This week I’ve had one of the most disappointing conversations since starting The Hug Group last year. I was talking to a major early years’ childcare organisation about what we do and was told “electronic tracking goes against our ethos, if you do headcounts automatically it will encourage childcare workers to become lazy and stop watching the children properly! Headcounts aren’t needed anyway if they’re following statutory requirements”.
I was speechless. For a major organisation to have such a low opinion of the very people they’re supposed to represent was a shock.
While some teachers may be more enthusiastic than others, as is the case with people in any profession, I’ve never dealt with a teacher who I thought would be lazy given the chance. Also, I’m yet to find anyone involved with children of any age who doesn’t find themselves counting heads every few minutes when they’re out and about, irrespective of the statutory requirements.
It’s true that workload is an issue in the education sector and teachers regularly discuss how much they have to do, but what they want is to reduce the red tape, bureaucracy and inefficiency in teaching so that they can spend more time actually teaching the children, not do less of it. Teachers, possibly more so than people in any other profession, really love what they do and want to be doing more of it, they’re not looking for ways to become lazy.
As a manager I feel it’s part of my job and also my obligation to the team to allow them to be working as efficiently as possible. If I can provide the team with tools that lets them work smarter I need to do it. We don’t do our accounts with paper and a slide rule, we use an accounting package. We don’t send letters in the post, we use email. We don’t have to spend hours each day commuting if we can work from home
In a similar way, teachers and childcare workers who are spending time doing headcounts and becoming stressed about losing children could be spending more time doing what they love, teaching, with tools like ClassHug.
Fortunately, the headteachers and members of the SLT at schools and nurseries we speak to every day about ClassHug agree and want to help their teachers work smarter.
It’s such a shame that there are some people in influential places that don’t trust teachers to do their jobs and view them as being inherently lazy given half the chance, no wonder there is such a problem with people leaving the industry.