How much is too much?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherhoosier, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Sep 28, 2014

    As I sit here on a typical Sunday morning (getting lesson plans done before football games in the afternoon), I am reflecting how much is too much? I love teaching and my kids, but honestly, there are some weekends where I just don't want to do anything!

    I have been teaching with my grade level partner for three years now. We get along extremely well and work well together. However, the amount of work she takes home astounds me. She will take stuff home even when we both are leaving at 5 on most weeknights. I have a half an hour drive home, so unless its extreme circumstances, I don't take anything home except the odd set of papers to grade or something . I try to be at school by 7:00-7:15 most days just to think through the day and get myself mentally prepared.

    There has to be a point where you say no more. I don't know how she keeps this pace up. I have to have some me time in the evenings or I would go totally crazy.

    I will take a hour or two on Saturday evenings while I am watching TV to grade center work/do guided reading plans for the week. On Sundays, I try to get started by 9-10 and work until around 1 or so.
    That is about my max limit. Otherwise you don't have any kind of a weekend.
     
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  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I was thinking the same thing this morning. :( I started lesson plans around 9 this morning, and I''ll be done in about an hour. However, I was thinking about going into school (I usually do) after the Packer game to prep everything for the week. Oh, and today is my 1-year wedding anniversary. My husband is enjoying this beautiful day at the dog park, while I stayed back to get my work done. It really really sucks sometimes.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I used to be one of those teachers who slaved at school, took work home, and worked a second job. No more. I realized the insanity and I took back some control. I do work late most days (until 5) and try to come in 30-45 min early but I hardly take work home on week nights. On the weekends I will do 1-2 hours of work but that's it. If it doesn't get done it will wait. Of course if it's something on a deadline, like report cards, I plow through. But I realized if something didn't change I'd never make it to ten years (this is my 7th.) And no, it didn't get tons easier - I've worked in 3 grades, 3 schools, and 2 districts. I have learned to prioritize and put myself first.
     
  5. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Agreed. There hasn't been one weekend since school started that I haven't brought some kind of work home. It would have been even worse this weekend if I hadn't if given my kids some free center time on Friday afternoon so that is could get some stuff done. Even with that, and staying until 6:00 on Friday, I still worked on school stuff for probably about 5 hours this weekend after DS went to bed. Really sucks sometimes. Last Saturday I went to school after DS's 9:00 soccer game and worked until 4:00. I was almost in tears for the last couple hours that day thinking about how I wanted to be home with DS and and DH but wasn't. I've got to get a handle on this somehow. I don't understand how I can work all the time at school and still bring stuff home?
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Is this an elementary teacher thing? It sounds completely ridiculous; I couldn't do it.
     
  7. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I'm tired of feeling guilty for not getting more done on MY weekends :(
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I don't know if it's universal, but from what I've seen, elementary teachers seem like they end up spending more off-contract time working than secondary teachers.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    With that said... this year, I'm refusing to take work home during the week, and I'm limiting myself to four hours on the weekend. I set a timer and everything. Yeah, there's a ton of stuff to do, but I'd like to watch my daughter grow up.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I get my planning done during the week while at school. Same for grading. Very few things do I ever need to bring home. What I find myself doing on the weekend is updating my class website, which doesn´t take long. I think I might have more prep time, though, during the class day than the average teacher.
     
  11. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Agreed.
    Every Saturday (or Friday) night I grade papers. Every Sunday night I do lesson plans. Ours are due Monday mornings at 8am.
     
  12. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I've been thinking about this as well. I get to school an hour early in the mornings (then have 30 minutes of planning time before the kids come in), often work through my 30 minute lunch, and usually stay until 5-5:30 at night (contract time ends at 3:10). I also go in for a few hours on the weekend. I am paid 7.5 hours a day, but end up working about 11. I don't want teaching to take over my life (I have a husband and two small children at home) but I don't know how else to stay above water. :(
     
  13. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Thank you so much for this idea. I want to become an elementary school teacher in the near future. I am currently a middle school paraprofessional. I have been for the past 5 years. Do first year teachers work more hours?
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Plan on about seventy hours a week. Seriously.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I really don't know how anyone can get all of their work done during the week. We have meetings most mornings, and sometimes after school, too. We only have 15 minutes of contracted time after school (kids leave at 3:30, we have to stay until 3:45). So, before and after school is pretty much out.

    During the day I have anywhere from 30 to 60 minute of prep time. It seems like the specials never start on time, so that cuts it down to 25-50 minutes. After I answer emails, take notes and lunch money to the office, check my mailbox, etc. I'm down to about 15-40 minutes per day, and something unplanned ALWAYS comes up (a co-worker stopping by to talk, a student concern, etc.). So, I'm lucky if I have 15 minutes of "planning time" per day. My lesson plans take me about 4-5 hours total, including time to prep materials. It just doesn't add up. There is no way to it all done during my paid work time.
     
  16. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2014

    First year teachers definitely do put in many more hours - just because they are doing everything for the first time.

    That being said, I do find that being a teacher will eat up as much time as you allow it to. I generally get to school a little after 7, and I tend to leave by 5. I do not bring work home with me unless it is a really large project that students have completed. I also try not to go in on Saturdays. I will, however, put in about 4 hours each Sunday. Today I will go in as soon as we get to halftime in the Packers/Bears game. Putting in this amount of time just allows me to 'stay even' with what I need to do. I feel as though the demands on my time increase every year.
     
  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I do not go in on weekends. I do work from home though. I'm putting my homework for next week together right now.

    I generally come in about an hour early and stay an hour and a half at the end of the day. It comes out to about a 10 hour day. :unsure:

    Honestly, that's without doing a lot of stuff I should be doing. I wish I could check work more, but a lot of papers go uncorrected. Much of my time is spent writing lesson plans per the school's exact formula (which is useless to me, so really, I write lesson plans twice), tracking behavior, correcting tests that I'm required to give, entering test scores, responding to notes I've received, calling homes, and making copies.

    I am a first year teacher, but things have changed so much this year, I don't know that there is much less of a workload for returning teachers.
     
  18. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Quoting for truth.

    My average week so far:
    Monday-Friday: Get to school around 7:30am, leave at about 8:00-8:30pm...occasionally as late as 9:30.
    Saturday/Sunday: Sleep in, go into the classroom, put in about 8+ hours. (Yesterday was a 14-hour day between a training and the classroom)

    I still manage to take some things home (that I often don't even look at, since I'm just drained and lie back and relax for a few minutes before going to sleep!).

    And I have a list of things I know I need to improve on or add / change in the classroom...but just don't have the time to get there. Oy.
     
  19. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2014

    How long have you been a teacher? I know the world of being a teacher is very different from the world of being a paraprofessional. Having worked as a paraprofessional for the past 5 years, I have been able to learn about teaching and the pressures and demands of the profession and the ever growing changes that come with the job. With that being said, I have also learned about classroom management, using data in the classroom, being a team player, motivating students to be the best they can be, creating a lesson plan (I also did quite a few in college as well), and much more. My degree is in Social Science with Education Comcentration, which I earned in 2011. People often ask me "With all the demands of the job, why do want you become a teacher?". I often respond with because I love working with children and want to provide them with a safe and positive classroom environment in which they will grow academically and socially, take risks, and be successful. I would love to get your opinion on my experience I have gained as a para aiding in my becoming a successful and effective teacher. I didn't have the oppounity to do a student teaching experience in college.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2014

    My plans are due tomorrow...I'll write them sometime during the day tomorrow. I don't spend much of my weekend thinking about school.
     
  21. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I don't know if it's because my years of experience (23 -- 18 at the same level), my small class sizes (total number of kids = 40), or my 60 min of planning time at least 3 days a week (sometimes 5) but I do almost no school work at home. I realize I am incredibly lucky, and I'm grateful for my job every day!
     

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