How do teachers cope with? 2) Time

This is the second of a short series of posts entitled, How do teachers cope with…?  So, how do teachers cope with time? Sadly, they don’t cope with it at all well. Rather, I should say that teachers are not allowed to cope well with their time. The problem is that the teachers have little control over their own time.

order celebrex Here is an example. On a recent BBC radio program, data was presented to suggest that teachers in England work an average of 54 hours per week. (As a former teacher and school leader this sounds like a reasonable estimate). However, the average time spent teaching in the classroom is only 21.5 hours per week. This means that, on average, teachers spend much more time engaged in non-teaching activities than they do in teaching children. Parents should be shocked to hear this.

The three main non-teaching activities that account for so much of teachers’ time are planning, data collection, and preparing for inspection. Of these three activities the really essential one is planning. Great teaching and learning owe as much to thorough and creative planning as to anything else, and if teachers plan together then its positive impact on student learning is hugely magnified.

diclofenaco grageas 100mg review Time spent on data collection (plus analysis and interpretation) is useful, and preparation for inspection contributes to the accountability of the teaching profession.

But great learning depends more than anything else on great teaching. That’s what teachers are paid to do. Governments and educational administrators spend far too much time and money on what we could call ‘structural peripherals’ (school reorganization, class sizes, text-books, target-setting and so forth) that have little impact on how well students learn.

In an ideal world, schools would be allowed to focus on high quality teaching supported by expert coaching and continual training to keep standards rising. Everything other than that is not a good use of teachers’ time and therefore an impediment to students’ learning.