Teachers believe the NSW Education Minister's plan to ease the pressure on their workloads is misguided.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, said the new plan, which provides teachers with curriculum lesson plans, texts and learning materials, is in response to teachers' concerns about excessive workloads.
A 2021 Grattan Institute survey found 88 per cent of teachers said they could save time each week by having access to high-quality curriculum and lesson planning materials.
NSW Teachers Federation, Illawarra organiser, Duncan McDonald, said the minister has missed the mark and teachers are mad.
"I've spoken to a lot of teachers and they're not happy about this announcement," Mr McDonald said.
"Unmanageable and crippling workloads, coupled with uncompetitive salaries, is the ongoing cause of teacher shortages.
"Choosing and adjusting learning resources, tailoring them to the individual needs of students, goes to the very core of what teaching is.
"Prepared lessons, from a huge corporation, that has secured a lucrative deal, will not ease the burden on teachers."
Mr McDonald said pre-prepared lessons, will add to the workload for teachers because they will still have to make adjustments for each class and student.
"Already teachers are struggling with a work-life balance.
"Teachers have less than two hours, per day, of no face-to-face time with students.
"Often, that time is taken up with other administrative tasks and teachers are forced to take their work home and miss time with their own children.
"People are leaving the profession because it's not sustainable."
Kiama High School teacher, Rebecca Roth, said there were 19 staff absent on Friday, August 5.
"There's six periods in a day, so potentially there were 114 classes not covered by staff. We might be lucky to fill couple of those gaps with casual staff, but they are so scarce," said Ms Roth.
"My school day starts at 7.30 am, I'll have an hour to prepare lessons and resources before I start the first of 6, 50-minute lessons.
"On top of that, I might have to supervise another class and be on playground duty.
"Then there are the passive care programs, which are external education opportunities around mental health or hygiene.
"There is so much piled on the top of curriculum, no two days ever look the same.
Mrs Roth said she leaves school at 4.30pm after prepping for the next day. She said teachers are paid on average for a 30-hour week, but the actual hours are closer to 60 per week.
"When I get home from school, I spend time with my family before getting back online to resume marking and feedback to students.
"Students are the bottom line.
"If teachers don't go that extra mile in working outside a school day, then its the students that miss out. What's the incentive for them, if their teacher doesn't have the time to have a vested interest in their work."
In June this year, Mr McDonald said there were over 1600 permanent vacancies in NSW Public Schools.
About 15,000 new teachers are required by the end of the decade because of rising enrolment rates.
Mr McDonald said, Department of Education (DoE) briefing documents, accessed through a freedom of information application, show, the government is well aware of the crisis.
"NSW is facing a large and growing shortage of teachers" (Secret DoE briefing July 2021)
"We cannot improve student outcomes without having a sufficient supply of high quality teachers available where and when they are needed. If we don't address supply gaps now, we will run out of teachers in the next 5 years." (Secret DoE briefing June 2020)
Mr McDonald said, preparation time for teachers hasn't changed since the 1950s but demands in the classroom have evolved dramatically.
"There's a huge increase in teachers managing mental health and there are more demanding students with complex needs.
"Technology has changed and teachers need to keep up with those changes.
"The baby boomer generation are retiring which is adding to the shortage of teachers and over the past five years there's been a drop in high school leavers going into teacher training,"Mr McDonald said.
"In 2023, NSW will start to run out of teachers and there is no workforce planning in place to prevent that."
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