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Kishkumen Kishkumen is offline
 
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How many hours does everyone work?
Old 11-05-2017, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm working 60 hours a week. Working late occasionally is expected, but there is so much that has to be done, that I usually can't leave until 6:30. Even then, there's a bunch of stuff that has to be left undone day after day.

When I asked for help from admin or coaches, I got the same answer "have the kids do some of the work". Except students can't enter grades, answer e-mails, write reports, plan lessons, or make copies. I've had student volunteers with not a lot for them to do. Then I stayed after school until 7:30 trying to complete everything.

Leaving "early" (less than a ten-hour day) results in a pile of stuff undone and I'm not prepared for the following day. I'll have to work a thirteen-hour day to catch up.

There's a line between "due diligence" and "letting the school take advantage". I'm on the latter, but I can't think of anything that can be eliminated.


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Angela Watson's 40 hour work week
Old 11-05-2017, 12:31 PM
 
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I've been teaching for over 30 years, and reading Angela Watson's book,Unshakeable, 20 Ways to enjoy teaching everyday, no matter what, was an eye opener for me.

I now make lists, and have gotten much better at prioritizing. Not everything needs to be done right away, many things can be put on a list to do when time permits. Instead of staying until everything that pops into my head gets done, I stay until I am ready for the next day, and have done the the gs on my do now list that keep me on track for the week. I work more efficiently, and a lot less hours.

Her club is a great resource and support, but just starting with her book will be a big help. I now work, on an average week, outside of my 7 hour contract days (not counting the 4 mandatory meetings a month) about ten extra hours a week. That includes getting in 30 minutes early and staying about an hour or so after the students leave. I do t do work at home unless its report card time.

So my short answer is around 45 hours a week. Check out Angela's website. You'll be glad you did!
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Munchkins is correct....
Old 11-05-2017, 12:36 PM
 
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I went through the 40 Hour Work Week Club last school year. It made a difference in my life! During busy season I might spend more time, but I have learned from making lists and prioritizing my time to cut back on the hours that I used to spend. I am so glad I made the time investment to complete her course.

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Papers, Papers, Papers
Old 11-05-2017, 12:48 PM
 
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I read this book years ago and it was a wake up call. I only touch each paper ONE time. Students put papers in the correct bin. I mark them up and put the score in my paper grade book. I wait until I have all the late and absent work until adding it to the computer so I don't have to go back and do that later. (Sometimes I still do, but it is pretty rare.)

The best time saver ever is working while kids are working in partners or groups. I don't hover over them like I used to. I have to admit that probably my first eight years when I had my own curriculum, I worked way too much. I grade much less now. I still might collect papers and check them in for completion for five points or so.

Now copying is my biggest time waster. I made students get a notebook though and write a lot of stuff in there instead of giving them a handout for every little thing. Also, I sometimes make class sets instead of making everyone an individual copy. Do you have a document camera? I project some papers and let them take notes for some other things.

As to the emails, again, I do this as students are working. Also, when asked to do extras, say no. I'm not sure how many years you have in, but I now have cut my workload 80% from year one. It feels good too. Now one has ever said, "Hey, you didn't spend six hours on a Saturday writing comments in our journals." I now do things like have them share aloud or switch journals with a partner. So much easier.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:57 PM
 
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Haven't done the 40 hour work week thing, but I always have a to do list going and I hack away at it any time I have a few extra minutes. I would say on average I spend about 45 hours per week working. Our contact day is 8 hours, so that's only 5 hours extra. A lot of that "extra" time is spent on required after school meetings/committees.

My teammate must seriously work at least 80 hours per week. I have noticed that she spends a lot of time on things that I would describe as "nice to do" vs. "must do." For example, she has a lot of beautiful charts and visuals in her room. She creates anchor charts with kids during lessons, but then redoes them after school to make them look really nice. She also does a lot of really cute activities that require her to spend a lot of time making props (for example, this week she was doing "pin the purpose on the author's pie).

Another difference between us that I notice is that I feel like I use my time at school really wisely- if I have a few extra minutes (waiting for a meeting to start, etc.) I'm on my laptop getting something done. For example, last week we were in a PD that had absolutely no relevance to us. I finished almost an entire IEP during the presentation. She asked me how I could possibly get work done in that environment...she needed quiet/solitude and to be "100% focused" on the task.

Her room looks great and she's an excellent teacher, but she is seriously burning herself out. I would be shocked if she stayed in the profession after this year- she's always talking about how worn out she is and how she's looking at other options.


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Ditto Munchkins
Old 11-05-2017, 01:00 PM
 
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I am a part of Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Work Week group, and since I became a part of the group, I have started to work smarter, not harder. I have also decided that I will do about 45 hours a week, and that's it. Yes, there are some weeks I'll do more, and maybe some I'll do a bit less, but overall about 45 is my max.

I've been teaching for over 20 years, and I decided this year that this career is taking up too much of my life. No more! I do love it, but I truly don't think it's fair that we give up our lives for this job. So here are some things I've decided on:

1) I don't score every assignment. Some I just quickly check for accuracy; others I just recycle. Some people may think that's horrible, but you truly don't need to score everything.

2) I've cut back on homework (which equals less grading). You don't need to give kids 15-20 problems to see if they've mastered a skill. About 6-10 problems will show if they've got it. Fewer problems=quicker grading.

3) I get to school around 8 (the kids come at 8:30) and I stay typically until 5 or 6. I do take work home with me, but I only do it if "I'm in the mood." More-often-than-not, I don't do any work at home during the week. I will on the weekends, but I try to work smarter, not waste time, and get it done within 2-3 hours.

4) I don't worry about making my room look "cute". I have a brightly colored room that looks good and is comfortable, but I don't waste my time or energy on making cute, creative bulletin boards or creating a theme for my room. Truthfully, the kids look at it, think it's awesome for a short time, and then it's just part of the scenery. Anyone who spends a crapload of time on that kind of thing is not using their time wisely. The most important thing we can spend our time on are those things that truly impact our kids' learning. Cute, thematic rooms don't do that. (IMHO)

5) Make a to-do list every single day on a weekly sheet, meaning a sheet has a section for each day of the week. I use Angela Watson's form, but you can certainly create your own. Make a section for "Before School", "During School" and "After School" for each day of the week. As you are working through the day, jot down those things that come to mind that you know you need to work on in the future. For example, if on Monday I'm working on making math plans for Thursday, and I realize that I need to make photocopies for the lesson, I'll jot down on Monday's "After school" section or one of Tuesday's sections "Copy math for Th. lesson." I have found this to be EXTREMELY helpful, because if I have a few minutes, I can look at this list and, if there's something that's quick, I can do it and cross it off my list. If I don't get to it that day, I'll just put it on the next day or maybe a few days later, depending on when it needs to get done.

6) Realize that you will NEVER get it all done. Ever. And let go of perfection. As a reformed perfectionist, I've realized that "good enough" works in a lot of areas.

Hope this helps a little. If I think of anything else, I'll add it later.

(FYI...I tried to attach a copy of my to-do list, but it wouldn't let me. If you PM me your email address, I'll email it to you so you can see what I use.)
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:24 PM
 
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I stick pretty close to contract hours. I come in a bit early every day (about 30 minutes), so I would guess I clock about 37 hours a week.

Because I teach Kindergarten, I have fewer responsibilities than other grades. I don't have homework, the only grading is report cards 3X a year, I have eager parent volunteers (copying, collating, cutting laminating, etc.), and a FT aide.

I can't imagine how MS and HS teachers keep up with grading and entering grades online, etc. I truly cannot.

To give the other side of the picture, I am 100% on during student hours. There is zero downtime.
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All included..
Old 11-05-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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about 70. But that includes my studies.. as it directly affects my teaching and student outcomes.
I need to get in shape, and my house could be cleaner (It's not bad... but I don't have contact paper in my drawers or spices alphabetized.)

I've had to take shortcuts
on appearance- clothing - nothing that I need to iron
hair- I put it up
I gave up with having things look cutesy and perfect, most of my stuff is kid created.
My husband does a LOT with the house.
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seven hours
Old 11-05-2017, 01:48 PM
 
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Seven hours and ten minutes including the 30-minute lunch break. That's enough. I'm not going to be a martyr. I believe I've done enough and I think we should not be sacrificing our lives because of some delusion that doing extra makes a difference. Your duty day is enough.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:57 PM
 
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I'm at about 50 hours a week, but could probably get it to 45 on a good week if I could stay more focused on what I need to do once the kids leave. Special Ed. paperwork and meetings consume many, many hours!


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Old 11-05-2017, 02:50 PM
 
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I come in 45 min-1 hour early each day and leave pretty much on time. I also work smarter, not harder. We go over homework together because I think itís important for kids to see their mistakes and itís paper I donít need to grade.

I also get work done when theyíre working independently. Yes, I said it! Flame me! I donít believe in being up and moving all the time. I think kids should work on their own. When they are, I grade or plan.

I also donít reinvent the wheel, I donít redo anchor charts we did together, I donít collect every sheet of paper and some get recycled.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:08 PM
 
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Kishkumen, are you a new teacher? Or in middle school/high school? Either or both of those can add hours to a workweek. If you're new, your time will decrease once you get the rhythm of things and a stockpile of activities, assessments and so on in the bank. Re MS/HS grading, Jennifer Gonzalez (cultofpedagogy.com) has a free book with 20 ways to cut grading time in half; you have to sign up (free) for her weekly newsletter, which is good and useful.

I probably work 50 hours a week. Contract calls for 36 a week, but I come in 45-60 minutes before contract time. I also do quick lesson plans before that at home, so there's another half-hour or so every day. I work a little less during the evening these days since I'm in a class with fewer students, so less work to grade. But I'm always thinking about something or researching something. I do spend more time working on Sunday than Saturday.
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Angela Watson
Old 11-05-2017, 03:13 PM
 
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Thanks to all who shared. I have been making progress as far as working shorter hours (a big part was changing schools, position and principal), but I have a ways to go. I will definitely check out this book/website. I think one thing that helped me shave 8-12 hours off my departure time was to emotionally release my desire to be "highly effective." I DO still care about teaching well/ I wanna be what I or my students consider to be an awesome teacher), but I've accepted that I cannot do the impossible. So, I focus on what will help my students learn and meet their goals. If someone comes in and considers that "effective" rather than "highly effective" then so be it. I need some balance in my life -- home, family, friends, fun or I'll burn out before I make it to retirement.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:38 PM
 
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I work 11 hour days,have no prep period and work as a union leader as well. It goes well because I am a list maker and a priority maker each evening. I do not long for "cute" in my class and am not a parent or peer pleaser. I survive because I can let go of what looks good and instead go for what needs to get done for the next day.
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Hours...
Old 11-05-2017, 05:50 PM
 
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For those of you saying that you do work while the students are working, how? We are not allowed to do that. If we arenít teaching whole group we are to be doing small group or pulling individual students. We get 30 minutes a week for planning. No thatís not a typo... 30 minutes. The rest of our planning is taken up with meetings and PLC meetings. Duty before and after school. That leaves about 20 minutes of plan time before or after school. Iím an elementary teacher so I have to plan all subjects.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:12 PM
 
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I teach 26 students in pull-out groups, and I have to develop my own curriculum for each student. However, I keep it simple. I go in at 7 a.m. and leave at 3:15 p.m. or so.
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Time management
Old 11-05-2017, 07:44 PM
 
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I have learned time management. It's not been easy, but it works for me. The first thing I do is start a new list for the week. I check it against my calendar and prioritize what is on the list. When I have my planning time, I have the list, put on music and work without interruption if possible. Some teachers or students will come to my desk (I have an office as we have shared classrooms). When I get visitors, I do what needs done or tell them it will go on my list. It may seem rude, but if it's not a pressing issue, I put my headphones back in and go back to work.

When it comes to lesson planning, I have a few things in my corner. We have a learning management system, that if I put things in right, it practically grades everything for me. If I have a writing prompt in there, then I use the rubric we need and the system will basically score it for me and give me the averages. This took some learning and getting used to, but works well for me now.

I also don't grade every single thing I assign. Some I just look over to see if I need to re-teach in large or small groups or individually. This was a big one for me.

In the end, I have learned to use the technology we have to help me grade as well as knowing that it's ok to not grade every piece of paper that comes my way. I also limit my social time on my planning so I can make the most of the time I do get. I still do some lesson planning at home, but it's not as much as it used to be.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:44 PM
 
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I arrive between 7:50 & 8:00 and leave between 3:30 and 4:00. I stay later or take work home during busy periods or for meetings. I teach elementary.

Timesavers in my case are: most of our PLC time is spent planning together, so I ad lib lessons based off of the team plan and a quick look-see through the curriculum morning of. We use scripted curricula which we are free to modify for student success. I use student helpers to put homework, lunch menus and other items into cubbies. I grade the bare minimum of assignments.

Drawbacks are: my room is a bit of a mess and I don't use as many outside resources as I could because I don't bother to look for them. Ad-libbing works really well for me but I've had colleagues say that it wouldn't work for them, their students, or their subjects and I get that.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:36 PM
 
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I've been teaching for twelve years, but this is my third year teaching 3rd grade. Before that I taught K-8 art, which took a lot less time. I'd prepare one highly-developed lesson and teach it all week (with 700 students in the school, I only saw each class once per week).

But yes, I make lists and sort out must-do and nice-to-do things. The must-do's take several hours: copies, updating the board, laying out lesson materials for the next day, student incident paperwork and e-mailing parents, and the Sudden Unexpected Thing That Absolutely Has To Be Done Today.

What gets left out every day is preparing emergency sub plans, science/social studies lessons, evaluating student performance and tailoring small-group instruction, generating standard-based quizzes outside of the regular curriculum, grading writing, organizing the classroom library, updating the daily posted objectives. There's always some crisis that takes away time set aside for them.
I've asked for a list of priorities and was told, "well, it's ALL important", and "You HAVE to do.." When I've asked for specific help they just give some slogan like, "You have to work smarter, not harder" and, "You're not doing [other thing]. You should be doing that also. Try doing [yet another thing] to help you be more efficient."

But nothing has been able reduce the workload required. So my only option is to work thirteen hours a day instead of twelve.

Note that grading work is not counted, and I only grade the required weekly tests along with a weekly participation grade. The actual happens on Saturday and takes an additional 2-3 hours.

It's actually impossible to work 40 hours at my school, because even though the contract hours are 8:00 to 4:00, we're required to show up at 7:30. Students get picked up from outside at 7:50, and they're physically in class before 8:00.
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Add Commute Time
Old 11-06-2017, 02:00 AM
 
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I actually think one's commute time should be added to the total. For me, that added 2 hours to my workday - I spent much of this time planning and reviewing lessons (sometimes speaking into my iPad to record my thoughts). During my teaching career, I drove enough miles that would not only have taken me to the moon, but also encircle it 5 times!

Even though I limited myself to contract hours, with IEP meetings and commute time my workday was usually about 9-10 hours long.
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Old 11-06-2017, 05:02 AM
 
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37.5 hours a week. That includes a 30 minute lunch, 45 minute planning time, 15 minutes before students enter the building and 10 minutes after they leave. That is what I am contracted for and that is what I work.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:03 PM
 
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I work about 44 hours per week, generally 7:30-4:00. I do about an hour of planning on the weekend. I am not counting committee work - if I added in extra duties like team leader and union rep, it's more like 46 hours/week.

I don't grade homework although I do check for completion (no one is penalized for incorrect or incomplete homework but I check to make sure they understand the concepts).

I do grade most math and writing. I just check phonics worksheets. I DON'T grade everything.

I have similar common-core based lesson plans and accompanying materials (sorts, flip charts, etc) that I use, so it's just a matter of pulling out the folder and making copies. Of course I tweak lessons based on the group.

I am lucky in that I have 40 minutes of prep a day, and I have a part time aide who helps a lot.

The other side of the coin is that I don't do anything but teach, either whole group, small group or one on one when kids are in the room. I'm certainly not flaming anyone, it's just the nature of the beast with first grade.
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You've Got It
Old 11-06-2017, 04:26 PM
 
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Word Girl, you've got the formula down! Congratulations!!!
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:56 PM
 
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I work 40-45 hours a week. I typically go in 15-20 minutes before contract, and I stay 30-45 minutes after contract. All this equals 40-41 hours.
On Fridays I stay super late because no one is around to distract me. Or I'm beat I take it home and wipe out work Saturday morning.
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Work only 40 hours? How?
Old 11-06-2017, 07:01 PM
 
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For those of you who work only 40 hours a week: When do you plan lessons, make copies, answer e-mails, contact parents, check standards, consult pacing calendar, compare test results, fill out IEP forms, fill out ELA forms, fill out SST forms, fill out student incident reports, file student data, collect work samples, and record intervention hours?
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
For those of you who work only 40 hours a week: When do you plan lessons, make copies, answer e-mails, contact parents, check standards, consult pacing calendar, compare test results, fill out IEP forms, fill out ELA forms, fill out SST forms, fill out student incident reports, file student data, collect work samples, and record intervention hours?
That's what my prep time is for! But I don't know what student incident reports, ELA reports, or SST forms are, so I have several fewer things to do already.
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Teach Less
Old 11-06-2017, 10:59 PM
 
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I think you're right - the system has gone completely out of control. Every year teachers are given yet another form to fill out or procedure to follow. I've been told it's wrong to compare, but that's a big reason we spend less and less teaching and kids spend less and less time learning, as compared with our counterparts in other countries. What number are we on the list now?
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When I was working
Old 11-06-2017, 11:59 PM
 
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I'd easily pull at least 55 hour weeks and to top it off 20 plus hours related to research for Grad School (Two Masters, One at a Time) and now the Doctoral.

Now since I"m on the job hunt, it's mostly 50 plus hours into the Doctoral and at least ten looking for jobs. I built up a nest egg so I"m good for right now but it's frustrating when I want to be teaching.
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Medical Analogy
Old 11-07-2017, 05:37 PM
 
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I was listening to an interview on the radio the other day. The guest was a CEO w/some medical or insurance or similar position and she and the interviewer were discussing how doctors are now hurried to just go through the "must do's" w/patients in a short amount of time and then spend 2 hours doing the documentation for our "health charts" et al for every 20 minute appointment and how it's just ridiculous. I thought, "Wow! It's not just them...it's not just us."
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Why So Many Hours?
Old 11-10-2017, 12:07 PM
 
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I wonder what it is about teaching that makes so many teachers feel that there is no limit to the amount of time (and money) that they give to their jobs. Is it because people in this field tend to regard teaching as a "calling" much like a ministry or is it that the profession attracts individuals who are predisposed to sacrificing themselves (and their families) at all costs? I suppose a major factor in this profession is that the innate defense mechanism for self-preservation among "workers" may be present in varying degrees. Or is it that teachers often forget that they "just work here", don't own any stock in the company and work for administrators who don't really care how much time you spend playing catch-up.
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Type of school/district
Old 11-11-2017, 04:56 PM
 
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I think the hours people work really depends on the type of school you work at and the grade level you teach. I try to have a balance but due to the needs of my students and test scores tied to my job makes this balance tricky.
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Too much work
Old 11-12-2017, 05:25 PM
 
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The days I've had to leave before 6:00 leave me unprepared the next day. Lesson plans are not reviewed, materials are not handy, spelling and vocabulary words are not posted, there are not enough sharpened pencils, I don't know what workbook pages students need for small group time, there is no bellwork for students to start upon entering the classroom, the teacher desk area is cluttered, and so on.

To get everything set for the next day consistently takes two or three hours, not counting copies, paperwork, e-mail, conversations with parents, student incident reports, scheduling detention, writing next week's lesson plan. Actual grading takes place on Saturday and takes an additional 3 hours, including creating the assignment in the grading program and entering all the scores.

I've asked for help, only to be brushed aside with "you have to work smarter, not harder" -just before they remind me of something else I should also be doing each day. There's just so much expected to do, that it can't be done in a typical 10-hour day.

To get a minimum amount done for the next day, I need to stay until about 6:30. To catch up on missed work, I need to work until 7:30. To get everything done, I need to stay until 8:30 or later. Two years ago, my wife would bring me dinner and I would have dinner in the classroom every day while doing all the "little things" required.
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