Times Tables

After reading this excellent post from Mark Enser (@ensermark) I thought it might be helpful to create a little cut-out and keep ready reckoner for the number of hours added to a teachers workload by marking. It’s very simple, though I’m sure you could build a more sophisticated model to help in your own context (and this model obviously is geared towards the secondary context).

Across the columns – Number of minutes to mark each book

Down the rows – Number of classes (of 30) the teacher has.

Number in the table – Hours of work per time the books are marked.

Minutes per book
1 2 5 10
Number of classes 5 2.5 5.0 12.5 25.0
6 3.0 6.0 15.0 30.0
7 3.5 7.0 17.5 35.0
8 4.0 8.0 20.0 40.0
9 4.5 9.0 22.5 45.0
10 5.0 10.0 25.0 50.0

So, in the extreme case here, a teacher, with 10 classes where each book takes 10 minutes to mark, in a school where they have to mark books every two weeks, is being asked to mark for 25 hours a week.

Lets go a step further.

Assume a 2 week marking cycle. Add in 22.5 hours teaching, 5 hours meetings (which seems reasonable if we average things across a year) and 1 hour for duties. Scale up by 39 weeks a year. What does that look like?

This.

Minutes per book
1 2 5 10
Number of classes 5 1,160 1,209 1,355 1,599
6 1,170 1,229 1,404 1,697
7 1,180 1,248 1,453 1,794
8 1,190 1,268 1,502 1,892
9 1,199 1,287 1,550 1,989
10 1,209 1,307 1,599 2,087

The eagle-eyed among you will notice two things:

  1. at the top end of the scale that equates to 53.5 hours a week.
  2. there is no allowance of time for planning and preparation.

These sums are not difficult to do. I’d suggest that a more detailed exercise would be useful for your school so you can better understand the hours being asked of teachers. There should be no hiding place for managers imposing health compromising levels of workload on their staff.

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