Once you have a created a beautiful excel schedule (ahem… see yesterday’s post), you work with excel is not over. We discussed briefly yesterday the staff schedule portion of the almighty excel document. You have to work on your student schedule and staff schedule together obviously because you need to make sure you have staff to actually run all those stations! But let’s recap why we really need an adult schedule. This schedule business is a tricky thing and if you have one missing block your whole dang tower might fall over.
Yesterday we talked about the best way to set up an excel schedule to show exactly what your students are doing at every minute of the day. We need to align the adult schedule to the student. Show what each adult is doing (ie. running which center and with who) that coordinates to the student version.
It’s important that the staff schedule gives a lot of information. First put in the” non-negotiables” lunches, specials, inclusion, breaks, etc. Then fill with the centers on the student schedule. Make sure to put the center the staff member will be running and who they will be running it with. Ie. write Fluency Station with Alex and John not Fluency Station. This helps everyone be on the same page and make sure all kids are accounted for.
It seems like the staff schedule is something you can leave out and maybe not as essential as that student one. I beg to differ, dear friends. That staff schedule is just as important as the student one. Here’s why:
1. Staff Schedule is what you (and your staff) will reference on a daily basis.
That student schedule is a hot mess of confusion and mid-day when behaviors are flaring and your noise meter is hitting an all time high you just need the most basic set of info: who am I working with right now and where. This is the schedule you will be referencing throughout the day to know who you are working with at each moment.
2. The Staff Schedule works as a non-confrontational management tool.
I am not the most confrontational person. Staff management is not my favorite part of the job but so necessary that my classroom would fall about with out it. We are a team and I am the leader and I need to lead. Part of being a good leader is getting everyone on the same page and defining expectations. Well, that process is started right here. There is no room for miscommunication. Everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. You are avoiding that whole “I didn’t know I was supposed to be there” issue. And then you can always pull the “blame the paper” trick when you do have an issue. “Hey, I noticed you weren’t running the reading station from 10-10:15 and it says on this paper you are supposed to be.” Yes, we all know you wrote the paper but for some reason I always feel better when I have a piece of paper to reference. Seems more legit.
3. The Staff Schedule saves your butt when admin tries to pull your aides.
Can I get an amen? It’s like some administrators think paraprofessionals are just fun friends we chat with during the day and can be moved around the building like chess pieces. Oh I’m sorry, have you heard of this tiny legal document called an IEP?!?! Ugh. I digress. This bad boy has saved me when admin tries to pull my paras to photocopy or do something equally ridiculous in the middle of the school day. Nope. That para is busy and working at that time – here is her schedule. All hail the schedule.