson plans. Although there are numerous great document management platforms online, non-educational tools have a glaring lack of instructional value.
Alternatively, some schools have implemented platforms designed specifically for the lesson planning process, which means that standards are pre-loaded, teacher collaboration is supported, and submission to administration is streamlined.
This ensures fast, meaningful feedback from both colleagues and supervisors. In some platforms, teachers can even glean quick data on their progression through the academic standards.
Do these features actually solve the time and tedium challenges identified above? Teachers at Cobb County think so, based on their responses to the survey:
- “Instead of taking 8 hours to do lesson plans, it now takes 2. I can have a life again.”
- “I can now focus on planning fun activities for my students instead of feeling like I am bombarded with paperwork.”
- “This has freed up my weekends so that I can spend time with my family, and not planning all weekend. Thank you!”
Not sure if you're actually beyond digital? Download the eBook to see where your lesson planning methods stack up.