Catholic Schools Broken Bay have several initiatives in place to ease and prevent teacher burnout.
Michael Reid, principal at St Paul’s Catholic College in Manly, said that the diocese, which has 36 primary schools and eight secondary schools is doing a number of things to reduce teacher’s workloads to free up more time for the classroom.
“As we’ve been introducing new syllabuses across the diocese we’ve been identifying teachers across schools who have got knowledge and good working skills in the implementation of syllabuses and the system. Those teachers come together and do some of the preparatory work that can then be shared by schools right across the diocese, so that not every classroom teacher in every school is having to start from scratch,” he said.
“We’re also looking at whether those support staff in schools are able to take some of the administrative functions that are really burdening teachers and taking away from their time to teach, such as excursion permission and medical forms.”
Jamie Wahab, principal of Sacred Heart Primary School in Mona Vale, said that the schools system has “really leaned in” to the challenge of addressing not only teacher burnout, but every single staff role.
“What teachers really want to do is teach and to learn from the best teachers in their schools”
“Some of that is about making sure you have boundaries, that we’re providing opportunities to support the mental health and physical health of all of our staff. It’s not just about having a wellbeing week once a term but about what you do on a daily basis.
“What teachers really want to do is teach and to learn from the best teachers in their schools. So both at my school and across our system we’re embarking on what’s called a collaborative coaching project whereby teachers are getting an extra hour a week to spend time with other teachers, learning how we can better meet the needs of our students.
“By supporting teachers in their professional learning it helps them to give students better learning experiences, which in turn, makes the teachers feel more satisfied within their roles.”
With education ideally a partnership between parents or carers and teachers, mutual empathy is required as each side juggle work commitments and family and personal lives.
“Teachers need to operate in reasonable working hours for the benefit of our students,” Mr Wahab said.