The Hours?

Teachers work long hours… “holidays” are some of my most productive times, there are days I don’t get to my email until late at night and there are weeks where the only daylight I see during the week is on playground duty. But does all of this work make me an effective teacher?

Earlier this week the headlines screamed about the NSW Government’s proposal to introduce performance pay based on (what I assume is) the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching (if it is the AiTSL standards, this hasn’t been made clear). Now while the headlines were predominately about the ability of principals to be able to “sack” nonperforming teachers, or those who were seen to be “not meeting performance standards”, the reaction has been to something quite different.

And then the twitter lit up.

Teachers from across not only NSW, but other parts of the country began to tweet about their days work. How many hours they were there for, what they needed to do at home, the challenges, the victories and a whole lot of other things were aired.

Now I have been teaching for a while now – I made it through my first five years and so statistically speaking I am now going to be teaching for years to come. I know that there are some things which take me forever to do, and other things which I manage to get done relatively quickly. I am not the first at work in the morning, and sometimes I am the last to leave, but not all the time. I work at work. I also work at home, but that is my choice.

The hours I work don’t make me an effective teacher – my actions do.

Listing the hours worked isn’t as powerful as listing actions achieved during those hours.


And for the record I am against performance pay.


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