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Teachers and leaders across the country are realising the importance of tackling workload and ditching anything that doesn’t have an impact on learning.
What could be the biggest areas for increasing teacher happiness?
How accurate is the data? Is it helping improve the quality of teaching? It is time to reflect and decide a ‘less is more’ approach. Assessments and data not to be produced for a complex spreadsheet for ‘visitors’, but to provide information about what students have achieved and what they need to be taught next.
Constant data drops asking for reams of data
Written marking research has found that the quantity of marking, is not reflected in student progress. The complexity of marking seems to have been created as an evidence trail for ‘visitors’. Students are in many cases, unable to translate the complicated detailed colour coded, written comments into the required actions. Students respond better, in many cases, to a verbal comment. Allow teachers to use their professional judgment and choose the most appropriate way to provide feedback.
Detailed lesson plans are in many cases too complex and don’t justify teacher time and effort. Teachers working into the early hours and at the weekend to complete lengthy lesson plans which comply to a school policy and provide evidence for ‘visitors’. What is needed in a successful lesson plan? Focused objectives (knowledge and skills) of what is going to be taught and resources and few key points on how to teach. The plan is for guidance, and allows the lesson to be ‘fluid’ depending on the needs of the students.
Written Lesson Plans
Why spend time recreating existing planning and resources. Use text books, once frowned upon, and collaboratively resources found on the ‘web’ avoid replication and duplication. The key is a central ‘store’ of planning and resources, easily accessible, which can be, where necessary, be amended and updated.
Allow teachers to have freedom to be ‘superheroes’ . Think about what will ‘re-energise’ teachers. It is not all about money but about satisfaction and enjoyment. Initially thinking was to pay teachers more, but there is an increasing realisation that in many cases payment gives short term satisfaction and is, unsustainable solution due to the tight budgets in schools . The ‘happier’ the teacher the more productive the teacher are going to be. Think of what is going to make a difference to a particular teacher eg attending their child's production, fitness sessions or trips abroad.