Workload and support
Workload! It’s become a challenge so synonymous with teaching that the DfE even has a webpage dedicated to it! However, workload is such a nebulous term, it’s difficult to tackle on its own! So here are some fast facts about workload that you’ve told us recently:
When you’ve been marking
Marking is one aspect of workload that can be a huge time-sink. One lens to look at this through is when you’ve been marking on a given day! 11% of teachers said they did some marking before leaving for school. 20% said they did marking after returning home from school, with 5% marking after 10pm! Nearly three-quarters of Primary and Secondary English teachers said they did at least some marking.
It’s not just planning and marking that can take up much of a teacher’s time. In fact, students’ needs outside of the classroom can be a distraction from learning. You’ve said to us that since the pandemic particularly, many students have more and/or greater needs than previously. Two-thirds of you said that your students’ pastoral needs make it hard for them to learn, up ten percentage points compared to January 2022 alone!
More realistic expectations
Workload can often feel more achievable if you feel you have the backing of the leaders in your schools. Compared to last year, there has been a small increase in those of you who believe that your school’s management have realistic expectations! Last year, this figure sat at just over half of you, 53%, increasing to 56% this year – slow but steady progress!
Much of a teachers time can be taken up with dealing with poor classroom behaviour! As we enter the exam season, we once again asked our regular question on whether your lessons are being disrupted by poor behaviour. In March, we found disruption was slightly higher than usual, but we don’t have any data to compare to for April or May, although it doesn’t appear to have decreased this year. However, we do usually find that lessons become less disrupted after the exam season – so we will check in and see whether that continues to be the case this year!
Phones in the classroom
Phones are another common cause of disruption in the classroom and is another way that teachers are taken away from teaching. Mobile phone behaviour has not improved compared to last year. This year, 38% of secondary teachers said a student took a phone out in their lesson without permission, up two percentage points compared to last year. (In primary, this figure was just 1%).
As with many behaviour-related disturbances, this affects the least experienced teachers the most. Almost half of secondary teachers with less than five years experience said this happened to them, and 39% of teachers with between five and ten years said this too!
Coping with workload during a strike
We even heard stories of teachers using strike days as a way to catch up on school work – so we had to ask!
Lo and behold – more than half of teachers who were on strike last week spent at least some time doing school work! Secondary English and Science teachers were the ones most likely to have done so.
Confession time, who’s been thrown off by the additional bank holiday we’ve had this week? 🙋 Of course, King Charles III’s Coronation was the cause of that. Although for primary schools there was some additional complexity as it’s also SATs week this week! We’ll be asking all about how SATs is going as the week progresses, naturally.
Back to the coronation and 70% of primary teachers said that at least one of their lessons this week was themed around the occasion. This was particularly true for Early Years / Key Stage 1 teachers, 42% of whom had several themed lessons!
As for you, the coronation proved a popular watch, with two-thirds of you joining the nearly 20 million other people doing so! That said, lifesize cut outs of the King were not as popular, with less than 1% of you claiming to have one! However, some of you did point out that your Union Jack flags and bunting may be for a certain song contest being held in the UK this year instead…
Imagine a future where the curriculum had space in! Okay – we’re all allowed to dream a little bit here! What would you use to fill the gap? Inspired by an identical Twitter question, we thought we’d get your views on what you’d add!
There were definitely common themes among your answers! Lots of you mentioned money management in some form, be it managing money, understanding interest rates etc. This is despite it already featuring in many school’s lessons – perhaps you want more of a focus on it! Other ideas included first aid, sign language and mental health!
Did we miss something? Be sure to let us know on Twitter using @TeacherTapp
Don’t forget about our Golden Ticket competition! For every 50 questions you answer in May, June and July you’ll receive a Golden Ticket! Each ticket is eligible for all prize draws, and there’s nothing you need to do other than continue tapping! The prizes starts at £750, rising to £3,000 for the final draw in August!
You’ll need to be teaching in a school in the UK to qualify for the prize. We’ll be checking you work there by asking you send an email to us from your work email address, so if it isn’t correct then you can’t receive a prize. Terms and conditions can be found here.
The most read tip this week was: What we can’t say about curriculum intent!
And here are the rest for your reference: