October 25, 2010

Schedule options / course offerings / future of learning

What's the best system for high school students to learn in?

I taught in the traditional six–hour day from 1995–2000. As an English teacher, I thought that the four–block schedule would be a great fit. After I left that school district, they eventually went to the block schedule, though without much quality professional development.

The next district has the four–block schedule in place when I arrived, but during my last full year there, the decision was made to switch to a six– or seven–hour schedule, which the high school did the following year. It was a unique transition for teachers going from the block day to the traditional day.

I have never necessarily been a fan of the trimester schedule, but in a school with only 130 high school students who have few electives available and even fewer options, something like a trimester may make great sense. We are going to evaluate what schedule options may be out there — and involve teachers in the discussion and research — to determine what makes sense for our school.

So, what schedule system really impacts students? And, what I mean by that is … what system allows teachers to embrace the idea that they are the leader of the classroom, the facilitator of learning? What schedule system truly allows the teacher to teach a guaranteed and viable curriculum in an effective manner using best practices and quality materials?

I need your help!

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