Education must reinvent itself as a sustainable undertaking.
A few years ago I shared the article below by Lesley Murrihy, the Principal at Amesbury School in Wellington, New Zealand. Lesley explains how the demands on teaching staff have shifted:
The demand to personalise learning and meet the needs of every student requires much higher cognitive functioning than previously; yet the high teaching workload, continual interruptions, multitasking and collaboration make it impossible to find the “space” to function effectively at the cognitively higher level. All of this is causing cognitive overload.
We can use a mental model or two here to help us reflect on the “high teaching workload”. After listing the diverse activities and tasks we can sort them into an IMPACT vs EFFORT matrix. Reflecting on the type of impact we want as a group of educators and the impact our communities need, is a powerful provocation for dialogue.
Invariably we will filter our “workload” into those actions and commitments that have most of the impact. This is the Pareto Principle in action - otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. 80% of the impact comes from 20% of the action.
Once we have reflected and captured a clear sense of the status quo, it takes courageous decision making to shift the habits away from low impact items on the workload list.