False Choice: Teacher vs. Student Learning Time

Today I was interviewed by Maine Public Radio reporter Robbie Feinberg about a trend in Maine around early release days. In Maine, and across the country, schools are focused on providing teachers more professional learning time embedded within the school day. While I have long been an advocate for expanded, school-embedded teacher professional learning time and NCTL published a report, Time for Teachers, on its importance a few years back, I also believe strongly that students should not lose learning time. Creative schools are finding ways to create innovative schedules that take advantage of school specialists, community organization partners, and gym/arts/technology classes while teachers are working together. The Guilmette Elementary School in Lawrence, MA schedules teacher collaboration time on Friday afternoons while students are in fun, enriching programs, including at the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club. You can check out this video to learn more. With demands on teachers at an all-time high, and the importance of education ever-increasing, districts and schools across the country will need to be creative around their support for teacher learning time, but not at the expense of student school time.