5 things teachers want you to know about education
5 things teachers want you to know about Education
As an ex teacher myself, I’m familiar with being told how best to do my job by someone not in my field. Whilst education is something we’ve all had experience in, teaching is a specialised field of work for qualified professionals – just like your own career. So, if you’re producing resources aimed at teachers and students today, here’s a few things us teachers would love you to know about our world:
- Teachers are BUSY. Like, not-enough-time-in-the-day-to-finish-a-hot-drink busy. As well as the actual face-to-face teaching part of the day, there’s also the mountain of admin that needs to be completed, parents to meet with, internal meetings to attend and extra-curricular activities to plan, organise and supervise. Many teachers work 12-14 hour days, six days a week, with the majority of educators using school holidays to complete outstanding admin tasks, including marking work, reorganising their classroom and planning work for the following term.
- Education is not the same as it was when you went to school. The Australian education system is an agile beast and one that reflects the constant changes in policy leadership, both at community and federal level. This means that new ideas and trends are quickly implemented into classrooms, and teachers are encouraged to embrace them immediately. This is where simple-to-use resources can be time-savers.
- Individual Education is championed. Today’s teachers understand and respect that students have a variety of needs and challenges that require flexibility in approaches to teaching and learning, and many teachers work towards supporting all the diverse learning styles of their class in one lesson. Students are encouraged to follow their own interests and find context in their own lives whilst meeting curriculum outcomes in a way that is meaningful and interesting to them.
- Lesson plans are out, dynamic learning challenges are in. Gone are the days where teachers follow detailed, 10 page paper lesson plans for each classroom session. Large text-heavy documents require decoding before using, cutting into much needed planning time. Activity ideas, challenges, extension tasks and resources that can be used flexibly for a variety of purposes are much more useful.
- Many teachers struggle with feeling isolated and unsupported. The full timetable, paired with a societal distrust of the profession and the increased involvement of parents in education often leaves teachers feeling as though support from policy leaders and school management is severely lacking. A school that understands the importance of staff wellbeing can enjoy long-serving teaching staff: Happier teachers make happier students.
Why do I need to know this?
Understanding the classroom environment can be really powerful in attracting teachers and students to your resources, and can be distilled into the following considerations when developing resources for or marketing to educators:
- Flexible resources are king. Stay away from long-form lesson plans, prescriptive units of work and ‘busy’ sheets. Try dynamic challenges, interpretive activities, apps, games and websites linked to real-world experiences that can deliver multiple curriculum outcomes.
- Tone down the text. Unless it’s essential instruction, expected outcomes, ideas or curriculum links, teachers don’t have time to read it. Keep resources short-form and easy to incorporate into planning.
- Be mindful of teacher wellbeing. Stay away from activities or lessons that require heaps of preparation or resources: A well-thought out lesson or activity using a singular tool is better for teachers’ time and sanity than an exciting art and craft session needing hundreds of supplies.
- Audit your existing resources and review in line with the above recommendations
- Update or create new resources to support educators effectively
Don’t have the time or expertise? Contact Kimberlin Education and let us help you ensure your resources are useful and relevant for all students and teachers today.