Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Project Learning: Sample Teacher Schedule for Middle School

Find out how the teachers at Helen King Middle School make room for collaboration and project planning.
By Kathy Baron

VIDEO: Teachers Discuss the Challenges of Project Learning

Running Time: 4:44 min.

Something is missing from Helen King Middle School. Listen carefully and you won't hear the ubiquitous sounds of school bells ringing. Flexibility is key to scheduling at King.

The school is divided into six houses, or small learning communities, that allow students and teachers to get to know one another. Teachers in each house get four hours a week -- during the school day -- to work collaboratively, and each house designs its own schedule. They use the time to coordinate curriculum, lesson plans, resources, and all the nuts and bolts that go into planning 8 to 12 week learning expeditions.

When they're done with that, they still have time to discuss what to do about students who need a little more academic help, or a little more discipline, or any other issues they need to work out as a team. Teachers in Windsor 7, whose weekly schedule is shown below, break out their collaborative time into three 80-minute blocks. That's in addition to 40 minutes a day of individual prep time.

Click here to download the class schedule (PDF 500KB)

Credit: Helen King Middle School

Some of you are no doubt shaking your heads right now at the notion of having four hours a week for planning with your colleagues. But if this schedule sounds absolutely inconceivable at your school, don't dismay -- King has been building up to this for some 20 years. (Download the school's project learning evolution chart for the years between 1988 to 2007 (PDF 236KB).) And be sure to check out our tips sheet on how you can introduce project learning in 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days.




What do you think of Schools that Work?
Tweet your answer to @edutopia or post your comment below.

Comments Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.