Tag Archives: workload

What paperwork?

You ever notice that a lot of teachers complain about paperwork? What, exactly, are they complaining about?

I’m not questioning their truthfulness. I just wonder why I’ve now worked in four different districts (including student teaching), and never see any paperwork. I’ve had a weekly attendance audit, that I sign and date. Periodically I get an IEP form from a special ed teacher (now there’s a teacher with paperwork, but they don’t have much in the way of classes), and I email comments.

If I include online activities as part of paperwork, then I have attendance and updating the online grading system. Setting up the online system is only onerous if I get behind, and that’s usually on me.

Teachers aren’t complaining about grading, are they? I don’t grade homework or classwork; I give kids points for working or completing homework. So the only math I grade is tests and quizzes, which maybe takes up 6 hours a month. But grading isn’t paperwork, is it? It’s assessment. Paperwork means formfilling and mundane information collection demanded by outside forces, right?

I read about districts that require teachers to have daily or weekly lesson plans. I would never work in such a district by choice. I don’t write lesson plans. I find it astonishing that anyone does unless they’re being evaluated, which is like making sure you don’t roll too aggressively through a stop sign during a DMV test. Even then, if I worked at such a school, I would quickly figure out a way to fake it, because seriously, such a requirement is deeply lunatic.

So are all the teachers complaining about paperwork being forced to submit daily or weekly lesson plans? If so, I can at least see the problem. Most teachers are the sort of people who do homework, so they probably take the requirement seriously, instead of phoning it in.

If not, then what are they doing that I’m not? Because I really don’t see the paperwork burden of the job.

added 11/26: CPS Teachers can gripe about paperwork.