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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Why do educators feel time-poor?

If you talk to teachers, most will tell you they never have enough time to do all that they would like to do. I was reminded of this when I saw the title of a webinar: Tips, Tricks, and Time -Saving.

You may have your own theories about what causes this situation and I invite you to comment.

Here are some of my thoughts

  • in some ways it is a state of mind - teachers/educators are so busy, particularly when they have a large number of contact hours, that they literally feel run off their feet.
  • Some of the activities required of them in the course of their pedagogy are very time consuming (marking, researching, preparation) and almost impossible to complete in the course of a working day.
  • In schools at least most teachers have a number of administrative chores that they carry out on a daily or weekly basis, that often take significant time, and which haven't been simplified by technology.
    Add to that many "legacy" tasks which are leftovers from pre-technology, and then "duty of care" tasks (such as yard duty which in both the USA and the UK have been given to assistants rather than teachers)
  • pressures of professional learning and professional development mean that teaching is not a job that stays behind when you walk out of the gate. Professional learning these days often has to take place "after hours", and then is likely to generate pressures when you try to fit in doing "something new".
  • pressures generated by the need to develop ongoing relationships with students (some secondary teachers have upwards of 150 students to develop these with), parents, and colleagues, makes teaching very different to most other occupations. My doctor probably has a similar number of patients (probably even more), but he doesn't see all of them every week, nor, in most cases, is he engaged in teaching them something new.

So there's a start to the list. Why do you feel time-poor? Or don't you? Any solutions?

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