Not working after leaving work

Posted on: January 14, 2018, by :

I did it.

Last year for the entire year I did not bring my home with me!

The only way this worked was that I was studying part time (2 courses each semester), working full time and still trying to have a life. You will notice that last year the website was barely updated, i’m hoping to change that this year. I worked to breaking point at one stage. 4-6 hours of uni 4-6 nights a week and some weekends. It took its toll.

So what did I learn?

I learnt that I can fit a lot of work in, on afternoons after school and still have a life. It became about time management and efficiency for me. I thought I worked smarter and not harder. So what did I do different?

Marking especially for upper primary teachers can be a struggle. Students start to develop a lot of work in a short amount of time. To combat this, I developed a few strategies that helped me cope throughout the busy periods that appear every now and then.

  1. Use online quizzes like Quizizz or Kahoot to formatively assess students.
  2. Use Google Forms quizzes to automark and collate data where you can. That’s right! Automarking!
  3. Try and mark on the fly. Whilst the students are working look over their shoulder, mark, sign, correct.
  4. Do less assessing.
  5. Use the data don’t just test for the sake of testing.

Using online tools to automark quizzes, summative assessments etc. will help. They are really easy to setup, and once the students do them a few times they actually enjoy the assessments. Quizizz and Kahoot gamify the quizzes, which to be honest promotes a noisy class, but whilst the competitive nature of students is on display, it is also an extremely effective tool. Last year my class answered 22,000 questions on Quizizz (gee how many did they answer verbally?). That was a number that staggered me, but I had the data to show that not only was it effective it was really helping students learn, I ensured not only that it was relevant but also engaging in the delivery of the format.

Using the Data

Interpreting the data and using it correctly is probably the most time consuming thing, however if your questions in the assessments are structured correctly the data will give you more information than what you know what to do with. An example of this is one of my quizzes for my students was able to accurately identify what students had trouble with 3,4 and 5 digit numbers and which students could easily add and subtract 3,4 and 5 digit numbers.

Don’t use these quizzes as a way of gaining data and doing nothing about it though. There is no point in wasting your time on the quizzes if they are not going to inform your practice. This enabled me to differentiate between different maths groups and identify knowledge deficiencies.

Would I recommend going down this path?

Probably not, in all honesty sometimes I felt like my class suffered by me not being me, creating and trying new ways to engage and teach them the content. I hope they learned, only time will tell.

Moving forward

Being a slightly older new teacher I know that my home life has a great importance in my life. My family, friendships etc. have all suffered from the last year of craziness. This year, I don’t have uni 4-6 nights a week 4 hours at a time and some weekends. I will work a little more from home, but it will be very much a modified amount of work compared to the hours upon hours I used to spend for my class. I will take up my hobbies again (hopefully) or find new ones.

 

2 thoughts on “Not working after leaving work

  1. Great post. It’s reallu good to see how teachers are finding work/life satisfaction. Just wondering how you approached lesson preparation. Was that all done at school?

  2. Lesson preparation was mostly done at school. I utilised my mornings before school and after school to prepare for activities. Normally I planned most of the unit and many resources during the holidays as this was essential.

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