Session 268 – Workload (and other matters)

Thursday 3rd September 2015, Hosted by @happyheadteach

268FeatureFor this session #UKEdChat was hosted by @happyheadteach with a great mix of questions:

1. What advice do you give to anyone entering teaching on workload ?
2. Scenario – How do you deal with an email obsessed Head Teacher?
3. As a teacher, how do you help children multi-task?
4. What one thing would you erase to make your job more manageable ?
5. What is the best advice for pregnant teachers?
6. The biggy – What should government do to support us in our profession?


Governments needs to listen to real teachers and think of positive feedback : supporting our future. Teachers with effective opportunities for training as well as supporting our teachers with continuing professional development . This will help retention and support innovation which every teacher embraces. The main message that hit through during the session was “Leave us to teach – stop tinkering!”

On the issue of pregnant women and manageability : getting colleague support and not to have a guilt trip but ask for help and be aware of your rights. Your optimum health is far more important .

Most want staff meeting time used more effectively when asked about erasing a bugbear of teaching as well as the increasing trend to fill in and return evaluation forms! Everyone wants duplication and other forms of meaningless paperwork taken out. Summed up as @grahamandre says ” get rid of data and meaningless meetings”

The debate centred around whether anyone can really multi-task and whether it’s better to promote independence and quality as opposed to rushing and carelessness. Now there was interesting debate on the email obsessed Head Teacher ! We all want this message of being in control of our own email management with strict rules for our own sanity. Initiatives such as a no email day: policy of no immediate response; only replying in work hours are to be encouraged for us to remain in control.

Finally our advice for new teachers managing workload centred round getting good life/work balance early on . Networking with others; using twitter as support all ranked highly for helping new teachers get into supportive routines . The final advice comes from Miss V @WhiteboardYears when she stated a comforting reassurance to new teachers that it gets easier with practice and utilising others to share workload is key to success. Well done all for a really worthwhile debate to come up with many solutions to our workload issues.

Eye-Catching Tweets from the Session:

@Danjjroberts important to have a release whatever it is whether gardening,bridge, or bog snorkelling .
@cherrykid Try not to respond immediately to e-mails. Work out your cut off time and stick to it .
@MrsCBennett17 Learn when to draw the line and stop. There will always be more to do so stop while you are still sane .
@chris_eyre switch burden of proof. Too much time spent proving our competence. Assume staff competence unless evidence suggests otherwise .
We need to take away @MrJLight Tasks which seem to duplicate others eg data analysis in different foats .
@goodman_ang pregnant women don’t feel guilty for adapting your teaching – sit down more , get kids to carry books etc
@grahamandre Leave us alone to teach and stop tinkering to rehash everything
@JenaiaMorane Paying & supporting teachers Prof Dev so that the best and brightest want to be teachers
@Gazneedle Give a little praise . Government to talk to teachers not just heads or think tanks
@WellsportsPhil Remember that children are at the heart of education system and every bit of meddling , U turns and unnecessary change affects them .
@louberts First rule of management : do one thing at a time . We should expect pupils to do the same .
@jivespin Key thing to encourage students to do tasks well rather than rushing and being careless ” also ” technology tools like Eat That Frog and Pomodoro Tech help children to prioritise and time manage .

Tweet/s of the Week:

@nco_business ( in response to email obsessed Head Teacher)
Only reply in work hours. The more you do out of hours the more will be expected
@lalalonghurst if I was head I’d have meetings with staff where I had an egg timer and an air horn .

About Your Host:

As @happyheadteach I try to spread good practice . In real life I’m Jim Lyon – Head Teacher of a 275 pupil school plus Nursery in Highlands of Scotland .

Featured Image Source: Via Lee LeFever on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

You need to or Register to bookmark/favorite this content.

About UKEdChat Editorial 3187 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.