Does your school administration provide you adequate prep time?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Does your school administration provide you adequate prep time?

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What Do The Results Tell Us, So Far?

An overwhelming majority of teachers feel that they are not provided with adequate prep time. The feeling that there is too much to accomplish in the short time period provided is an oft lamented fact by many teachers. Unfortunately, prep time is often one of the first things impacted when school districts look at ways to cut expenses. If teacher prep time is cut to accommodate more teaching time in the classroom this makes the problem worse by potentially increasing the amount of work that needs to be graded.

In years gone by, teachers would be able to grade assignments or do other prep work while students worked or read in the classroom. Teaching nowadays is fair more interactive than 30 years ago and the opportunity to complete work with students in the classroom is almost non-existent. Teachers are more facilitators for learning rather than simply imparting knowledge as in the past. Providing students with the tools to learn and teaching them the concepts behind the knowledge is far more labour intensive that lecturing a classroom with the goal of simply passing on the knowledge.

Teachers need to use prep time to not only prepare for upcoming lessons but to grade assignments and prepare report cards. If grading a writing assignment for a class of 30 students takes 2 minutes per paper, that still adds up to one hour of extra work. This extra workload often falls to the teacher to complete outside of school hours. For secondary school teachers who have more than once class of students, this amount of time can add up quickly.

Elementary school teachers, especially those in primary classrooms, don't have the dilemma of finding time to grade papers but their prep time for interactive lessons is more labour intensive. Simply having all the materials together for an art project, for example, can involve cutting multiple shapes and objects, setting out different materials in a logical manner, and laying out work areas. All of this can take time that many teachers don't have.

Prep time is vitally important to the success of any teaching plan. School administrators and school districts need to address the amount of prep time that teachers receive and budget accordingly. Having students complete an assignment but not allowing teachers adequate time to critique the work means that many learning opportunities will be missed.