As we start a new year, our lives are buzzing with the hopes, dreams, and fears of what the next 12 months have in store. Making New Year’s resolutions is great for reflecting on your accomplishments and setting future goals. However, as reducing teacher workload becomes a priority, perhaps a different approach is needed.
There’s a new trend on the rise. It looks not to add to your overflowing to-do list but to streamline and cut back. Effectively, it leaves more time for things that really matter in your life. The idea of “anti-resolutions” or “de-implementation” is to reflect on what practices are not getting you the results you want.
In the Edurio Staff Experience and Wellbeing survey, we ask the question:
How easy or difficult is it to stay on top of your work responsibilities?
Alarmingly, 40% of 46,723 staff respondents in the 2022/2023 school year said it is quite difficult or very difficult to stay on top of their work responsibilities. Only 26% said it’s very easy or quite easy to do so!
School and trust leaders should think about de-implementation strategies to combat the ever-growing workload issue in the education sector today and reduce teacher workload. The organisation Evidence for Learning points out some appealing benefits of de-implementation, writing that,
“De‐implementing an approach may free up resources such as time, physical resources, staff, energy or finances. Freeing up resources can enable schools to focus on more effective approaches.”
So, let’s look at how you can define your organisation’s anti-resolutions this year.
Reduce teacher workload by bringing feedback into your school improvement journey.
School improvement is not just about implementing the newest research-backed strategies to get the most for your students. It’s also about understanding what strategies or habits aren’t working anymore.
So, ensure you regularly check in with your stakeholders to monitor workload and wellbeing. Make sure to get feedback on the systems you have in place in your organisation.
The Edurio Strategic Feedback Survey Cycle is built to get the most out of your feedback survey. By knowing what you want to understand better about your stakeholders, you can ask more direct questions in your survey and get the answers you seek.
To help you find ways to reduce teacher workload, ask staff what creates the most significant blocks in their work. Give them space to share ideas on what to scale back to lighten the workload.
Results analysis that leads to impactful de-implementation.
When analysing your survey results, consider the context of your organisation. That means using other information available to you to help you decide which areas are prime for de-implementation. If you find evidence of existing strategies with low, nonexistent or negative impact, add them to the list of possible things to de-implement.
For example, if your focus is on reducing teacher workload, consider what activities are taking place in your organisation and how you can free up space to ensure staff can really focus on teaching and learning.
Finally, you must carefully plan and monitor your anti-resolutions. That way, you are supporting your stakeholders to stop doing things just as much as you would in new endeavours. Prioritising is key.
Oliver Burkeman writes in the Guardian,
“Since your time is finite, and the potential ways to fill it are infinite, and setting a priority means deciding to use a portion of it on something – well, it stands to reason that something else must head to the back burner or be abandoned entirely.”
Make sure you are communicating thoroughly and consistently all through the cycle steps. Furthermore, get people involved along the way to understand the underlying goal of cutting back to make room for more impact.
We wish you a very happy new year! We hope you find the anti-resolutions you need to achieve the biggest impact for your school or trust in the coming months!
If you have any feedback or would like to learn more about reducing staff workload at your organisation, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edurio can help you find the most effective way to gather, analyse, and implement stakeholder feedback within your organisation. We have prepared a set of key materials to support you on your school improvement journey. Fill out the form below, and access the materials now.