For those who spend a lot of time at school...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 26, 2010

    ...do your co-workers give you a hard time? School starts Wednesday for us (teachers go back Monday, but we have tons of meetings), and I'm at school a lot. Every day this week. In the past week I have probably heard, "Do you sleep at school?!" or "Go home!" at least 10 times.

    The thing is, my family and friends live an hour away (even if they did live closer, everyone I know works days), I don't have any "hobbies", I still find time to relax and work out every day, I live alone in a tiny apartment so it's always clean, I don't have kids, my boyfriend is out of state for work (and when he isn't, he works all day), and...I just like being at school!!! I'm the youngest at my school, and everyone else is married with children. I really think they don't believe that I have a life outside of work. Some people have given me serious talks about "finding a balance" in my life.

    I just like teaching. I like researching best practices, applying them in my classroom, reflecting, and making changes. I like being organized and planning lessons based on my students' needs. I spend a lot of time working because I LIKE IT! I think many people I work with view teaching as a job, which is fine I'm not judging them, but we look at our work different. I think a lot of people think I'm a brown-noser, too.

    I guess I'm just venting...I know there was a post similar to this a few weeks ago, but I've just been getting tons of crap from people lately. It's so frustrating!!!
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Aug 26, 2010

    If I didn't have a child, I would be there a lot more than I am now. I do get made fun of because I actually read books like Growing Readers and When Readers Struggle and they are all tabbed up and have notes written in them and sticky notes sticking out...
    I also have typed out detailed lesson plans for each science lesson and even bought some Fountas and Pinnell videos so I could research more at home and get a better understanding of things.
    I love to teach and to get better. I love being on top of things and knowing what I'm doing. I'm not a good "wing it" kind of teacher. I am very thorough and like to know the theory behind my practices.
    I think you and I would get along fine =)

    Oh - and I have a total alter-ego outside of school. Total. LOL.
     
  4. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2010

    My neighboring teacher likes to tease me about how I run things in my classroom. He likes to say "Stop IT!, you're making me look bad." But he is just joking. He also likes to say, "When you have kids you won't be doing all of this." I don't take him seriously because he is just joking around. We have a lot of teachers who are working at school all hours of the day. Lots of teachers go in on the weekends. If you feel like you have a good balance in your life, then don't worry about what others think. Stick to what works for you.
     
  5. treysmom

    treysmom Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2010

    DrivingPigeon, I think we could of been born twins & separated at birth! I am ALWAYS at school! I usually get to school before 7:00 & don't leave till around 5:00. Plus I spend almost every Saturday there. While I truly am working-lesson plans, running papers, gathering books, etc. I find that my classroom actually gives me a calm feeling-that is when the kiddos aren't there! My P asked me to attend an out of state conference this past summer & I had some ask why I was chosen. I told them I didn't have husband, my child doesn't live at home anymore, basically I only have a dog to take care of... I guess I was picked because I'm pathetic :)
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Sometimes. I usually get to work an hour before we're required. What really bugs me is when I get there about a 1/2 hour before we're required and I get at least 5 people from the parking lot to my room tell me "you're late!" Or when I walk out the door an 1 1/2 after required time and the P will say (I know he's joking)-you can't leave already? :huh:

    I'm with you guys. I spend so much time reading about teaching, on here :blush:, trying to better my craft-but I do really enjoy it. I have a cohort at school who is as much of a teaching nerd as I am, so we can collaborate, which is nice.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I always get the same stuff from colleagues. I am known as the teacher who lives at the school. I get there before everyone else and I work many weekends. I just laugh it off. They know I have to plan for every subject, every day for 6 grade levels.
     
  8. daisyfoot

    daisyfoot Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I had a reading loft donated to me a few weeks ago. I now get teased that I just moved my bunk bed into the classroom :) My P tells me to go home and relax, but when I go home I am doing school stuff - so why not just stay at school. I painted my classroom my favorite color, so I LOVE being there.
     
  9. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I think you're making them feel guilty, even though you are not trying. But you know what? That's THEIR problem. If you have time to relax and do what you want to do, then more power to you. As long as you are not judging them for the hours they work, they shouldn't be judging you. We're all different. At some point, you might want to have a family and spend less time at work. When that time comes, you will be well-prepared, because you've done so much work now!
     
  10. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I spend a lot of time at school, but can't go in on the weekends (dangerous neighborhood so for security reasons we are all locked up on the weekend). Luckily, the teacher next door to me also stays late, which is good for safety as well as company. Normally when one of us is leaving, it convinces the other to leave.

    I don't like doing school related things at home, so I try to get everything done at school, even if it requires staying late. I would rather plan and grade at school since all of my materials are there.

    I am going into my third year, and I am still finding so many great new ideas and things I want to try. I like feeling prepared. If I don't feel well-planned, I get really anxious, which leads to not sleeping and being grumpy. Like Lynn, I have my lessons typed up (just for guided reading)... I like having the lesson to be able to pull. I have a HORRIBLE memory, so I need to have things written down. It's nice when I haven't done a story with a group in a really long time, because the lesson jogs my memory.

    Yes, my coworkers tease me, and probably think it's pathetic, but I have just always worked really long days, even before teaching. I would work 12 hour shifts all the time at the restaurant or pool, or several jobs at a time. It's not a big deal, and I am finally at a job where I ENJOY my time at work. I love sharing new ideas and trying them out. In reality, my teammates love the time I invest, because they benefit from some of the resources I find! I always tell my bf (who also teases me) that I obviously must really love my job :)
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I also spend a lot of time at work. This is the first school I've found that has a culture of that. It helps that our school is a house-we joke that we sleep there, but in honesty we could. In fact, my director lived on the third floor with his family many years ago. We have a very small staff and many of us wear several hats-I'm also in charge of fundraising, so we are there very very late working on projects.
     
  12. SunnyReader

    SunnyReader Companion

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    Aug 27, 2010

    Sorry to disagree, but I believe in a balance. I like to spend my summer at home with my family or working on myself. I do go in the week before school to set up, but that is it-in addition to working on projects at home. But work is work- it is not life. my husband, family, health are life.

    I am all for bettering myself as a teacher, reading professional books at home or planning out my pacing maps, but I become sad when I see a teacher at school every week in the summer. I have to agree with the comments your colleagues are giving you. While they are saying them as a joke, they actually mean it.
     
  13. Starista

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    Aug 27, 2010

    I'm working *very* hard at finding a balance - especially with a baby on his/her way!

    I find myself this year MUCH more energetic in the morning... by 3:30PM I am ready to rest with my feet up and doze off!!

    This week I have been getting to work about 1 hour before the children come in the door... This has allowed me ample time to make copies, organize, grade papers, and most importantly: ready my lessons for the day! :)

    But yeah -- I get the constant "Do you live here?!" questions from people. I just smile and think of how, come February, my mind will be on my little bundle of joy rather than school -- best to get organized/set up now! :)
     
  14. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Aug 27, 2010

    I couldn't agree more.


    When I was first teaching I spent a lot of time at school. A LOT. People said the same thing to me and they felt inferior. My classroom and my children showed the amount of time I put into my teaching and they didn't like it. I raised the bar for them by doing the best job that I could do.

    I imagine it might be a little bit of the same for you.

    Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing. You sound like you do have balance in your life, and it's none of their business anyway.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 27, 2010

    At my school the new teachers stay later than the experienced ones because we have more to learn. makes sense. This year I will be spending less time at school due to issues with my own children. But I do prefer to be alone in my room working on my plans where there are no distractions. I can't stand walking into a classroom unprepared.

    IME when admin or other teachers tease they are not doing it out of guilt. I think as long as everyone is getting their job done no one else really cares. My principals sure haven't said anything to the experienced teachers who have left school as soon they could. They did not need to stay since they had everything done.
     
  16. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2010

    I get comments here and there, but they are all very good natured. I got quite a few from my friendly custodians for how often I came in during the summer, but this week has gone so smoothly b/c of my prep work.
    Now there is a teacher at our school who is often there til 10pm and the day before school she stayed til 1am. That is a little much-but she's an awesome educator and I try to put as many of my struggling students with her as possible b/c I know she'll do whatever she can to help them.
     
  17. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I do think this is the root of the situation. I just have my boyfriend at home, no kids, no one else. I go in early because he wakes me up when he gets ready for work, and I can't fall back asleep. Am I just going to sit around and do nothing? I would prefer not to. At the end of the day, I think we both enjoy a little bit of downtime alone after work (he likes to play his video games after work for a bit, which drives me nuts, but thats another story, lol). Other teachers in the school do have a family to get home to, so I understand they don't have as much time.

    I am also still very new to teaching, I am still trying to figure out how I like to do things, my personal teaching style, etc. Do I plan on spending this much time at school 10 years from now? Definitely not. But I do feel that some of the comments come from their insecurity that they are not doing the best job that they can do. People also have different personalities... I know teachers that like to grade and do work at home, I DO NOT! I don't like bringing home anything school related. My apartment is somewhere I want to relax.
     
  18. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Aug 27, 2010

    A balance for one person may not be a balance for others. The original poster stated she has no family nearby, no kids at home, etc and she does find time for herself everyday. You may not see that as balanced because you do have those other things that you need to balance in.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 27, 2010

    Everyone in my school spends a lot of time there.

    I'm almost a "slacker" because I have to get home to pick up my kids and don't coach an after school activity. I did, for 18 years. But now my life is in a place where I can only be there most days from 7:30 till 4.

    That said, my work gets done. I'm a good teacher-- kids and parents and administration are all happy with me. But more of my work gets done over the summer than it did when I first started teaching... and there's less work to do because at this point I've taught all the courses we offer.

    And no one busts anyone else's chops, because it's really no one elses' business to judge how each of us chooses to do our jobs.
     
  20. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Aug 27, 2010

    To each their own! (If that is how you correctly say that phrase!)

    My career that I love is definitely a part of my life. Just like my family and health are a part of my life. I definitely teach in a way that requires more work than the allotted time hours. And I love what I do so it's something I enjoy... which makes me happy :)

    You also are in a different position in life than the OP... you don't have the same time available that she does... also the OP seems to have more of a passion for teaching. Didn't mean that in a rude way - it just comes across that way. And I'm all about doing things you're passionate about...
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Most of the teachers at my school seem to have a contest as to who can get their car out of the parking lot the quickest at 3pm. When I have stayed late there was nobody there to see me except the custodial workers. One of them told me to go home once LOL
     
  22. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I've been in both circumstances. During my first years of teaching, I was a single mom and I couldn't stay after school for a long time. I already had 3 years of experience working as a teacher's aid so I felt a little more confident in the classroom. One of my coworkers who was also starting as a teacher, dedicated all her time and energy to school work.

    It didn't make me feel bad at all. I had a daughter, my students were learning, and made great progress. The only thing that bothered me was when this teacher would make comments about how she couldn't believe that anybody with kids could be an effective teacher since she didn't feel effective enough even though she spent so much time at school. This comment really got to me.

    This last year, I became a teacher who was spending a lot of time at work. Part of the reason was because we had a weird schedule where I was off during the month of November and March so I would go to school during my time off for a couple of hours every day. I was approached by one teacher who told me to "stop doing it", but I didn't care. I taught 3 classes, I worked with one class during the months off, and at the end all three classes performed excellent. None was better than the other. What I mean to say is that, of the 3 classes only one received extra instruction but all of the 3 performed equally excellent in tests scores.

    Anyway, at the end of year I was so burned out that I was even depressed. Looking back, I learned from this experience that I need focus more on working more effectively and I need to do things I enjoy outside of work so I can get a mental break.

    After spending a month off where I didn't have to think about work, I feel so much better and refeshed. I'm ready to start again, but this time I'm planning to balance it more because of my own mental health.
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    But I HAVE a balance is what I'm saying! I've spent more time home this summer than at school. I spend time with family and friends weekly. I spend my weekends and weeknights with my boyfriend. I don't feel unbalanced at all.

    People don't understand that I enjoy being at school. For me, it is fun. It is entertainment. I love doing school stuff. I was giddy earlier this week when I finished putting together new file folder games. Call me nerd, but I was. Walking into my classroom makes me smile. I just wish people could respect that and leave me alone. They don't have to understand it, just respect it. My work is my hobby and I'm happy.
     
  24. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who enjoys spending time at school. :) And I completely understand that someday it will probably not be like this. I know that, when I have children and a husband and a home, I will want to be home more. And, like someone else said, I won't need to spend as much time at school because I will be so prepared from all of the time I am putting in now!
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As an adult, you have every right to decide how to spend your time.

    You're not endangering your health, or the health or property of anyone else.

    Whether you choose to spend all summer in school or on a beach contemplating your navel, curled up with a book or vegging out in front of a TV, it's your choice.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I understand and agree completely.
     
  27. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's pretty much what it all boils down to! ;)
     
  28. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Don't worry about what other people think... I think some of it may be the guilt/making them look bad thing, but I also think it's them wanting to help you (advising you). I just think people have a hard time fathoming your "hobby" (prepping your curriculum).

    Anything that is not normal stands out... and you'd probably agree that the amount of time you spend at school isn't normal--so you stand out. Like TeacherNY says, in the school I predominately work, teachers seem to race as to who can get out the parking lot first.

    I think you'd find that there are actually A LOT of people like you (newer teacher, no husband/kids) who have the ability to devote that much time to work.
     
  29. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Aug 27, 2010

    I feel this way too. I can also get WAY more done when I'm at school. I might tell myself "i'll take this home to work on it" and then I'll never get around to it. but if i'm at school i'll work on it. last year I was always he first person at school and most days I was definitely the last one to leave. and i didn't mind it one bit!!
     
  30. Bumble

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    Aug 27, 2010

    No one has ever said anything to me, but I can read people. I can feel their vibe about it. I have to have a baby to make me leave at dismissal, which isn't going to happen for a long time.
     
  31. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 27, 2010

    Our very strong union people don't want us to spend more than our contractual time at school...I like spending time there and getting things just the way I like it.
    I feel torn because I want to support the union and I know that if we do all this prep work for basically free, then the board has no reason to pay us...
    but I can't get my room prepped in the amount of time they are actually paying us for. We have mandatory staff days mon, tues and wed next week with open house on Wed evening. We have training on mon and tues, so the only day the district is really paying us is wednesday. There's no way I could get my stuff ready in one day!!!
     
  32. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Aug 27, 2010

    wow, if i left at our contracted time Id never get anything done!! I don't tend to get much done on my prep-45 minutes just isn't enough time!!!
     
  33. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 27, 2010

    I used to like spending time in my quiet classroom working on school projects. Lately, I prefer being at home working on them. There's more food here.

    But the point is, I also am a teaching nerd. It's my hobby. And an intellectually stimulating and creative hobby it is.

    The ones who make comments are being rude.
     

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