Managing Teacher Workload 2: Find the Time Wasters

File:Busy desk red.svg

Busy Red Desk image courtesy of wikimedia commons

Managing the  volume of work that I have to do as a primary school assistant principal is a daunting task which I am still coming to terms with. This is the second post in my series about managing workload in which I share some of the strategies that have worked for me.

In my last post, I described a workload audit. This allowed me to identify several time wasters which fit into 3 categories – those where the outcome did not justify the amount of time put into them,  those that could reasonably be delegated, and those that took a long time and needed a new, more efficient approach.

Here are some of them:

1. Activities where the outcome did not justify the amount of time put into them

  • Preparation and marking of homework
  • Preparation of amazing interactive IWB lessons which would only be used on one occasion
  • Certain types of marking
  • Certain meetings

2. Activities that could reasonably be delegated.

  • Laminating and cutting out classroom games and activities
  • Covering books
  • Photocopying
  • Leading certain curriculum areas

3.  Activities that needed a more efficient approach

  • dealing with the mountain of paperwork
  • dealing with email
  • supervision of classroom teaching programs
  • meetings and communicating with colleagues

Categorising the activities was important as I could quickly determine the approach needed to reduce their impact and increase my efficiency. I’m happy to report that after working at it for a few years, I’ve managed to reduce the time each of these tasks take, and in some cases have eliminated them from my workload. I’ll be dealing with each of them in future posts starting with that constant thorn in my side: homework.

What are the time wasters in your job? Have you had any success in reducing their impact? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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