Teacher Workload: How to Survive and Thrive in the Classroom of 2023

Teaching has evolved over the years, and now teachers don’t need to stand at the blackboard in a classroom all day. Technology makes it possible for teachers to provide individualized learning experiences on their own terms. As a result of these changes, however, comes added responsibility—so how can teachers thrive in this new post COVID-19 era? With 2023 here before us, there are countless strategies available for teachers who want to be successful throughout the year!

1. Understand the new role of a teacher

In the past few years, we’ve seen a major paradigm shift in how teachers instruct students. Rather than being solely “sages on the stage,” they have become “guides on the side” to support and facilitate student engagement with information through active learning methods. We understand that when learners are empowered to take an active part in their learning, they retain more of what is taught – which is why schools are now turning towards a more focused approach known as “student-centered instruction.” To keep up with modern educational trends, teachers are transitioning from solely lecturing to integrating more interactive activities and conversations into their classrooms. Such a transformation may present some challenges for both teachers and students, yet research suggests that it has great potential for positive results. To make the most of this change, however, teachers must be provided proper training and resources to ensure success in implementation.

2. Use technology to your advantage:

Technology has changed the way teachers teach, and given rise to new tools that can make their lives easier. From online collaboration platforms to apps designed specifically for classrooms, there are now a variety of tech-based solutions available for the classroom teacher. By leveraging these tools, teachers can reduce time spent on administrative tasks and free up more time for teaching and learning. Additionally, tapping into the right technology can help teachers create engaging lessons and provide students with more personalized instruction. But be careful, technology also lead to distractions and dependency if not used in moderation. It’s important for teachers to find a balance between incorporating technology in the classroom and fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students. This includes training and educating students on responsible and safe use of technology as well as setting clear guidelines and boundaries for technology use in the classroom.

3. Get organized and stay ahead of the curve:

As a teacher, it is important to stay organised and on top of the latest trends in education. This not only helps you stay ahead of the curve, but also allows you to provide the best education for your students. One effective way to stay organised is by creating a weekly agenda with specific, achievable goals (connect them to your school’s annual improvement plan for better impact). This allows you to prioritize your tasks and stay on track with your teaching and learning tasks. Additionally, it is essential to stay informed about new developments in the field of education. This includes researching and learning about new teaching methods, educational technologies, and curriculum standards. By staying up-to-date, you can implement the latest and most effective teaching strategies in your classroom, while also keeping your workload manageable. This can help you to be more efficient and effective in your role as a teacher, making it easier for you to provide the best education for your students.

4. Collaborate with other teachers:

As teaching can be an isolated job, it is essential for educators to make strong connections with their peers in order to obtain the assistance they need. Building professional networks and creating communities of practice will allow teachers to share knowledge, insights, resources, advice, and feedback while working together towards common goals. By joining forces through these kinds of collaborations, educators are empowered to provide the highest standard of instruction possible.

5. Take care of yourself:

Teaching can be a demanding job that often comes with long working hours. To ensure that teachers are able to maintain their well-being and give their best performance, it is crucial for them to take breaks and engage in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress. Regularly scheduling time for relaxation, such as taking a walk or practicing mindfulness, can be beneficial in this process. Additionally, it is important for teachers to make time for exercise and maintain healthy eating habits to promote physical and mental well-being.

It is clear that the role of a teacher has changed dramatically in recent years, leading to an increased workload. With these strategies in place, educators will be better equipped to handle their workload issues so they can continue doing what they do best: teaching!

Author: Dr Jake Madden

Jake Madden (Dip Teach; B.Ed; Grad Dip: Leadership; M. Ed: Leadership; EdD; FACEL; MACE) Dr. Jake Madden is currently the Principal, St Edward’s Primary School, Tamworth. He has enjoyed a successful teaching and principal leadership career over the last thirty years building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and is widely published in this area, authoring and co-authoring books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change.

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