Well suffice to say, here at SAM Learning we were overwhelmed by the response rate to the second of our 60-second Surveys. We wanted to find out how teachers faced the demands on their time and, indeed, how much of their time was spent on various teaching tasks. In the first day alone we received more responses to our second survey than our first had in a week. At the end of the two weeks, we had four times as many replies to our second survey. So thank you for both your time and your opinions, we hope this trend continues!
Time is clearly an important subject to professionals, but often none more so than teachers, whose hours regularly extend well beyond their set hours. Our first two questions reflected this.
The numbers really speak for themselves, with few teachers believing that their working hours corresponded with their actual hours (by quite a considerable margin). With teachers in England working longer hours than nearly all of their peers across the world according to Teaching and Learning Survey, we were eager to find out how this time is spent.
The fact that Admin played such a huge part in many teachers’ days was also something that greatly concerned them and our fourth question, ‘With regard to how your time is spent, what is your greatest concern?’ provided us with further insight into the mind of a teacher.
However, the general amount of time spent on tasks outside of teaching was one of the greatest concerns to many of our respondents (quite a few suggested running away from the profession altogether). ‘Work–Life balance’ or the lack thereof was mentioned in hundreds of responses and many teachers feared that, with the inability to maintain this, their teaching standards – standards which were becoming ever-more scrutinised – were suffering. An increased amount of admin tasks (often considered in direct relation to Ofsted requirements) meant that many of our respondents felt that both their students welfare, and their own, was at risk.
However, to end our 60-second Survey on time we wanted to end on a more positive note, asking, ‘On the subject of time, do you have any best practice to share with other teachers?’
To answer the question was not mandatory, however the number of positive and helpful answers was outstanding. Over 75% of respondents offered some advice and here is just a few of the hints they had to share:
‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help or share skills and resources.’
‘Look at the year as a whole and plan around whole school events. Looking at an overview of the year can save a lot of time.’
‘Mark little and often. Use Sam Learning as homework as it marks the work for you!’ (We had to include this one!)
‘Use peer marking where possible.’
‘Share planning and resources.’
‘Keep your resources in organised files so that they can easily be retrieved and improved.’
We found that a great deal of the responses featured resources in one format or another. So our next 60-second Survey, and the last one of this term, will focus on just that. SAM Learning, amongst its many uses, is a bank of resources both for students and, more frequently now, for teachers. One of our core aims is to reduce the workload on teachers and help them address the needs and requirements from Ofsted.
If you consider these issues to be at the forefront of your school day, why not get in touch with one of our friendly account managers and see how SAM Learning can help your school.
T: 0845 130 4160
Stay tuned – in our next 60-second Survey, we’ll be delving deeper into some of the concerns raised here. Our main focus will be ‘Resources’ and how teachers use them. Keep checking back for the results and our quick evaluation.