Tips for managing your workload in the classroom


It’s not uncommon for prospective teachers to have concerns around their workloads, but there are plenty of resources to help make life easier.

In an effort to reduce teacher workload across primary and secondary education, the Department for Education has worked with teachers to develop toolkits and other supporting materials.

There’s also a number of useful tips which can be used in both regular and SEN education to lessen the amount of time and energy needed for certain tasks, some of which we’ve included below:

Can you give more verbal feedback?

Marking and feedback is one of the most time-consuming elements of teaching, so replacing written feedback with verbal comments can make a big difference.

You’ll often be able to spot common issues and misunderstandings, which can then be worked on in the lessons that follow, while you can also remind pupils when you see them.

Put the emphasis on quality feedback in secondary education and then follow it up to ensure that everything has been understood.

Could you benefit from working with other staff?

Another way of reducing workload involves close collaboration and the sharing of lesson planning and resources.

By having a centralised set of resources for those working in primary education, or at higher levels, it’s possible to avoid duplicating both time and effort.

Are there existing resources you can use?

Early career teachers will lack the bank of lesson resources when compared to more senior staff, but that doesn’t mean new need to be overly-complicated.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, see what exists already either within your school environment or online, as you may be able to amend existing resources to meet your needs.

What resources are there to ease teacher workload?

As we previously mentioned, the Department for Education has a wide range of resources to help reduce workloads, including this extensive collection which features this handy toolkit.

School leaders and other experts from the education sector have also listed several tips, as well as guidance on how best to incorporate technology into teaching.

In addition, the department also has a specific set of resources to support those in the early stages of their primary and secondary education teaching careers.

The Education Support charity, which focuses on helping the mental health and wellbeing of school staff, also has plenty of guidance on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Further guidance can be found in an independent 2020 report from the Education Development Trust, which focused on how school-led projects can help reduce teacher workload.

It includes a number of printable posters which outline how different schools have approached the issue in both primary and secondary education.

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