And workload is stated as one of the main reasons for the present teacher shortage and recruitment crisis.
Many a time the people who talk about workload are not in the classroom but are policy makers and SLT in schools who do very little teaching.
The problem is around planning, delivery of lessons and marking, however, the additional responsibility of data collection, data analysis, reports, parents evening, parent meetings and the list goes on, exasperates the problem.
So, who better than teachers to come up with solutions to the workload problem. Below are hacks which will help you reduce your workload which other teachers shared in a recent survey…
- If I mark, it is done as a class and everyone marks their own. Everything else is verbal feedback.
- Give a grade on completion of a project/task and also give an effort grade.
- Best feedback to support learning is not written in books. Most of my time marking books is to satisfy school’s marking policy not for student learning.
- Creating resources and revision materials from Pinterest for subjects such as D&T, that and sharing/ resource swapping.
- When writing WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) comments in books – put a number on it. Then, type the numbers down on a PowerPoint and type the comment (chances are you write similar things in multiple books) and then get the students to write your comment from the board… saves a lot of time!
- Set regular basic knowledge tests. Good for assessment, easy to get students to self-assess or peer assess.
- Dedicate first 5-10 mins of the lesson to addressing feedback. This gets the student used to doing it straight away. Another box ticked.
- Peer assessment of presentations give one student the assessment grid and say be Simon Cowell, they are brutal. As a class assign a grade for the presentation.
- It is useful to put down the better responses and the weaker ones and run through this as a class. Feedback should be more work for the student than the teacher. Based on the whole class feedback students can set themselves learning targets so they improve themselves as learners.
- Use flip classroom model. Students do the research/read up for homework the lesson before a topic is covered – then feedback/teach the rest of the class. You could prepare a document with links to video and articles. Students will read it at home and you will all discuss it in the class next day. Helps you focus more on those who are struggling.
- Set quizzes on Show My Homework as it automatically records who has completed the homework and also marks the assessment for you. Takes a while to set up but once it’s done you shouldn’t need to mark homework for the rest of the year! It also shows where each student made errors so super easy to analyse what you need to revise with student.
- Don’t re-invent the wheel… use resources that already exist and tweak every year.
- Don’t waste time making lesson plans… even Ofsted don’t require to see one.
- Keep SOW simple and to the point and use what already exists e.g. I use the one the examining board gives.