The amount of work teachers are expected to do has remained the same over the years. However, teachers are consistently being spread thin throughout the teacher shortage experienced recently. Teachers, now more than ever, are experiencing burnout and dissatisfaction with their careers. What can school districts do to help teachers? The amount of paperwork that they have to handle can be reduced. Teachers spend hours on paperwork, taking their time away from where it should be - the students.
You can start by asking your teachers.
Of course, paperwork is sometimes necessary, so it is unrealistic to get rid of it altogether. This is where getting feedback from your teachers is extremely helpful. Through this, you will be able to see what paperwork is necessary and what paperwork can discontinue. Work with your teachers to reach common ground on how much paperwork is doable and how much is too much. This will start a conversation between employer and employee, leading to higher career satisfaction and more effective teaching.
Use a school management system.
Schools should demonstrate their responsiveness to their employees' needs and how they assist their staff in managing their workloads efficiently. An overabundance of paperwork can often be the final straw if school budgets are constrained, qualified applicants are scarce, and retention is difficult. Try looking for a school management system to help you manage attendance, assessments, behaviors, performance, learning pathways, exams, and marking. The relevant information would still need to be entered by teachers, but all succeeding processes can be performed by non-teaching staff. By finding a school management system that works for your school district, teachers will be able to save time and keep their paperwork organized.
Be there to support teachers.
Sometimes the amount of paperwork is not the issue; it is finding the time to do it. Teachers are busy, and finding time for paperwork between lesson plans and after-school meetings is challenging. This is where the school district can help. By providing time, advice, and support, teachers can tackle the paperwork piling up on their desks. This could be a free period, a time-management workshop, or an opportunity to speak with experienced teachers. Ensure that teaching staff has the guidance they need to stay on top of their responsibilities by outlining the order of importance of different tasks within their commitments. Take the time to speak with your staff one-on-one, and listen to their concerns and worries. Teachers can even discover their own solutions simply by vocalizing and discussing their problems, and your guidance will assist them in finding the solution that is right for them.
A teacher's greatest asset is their ability to teach, but they cannot do this if stressed from long hours caused by an increasing workload. Be patient and offer support.
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