Five Practical Ways To Reduce Your Workload In The Classroom
At Mark Mate, we’re big fans of reducing workload for teachers, you might even say it’s what we’re built to do. While we feel that our app does a great job of reducing your workload outside of the classroom, we wanted to take a look at some ways to reduce your workload in the classroom too.
Manage Your Paperwork
Paperwork. We all hate it, but we all have to deal with it. The best way to do that? With a system. Once you’ve got a system in place, everything becomes so much more manageable.
To start with, sort through your resources, materials and paperwork and keep only the essentials. Finding a place for everything to live, and having a clear out of old paperwork you no longer need is a great way to kick-start your new process! Once you’ve cleared out all the old stuff, come up with a new system that helps you organise the new stuff:
- VITAL: I need to ensure I do this
- IMPORTANT: I’ll need this in the future
- POINTLESS: Belongs in the recycling
- INTERESTING: I’d like to read this but don’t have the time, I’ll save it for the holidays.
We’ve already established that you have too much paperwork coming to you, so why create more? The easiest way around this is to simply stop printing things. Get an interesting email that you want to read later? Flag it in your inbox. Found an interesting article on the Mark Mate blog? Bookmark it for later. You’ll save time, and you won’t have EVEN MORE paperwork to deal with.
Involve Your Students
Help your students to learn by getting them involved in peer and self assessment exercises. If you have a difficult class or a challenging framework, it might not be the easiest thing to do, but with enough practice it could be a huge benefit to you. It’ll reduce your marking burden, and help your students to learn. You could also take this a step further and get your students to curate their own self-assessment tasks. Give them a selection of options with different levels of difficulty, and enable them to feel like a part of the process.
Reduce Your Written Feedback
Take a look at your current marking processes. Why are you marking? Is your current amount of feedback necessary, meaningful, manageable and motivating? Not all feedback needs to be written so why not see if you can come up with some other effective options?Reducing the time you spend writing won’t have a negative impact on your students’ work, it will actually give you more time to focus on their development. Have you thought about giving live feedback? Collect books regularly, and give your students immediate feedback during the lesson. You can still check the books as you collect them, and use these checks as a basis for lesson plans.
Plan, Plan, Plan
If you know your end goal, everything else suddenly becomes much easier and quicker. Determine your termly goal, and break this down into monthly and weekly objectives for yourself and your class. Where do you want you students to be by the end of the term? What steps do you (and they) need to take to ensure they get there? Once you have a clear and actionable plan in place, you’ll find it much easier to build your lessons around this.
We would love to hear your suggestions of ways to reduce the workload in your classroom in the comments below!