The results are in! And teachers have spoken loud and clear. During the 2015 Calgary City Teachers' Convention, Calgary Public Teachers (ATA Local 38) conducted a "Dotmocracy" survey in order to answer the question "where would teachers spend their time if their workload was reduced in one of four key areas?" Teachers were instructed to place dots on the survey instrument (pictured below) representing a) where they would most like to see a reduction in workload, and b) where they would spend the "extra" time freed up by decreased workload. In the survey, green dots represented "Assessment & Reporting Expectations", blue dots represented "Classroom complexity/Class Size", yellow dots represented "Data Systems/Technology Issues", and red dots represented "tasks not traditionally the role of the teacher" - these were the four primary areas identified by our Communications committee as areas in which workload could be reduced. 10 options were provided as places where teachers could spend that time instead.
The data collection instrument
The completed data set
Teachers want more time primarily for designing new activities/updating lessons, providing extra help for struggling students, and being with their own families.
The most significant correlation revealed by the survey showed that increases in classroom size & complexity were a major barrier in teachers providing extra help for struggling students.
There is a major correlation between increases in assessment/reporting expectations and reductions in teachers’ ability to design new activities/update lessons.
There is a major correlation between increases in assessment/reporting expectations and reductions in teachers finding time to be with their own families.
Assessment and reporting expectations are the primary barrier to teachers being able to address their own personal health issues.
Teachers want to feel like they have met all the requirements of their job (working with students) before devoting time to their professional association.
A reduction in workload is not likely to result in teachers spending less time at work – rather, it is more likely that workload reductions will result in greater numbers of teachers expressing that they are able to meet all of the demands their job places on them. Put differently, more teachers are likely to say that they can accomplish everything they need to do during regular working hours.
The findings of the survey have also been summarized in the graphs below. Click on any graph in order to open the chart in a new window.
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