Workload Blog

Teachers workload- Perception versus Reality

We created FreshGrade because we wanted to be more involved in our kids’ education. We saw the need for a learning collaboration environment, like FreshGrade, from our perspective as parents, because we felt we lacked real visibility into the classroom. However, as we began the journey to develop our product we have become advocates for the educators. We saw a huge gap between what the real workload was for teachers versus the perceived one.

Recruitment for post-graduate studies in education promotes the “social impact” a career in teaching offers. It’s a beautiful image. You’re creating programs to support learning and instilling a love for knowledge among those that are most impressionable, and society is grateful, right? Unfortunately, the perception of the teaching profession among those outside of education is that teachers have great work-life balance. They arrive for the school bell, impart their lesson plan, and then leave at 3pm to carry on with their extra-curricular activities. Sadly and frustratingly, there is very limited recognition for the actual time it takes to be a teacher, let alone an effective one.

Modern teaching is not just about lesson plans and report cards. It requires layers of data reporting and policy compliance, let alone the growing need for lesson customization to support individual learning needs. The goliath LMS (Learning Management System) and SIS (Student Information System) companies are scrambling to push through new features to support modern teaching, but they’ve missed the mark. They’ve lost focus and have created more barriers than removed them.

A recent article out of the UK profiles a teacher, named Sam Burton, on his career in teaching and his pondering of whether or not it is manageable. In the article, Burton says, “I am expected to input assessment data into spreadsheets and copy it into other programs click by click, working out manually whether a percentage equates to a ‘P6c’ or a ‘P6b’… I assess work that has already been assessed by completing lavish ‘Next Step’ stickers to satisfy Ofsted (UK regulatory and inspection body).”

He goes on to say, “the only way to do a good job is to work breathless 12-plus-hour days every day, which I cannot keep up. I am not content, however, to work less and do a bad job for the children. I am angry that I am effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love.”

We built FreshGrade to remove barriers, so you can focus on being an effective teacher and creating the social impact that you were promised when you chose this career.

After talking to thousands of teachers through the development of FreshGrade, I now truly know the work you do – all of it – not just what happens when the kids are piled into the classroom. So, as a parent – thank you.

FreshGrade Co-founder, Steve Wandler has a calling for changing the future of education. In 2000, Steve founded YourTechOnline. Going on to beat Best Buy’s Geek Squad to rank #1 Online Tech Support company in North America, the highly successful startup was acquired by Today in addition to his work with Metabridge, Steve is the co-founder of FreshGrade, a learning collaboration, and portfolio tool focussed on the challenges facing teachers, parents, and students in the 21st-century classroom.

Father to two children, Faith 17, and Noah, 10, Steve is passionate about providing them with the best education possible. While Faith is academically gifted and thrives in the classroom, Noah, on the other hand, struggles as did Steve at a similar age. Determined not to watch his son go through the same hurdles he experienced, Steve is inspired to interrupt the system and help push education forward. 

Steve sits on the Dean’s Education Advisory Council at the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He is on the Board of Directors for Accelerate Okanagan and is a Charter Member of C100, a non-profit member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment.

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