Designing units of work is quite a labour-intensive task. Even if you’re using a set of ready-made units, you will probably still want to customise them for your school or class. One way of reducing the burden on yourself, and at the same time injecting fresh ideas into your lessons, is to ask others to take responsibility for one or more units.
This is much easier to do, of course, if you lead a team of people than if you’re co-ordinating the efforts of people who are not answerable to you. Even there, however, you can often find a colleague who is mad keen on one particular aspect of educational technology, and who would not require too much persuasion to take on such a task.
For example, is there a teacher who enjoys making videos? Is there one who enjoys geocaching? Does another colleague love graphic design?
It’s crucial to delegate the responsibility, not merely the task. Nobody would thank you for being asked to be a glorified work experience assistant! It entails setting the main objectives, to ensure that overall the curriculum or scheme of work is being fully covered, and then leaving everything to them. And I mean everything:
- The lessons
- The lesson materials
- Preparing resources on the school’s VLE
- Booking computer equipment as required
- Organising permission slips if a school visit will be involved
- Running training sessions with the rest of the team.
You may find, as I did when I tried this out, that some colleagues are a little under-confident. In that case, by all means provide them with the lifeline of being able to have meetings with you to discuss their ideas and any practical matters arising.
The result, as I can testify, is a set of teaching units which contain ideas you’d never have thought of, devised by colleagues who feel a great deal of ownership of, and pride in, the scheme of work. Crucially, engaged and enthusiastic teachers generate engagement and enthusiasm in their students, making it more likely that they will make progress.