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Teacher Instructional Plans for the School Year
Teachers should begin planning the school year before the school year actually begins in September. Instructional planning begins at the end of the prior school year and begins anew in August of the current school year. Long-range planning is a continuous preparation that involves commitment and expertise when school ends, when it begins and during the school year. Both experienced and inexperienced teachers must engage in long-range instructional planning that includes the following preparations:
- Portfolio - teachers should include curriculum resources, lesson guides and assessments relative to the subject content area in a planning portfolio. In long-range planning, the school calendar year should incorporate District expectations and subject curriculum expectations addressing student academic goals and grade level expectations. The portfolio should also include the summaries of special education student IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), student behavioral contracts, emergency fire drill schedules and emergency contacts (Administrative and Security).
- Resource materials - tucked within the portfolio of long-range planning inclusions should be a thick copy of lesson plans and month to month curriculum guides and supplementary materials that supplement the course content materials. Included in the lesson plans would be a list containing daily agendas, expected assignments, book resources, computer links, library supplies and visual aids.
- Substitute plans - in order to maximize and maintain the consistency of learning for students, a teacher must plan for absences that will happen during the discourse of a school year. The plans must include lessons and assessments that continue the academic lessons for students during a teacher's absence.
- Syllabus for students and parents - at the beginning of each school year, teachers should provide a syllabus of the expected academic outcome for students. The syllabus lists homework assignments, course grading, and an open invitation for parents to visit the classroom and provide support for their students.
- Course assessments - in each course, specific assessments are used to determine how students are processing and understanding their learning in each class. Assessments could include chapter tests, group projects, homework assignments, research projects, diagnostic testing that includes pre and post assessment to ascertain student skill performances, handouts and state assessments data that include sample problems or essays.
By having organized and accessible instructional plans for the school year, teachers will insure the personal and professional growth of their students and themselves in the classroom.