Your Daily Schedule

I recently posted the following question on IHR's FB page, "Do you create your daily schedule or does your admin tell you when to teach each subject?". I was shocked to find out how many of you are told when you are to teach each subject area.

I understand being told when you go to lunch and resource classes, but I don't understand why administration tell you when to teach Reading, Writing, Math, Science, etc.  I have only worked in two schools and only one of them provided me my daily schedule, thankfully I was only there for two years. I will also be very candid with you, I didn't always stick to the schedule...I did what was best for my kids.

I have had the privilege of spending most of my teaching career at a school who allowed us, the teacher, the opportunity to create our own daily schedule.  I was given a specific amount of time I was to teach my ELA, but that was as far as it went.  Some years I taught ELA first and other years I switched it up and taught Math first, all based on the needs of my students.  I have had some classes who struggled more in Math than ELA, and therefore taught Math first thing in the morning.  I've also had classes who couldn't handle going from Reading and straight to Writing instruction, it was just too much for them.  With those groups I would break up the long ELA block to provide them an opportunity to switch gears for a bit.

I personally find it insulting when administration tell me when to each subject area.  As a teacher, I am a professional and put the needs of my students first. I am also curious as to the reasons why administrators tell teachers when to teach each subject area.  While working on my administration degree I was never taught this rule or expectation.  What are your personal feelings about this topic?  Do you find it unnecessary or something that administration should do?  I am curious as to what you all have to say about it. :)

I will step of my soap box now......  :)


  1. My principal sets the schedule for us but the state requires certain amounts of time for ELL students. Part of the reason my principal sets the schedule is to allow special education, reading specialist interventions, and teacher helpers to be scheduled at the same time that it is occurring in the classroom. This allows the students to receive instruction in the same subject as their peers and they are not missing any instruction that is needed. We have about 800 students (K-3) and this does not include preschool, special ed preschool and Headstart.

  2. How is your husband?
    As far as the schedule, my district lets us decide. In most places around here (in Mass.), the principal has all the grades teach the same subject at the same times because specials are scheduled around these reading and math blocks, and also so grade-level teachers can have common planning time. Personally, I'd rather make my own schedule so I'm not complaining.
    Great question!

  3. We were always allowed to create our own schedules, but last year we tried something new. Each grade level set consistent times to teach the same subjects, and our intervention teachers and tutors gave input. It was amazing that we finally got something that everyone agreed on, but it worked! We revised it, but are doing the same thing again this coming year. I was completely against it when the idea hatched at first. Especially for those that need to coordinate with classroom teachers, it's a good thing. If it's just an administrator trying to micromanage, which is probably the case most of the time, then it's definitely wrong!

    4th Works

  4. Our district is so big that our specials teachers (art, music, PE) are not only in one building. Some have as many as 5 depending upon the size of their schools - they literally could be in a different building every day (although thankfully usually they are not). That said, the district tells our principal the days that the specialist will be in our building and s/he assigns teachers a specials time based upon those schedules. Principal also sets the recess and lunch schedule.

    From there, teachers get to plan their schedule. We have some timelines we need to follow (ie 120 minutes for ELA at the upper grades, I think it is 150 for K-3), but otherwise we set our schedules. This will be my 9th year teaching, all in the same district and I've always set my own schedule outside of recess/lunch/specials.

    Personally if a principal tried to dictate it to me, I wouldn't do it just to be difficult lol No, seriously, I would! I am a professional and I know my kids better than someone who might pass through my room once a month. Additionally, we set our schedules with our resource teachers -- this way my students aren't missing anything core while they are with her and I don't have to fuss about trying to make things up with them later.

  5. Our principal gives us our timetables but the only thing he slots on is our planning time. Then, with the remaining minutes of each day, we create our own timetable of when we teach each subject. We have required minutes for each subject per week but we choose when they are.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  6. Our schedule is set for us to better manage interventionists and common planning time.

  7. Our complete schedule is driven by special ed needs and interventionists. I find it very difficult and restricting {{sigh}}! I would prefer to have more flexibility and autonomy, but I don't.

  8. We're departmentalized and have a fourth and fifth grade team, where two of us overlap for both grades. Because of that and the fact that we have fifth graders that move up to middle school for math drives our schedule. It basically all boils down to the middle school math time. Because the we teach in blocks though, we do get to decide as a team how much time is allocated to LA, SS, Math and science. It drives us all a bit crazy that our schedule has so little flexibility all due to math, but after 5 years, we've gotten kind of used to it.
    Are We There Yet?

  9. In my school district, principals set the entire schedule! I have worked for several different principals over the years. Some ask for input from their lead teachers & academic coaches when making the schedules and some do not. Following the schedule is a must since we have so many support teachers for RTI, ESE, & ESOL pushing into the classrooms to offer small group support. Grade levels are staggered within the school so that we can have a common planning time. Sometimes I love my schedule and sometimes I hate it!


  10. We are told when to teach Reading & Math based on interventions. We have limited resources in our school / district so there is only 1 Reading Specialist. Kind of stinks!


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