One of the main reasons I set up THIS Education is to provide advice on skills based learning in education. I would also like to help develop skills for people in the workplace. This feels like a great place to start. I know that the education profession is in need of some help through this difficult phase in teaching and if what I am blogging about can help develop a teachers/school leaders skills then, I am happy!
I believe that being a teacher is the best job in the world. Teachers make such a difference to young people and we need the best teachers to stick with the profession, if they have that opportunity, as future generations depend on them.
I have been made aware of a fellow blogger who has written a great article on the challenge of workload in the teaching profession. Andy Warner not only gives his opinion on what the workload problems are in education but also gives some great advice on how to manage this workload. His blog titled ‘Taking Control; Dealing with the Workload!’ outlines fantastic advice any teacher could follow if they feel the need for some answers on managing workload.
In summary the advice given is this:
1) Every day create a to-do list, which is completed the afternoon/evening before and prioritizes the important tasks for the next day.
2) Try not spend too long planning. Plan the afternoon/evening before for the lessons the next day. This will help to keep on top of any changing needs in classes as they develop.
3) Marking should be planned and try as often as possible to use peer assessment, building personal reflection time into lessons which will cut down a teachers marking time. Keep records of marking to make sure no class is neglected. Concentrate on doing only 3-4 sets of books a week and space the marking out.This keeps it regular but should also mean that the teacher is not overloaded.
4) Be strict about the time you spend working. Have cut off times and try not to take work home. It may be more beneficial of course for a particular teachers work life balance if they do take some work home. But again keep it to set cut off points during the evening or weekend.
For me, and as all teachers would probably agree the profession is a vocation. I would work 10-11 hours per day, Monday-Friday. I used to do this when I was teaching up until last year. In broad terms this meant working from 7:30am to around 6:00pm for 5 days. 50-55 hours per week. This ensured that I got through all the work that is and was expected. If a teacher/school leader can buy into this amount of hours to be put into the job then it should be enough for a good work life balance. This should also be enough for anyone monitoring the work of teachers and school leaders.
This is a great way to follow up my previous blog ‘Teachers – Going, Going, Gone!’. I hope all teachers and school leaders who are struggling with their workload read Andy’s blog and use his constructive advice.