Teacher workload has been the focus of much discussion since the Autumn return to school and managing the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic. Before COVID, 25% of teachers worked over 60 hours a week, and 90% worked during the holidays. The reasons behind the overload were identified as spending extensive time on planning, marking, data management and assessments. This, combined with increasing demands on managing pupil behaviour and wellbeing, the role of the teacher increased significantly, and effective workload management became essential.
Fast-forward to 2021, and with COVID impacting schools in terms of absence and catch-up/intervention, teachers are feeling the pressure. So, what can teachers do to help manage and cope with their workload more effectively? Here are the Good2Learn team’s top tips!
The to-do lists!
Psychologist Dr David Cohen claims that having a task list is much less stressful than organising everything in your head. To do lists offer a visual representation of how much or little we must do and give us structure for being more productive. We recommend ranking tasks from the most important to least urgent and complete them in that order. Ensure you include enough detail in your list so you can complete them quickly when you come to them. Chunk down larger tasks into more bite-sized items and be realistic in setting a timescale for completion.
Maximise time-saving technology
Today’s classrooms are bursting with solutions that can save teachers much valued time and reduce workload. Whether it is a lesson planning solution or supporting online learning, solutions such as Good2Learn can take the sting out of lesson planning, data analysis and preparing reports. Take care to avoid technology overload and ensure time is allocated to assess the benefit of a solution so you can analyse time invested in getting to grips with the new technology versus the time spent doing tasks manually over a specific period of time.
Ask for help
Many teachers experience feelings of guilt in asking for help. Fear of colleagues or your leadership team also being overwhelmed can often lead to someone simply not asking for assistance. Asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness and is beneficial in building effective team working in schools.
Take some time for you
No matter how busy you are, it is essential to book some hours out in your non-working time just for you. Without proper rest, the quality of work and your health will undoubtedly slip over time. Exercise and relaxation techniques can offer much-needed headspace to think and be more effective at work.
Also, don’t forget that Good2Learn may be able to help. Our online lessons save teachers so much time on lesson planning! You can get in touch to arrange a free trial for your school by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our schools page: https://www.good2learn.com/g2l-for-schools/