Planning for effective, engaging lessons is a vital part of the teaching process. The goal of state law and SAISD administrative procedure is to allow teachers to focus more time and energy on the actual planning process, which is the heart of effective lesson development, and less time on writing, copying and pasting.
Texas Education Code 11.164 states that a classroom teacher may only be required to prepare “a unit or weekly lesson plan that outlines, in a brief and general manner, the information to be presented during each period at the secondary level or in each subject or topic at the elementary level.” SAISD’s Administrative Procedure E3 tracks this state law and also provides definitions: “‘Brief’ is defined as ‘short in extent and length.’ ‘General’ is defined as ‘including main elements rather than details.’”
Under SAISD Administrative Procedure E-3, lesson plans must include two components – objectives and learning activities. Teachers may reference specific documents or resources and page numbers in order to minimize what they write in their lesson plans. While teachers may choose to make lesson plans as detailed as is helpful to them, the administrative procedure spells out what is required. Also, under the procedure, there is no required format for lesson plans. A teacher may choose to use a particular format but is not required to do so.
WHAT PAPERWORK CAN BE REQUIRED OF TEACHERS?
State law (TEC 11.164), as well as SAISD Board Policy DLB (Legal), limit what paperwork can be required of teachers. The goal of limiting paperwork is to preserve time for teachers to focus on planning, preparing, and delivering effective instruction for our students. The state law says: “The Board shall limit redundant requests for information and the number and length of written reports that a classroom teacher is required to prepare.” The law lists what written information a teacher may be required to prepare. While a teacher may choose to do paperwork beyond what is allowed in the law, a teacher may not be required to do so. The teacher has the professional discretion to determine whether s/he believes any additional paperwork would be beneficial. State law also charges the Board to “review paperwork requirements imposed on classroom teachers and transfer to existing non-instructional staff a reporting task that can reasonably be accomplished by that staff.”
Our Alliance created a Paperwork Justification Form that teachers may use when clarification is needed as to whether or not requested paperwork is required and by whom it is required.
Alliance Reps with questions or concerns should contact your Alliance organizer. Alliance members who needs assistance, please contact our Alliance office at 210-225-7174 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.