I usually try to refrain from commenting on what is happening at my work, but I really need to get this off my chest. The school I work for is currently going through an accreditation process, known as CIASa.
Now, I have nothing against the noble ideals of meeting some international standards, but I think that either this system, or how we have interpreted it, has totally missed the point. I have, for example, just spent the last hour printing out edits to documents. Now, these edits are things as simple as adding a full stop to one sentence. And I have had to print out the whole page again. I have a personal objection to this purely on environmental grounds.
And it gets worse. Within my faculty, there are four staff, who by and large all teach the same material at Year 8 and 9. Our course outlines are the same, and apart from rare cases of ‘interesting’ classes, the cohort is pretty much standard. We have built into the course the ability for students with aptitude and ability to extend themselves, and for students with various difficulties to do simpler or less work.
Yet, we are required to print out copies of each of these, where the only differences are the names at the top. That’s right, I have to print out one copy for each of my Year 8 classes, even though I’m teaching exactly the same stuff to each of them. All that is different is the name of the class at the top. And my colleagues have to make similarly simple changes (like replacing my name with theirs, and the class names again), and print out a copy for each class they have.
This is useless busy work. I still haven’t finished all of the School References for my Year 12s who have finished, because I’m wasting time making minor, pointless edits to paperwork that I don’t even reference once I’ve done it. When we were visited by the initial person who gave us a whole lot of information about the process, he specifically said “this process will not create any extra work for you.” This is clearly false, as we have spent at least 37.5 hours (that we are able to count towards the requirement for our T&D; time) on this paperwork.
I’m not saying that all of the paperwork we have done has been a waste of time. Being a part of the group that helped to rationalise and justify our School’s Vision Statement (Philosophy and Objectives, in CIASa-speak) was actually quite an interesting process. It certainly was better than some other options that were available. But having to care that much about the date of a footer (or, rather, having to insert things like dates at all) annoys the hell out of me. As someone who likes to develop patterns and systems to make my life easier, following the suggestion of the great Pecky:
Don’t ever add the name of the school on the top of any of your handouts. Then you’ll just need to redo them when you move schools.
I followed this through to not adding dates to footers either. Unless in the development phase, where you need to know you are using the most recent version, if you have a simple document that is final, why bother dating it, and in the future, it shows up as being dated (in the perjorative sense, here). Just because something doesn’t change doesn’t make it not right. I’m sick to death of spending time doing this crap, rather than actually being able to teach, or learn new things to teach.