7 Strategies for teachers to help reduce workload
Successful teaching requires good time management skills as teachers need to write lesson plans, mark exams, and teach. For some, especially Early Career Teachers, it can feel like a struggle to fit everything in.
Teaching can feel overwhelming which is why we have created a selection of strategies to help you manage your workload and time.
1. Think about the order you complete tasks To be successful, you need to prioritise your work to make sure your time is used efficiently. Think about which tasks are the most important and start with these. It allows you to see which ones can be put on hold for another day, so you don’t feel everything has to be done at once.
To start, try and number your tasks in order of importance to help you see what to start with. As an Early Career Teacher, talk to you mentor and ask them what the priorities are if you are unsure.
2. Create a system that works for you During the school day, there are aspects of it you can control. For example, you could take students out of the class to complete assessments if they were absent when it was given.
When you change between lessons, make sure you have the resources ready and accessible so it’s easy to get set up and ready.
3. Keep the classroom presentable Make sure the tables, chairs and classroom materials are neatly arranged before you start a lesson as it creates a more welcoming, cared for atmosphere. This helps to get the lesson off to a positive start. Develop this further by displaying some personalised work by the students to help boost creativity. With primary, have activities prepared and ready on the pupil’s tables so at the start of the day, they can have a focused activity to get involved with as everyone arrives. Doing this each day creates a routine children like.
4. Make use of the teaching assistants As a teacher, you don’t have to do everything yourself. The teaching assistants and support workers can handle many classroom tasks saving you time.
Teaching assistants can provide a range of support so take advantage of their abilities. They can conduct small group work, help with behaviour management, and provide specific attention to the pupils who need it.
Encourage teaching assistants to become more responsible, visible, and involved in the classroom. They may want to become teachers in the future and are capable of taking on extra responsibilities which is great as it can free you up for other tasks.
5. Find efficient ways to mark work There are many ways to reduce a difficult marking workload. For example,
Use verbal assessments in class to test pupils’ ability to recall and develop quicker thinking habits.
Online quizzes – These do the marking and highlights the areas students need to improve.
Use Mark Mate – You mark your books in the normal way and say your feedback as you go. Mark Mate transcribes your comments, and you can print them as stickers reducing your marking time by 75%.
6. Stay healthy Make sure you get enough sleep, have a healthy diet, and keep exercising as all this can affect your energy levels for engaging with the class. It can help strengthen your immune system, so you are less likely to get ill.
7. Manage classroom behaviour Managing classroom behaviour can be a challenge and generally, the behavioural problems are the job of everyone that works in a school. It is important that you can encourage suitable behaviour in class and around the school.
There can be many reasons why some students misbehave, and it is important to know which strategies work in the right situation. An approach which works in one school may not work in another, so it is important to know how to apply the positive behaviour system your school has as pupils will be familiar with it.
Yorkshire Education works with schools around York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire and now is a great time to book a registration appointment.