How easily do you manage your workload in school?
90% of teachers have seriously thought about abandoning their career due to their ever-increasing workload (NUT Survey, September 2014).
Even more concerning is the fact that as many as half of all teachers have reported that they’ve seen a doctor due to work-related mental or physical illness (BBC).
Make no mistake – workload management is a vital issue to tackle. So here are five simple suggestions for helping you do just that.
1. Embrace technology
You may admonish your pupils for bringing their tech to school, but the truth is that the smartphone or tablet can be a time-saving tool for many teachers.
Some of the most popular time and workload management apps include:
Quick Key – An innovative offering that allows for the scanning of completed quizzes, tests and surveys – the app processes the image and returns a mark.
Google Classroom – An app for admin management; Google Classroom creates individual folders for assignments, creates copies of documents for pupils and helps you stay organised.
Socrative – Socrative empowers teachers in deploying real-time questioning and pupil performance analysis; it also visually maps out the understanding of a classroom full of pupils.
2. Keep your feedback sharp and focused
Refrain from writing too much feedback; extensive marking and feedback removes responsibility from students. Instead, keep your marking sharp, to the point, and focused.
Further marking tips include:
- Doing away with the ‘tick and flick approach’ (ticking over and over for every single part that’s correct). Studies have shown that removing this can be done without “any negative effect on student progress”.
- Avoid adding too many generic “well done” and “good work” notations – pupils easily pickup on insincerity.
- Don’t provide a grade with all pieces of work as this creates a grade-focused culture and is detrimental to the impact of your constructive comments.
3. Deliver verbal feedback in lessons
Remove some of the cumbersome manual marking routine from your home life, by providing plenty of verbal feedback throughout a lesson.
This should be done on a one-to-one basis and can be most effective when a single action point is delivered. Whilst you can buy “Verbal Feedback Given” stamps online to keep a record of who you’ve spoken with, Ofsted does not actually expect to see any written record of verbal feedback.
4. Use every resource available to help manage your workload
Creating and tracking down your own classroom resources can demand hours of internet researching and wading through classroom filing.
Thankfully the online world now presents innovative and engaging resources that cover everything from presentations to assignments.
Here are some of the sites you may want to explore: TES Resources; Guardian Teacher Network Resources; TED Talks – Teaching section; Top Marks; BBC Learning and Glogster.
5. Sometimes you have to say ‘no’
It can be incredibly tough to turn down the request of an added level of commitment – from the much-needed supervisor of an after-school club, to the potential of playing a role in pastoral care.
However, you must understand your limits and if you’re already struggling with your current workload, more work is simply impossible. Say ‘no’ to the tasks you genuinely don’t have time for.
When we first developed EDLounge, our goal was to create an online learning platform that would help improve attainment for both disengaged and mainstream pupils whilst reducing teacher workload.
EDLounge now has over 7,000 lessons in core, foundation, vocational, and academic subjects that can be included in students’ individual learning pathways. Assessment, tracking, and monitoring tools, as well as a wide range of other resources, are also included in the platform.
Contact us for a demonstration of how EDLounge can help you to manage your workload.