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Lifting Learning is...

More time for planning and preparation

There is a myth that if teachers are not in front of students providing direct instruction, they are not working.

But anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with schools, colleges or those who work there will know that outside the classroom teachers juggle an ever-growing list of competing demands. 

When teachers are not ‘on class’ it is important they have the necessary time for core educational work such as lesson planning and development, preparation and assessment of learning plans and communicating with families. 

I feel there just aren’t enough hours in the week for me to do all the work I need to do. I feel that I’m always working. It’s not unusual for my team to be messaging each other at 11 o’clock at night to organise planning. We can get emails from managers in the evenings, on weekends and when we’re on sick or carer’s leave. I message parents after I’ve had dinner at night. We do these things because we don’t have enough time during the day to get everything done.

As an Early Childhood teacher, it’s really important to be able to talk with parents about their children, however, due to the changes COVID has caused in schools, it’s now harder to have casual chats before or after school and we need to arrange meetings or send emails or have phone conversations which take a significant amount of time. One phone call to a parent can take one entire non-contact block.

We want our students to have all the support they need, but this involves writing Learning Plans and adjustments which takes a huge amount of time. This year I wrote adjustments for seven students and each one was about 1000 words long, however only one of these students will probably end up getting any funding. I copy and collate evidence of many students’ work which takes a significant amount of time at school. I also keep diaries for some of my students, so I can record any behaviours and concerns I have for future reference.

Lifting Learning

Ensure teachers have adequate time for core tasks such as planning and preparation, communicating with families and developing learning plans.