[content_protector password=”pavlova17″]Is the workload of NZ teachers too large?

Job related workload is the amount of work that needs to be done.

For teachers this can often seem a small amount from the eyes of students and parents as they think their only hours are when they are teaching three or four classes a day, working from 9:00am to 3:00pm. In reality, the workload for teachers can be a huge amount, not only consisting of teaching, marking, planning and data management but extracurricular activities also. Our teachers always seem to make it work, but the question is: are doing the amount they want to, the amount they are expected to or the amount they are required to?

Looking at the issue of teacher workload from the perspective of staff, deans and parents it seems that they are often working much more and much harder than they need to.

Research at an anonymous NZ school shows that teachers are working hours well over their job description in order to keep their head above the water, prioritizing students over their health and time. Life is full on and the job is full on and teachers find themselves working frequently from 5am-7pm, giving too much time at work. For them, being at home doesn’t mean not working.

“This job demands of you. You never stop thinking about it”. This evidence has shown that teaching is extremely demanding, what teachers do is so much bigger than the job description because there is constantly extra work, extra activities, slack to pick up on a regular basis and, most importantly, the responsibility to produce high quality work for students.

However, teachers are not willing to sacrifice the extracurricular work that they do. Not only will they be unhappy with their involvement but also there is the worry that they will leave behind them a space no one offers to fill, ending the activity. Some teachers acknowledge that if they were to choose a different approach to teaching and were prepared to lower their expectations then the workload would definitely be reduced, but they would not be satisfied.

I would argue that teachers work exceptionally hard, too hard when compared to their required workload. However, as a very recently graduated student, I can recognise that I owe the extent of my own knowledge and education to my teachers.

In particular, to my teachers who went the extra mile for me, who were willing to sit down and take another look at my work or explain an equation to me over and over in their own breaks. It is the work ethic of our teachers, their inclination to go above and beyond the bare minimum that students need. Therefore, while their contract or employer may not require this level of hard work from them, as students, we do.

Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Do you believe teachers have a workload that is too large?
2. Think of three solutions for this issue. Decide which one will be the most effective and explain why.
3. Think about the role of teachers that extend beyond teaching in the classroom and make a list of these extra responsibilities.

Practical Tasks:
1. Ask your teacher their opinion on this issue and if they have a solution they can think of.
2. Ask your teacher how their teaching style has changed in their years of teaching in order to combat this issue?
3. Research the difficulties that teachers all over the world face in the classroom regarding workload and compare it to your own teacher’s feedback.


31 Responses

  1. My school teacher is awesome
    Also my teachers are the best
    I have 6 teachers right now

  2. i feel like people dont apprciate teachers enough cuz like teachers need respect and dealing with kids is really hard i mean who would want to deal with kids 12/5 🙂 :):):):):)

  3. I think that teachers should get more days off or get a pay increase depending on how much they do.

  4. Teachers are actually working behind the scenes before and after school… Even in the holidays…

  5. I think teachers are way overloaded with work. I think school should start at 11 am till 2:30 pm.

  6. I think that some teachers are over worked and that kids should act more responsible it would make teachers jobs much more easier

  7. I think School should start at 11 AM and end at 2:30 PM

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