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Teacher Planning Time in Tennessee

Teacher Planning Time

December 2012

Author: Rebecca Wright

Legislative Brief

Teacher planning time can be defined as the noninstructional time (i.e., time without students) teachers are given to plan their lessons and complete other tasks. Teachers may use this time to prepare for lessons, grade student assignments, contact parents, attend parent-teacher conferences, collaborate with other teachers, attend professional development, assist with extracurricular activities, participate in research or book studies, attend Individualized Education Program student conferences, or complete paperwork or other tasks as assigned by the school principal and the school district. The amount of planning time teachers are given varies by state, school district, school, and teacher. This report: presents an overview of teacher planning time; compares teacher planning time policies in Tennessee to policies across other states and countries; reviews state, district, and school level policies relevant to teacher planning time; and reviews surveys of districts and education professionals (i.e., teachers, school administrators, school guidance counselors, etc.) in Tennessee and other states including a Teacher Planning Time Survey of school districts conducted by the Comptroller’s Offices of Research and Education Accountability in spring 2011.