As a teacher, how many times has your workload been unnecessarily increased with the sole reason given that it is for the children? Doesn’t it go without saying that a teacher’s job is to teach and help children learn and it is more often than not unnecessarily increased not for the children, but for adults.
Before we ask teachers to swing one way or another in the non-stop pendulum of education catchphrases and trends, let’s really take the time and see if what is requested is always absolutely necessary to improve pupils’ learning and not just to tick boxes or follow specific teaching/learning fads.
Let’s take as an example a pet peeve of mine, children having to write the learning objective (L.O.). In many schools, it is still imperative that children of all ages have every learning objective of every lesson written in their books. Let’s do the maths here… ummm actually let’s not… it’s A LOT in a day, a week let alone in years. Do children really benefit from writing the LO (as we call it) in their books? Personally, I think not. I believe that it is a waste of valuable lesson time and it doesn’t actually help a child who hasn’t understood a lesson understand it any better without getting the appropriate support they need.
Teachers, teaching really young children have to prep sticky learning objectives prior to each lesson and stick it neatly in their books, child friendly ones with smileys etc and all to help them learn. Which is obviously why all 4 year olds learn so well, not!
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that learning objectives don’t have a place in the lesson. Of course they do, a really important one for that. Teachers must know what it is they are teaching about and what they want the children to learn by the end of the lesson. Yes, children should be aware of what it is that they are learning about and how they can achieve the learning objective, but is it really necessary to write it in their books every time? Is it really necessary for teachers to use their prep time to prep and stick mini lesson objectives for all?
Yes, I’m all for doing things for the children but I believe MORE in doing things for teachers to benefit the children. Allowing teachers those extra minutes of valuable lesson time to use for actual teaching or interventions rather than just wasting them waiting for the children to finish writing the LO or wasting prepping time to create mini LOs etc will undoubtably benefit children’s learning far more. By allowing teachers to use that time to give the appropriate support during the lesson and not after, is what should be done for the children.
This is my humble opinion of course, I mean what would I know? I’m only the teacher.
Here’s to the day when we can RIP writing the LO and really think about what needs to be done for the children!
Till next time…