Your school's lesson plan requirementsI teach in a district which requires teachers to submit lesson plans to their department supervisor regularly.  (The last school I taught in had no such...

Your school's lesson plan requirements

I teach in a district which requires teachers to submit lesson plans to their department supervisor regularly.  (The last school I taught in had no such requirement.) 

Until last year, we were able to submit our own daily plans for the week (they were due every Monday to our supervisor) by either printing them from our websites or submitting them as Word documents.  Now, we're required to submit unit plans for each unit we teach. 

I'm curious to know what's required in other schools. 

Asked on by ajmchugh

21 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

My school has no lesson plan requirements. This is not because administration does not care what goes on in classrooms, but rather because teachers are trusted as professionals. We do develop a Scope and Sequence though, which is also available to parents.
kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I spent the first 12 years of my teaching career having to have lesson plans ready to be inspected at random, minimum 4 time sper year. We would have to include how we would incorporate spiritual dimensions to our teaching as well as the aims and objectives. I confess that I did use to 'polish up' my plans before an inspection loomed, and I though once I'd left I would never want to write one again.

That said, I have all of my old plans filed and do look back at how I organised work on certain texts and themes. If anyone is observing my class (even new teachers looking for ideas) I give out a lesson plan. I mostly plan termly now, but know I am a more effective teacher when I have thought out each lesson in sequence, even if I review as I go. 

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

We are required to submit lesson plans to our principal each week. They must include not only the material we plan to cover but also the state standards that each lesson addresses. We also have to indicate what type of instruction we'll use (lecture, video, etc.) and how we plan to assess learning. We are not required to set it up as a daily calendar, which helps me because I don't organize my thoughts that way. I know that I'm going to cover Julius Caesar next week, but I don't know whether I'll finish Act 1 on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

The only time I've been required to produce a lesson plan is when I am being formally evaluated. Even then, it is really more of a tool to help the evaluator understand the scope and depth of the lesson than it is a formal product to be evaluated.

No specific format has ever been required here either. Although one has been recommended, it is optional.

Like others have mentioned, I appreciate the flexibility of not having a formal lesson plan provides. That's not to say that I don't have a "lesson plan" in my head, but I very rarely take the time to document that plan in writing.

drmonica's profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I have worked all up and down the East Coast as a teacher and administrator and have seen the gamut of lesson plan requirements. When I was a beginning teacher in Georgia in 1985, we had to submit weekly lesson plans with objectives. Unionized teachers in central Massachusetts, where I became a department chair, didn't have to submit anything. This was disturbing to me when I saw cases of veteran teachers who taught whatever they pleased, regardless of the new state curriculum frameworks. For this reason, I can see the value of requiring lesson plans, or at least unit plans, to be submitted to administrators.

I do disagree with susan3smith about experienced teachers not needing detailed lesson plans. The more experience I gained as a teacher, up through and including National Board Certification, the more detailed my lesson planning became. I would never attempt to make a speech without an outline and notes. Neither would I enter a classroom of any age level of students without a detailed lesson plan.

susan3smith's profile pic

susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

I teach in a public high school in Georgia.  Right now, we are required to post our pacing guides for the collaborative team that we have been assigned to.  This pacing guide contains an outline of our units--not particularly detailed--and the Georgia standards (objectives)  that we are addressing.  We do not have to submit lesson plans on a regular basis, but we have to have them ready to "show" if we are evaluated.  But I'm a little like the 8th poster.  I have been teaching some 30 years now, and I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve.  I plan for a variety of contingencies, and I gauge the way students respond to determine what will work best for that particular class.  Of course, tests, projects, and major assessments are all announced ahead of time, but I found that  objectives can be reached in numerous ways and that detailed lesson plans written for others are not an effective use of a teacher's time, especially an experienced one.

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Like others have mentioned, I only submit lesson plans (the format is my own choosing) before a formal evaluation. The last time I wrote a formal, structured lesson plan was when I was getting my teaching credential. Honestly, lesson plans have never worked for me. Perhaps it's because I'm just not rigidly structured in the classroom. I use differentiated instruction, Socratic seminars, and anticipatory sets, but I never think in those terms. I've never really been sure why. In our dept., we often share plans with each other, and demonstrate particularly effective lessons in dept. meetings.

However, other schools in my district (I teach at public high school in Southern California) require weekly and even daily lesson plans. I'm happy to be where I am though. For me, it almost feels like a waste of time to write out daily lessons.

sboeman's profile pic

sboeman | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Seems like there's quite a variation in the schools' expectations.  Personally, as with some other posts, I only need to submit roughly-outlined lesson plans when being formally evaluated.  I did have to turn them in more regularly, however, before I became tenured.

We are starting this year with a new principal, so I guess we'll wait and see what she expects.  Our previous principal believed in the professionalism of his staff and left it to the individual departments to determine when such plans would be needed.

In all honesty, I would love to create lesson plans for every day to use in future years, but it's quite a daunting and laborious task.  I also think that teaching becomes somewhat more "natural" (for lack of a better term) as the years go by.

hustoncmk's profile pic

hustoncmk | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

At the private school I was most recently at, we did 10-week lesson plans for each subject taught.  These were given to the school director and then modified versions were given to each of the students, so that thet knew what was coming up and could plan accordingly.  It was nice when play rehearsals intensified right before a performance & sports playoffs were approaching.  The students could & often did get work done and turned in ahead of time. 

At the school I was at previous to that one, we had to submit weekly lesson plans to the principal.  The pans had to include what we were scheduled to do, 1 substitute lesson plan, and references to the state standards being taught. I was teaching 7 different classes & had seven preps, so often did rough estimates without the standards for 10 weeks or 1 semester at a time.  Then I updated them for the principal on a weekly basis.

At the first school I was at, we did not need to submit anything. It was very relaxed.  The only time we had to submit anything was when we were being evaluated.

Of all three, I liked when we were able to give the students a real good idea of expectations ahead of time and they were able to plan accordingly.  We were able to give them 10% extra credit if they turned work in 1 or more days early.  I had over half of my seniors & juniors take advantage of this.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In my first 3 years working in a public school we were required to submit lesson plans for any scheduled observation.  We had a specific format they wanted - though - if we had another we were used to that covered everything on the one provided it was accepted.

Then, as a staff we had professional development days that required lesson plans applying what we were learning in order to earn "CEU's."  One year I received more than enough hours from a summer course so while I attended the curriculum development days - I didn't write the lessons for CEU credit.

At the private school where I most recently worked however, I never submitted lesson plans to anyone.  In fact, this was one of the better school administrations for teacher trust and encouragement - most often teachers were encouraged to share lesson plans with each other - but administrators did very informal observations and allowed teachers to try almost anything in the classroom.  I LOVED it.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I have run the gamut over the years when it comes to lesson plans. Several principals never required to see lesson plans except before evaluations and at the end of the year. One principal required that lesson plans be checked each six weeks. My most recent principal requires weekly lesson plans posted for students and parents, but not for administrative consideration.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The only time we are required to submit lesson plans is before our formal evaluations, which take place twice per year.  The lesson plans themselves need not be formal, they just want to know what to look for when they observe us.  Aside from that, in 18 years I have never written a formal lesson plan.  Actually, I haven't since my days in the school of education in college.  And yet, somehow I've been effective...

Sorry to hear they are making you jump through the hoops.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my school, which is international, there is no such requirement. We have an annual inspection but there has been no expectation of submitting lesson plans on a regular basis. In my last school we always had to have lesson plans with us in the class and they needed to be posted on a website for inspection. Needless to say, I prefer my current system of working!

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stasia6 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I'm curious to find out if they actually teach living skills at your school. Parents even myself included can be so self absorbed with their jobs and their acquiring things that they put their child's needs last. The schools have over emphasized these standardized tests. My child was in small reading classes to help with reading, math skills were not at grade level had to work with those. Why wasn't it suggested then when we struggled to help her that she be tested. These tests should be telling the story. She is now in danger of failing at least one of her classes. She goes home to safe adult, she had friends and now those relationships are strained. I do not expect special treatment, but the schools expect everyone to learn the same way. I think it is ridiculous. I've suffered myself, so her father must help her. She has been evaluated by a mental health professional, he does not diagnose children as mentally ill, suggests being tested for learning deficits. He told me the school is going to be difficult with us. That is his experience. Maybe this is paranoid, sounds like they are trying to create a new generation of mindless, uneducated slaves.


wmagley's profile pic

wmagley | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Your school's lesson plan requirements

I teach in a district which requires teachers to submit lesson plans to their department supervisor regularly.  (The last school I taught in had no such requirement.) 

Until last year, we were able to submit our own daily plans for the week (they were due every Monday to our supervisor) by either printing them from our websites or submitting them as Word documents.  Now, we're required to submit unit plans for each unit we teach. 

I'm curious to know what's required in other schools. 

  We are required to post our daily lesson plans to our Harmony attendance/grade system.  Students may access these plans, when absent or forgetful.  Handouts may be attached to the plans for viewing or printing.  I am sure the administration views these, but I do not know how often.  I also do not know the consequences of not posting because I always do.

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