Teachers work lots. In fact, they are more likely to work unpaid overtime than staff in any other industry. In 2014 the Department for Education identified planning as a key factor in teachers’ workload. Worse yet: 38% of teachers they surveyed mentioned that lesson and weekly planning are “adding an unnecessary burden to their general workload”. In 2017, the DfE concluded that the average teacher works 52 hours per week. Over 90% of teachers say workload is a serious problem.
To put it another way: you aren’t alone if you feel a bit stretched. Our team of ex-teachers and heads know this all too well. Something else we know, is that teachers are full of good ideas and love to share. That’s why we asked over 600 teachers how they plan their writing lessons.
Overall, a third of Primary teachers plan their writing lessons on the weekend. For SLT, this is closer to 40%. About 25% of teachers plans lessons the day before, whilst SLT are slightly more likely to plan their lessons on a fixed day of the work week.
These numbers, of course, show teachers’ immense commitment to delivering the most engaging lessons to their pupils, even at the expense of their own free time.
A Titanic effort
Primary teachers spend on average 3 hours and 20 minutes planning their writing lessons per week. That’s enough time to watch The Titanic and still have six minutes spare!
A recent DfE survey showed that Primary teachers work an average of 52 hours per week. Less than half that time (23 hours per week) is spent teaching. That means preparing writing lessons alone takes up well over 10% of a primary teacher’s non-teaching time!
What resources do teachers use in their writing lessons?
Overwhelmingly, and across the board, teachers prefer to use stimuli like images, video, or audio in their writing lessons. After that, habits vary a little. Class teachers are more likely to use hard copies of ready-made resources from the web in their teaching, whilst SLT are more likely to use examples of children’s writing (WAGOLLs, or “What A Good One Looks Like”).
It becomes clear from our survey, and from speaking to some of the teachers in our community that a lot of time is spent finding, collecting and processing resources to develop inspiring lessons. If only we could support that process!
Saving teachers time: Pobble
Using Pobble, teachers share their pupils’ work with the world. The promise of a global audience of teachers, peers, parents and others turns out to be a great motivation.
We also care about saving teachers time. Pobble has grown to be a platform that supports the teaching of writing every step of the way: from preparation to assessment. With teaching ideas, resources and WAGOLLs at your fingertips, Pobble might help you save some of those precious hours in the weekend.
Why not sign up today and find inspiration in 100,000 pieces of writing organised by age group and topic? Using our lesson preparation tool, you can easily access (among other things) Pobble 365: one ready to use lesson idea every day.
If you have any questions after reading this article, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Abbas Asaria
Every day, Abbas works hard to give teachers and schools the best possible Pobble experience. He uses his analytical skills (he’s a Maths grad from Imperial!) to find trends in data that point towards ways to improve the platform and our offering.