Wasting $241.68 of taxpayer funds per hour in the classroom.

I have done some relieving a couple times in the last few days. The normal teacher had efficiently set some work via Google Classroom using YouTube videos, Google docs etc. Fantastic and so modern…

However, being both curious and suspicious I ran an anonymous survey after 60 minutes and asked the students to honestly tell me how many minutes of productive work they had done. The range was 0 to 20 minutes, the average being around 2 minutes. That’s right 2 productive minutes out of 60 ie 3.33% productivity. If they were my employees I would sack them all 🙂 Of course I went around to check they were working (not that I should have to with the modern, self-motivated student) but they are adept at task switching between what they are doing and what they should be doing… and without any tools such as monitoring software available to me at the time it is hard to know what students are doing.

So, assuming it costs $10,000 of taxpayer funds (rough estimate) to educate each student for a year, this equates to $10 per hour in the classroom per student  (25 hours per week*40 weeks = 1,000 hours / $10k). Say 25 students gives us a cost/investment of $250 per hour for a class. At 3.33% productivity, this means that $241.68 is wasted.

Now, this does not happen in all classes, but it does happen in some (How many I do not know). I personally find anything over 75% productivity pretty good. How can we raise student productivity especially when relief teachers are used – typically relief teachers do not know the material or the students so this can be a challenge…

NOTE: Views are my own and the issues pertaining to relief teachers are a common issue in many if not all schools (as informed by my own observation and discussion with a number of teachers in other schools)

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