When do you start planning for the new school year?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
When do you start planning for the new school year?
planned before the school year ends
close to a month before the first day of school
about two weeks before school starts
close to one week before the start
use plans from previous years

View Results

The responses to this poll fell into two main categories: those who plan for the new school year close to a month before the first day of school, and those who plan before the old school year ends. These two categories together accounted for close to 70% of the vote. Those teachers who plan one week before school starts or who use plans from previous years received less than 10% each.

Most teachers like to be prepared for the new school year well ahead of the start. Planning before the old year is even finished is the ultimate in preparation. Most teachers reported that they took some time off during the summer and then began their preparation sometime in August.

Preparation can mean different things to different teachers. Some may start getting ready by purchasing supplies and making sure that they have all the items they need for any upcoming projects. Other teachers may spend time actually planning individual lessons. Using time in the summer to do lesson planning may be difficult while the sun is shining, but saving that time later in the school year is invaluable. Many educators feel that they do not have enough preparation time during the school year so getting the jump on things in August makes sense.

Unfortunately, not all teachers are lucky enough to know what school they will be working in, let alone what grade level. Some school districts are not able to make all their teacher placements until just before the new school year starts. Teachers in these cases cannot make any plans until they know what their placement will be. This situation could account for the number of teachers who responded that they started planning 1-2 weeks ahead of the start of the school year.

Parents don't care when the planning takes place as long as teachers are prepared when school starts. They want to know that their children are receiving the best education possible. While the timing isn't very important it does instil confidence knowing that teachers spend time well ahead of September getting ready. Students may wish that teachers were a little less diligent in their preparation. Would it really hurt to watch a movie occasionally so the teacher can get next week's lessons ready? Harry Potter anyone?