Teacher Survey: Wellbeing, leadership and navigating COVID

Our annual Teacher reader survey has just concluded for another year. Now in its sixth year, the survey provides our team with the opportunity to receive your feedback on the content we're producing and to hear about your experiences in your school setting.

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to fill in the survey – we read every single one and really appreciate your willingness to share, your kind words about Teacher, and your input on how we can continue to improve the publication.

As your responses have been coming in over the past few weeks, we have been making note of your suggestions and requests, and have been reading about your experiences navigating the challenges of this pandemic. You've also let us know how you're taking care of your own wellbeing outside of work.

Topics of interest to Teacher readers

In our survey, we ask you what topics you'd like to see us cover in the future. As in previous years more about gifted education, student welfare, and literacy and numeracy are high on the list of requests. This year, many of you let us know that differentiation was a topic you'd like to have more information about.

Leadership was also frequently mentioned. If this is a topic that's of interest to you, you can explore the dedicated page on our website which is the home to our content on leadership in schools. We also have a dedicated page where you can find all of our content on early years.

Improving your own practice

We always love to hear how you're using Teacher content to improve your own professional practice and applying it in your own context. In previous years, you've told us how our podcast episodes have helped to inspire school improvement and how our infographics are bringing data relevant to your school context to your attention.

In this instalment of the survey, we've heard similar stories from you. Here are some examples of how you've been using Teacher to improve your practice this year:

Using articles or podcasts I've listened to, I've taken content and applied it into my classroom. For example the recent podcast about financial literacy after the PISA study, I redeveloped our upcoming financial maths and economics unit to look at this in a realistic way and had students apply learning to their own financial lives. – Primary teacher, Victoria

… I'm currently bookmarking the article about student rubrics as I am attempting a bump it up wall for our persuasive writing unit and I want to see what other strategies I can implement to improve student engagement and learning … – Primary teacher, Western Australia

I especially liked and found useful articles on classroom seating plans … when implemented as best I could I did have success and felt positive about the changes I implemented to improve student learning. I would not have made these changes if I had not read about them in Teacher. – Secondary teacher, New South Wales

Coping with the challenges posed by COVID-19

You've also been using our content to work through challenges posed by COVID-19. We've heard a varying range of experiences about the pandemic, from educators in rural areas of the country who haven't needed to adjust to many enforced changes in metropolitan areas, to school staff in Victoria who have been affected by lengthy periods of learning from home.

A primary school teacher from Victoria read our article, Curriculum requirements: Continuing learning post COVID-19, which looked at recommendations from education departments in different states and territories in relation to time lost due to school closures caused by the pandemic and how teachers can plan to meet curriculum requirements for this year. They had this to say:

… it motivated me to re-organise my lesson planning for the next remote learning term. I put greater focus on student wellbeing and I limited topics/content to make room and time for creating deeper understanding on fewer topics instead of trying to cover everything.

Maintaining a healthy mind and body outside of school

One point of difference with this year's survey was the addition of the topic of wellbeing. This year, we invited you to share with us how you take care of yourself outside of school hours. Many of you reported having a wide range of activities you enjoy over the weekend and when you're wanting to switch off. Here are just some of your responses:

  • exercise: walking, running, swimming and yoga;
  • hobbies: reading, arts and craft, cooking and gardening;
  • purposeful technology breaks;
  • socialising: quality time with friends and family; and,
  • meditation and mindfulness.

2020 survey prize winner

We're delighted to announce that Deborah le Poidevin, an Early Years and Primary School Teacher from Cairns, Queensland, is the winner of this year's Teacher survey prize draw and receives a $500 VISA gift card.

Although our annual reader survey has concluded, you can still get in touch with our editorial team to let us know how you’re using Teacher to improve your own practice, the topics you’d like covered in the coming year, or any other feedback and suggestions. Email us at teachereditorial@acer.org.

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