Tools to Support Teacher Workload and Wellbeing
It’s no secret that teachers in today’s world work extremely hard, often wearing many hats and performing several different roles at the same time. The coronavirus pandemic has added further layers of complexity to the job, with teachers having to adapt to teaching from home, provide blended learning, enforce new social distancing rules, ventilate their classrooms and so on.
According to a 2019 study conducted by the UCL Institute of Education, up to a quarter of teachers work more than 60 hours per week during term time, whilst 40% report that they usually work in the evening and around 10% during the weekend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a more recent study into the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on teacher wellbeing showed that work-related anxiety had risen sharply during 2020.
One of our main priorities at iSAMS is to produce products and services that help teachers reduce or manage their workload, and in doing so, improve their wellbeing. With that in mind, we took a look at the tools from iSAMS that provide the greatest benefit to teachers’ wellbeing and workload:
When it comes to workload, not all tasks are created equal in the eyes of teachers. Understandably, contact time with students is often favoured over assessment, marking and data entry tasks. We want to provide teachers with tools to minimise the amount of time and energy teachers spend completing administrative tasks and allow them to focus on doing what they do best.
The iTeacher App was designed to help teachers access key school information and complete daily administrative tasks as quickly and easily as possible from wherever they choose to do it, whether that’s at home, on the train into work or out on the school fields during a PE lesson.
Using the app, teachers can complete up to 70% of their daily duties via their mobile phone, including taking registration, viewing student profiles or timetables, accessing cover arrangements, awarding commendations, managing detentions and more. It’s convenient, flexible and simple to use.
Teachers can also get in touch with parents using the app, either by email or SMS message. This greatly improves the ability to communicate with parents without the need to sit down at the computer.
Reports season is well known for being a busy time of year for teachers, even with global pandemics set to one side. On top of their teaching and admin duties, they are asked to analyse the performance and behaviour of every student they teach and compose a bespoke report.
Our iReport App – a companion to the iTeacher App – speeds up the process of report writing by enabling teachers to write and submit grades, assessments and school reports from a place of their choosing via their mobile device.
Intuitive and easy to use, it allows your teaching staff to manage their time even more efficiently and dive into reports whenever the opportunity arises. A favourite feature for many teachers is the ability to dictate a report using Siri and have the app do the typing. Reports drafted in the iTeacher App autosave to ensure you don’t lose any valuable progress, and they can also be opened and edited in iSAMS if required.
Our comprehensive APIs allow for third-parties to seamlessly integrate with the iSAMS MIS. Schools have found our API integration to be particularly helpful during the pandemic, as they can sync tools such as Microsoft Teams.
Our integration with Microsoft Teams has helped teachers to provide virtual learning throughout the pandemic and enabled teachers and staff to interact effectively despite not being in school. Many schools have continued to provide blended learning via the iSAMS integration with Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom.
A recent study suggested that the rise in teachers leaving the profession was due, not to an increase in working hours, but to the amount of work that teachers must leave ‘unfinished’. This, it is argued, has a profoundly demoralising effect on job satisfaction because it can feel like fighting a losing battle.
One such avenue of work in the modern teacher’s working day involves the increasing role teachers must play in monitoring and recording student wellbeing. Keeping track of concerns about students can be daunting and the ramifications of Covid-19 on student wellbeing are likely to be felt for years to come.
Using our Wellbeing Manager module teachers can be confident they are recording concerns and, by using the raised flag feature, the system can identify moments that have a significant impact on a student and track them over time. The module can provide teachers with peace of mind that they are on top of student wellbeing.