No time for the things a good teacher should do;Letter

27th February 1998 at 00:00
In response to Geoffrey Baker Hytch's letter (TES, February 13), I have analysed my time and I could "manage" more effectively if I cut out many of the time-wasting activities.

Things to cut:

* Trying to organise work so that all can benefit;

* Developing ideas and getting them into practice;

* Supporting other members of staff who are having a bad time (their problem);

* Being a teacher governor (someone else can do it);

* Attending union meetings and voluntary meetings (someone else can do that);

* Recognising the non-teaching staff as members of staff by talking to them;

* Having students working in the classroom after school (homelessness is their problem);

* Getting to know parents and discussing problems with them;

* Dealing with corridor problems (just don't "see" it);

* Enforcing rules outside my classroom (again, don't "see" it);

* Giving advice or chatting to current and ex-students;

* Being a member of a team.

Things to do:

* Filing;

* Reports;

* Record-keeping;

* Marking and preparation (kept to a minimum);

* Tidying classroom and office;

* Departmental admin;

* Responses to management demands;

* Lectures to parents;

* Reading the latest reports, guidelines, etc;

* Attending compulsory meetings.

Neither list is exhaustive but the second has to be done, whereas the first is optional. The first gives the flavour of the activities which, I believe, make a good teacher, swallow up hours of "lost" time and contribute towards stress. I also think it is the more important.


32 Petergate London SW11

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