Jefferson teachers oppose new policy

April 10, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County teachers told the Board of Education on Wednesday they fear that a proposed policy will require them to spend too much time preparing lesson plans and not enough time teaching.

The Jefferson County Board of Education delayed a vote on the new policy Wednesday to give members time to review comments about it.

Under the new policy, teachers would have to list the objective for each day in the lesson plan and detail how they will reach it.

Schools Superintendent David Markoe said the new policy will make sure that teachers are sticking with the course material and would help substitutes.


Susan Sowers, a teacher at Jefferson High School, said she already leaves emergency lesson plans in the bottom desk drawer for substitutes.

She said she thinks lesson plans are a good idea, but that she would not like to spend hours each night preparing detailed ones.

She said detailed planning is important for beginning teachers, but not necessary for experienced teachers.

Tom Lange, liaison for the West Virginia Education Association, said the county's proposed policy punishes all teachers instead of addressing just those who may have a problem.

Betty Jo Walter, president of the Jefferson County Education Association and a teacher at Shepherdstown Elementary, said good teachers will depart from a lesson plan when prompted by students' questions.

Walter said detailed lesson plans are included in textbooks, but Markoe said he doesn't want teachers relying too heavily on textbooks.

Markoe said he believes some of the teachers' concerns are misplaced. He said the policy would not be as burdensome as the teachers think because many teachers already are doing what it calls for.

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