The Union of Professional Educators has been listening to the concerns of Maths teachers regarding workloads and tracks as experienced this year.
Given the exceptional times we are living through, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these teachers have been catering for workloads of 25 lessons, something which the collective agreement had ruled as being viable, and justifiable in the short-term, only for exceptional situations and events.
In addition, as a way of justifiably minimising the mixing of bubbles, all tracks have been placed within their home class, and all have been following the same lesson regardless of which track these students have been assigned to.
These educators have willingly and diligently worked through this period of heavy workload believing that this was just a short-term strategy which would have been lifted once a modicum of normality was restored in the next academic year. However, what has reached them was news of an intended continuation of the implementation of this strategy next year.
One of the concerns voiced by these teachers is how strained the system is bound to be if this 25-lesson workload, with three tracks to be catered for, is maintained in the long-term. They have been struggling to manage to reach all the children at the various levels, and cannot fathom the consequences of their having to face yet another year of such intense delivery of lessons.
They were equally concerned about the fate of those children who follow track one, for whom the material covered by the other two tracks is well beyond what one should be expecting them to follow. The teachers have expressed their fears that since that these children are not getting the lessons they are entitled to, if the current system is kept up for much longer, they may, sooner or later, get lost in a system which is involuntarily failing to cater for their needs.
As hard as they have been working, these dedicated educators have been feeling that managing three tracks simultaneously during each and every lesson of the day, has not only been a factor contributing to their feeling drained and defeated, but has been detrimental to the progress of all the students, as the number of lessons they all have has remained unaltered but the content has had to be diversified to reach all the children during at least part of the lesson.