Australian Education Survey finds teachers working longer but more creatively while working from home

Different approach: Senior maths teacher Bjorn Porsbro worked hard back in April to make online learning accessible to all Devonport High School students. Picture: Brodie Weeding
Different approach: Senior maths teacher Bjorn Porsbro worked hard back in April to make online learning accessible to all Devonport High School students. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Despite working longer hours and with significant mental health problems, it seems school teachers managed to discover more creative teaching methods and boost their digital literacy while teaching from home.

That is according to a survey conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The Australian Education Survey - designed to examine the impact of COVID-19 - questioned more than 1200 teachers who work across the education sectors.

It found 66 per cent of all teachers reported working more hours than usual during every week of isolation.

"The pressure on us right now is enormous," said one anonymous teacher.

"It is difficult to manage healthy breaks away from work because parents and children and our leaders all require so much from us right now."

Additionally, almost three-quarters of schoolteachers surveyed said they were concerned about remote learning negatively affecting students' emotional wellbeing.

Teachers from rural and regional areas consistently reported that their students were less prepared for online learning, and less likely to produce the same standard of work at home as they would at school than their city counterparts.

The survey also held some positives, revealing the creative ways teachers across the country with pre-recorded videos, interactive games, and tasks and activities that made use of students' home environment, such as gardening and cooking.

"We are very capable educators and have done a remarkable job of supporting our students during an unprecedented time," said a respondent.

"This shall strengthen our relationships with students and parents, who have greater insight and appreciation of the role we play in their child's life."

Dr Natasha Ziebell from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education led the survey.

"The switch to remote learning was rapid and the response from teachers and parents was remarkable," she said.

This story Teachers working longer but creativity blossoms during COVID-19, survey finds first appeared on The Advocate.