What is the quantity of time a teacher spends dealing with paperwork, versus working with students?
A research project on education reform states that “evaluations based on frameworks and rubrics have resulted in wasting far too much time. This is damaging the very work evaluation is supposed to improve, as valuable time is diverted to engage in related compliance exercises and paperwork.
In this blog, the key question asked is: what form of accountability is driving teachers out of the classroom?
In a Network for Public Education survey, “84% of respondents reported a significant increase in teacher time spent on evaluations.”
The Network for Public Education – an advocacy group (in Arizona, USA) whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen the school system – commissioned a study and survey to learn more about the impact of teacher evaluation on the education profession.
The survey asked educators about the impact of evaluation on their work, their students, and the culture of their schools.
Over the course of a few weeks, 2,964 teachers and principals from 48 states responded.
In the report, the fourth of six headlines recommends:
… that evaluations require less paperwork and documentation so that more time can be spent on reflection and improvement of instruction.” (Source)
In a series of six posts, this being the fourth, I’d like to share the key findings and consider the implications and/or differences to the system in the United Kingdom.
“There is substantial evidence that new evaluation practices require teachers and administrators to spend significant amounts of time on completing forms and paperwork, with scant evidence of a positive impact on instruction or student outcomes.”
It can feel as though you are swimming in paperwork!
In the fourth recommendation, this quote from a teacher is highlighted:
“In the past, the principal would evaluate you once a year. Now, you get an evaluative piece five times a year. I don’t have a problem with my admins coming in to evaluate me. Sadly, my principal is in my room LESS now because she is buried in paperwork. This year, it is so bad; she doesn’t even know my students. She has always known all 500 kids by name.”
Another teacher says:
“Our professional development days are no longer about sharing ideas within our teams or disciplines. We now spend almost every professional development meeting or day (approximately 4 times a month) completing paperwork to justify our lesson plans, unit plans, preparation and data. In the past five years, only three times did we actually work on curriculum for our students.” (Source)
- How much time do you spend on appraisal? Targets set ‘of you’ by someone else and targets for others?
- How much time do you spend, gathering evidence for appraisal?
- Name one paperwork process that you feel is a waste of your time?
- How much of your school day/week is used for paperwork and evaluation?
- What proportion of your school year is assigned to appraisal and evaluation?
Please leave your answers in the comments section below.
- Part 1: What form of accountability is driving teachers out of the classroom?
- Part 2: How often are teachers given the time to work collaboratively for professional development?
- Part 3: How often are teachers improving after observation, as a result of reflection and dialogue?