Thursday, March 9, 2017

Endless hours performing menial tasks

Two of my colleagues at ASB shared a post this week by Colin Harris on TES.  Colin writes about the situation in UK schools, and the interesting thing is that neither of my colleagues who shared this article have ever worked in schools in the UK - both are international teachers.  I was interested, therefore, to see how the situation in England resonated with those teaching elsewhere.   Colin addresses the issue of teachers working longer and longer hours, and yet much of this appears to be "busy work" that has little impact on student learning.  His post shows that the huge amount of time spent marking, planning and meeting is having a negative impact on teacher job satisfaction and retention. Colin writes about the 4 areas that influence workload:
  • Poor communication leading to confusion about the direction the school is moving in.
  • Planning and assessment is often a waste of time.
  • Marking student work - it should be done WITH student FOR students, not at home for school admin or parents.
  • Pointless meetings - in particular those immediately after school.
What do you think?  Would reducing meetings, marking and assessments lead to more time devoted to authentic planning?  Would a reduction in the "busy work" that teachers are being forced to do lead to an improvement in student learning?

Photo Credit: Prairiekittin Flickr via Compfight cc

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