Teachers and Principals are starting to hit their breaking point. With more time being spent on administration than teaching children, the school system appears broken – and nobody is happy about it!
Teachers are being burdened with more and more paperwork – creating reports and checking boxes on form after form is impeding on their ability to deliver an engaging lesson to their students. Forced to spend their time in the classroom doing paperwork instead of teaching is giving them no choice but to assign students one mundane task after another to keep them pre-occupied – a study conducted by the P.E.I Teachers’ Federation found that teachers spend 2.3 hours less a week interacting with students now than they did a decade ago! Teachers are really struggling with this, their passion is to spend their day engaging and exciting our children– not filling out administrative paperwork.
Teachers are pushing back, but they aren’t the only ones in our school system drowning in admin. Principals are suffering as well. As leaders of the school, their focus should be on just that – leading the school. Unfortunately, this has led many principals to spend their weekends catching up on paperwork so it doesn’t impede on the leadership and direction within the school.
Here are the 3 most tedious administrative tasks bogging down our school systems:
Your school principals are responsible for ordering everything and anything for their schools. Textbooks, paper, pens, printer ink, etc. When a piece of paper has to be filled out every time a new stack of paper needs to be ordered, this becomes time consuming!
Confirm Receipt of Goods and Services
After a purchase request has been made, let’s stick with the example of a stack of paper, the principal must ensure that the order has been received by the school board, approved, and follow up on the delivery.
Before the ‘paper’ purchase request is sent off, the principal will want to check that their school has the available funds. This process can be tedious, depending on the school's budgeting system it may only be updated once a week, if that. Which means our principals could be making purchase decisions (whether big or small) based on old financial data.
School boards should be doing everything they can to cut back the admin work their school principals and teachers are having to do. One effective way to help school staff with admin work is implementing newer technology. For example, newer technology can take something from being: ‘fill out this paper form, fax or mail to the school board, wait days or weeks for approval’ to something like this: ‘access this form on any device including a smartphone or tablet, hit submit, the school board is instantly notified’.
Creating a paperless environment leaves less room for missing or buried papers and creates potential to automate a lot of the administrative processes. (Not to mention, it will cut back on your printer paper purchase requests!)
Use newer technology to your advantage, reducing administration work within your schools will greatly enhance principal (and teacher) satisfaction. In turn, giving them back the time to give our children exceptional instruction in the classroom.
For more examples on how technology can help ease the administrative burden on not only your teachers and principals, but school board staff as well – download our eBook The 5 must-have technology enhancements for K12 School Board management.