In this first article of a 3-part series, we explore a number of ways schools and districts could save money as they enter peak budgeting season. You can read the other articles as published here:
- How to Save Time and Money on Lesson Planning (Calculator)
- Save Time and Money by Connecting Three Workflows on 1 Platform (Calculator)
- 4 Ways Schools Could Save Time and Money (Guide)
One of the greatest inefficiencies in today’s schools might be in the hours we ask teachers to spend on planning quality lessons for students, without giving them the proper tools to do so.
This is not to say teachers aren’t given enough tools to do their jobs — a recent report cites the average district uses 548 applications (Learn Platform). Rather, they aren’t often given the right tools. Tools that actually save them time and effort, rather than hold them to unrealistic demands of double data entry and prescriptive pedagogy.
Bettering Lessons … at What Cost?
Beyond the tools we use to plan, many other factors affect lesson planning for today’s teachers, including brave new initiatives like differentiation, standards based grading, and blended learning, to name a few.
While these initiatives hold a lot of promise for our students, they can really stack up the workload for our teachers, making an already challenging task of lesson planning even more complex and stressful.
In fact, most teachers now report spending 12 hours a week finding and creating teaching resources for their students (Education World). Much of this time is spent finding, vetting, and/or actually creating their own high-quality teaching resources.
This number might seem reasonable enough, within the confines of a regular work week — but this is no regular work week. As evidenced by a recent study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, teachers typically work over 10 hours per day, averaging 53 hours per work week (Washington Post). At Kiddom, we’re determined to bring this number down.
Calculate how much time and money your teachers could save on lesson planning with Kiddom here:
Let’s Talk Teacher ROI — Return on Investment
As you see in the calculator above, by taking $59,660 as the average teacher salary and dividing it by A. the number of weeks worked in a year (let’s use 40, for example) by B. the total hours in a typical week (53), this gives teachers a true hourly wage of $28.14.
With Kiddom, teachers spend an average of four hours a week finding resources, rather than twelve. We can say this leads to a total work week of 45 hours. Dividing that from the average teacher salary, the math now comes out to a true hourly wage of $33.14.
While it’s impactful to see the exact time and money saved in numbers, the monetary value doesn’t account for the mental value. The number of out-of-school hours teachers work, and the level of support they feel from admin is part of what Doctor Brad Johnson calls a teacher’s ROI for the work they do.
When teachers spend more time outside of school finding resources and planning lessons, they recognize their real hourly wage is decreasing. However, when you provide teachers the tools they need to work efficiently, you increase their true hourly wage and improve their emotional return on investment.
How does Kiddom save teachers time in lesson planning?
Our team of mostly developers, designers and former teachers built this platform with one end goal in mind: improving the lives of teachers and learners. Below are five ways we’ve brought those 12 hours lesson planning down to 4:
1. Free content library of 70,000+ resources from your favorite providers
Teachers can use our library of resources from trusted favorites like Khan Academy and Newsela. These resources are searchable by standard, grade, subject, and content type, saving teachers hours every week with the ability to save directly to their lesson planner within Kiddom.
2. Curated blended learning lesson plans for those weeks you’re in a pinch
These teaching playlists are designed by Kiddom’s specialists to give teachers a headstart by providing a collection of vetted, socially responsible resources. These mixed media resources are perfect for blended learning classrooms and discoverable by theme, subject, or grade band. You can also access these collections within the free app.
3. Streamlined instructional workflow
Teachers can easily save their favorite resources from the previous two points into their Planner, or add directly as assignments into the student Timeline. Because Kiddom is also a gradebook, this sets them up nicely for assessing and reporting. With an upgrade to Kiddom Academy, they will be able to send report cards automatically and frequently to parents.
4. Collaborative tools for seamless alignment and less rework
With responsive curriculum management, curriculum directors and teachers can align on scope and sequence so curriculum can be measured and responded to in a timely manner. This brings the best lessons to surface, and also shaves off days of planning for the following semester, when the entire scope and sequence can be reproduced at the click of a button.
5. World-class school success team to support you on your way
We believe that technology and processes are only tools at the end of the day, and that it takes a human connection to bring the magic of those tools to life. Schools and districts who choose Academy have access to our world-class success team who are passionate about helping your school community thrive. They will guide you through the process of streamlining the full instructional workflow for your school or district’s unique needs. This includes admin and teacher launch trainings, unlimited access to our on-demand professional development and analytics, live support, and 1:1 ‘office hours’ and biweekly calls with your dedicated success manager.
Where to go from here?
Schools often trick themselves into thinking that new tooling is a problem they don’t have time to fix. Rather than solving the technical debt we’ve already accrued, we build on top of the mess. And at the end of the day, teachers are the ones filling the gaps. They deserve better.
Ultimately, the decision of tooling should be up to the stakeholders — particularly those using them the most. Who would know better than the teachers themselves?
Are you a teacher or an administrator who would like to learn more about Academy? Book a consultation at the link below.
What People Are Saying
Jackie Curts, Middle School Teacher
Ann Leghorn, High School Literacy Specialist
Mr. Albrecht, High School Teacher
You might also be interested in these articles:
We spoke to the Literacy Department Chair at Williamsburg Charter High School about how they used Kiddom data to create a scalable intervention framework.
Responding to a recent shift from curriculum analysis to culture change, author Geoffrey Schmidt argues that the two cannot be separated.
Streamlining workflows within schools can increase collaboration to the betterment of not just your budget, but your entire learning community.