Amy shares some strategies to assist with managing our workload during our teaching week. We'd be interested to hear how you go trying them out.
On average, one in three teachers leave the profession within the first five years. This movement of many good teachers away from the profession has a great deal to do with workload. It is not unusual for some teachers, especially NQTs to work 60-70 hours per week.
Increased work load will mean that it is essential to plan your day effectively. The key is to plan out your marking so that you know when each set of books will be marked in advance. Smart marking is a good way to mark. This means thoroughly marking one piece of work out of three, with targets rather than a simple 'tick and flick' every lesson. If you can fit your marking into your PPA time and planning from 3.30pm – 5.30pm, it is still possible to fit it within the working week.
Using Peer and Self-Assessment
Remember that peer and self-assessment are not only ways to cut down your marking, but they massively enhance pupil’s learning as well. Get your students to mark short answer questions out of 10 during the lesson whenever possible. You can also encourage pupils to peer assess each other’s level that lesson both orally and in written form, by sharing the level descriptors and grade boundaries with them. This is seen by OFSTED to be good practice, so this technique is a double bonus!
Mark in front of students where possible
Of course, it is not advisable to set pupils on task and leave them to it while you mark a set of books. Pupil interaction is paramount in good teaching. However, marking 4-5 books per lessons when there are a spare five minutes helps you to manage your marking workload and gives the students a full understand of your feedback as you explain it to them. If you manage to mark 5 books every lesson and see the students five times a week, that means that you can almost mark a whole class using this method, and the students will appreciate it.
When you are making good use of an educational video or film clip, this is a great opportunity to mark 5-10 books - provided that you are still focused on the children and their learning at the same time.
Essential Guides to Reducing and Managing Workload
The Lazy Teacher's handbook is full of quick and easy activities and plenaries to help with effective planning and fun interactive lessons. It is available on Amazon for £18.99 and is well worth the investment.
A fabulous book to help you manage workload effectively and refrain from procrastination is ‘Eat that Frog!’ Imagine if the worst thing that you had to do every day was eat a frog…. By eating it first thing in the morning you get the worst thing out of the way to free yourself up for the rest of your day. It is a good technique to tackle your most difficult or horrible task first thing in the morning and see it through to completion!
Do you agree or disagree with some of Amy's advice? We would be interested in hearing what strategies you advise and/or use to manage your time. Email Megan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a few bloggers named Amy. This blog is written by Amy, who is a secondary school teacher and works for Protocol Education. Her debut blog was on working a special measures school.