how much free time do teachers really get?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by potato, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. potato

    potato New Member

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    Apr 25, 2007

    This is just a survey. How much free time do teachers really get? Do you find that you're staying up nights grading papers or making lesson plans and you don't really have summers off? Or do you get your work done before 5 and go travelling during breaks?

    I want to get the responses of high school science teachers in particular because this is the area I want to teach (I'm contemplating changing careers to teaching).
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2007

    I am an upper elementary science teacher and to be honest, most of my summer is taken with workshops (some that I attend and many that I put on). There also has to be time in there for getting the classroom ready, reviewing curriculum, etc. Yes, there is some time, but very few teachers that I know really get the entire summer break off. It's not a job that's going to necessarily lead to a ton of free time.
     
  4. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Apr 25, 2007

    Free time? I am a first year teacher, so yes, I do a lot of work at night and on weekends. I've heard it gets easier over the years, but I know there are a lot of really dedicated, more experienced teachers on this forum who put in as much time as any first- or second-year teacher if not more. I think it really depends on your personality, teaching style, and how much time/effort you put into the things you care about. The holidays and breaks are nice, but I still work 2000+ hours a year (minimum) just like any full-time job. Hope this helps!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 26, 2007

    I'm high school math.

    A lot of it depends on your experience. This is year #21 for me. So I've learned routines that work for me as far as cutting time goes. (for example, when I'm grading papers, I grade the front page of the entire class, then turn the pile upside down. For me that works better than doing each page individually.)

    But my biggest timesaver is that I don't have to prep a brand new lesson each day and re-learn the material. At this point, I've taught almost every course our department offers. I have notes on most, and a good background in the others. So I covered a long-term-sub in Precalculus for 2 months this year (I'm currently teaching 7th graders) without breaking a sweat; I've taught the course so many times that the material was no big deal.

    In the beginning, free time is an oxymoron; it gets so much better as you go on.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Apr 26, 2007

    It's different every year. Two summers I was working on my masters, and one summer I was a writing workshop participant. I usually attend a couple of workshops and an in-service or two in the summertime.

    I've been in the same grade for a long time, and I use basically the same outline every year. I tweak it as needed and add new things, removed things that didn't work, etc.

    I teach 7th grade LA, and that includes a lot of writing. We have a fall break, winter break, and spring break. I try to have it planned so that I can take writings home over those breaks, but I limit myself to a certain number of days to work.

    I usually take things home over the weekend, and sometimes at night . . . although usually only during certain times of the year.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2007

    I usually tutor about 12 hours a week in the summer and spend a few hours in my classroom. The last two weeks before school starts, I put in full weeks in my room. During the year I can easily do all grading and planning during my plan periods. Because I work in a small school with small class sizes, and because they have lots of specials, I get plenty of plan periods. Since I teach 5th grade (all subjects except science) plus one middle school math class, there is a lot to plan. It would be easier to teach one course all day long, but I might get bored with that. I do also spend hours a week on the internet or reading professional literature to help me design lessons.
     
  8. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2007

    I have learned to get my work done between 7:30 and 4:30 (for the most part). I try to avoid grading/ planning at night because, over the years, I have seen too many people burn out plus my family comes #1.
    Summers are not really "off" but they are slower. Often I choose to teach summer school (8-12:30). I also try to attend at least 1 full time week of training each summer.
    I have found that teaching does have some flexibility.
     
  9. ilovemyjob27

    ilovemyjob27 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2007

    I think if you are a very organized person then you can finish work and still have a life. This is my third year teaching I leave almost everyday by 4:15 we get off at 3:45. I spend the 30 minutes preparing for the next day. I go in about 30 minutes early every day, but I don't spend my time off working except maybe 3 hours a week to do my plans. I never play around at work though I use every free minute I have. You don't have to kill yourself all the time to be a good teacher. I love it!! And yes I go on like 3 trips every summer!!!
     
  10. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Apr 28, 2007

    I am a first year teacher/coach that cannot say no to any request.

    I get up at 6:30 and usually do not get home until 5:00 (later if I am coaching a sport). Then with grading and doing all of that stuff I usually have about an hour a night to do anything I want with and I usually spend that time with my daughter.

    I am hoping that next year is easier, but I hated the way that I taught this year as my lesson plan's were given to me by our team leader and they sucked (She would give us one thing and she would use another to make her look better than us).
     
  11. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Apr 29, 2007

    How much free time do teachers get??? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.....
     
  12. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Apr 29, 2007

    Well, I'm not a high school science teacher, but ...

    Teaching is one of those jobs that is never done. I've had other types of jobs where I could "leave them at work." I'd walk out at 5 and not have to think about work until 8:00 the next morning. I simply cannot do that with teaching. There is always MORE to be done. Your personality will determine how much "free time" you have, honestly.
     
  13. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    May 13, 2007

    I am a first year teacher and I can honestly say that I don't spend too much of my "free time" at home working on school related things. I teach preschool (a class of 9). I get at least 2 hrs of prep time each day during the school day since preschool is only half day. I teach 2 classes in the afternoon and have the rest of the time off. I teach in a Catholic school though where there is not nearly as much paperwork as public schools. I also have a really great curriculum which helps with lesson plans.
     
  14. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    May 13, 2007

    It is completely possible for you to have a similar amount of free time as other professions. But similar to those other professions teaching is a life choice. If you are creative, intelligent, enjoy science....and have decided to teach. Well, chances are that even in your free time your profession will come into play. You think about your class, your kids, your school, your colleagues, and your community. There is always something else that you can do: there is always something that needs improvement or restructure, there are always extras like coaching, clubs, study groups etc. which the kids need, and there is never a shortage of someone needing help with something. That said, you just have to know yourself well enough to know when and how you need to relax. Some of us need vacations, some of us have families and thus family time. These teachers, successful teachers, realizing that with this time they do their jobs even better, draw a line and make sure they get everything squared, (or at least situated so nothing while stop while they are gone), so they can have that time. While some of our tasks are quite tedious and time intensive, they are all working towards something we love. And, the fact, that so many teachers complain about time stems not from our lack of free time, but the fact that there are only so many hours in a day for us to do what we love, for us to make a difference, for us to teach.
     

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