When a school planner goes wild and decides to set her own schedule for her students, the result can be chaos.
The idea is to have a flexible, time-bound schedule that you can’t change when a student arrives, says Joirney, who runs the planner for the City of Waterloo.
“It’s the perfect tool to be in the classroom with students, to have that flexibility when you’re teaching,” she says.
The planner’s main function is to keep the classroom orderly.
Joirneys schedule is set for 5:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m., on weekends.
That’s a pretty flexible schedule, she says, because there’s always something happening in the house or in the library or wherever.
She’s a big fan of a flexible schedule because she knows students can still be disruptive and cause disruption.
“I think the flexibility of that schedule makes it so that you know that you’re on time and that you have time to do things, and that’s what I love about it,” she explains.
But some planners go beyond flexible schedules, and can take advantage of a student’s schedule to set up meetings.
Joirs has seen this happen before.
For instance, on one particular week of her planning she had students pick up their lunch from the school library.
But as the students got ready to leave for their evening classes, Joirs noticed the schedule didn’t work.
She had to make the students pick their lunch themselves, then send them a reminder.
She had to be flexible on a busy day to meet with the students, so she had a lot of meetings that day, which took a lot longer than usual.
“They were really annoyed, and they started to take things too seriously,” she recalls.
She did have some of the students attend a dinner party on the weekend, which she says was a great experience.
But because of the unpredictable schedule, the students ended up having to wait a while before their dinner date was scheduled.
Joirney says it’s important to have flexible schedules so students can make the most of what they have, but if you’re having trouble setting one, don’t despair.
Joirdes solution is to set your own flexible schedule.
“I know that I was very frustrated, because I had to change my plans for a couple of weeks, and the school was very helpful,” she notes.
She also found that the students would take up too much space on her schedule, but that she was able to work around that by creating a personal schedule.
For more ideas on how to make your students’ day go smoothly, check out the infographic below.
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