Moderation in all things, including moderation.
Students of all descriptions feel that the ‘best’ students seem to work quicker and more easily. It is factual that the best students are able to complete more difficult work more quickly. However, they are able to actually expend more effort. To do so easily is a poor judgement.
Being overwhelmed is an expected feeling in any professional job. Managing the expectations of what needs to be done can sometimes get in the way of deciding what really needs to done.
Deciding what to focus upon is the privilege of the educated. It is also the realm of the entrepreneurial. Managing work granted is the mission of the bureaucrat. Just achieving this makes you a good teacher.
I can anecdotally find many examples of teachers complaining about workload. Unnecessary workload is anathema: reports that take an inordinate amount of time – writing lesson plan timings for every lesson. It is not necessarily the amount of work, but the amount of work that one feels is ineffective.
Working until late on a consistent basis is not sustainable. Even the lawyers in Grisham novels do not work an unachievable amount of time on a consistent basis. And they are, to an extent, able to determine your workload.
Under sound Covey principles, it is ideal to spend as much time as possible on important things prior to their deadlines becoming urgent.
However, it is hard under every occasion to redirect your attention. When I delivered a number of workshops recently, I was compelled to focus upon those other than my own work. I had the sense that if I was to engage in serious mental activity, those workshops would not be as good.
Similarly, during my recent inspection, I focused on solely those lessons, and even then only a day ahead.
In the weeks after the inspection, I desire to refocus my efforts.
Planning should seek to give more time and more freedom, not less.
Planning should be responsive, but not reactive.
Certain things must be done for a certain length of time. Other things may be followed up until completion.
Routines create time by creating prejudices towards (and inherently against) certain activities. You are less likely to engage in other activities that confound your habits and routines.
Certain activities benefit from consolidation. Is there enough of that planned into our teaching? I truly wonder, and I deeply suspect. It isn’t really part of the schemes of work I see on teachit and the TES.
The act of consolidation needs to be personalised.
How much do we seek to consolidate ourselves, I wonder? I really do. Not enough. Even the typing of thoughts into this blog may not be as much as once I wished. When do I plan consolidation into my own life? When do I plan in such reflection myself?