Truly effective teachers might spend a large chunk of time planning a large unit, the first time. However, following their reflection on the reception of the lesson and garnering student feedback, the next time will be much more fluid and purposeful, lessening the time but increasing the impact. Additionally, effective teachers do not always start from scratch; they collaborate with others to save time and share with others to improve practice.
Truly effective teachers are not hinged to any desk for a ridiculous number of hours every day. If you’re doing that, stop. If you find yourself grading papers endlessly, STOP. Talk to your mentor or talk to someone who just seems to “have it all together.” That person will have valuable information as to how to work not only effectively, but realistically.
“ … if we wish schools to become places in which students acquire the dispositions as well as the knowledge that will enable them to play a part in transforming the societies of which they are members, we must also change the conditions under which their teachers’ education and professional development take place. This includes giving teachers the opportunity to develop their own expertise in planning and enacting the curriculum through critical inquiry into their own practice that is conducted in collaboration with their colleagues and, ideally, in conjunction with parents and other community members. ”
Wells, G. (2002). Inquiry as an orientation for learning. In G. Wells & G. Claxton (Eds.), learning for life in the 21st century. Sociocultural perspectives on the future of education (pp. 197-210). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.