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5 Reasons You Really Need a Zoning Plan to Manage Classroom Staff (Ep 45)

Organizing & Setting Up Classrooms | August 9, 2020

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Now is the time in the classroom setup process when we need to talk about creating the staff schedule with a classroom zoning plan. In the course of this Setting Up Classrooms series, I have talked about getting to know the students, built our classroom schedule around their needs, and organized the furniture and classroom environment. And I’ve talked about how to do it all with this strange upcoming fall of 2020 in mind.

Managing Classroom Staff

We know that this coming year is going to be different. But whether you are teaching at a distance or you are teaching in the classroom, teachers are likely to still be working with paraprofessional. How we do that continues to be important.

There is a ton that goes into creating a true classroom team that works together. I actually covered many of the steps to truly create a team in the classroom in the first 5 episodes of the podcast. You can start listening to them here.

To truly build a classroom team, you have to have a good schedule, or zoning plan. But there is more than just the schedule. You have to build relationships, create the culture, create a collaborative vision for the classroom and train staff and provide feedback in a meaningful way.

5 Reasons You Must Have a Classroom zoning plan This year

Much of what we need to do in creating the classroom team, though, is communicating expectations and assigning responsibilities collaboratively. And that’s where the staff schedule or classroom zoning plan comes in.

What Is a Classroom Zoning Plan?

Put simply, a zoning plan is a schedule for the staff. But it is detailed enough to tell the staff what they need to be doing.  It doesn’t replace a lesson plan for daily activities that change. But it gives direction to everyone in the classroom or educational environment.

A well-designed zoning plan should tell classroom staff:

  • Who they are responsible for
  • Where they should be
  • What type of activity they should be doing
  • What you expect them to do (e.g., taking data)

Here’s an example of a staff zoning plan.

Classroom Zoning Plan Example

Highlights of Episode 45

  • What is a zoning plan and why do we call it that?
  • 5 reasons why a staff schedule is important, particularly this year
  • Ways to use a staff zoning plan to schedule and organize staff in distance learning
  • Methods for zoning for distance learning
  • Why a staff zoning plan is going to be even more important with virus mitigation measures in the classroom

More Resources and Examples of Zoning Plans

I’ve got tons of examples of zoning plans. I’ve rounded up many of my posts in the Staff Management: Ultimate Setting Up Classroom series with examples.

And, I have a free zoning plan for you in the Resource Library. And if you want more help with writing a zoning plan, with lots of examples and checklists, I have a Toolkit in my store that can help. Or join the Special Educator Academy where we have that toolkit and a whole course on Setting Up Classrooms that includes building classroom teams.

Come join our community for training and ideas you can use and connection with other special educators who get it.

Learning Community Connection. Join us in the Special Educator Academy
Setting up classrooms series. Autism Classroom Resources Podcast. 5 Reasons Why You Need a Staff Zoning Plan. Episode 45

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