TM4T - The Admin Game

This is it, the famous TM4T Admin Lesson exercise.

You are going to tackle a variety of tasks against the clock, similar to those you might encounter in a typical secondary school. There will be some differences of course: for example, there will be an absence of subject-specific tasks, but otherwise, we've tried to make things as realistic as possible. This means that some of the material is boring, confusing, unclear, and misleading. Some of it is mildly interesting, but consequently time-consuming and time-wasteful. Some of it appears to be important (in the context of students safety and learning); a lot of it appears to be of no importance whatsoever. There will be opportunities for you to make silly, embarrassing mistakes. All of this is done in the interest of preparing for (hopefully) the worst you can expect in the wacky world of school administration tasks.


The Scenario

You are in your NQT year, working in a city comprehensive school. Each school lesson lasts 55 minutes. You are a Y9 form tutor and a Union member. There are only two teachers in your department, yourself and your Head of Department, a woman called Rula Patel. You respect and admire Rula and owe her some favours – you are therefore keen to help her. There is also an Administrative/Teaching Assistant in your department called Jenny, who went on her honeymoon last week, but is back soon. Both Rula and Jenny are highly professional and highly regarded.

It is shortly after autumn half-term; it is Thursday. Earlier in the week, Rula told you that she will be off school today (Thursday), tomorrow (Friday), and Monday of next week. She is going on a training course. This is unlucky timing, because she – and you – are really busy. She has asked you to clear out her pigeon-hole in the staffroom today and tomorrow, and to handle as many items as you can during your PPA lesson, instead of doing lesson planning as you had intended. You have agreed to do this as a personal favour to Rula. In addition, you need to deal with any items which are in your own pigeon-hole, and to deal with e-mail. E-mail, that reminds me: do you have to look at Rula's e-mail or not? I can't remember. You decide.

You are therefore on your own in the department (Rula is on her course, and Jenny isn't back till Monday); you must use your judgement to decide what to do yourself, what to ask Jenny to do on Monday, and what to leave for Rula's return on Tuesday. Fortunately, Rula's lessons are being re-timetabled to another subject – you don't need to worry about these. You are working in a reasonably well equipped office, with a PC and a printer.

All you need to do is the paperwork, and you have 55 minutes to do it.

Still interested? If you just want to find out more, or if you are intending to use the Admin Game to train other teachers, click here  for information.
If you want to get started straight away and do the exercise, click here.