We all know how the single most important part of our job is teaching the children, this is our job. Unfortunately there is a lot more to it than that! In this new series, I will be talking about ways we can streamline our planning and workload. Let's first take a look at what we absolutely HAVE to do.
- Plans- fortnightly, monthly and termly or yearly.
- Assessments- depends on each school but a variety of formal and informal assessments must be done throughout the year.
- Gathering of resources- this is very time consuming and is something that can be streamlined easily.
- Meeting with various other professionals regarding children in your class and preparing accordingly for these.
- Recording of incidents and behaviour management.
- Provide differentiated work and resources for some children
(If I am missing anything really obvious please let me know, I haven't been in school since May and it feels like a lifetime ago!)
There are other tasks which depend on individual schools, some require these tasks to be done, others leave it to the teachers discretion. These tasks may include regularly updating the class blog, changing bulletin boards and displays monthly, running an after school club, teaching by theme planning in consultation with other staff members. It varies hugely from school to school.
I have been reading more and more lately about teachers feeling tired, stressed and overworked. I think it is because of social media, these things are just talked about more now.
There are a few ways we can cut down on our workload without interfering with our quality of teaching which is most important.
- De-clutter- both digitally and in your classroom. Having stuff everywhere just means it takes twice as long to find what you're looking for. Just have the bare minimum of books and resources in your room- only store what you need and what you use!
- Do a digital detox. I got a new laptop for Christmas and it has actually made life so much easier. I love sitting down to blog now or write my newspaper column because my laptop is clutter free! The last one just had thousands of files on it and I would get annoyed even looking at it!
- Do paperwork STRAIGHT AWAY. If you are given a form to fill or a paperwork to complete just do it there and then. Don't just leave it on your desk for tomorrow, because then it is on your mind and cluttering your thoughts! Just get it out of the way.
- If you have to meet with parents try do it before school rather than after, you're fresher and less tired then!
- Don't agree to do things if you don't have the time. Just choose tasks wisely.
- If you have a busy home life maybe have lunch at your desk once a week- do some corrections while lunching- multitasking is our forté after all!
- Don't be afraid to delegate. If you have TY students in ask them to help with displays and other classroom jobs. It will give them a much better insight into teaching than sitting down the back of the classroom will.
- Be super strict on your planning schedule. Set a timer and get your fortnightly plans done in that time, no facebook , no pinterest just purposeful and fast typing!
- Don't try reinvent the wheel. Why not share resources with a friend if they have the same class as you? It could save you both a lot of time.