Restructuring Teachers' Time

Restructuring Teachers' Time On average, teachers in the United States work more than 50 hours a week, much of it in the classroom. Many teachers struggle to find time to collaborate with peers, pursue professional development, and explore leadership opportunities without taking the administrative track.

But innovative ideas for rethinking teacher time are emerging across the nation—from teachers themselves. A group of Kentucky teachers recently created three recommendations for reallocating teacher time to benefit student and teacher learning. And a growing number of school districts now have teachers in hybrid roles—expert teachers who lead professional development and pedagogy-improvement initiatives while teaching part-time.

What do you think is the greatest challenge to teachers' time and schedules? How would you rethink how time for teachers is used in your school and district? How can schools and districts free up teachers and give them more opportunities to lead without leaving the classroom?

If we want great teachers to continue to be in the classroom and shape school and curriculum decisions, then the district must equip them to take the lead from the classroom, Evin Shinn writes.


Teacher experts with big ideas worth trying are out there; it's up to district leadership to recognize their untapped potential, Paul Barnwell says.


Teachers need to be able to collaborate with their colleagues and step into leadership positions, but, Brittany Austin says, that's almost impossible without more institutional support and time.


It's not just that teachers need more time for professional learning, Ilana Garon says. It's that they need more control over that time.


When teachers spend their time being task managers, it takes away from their ability to improve their instruction, Brison Harvey says.


The opinions expressed in Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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