Recommendation One:

Structure the school day to allow sufficient time for direct planning, productive collaboration with colleagues, and overlapping time for mentors and mentees, all embedded within the school day.


Role Group Strategies:

Provide adequate funding so that districts and schools can hire more teachers and substitutes.

Target Time Toward Teachers
Darling-Hammond, Linda. (1999). Journal of Staff Development, 20, (2), p. 31-36.
The article addresses the importance of teacher time for planning and collaboration to quality teaching.  The author recommends staffing schools with more positions for actual classroom teaching rather than creating staffing patterns with more supplementary staff roles.  In many other industrialized countries, teachers spend a greater proportion of their time collaborating, planning and pursuing professional development.  They are able to do so, in part, because these school systems hire more teachers and fewer supplementary staff members.

Deregulate instructional time mandates.

 “Finding the Time to Build Professional Development into the Life of Schools,” 
Teachers Take Charge of Their Learning: Transforming Professional Development for Student Success.
NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE). (1996). Washington, DC.
NFIE gives two primary recommendations for finding time for professional development: flexible scheduling and an extended school year for teachers. In order to create more team teaching opportunities, shared responsibilities, and fewer, longer periods of instruction, states need to deregulate instructional time mandates.  

Rethinking School Resources
Hawley Miles, Karen. District Issues Brief. New American Schools.
Based on her experiences with New American Schools, Karen Hawley Miles writes that schools need more resources to provide common time for teachers to work and learn together. She insists that teachers need time periods longer than 45 minutes to accomplish this work and suggests five ways that schools could create that time. Additionally, she provides recommendations of what districts can do to help schools create time and reports on the tradeoffs or challenges that accompany each strategy.

Learning from Denmark.
International Studies Program. (2004).
This report explains the findings of a study of high schools in Denmark.  Within finding nine, “Teachers Are Treated as Professionals,” the authors address teacher time for preparation, meetings, and collaboration and explain how the workload differs for new teachers.  The report includes tables of annual work loads for Danish high school teachers. Danish teachers can come and go as they please (flex time), have less time with students than American teachers, and new teachers do not have a full teaching load for two years.


If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us at

data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource