Welcome back to a hectic Term Two.
How time flies during the school holidays. Parents will breathe a sigh of relief while most children will curse tomorrow morning. We can of course, understand why principals and teachers need more time to rest because they will need all their reserves for term two.
A VERY WARM welcome back to all our teachers. We hope you have found the time to recharge because as all of us know, the second term of the school year is the acid test.
Life is hectic at schools. If you don't plan your time well and structure the activities - inside and outside the class meticulously - you will become overwhelmed.
Know the actual teaching time you have
Although the number of teaching days is 51 days, the real number of teaching days is far fewer, especially for high schools. High schools usually need about 12-14 days for their mid-year examinations. If you factor in the test days or the examination period for high schools, you effectively have about 39 teaching days.
Let us be realistic then. If you are teaching at a high school, you have roughly 39 teaching days or nine weeks to cover the curriculum of the second term. If you are teaching Mathematics or Home Language at Senior Phase , you will have 40,5 hours to complete the subject content and the required assessments.
If you are teaching Foundation phase, you will have more teaching days, but the picture is equally daunting. You will have about 77 hours to complete the Maths content and the assessments this term.
When you convert the number of teaching hours to represent actual 24-hour days, the reality can be scary. The good news is that schools can manage their school programme if they ensure that the following building blocks are in place:
Stick to the teaching programme 100%
1. Teachers are in class, teaching the content and assessing the work.
2. Teachers do not stockpile their assessments, a common phenomenon at high schools.
3. Schools do not shorten periods or have irregular time frames for teaching periods.
4. Regular monitoring is done and teachers are supported where there are challenges.
5. The school principal protects the learners' teaching time at all costs.
There really is no time for compromises. It is during term 2 that teachers depend heavily on the leadership of their principal and the senior management team. This is the time when there should be a healthy dose of motivation and the application of positive pressure when there is some slack.
This is also the time when the school management need thorough planning to assist everybody to cope with the teaching demands and the rest of the school's educational programme.
Our blessings go to all our school principals and their staff as they pick up their teaching batons again!