Are teachers really overwhelmed with teaching or the large amount of paperwork asked of teachers daily? I ask this question because if teachers are truly overwhelmed with the art of teaching, then we need to begin holding state teacher training programs accountable.
Unfortunately, after COVID-19 I believe that teachers are tired of both.
Teachers are given way too much paperwork to do regarding discipline and little support in public schools. In talking with several male educators of color, they didn’t sign up to be clerical administrators. They signed up to teach. I’ve learned that the overwhelming amount of paperwork is becoming a leading cause as to why male educators of color prefer other fields than education.
THAT’S WHY TEACHERS NEED LESS PAPERWORK SO THEY CAN DO MORE TEACHING!
Additionally, Profound Gentlemen highlights that with so many organizations focusing on and supporting public educational systems with recruiting teachers, what seems to be the ongoing issue causing the teacher shortage to continue to grow? Well, PG believes that during COVID, the art of teaching was lost with tracking systems used to ensure teachers were doing their jobs. However, this huge amount of paperwork while teachers are doing in person and virtual lessons was more of a hinderance to the art of teaching than help. In fact, it was a major turn off for male educators of color who are being recruited for other fields. Especially Black men.
Several PG members I spoke stated that their students were suffering even more from the lack of connection and ability for teachers to have time to do engaging activities in and out of the classroom with students to build engagement. Students suffered from the time taken from instructional support to do paperwork. General education teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork so imagine how special education teachers with large caseloads of exceptional learners who have accommodations and individualized learning plans feel.
Regarding special education, The Edvocate highlights that. . .
Black boys account for 20 percent of U.S. students labeled as mentally retarded, even though they represent just 9 percent of the population. On the other end of the extreme, black boys are 2.5 times less likely to be classified as “gifted and talented” even if their academic record shows that potential.
Our reality as teachers is, by the time the paperwork has been reviewed, processed and returned with feedback, a new problem has arisen and the school year is done. As there are stakeholders rushing for public schools to reopen, we must also push for solving the ongoing issues causing teachers not to provide our students with time needed for instructional learning over paperwork.
Regarding excessive paperwork of teacher, I think of this analogy. It’s like when going to the doctor’s office and not having a Nurse or Assistant to help you. You just wait for hours to see a doctor and then the doctor has to do all the paperwork before actually checking our your ailment.
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Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.