To cut workload and reduce stress: checklists

Improving Teaching

Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto convinced me checklists could help me do my job better.  I tried them: they did; I used them more and eventually wrote Ticked Off to share what I’d learned.  It was only in writing the book and reflecting on my experience that I realised the power they have to cut workload and reduce stress as a teacher.

At their simplest, checklists ensure I complete the most important things at critical moments. Highlighting the purpose of the lesson and checking you have all your worksheets may sound obvious – it is.  But that didn’t stop me from failing to do so occasionally due to pressure, distraction or tiredness.  Checklists reminded me of these key actions, helped me avoid foolish mistakes and so made for much better lessons.  But I realised that wasn’t all they were doing.

Imagine: it’s late, you’re tired, you’ve had a long day and you have five lessons and a revision…

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