Planners are one of the greatest most dynamic tools we possess in education today. As mentioned in previous articles, they have the power to shift mindset, create order out of chaos, and ensure cohesiveness at a school. In the frameworks that I have designed for specific projects – The Language Framework, The Transitional Framework and The Early Years Framework, planners have been designed to function like puzzle pieces, whereby one teacher planner connects to another, and another and another by subject area until a solid jigsaw encompassed by the school’s Educational Framework is formed, as illustrated in the diagrams below:
The Jigsaw Model is extremely functional as it allows everyone on staff to be connected by subject area, but this design doesn’t suit every Educational Framework. Sometimes a framework calls for a more liquid and detached solution, such as The Shared Leadership Framework. With these frameworks, it isn’t just about creating unity within a teaching staff, it’s about allowing staff and students to feed off of each other, thus shifting the planners in unison on a frequent basis and forming a symbiotic relationship, as illustrated in the generalized diagram below:
In the above model, every piece of every individual’s (staff and student) planner is moveable, and when one row, column or box is switched, added or removed, others are affected like dominoes, and will need to be adjusted immediately and accordingly. And what are the advantages of planners being used in a symbiotic relationship? Increased rates of growth and development for both staff and students and high levels of individualization within a cohesive team environment, allowing frameworks (such as The Shared Leadership Framework) to function at their maximum potential in order to create the biggest impact on student learning.
Although the Jigsaw Method and the Symbiotic Method of linking planners have been presented as stand-alones, there is nothing the say that a school couldn’t use both systems in unison. A school may choose the Jigsaw Method to organize teachers by subject area (over-arching) and have another set of planners that work together symbiotically for a specific area that a school would like to develop further.
To learn more about the Jigsaw Method and the Symbiotic Method, visit the following articles:
Linking Teacher Planners: The Jigsaw Method
Linking Teacher Planners: The Symbiotic Method
Determining the Best Planning Solutions for Your School
Interested in implementing any of the above planning solutions at your school?