It has just ticked over into the first school holidays of 2022, which means the “must be nice having 87 weeks of holidays a year” comments are out in full force. Some things never change.
In Queensland we had a late formal start due to COVID. This made settling into routines more difficult - so although we taught less, the consensus was that the term felt longer.
Despite what Kevin the keyboard warrior would have you believe, teachers were working through COVID closures – supervising the children of essential workers, setting up classrooms and doing the planning and admin that usually gets neglected in the first manic weeks of school.
Watch: Thank you to all teachers, everywhere. Post continues after video.
However, this year, because most students were at home, teachers were afforded one thing that is usually in short supply – a little more time.
And that got me thinking about the conversation around the teaching crisis and what it actually is that teachers are asking for. And it might surprise you to know that it’s not about the bloody money.
We need more time.
One of the things most people don’t realise about teaching is that it’s actually two jobs. The first occurs while students are at school. In this period, you are delivering the curriculum, providing assessment and feedback, building relationships and managing a classroom of 25+ personalities.
It’s the visible part of teaching and it’s hectic (verging on bananas) at times but it’s what we signed up for. It’s the rewarding part.
Then there’s the second part of the job. The invisible part. The part that takes up an equivalent amount of time and only seems to be getting bigger. I’ll call it teacher admin because unrelenting, boring a** f**k-duggery is too wordy.