How much is too much?

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

  1. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1

    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.
     
  2.  
  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 28, 2014

    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

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    0

    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

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Sep 28, 2014

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

    HorseLover Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2014

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

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    883

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    883

    Sep 28, 2014

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Sep 28, 2014

    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

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    2

    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

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    0

    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

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    6

    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

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,280
    Likes Received:
    748

    Sep 28, 2014

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

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Sep 28, 2014

    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 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    237

    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 Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,163
    Likes Received:
    1,763

    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

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    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

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    6

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    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

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    Sep 28, 2014

    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!
     
  22. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2014

    I just... refuse to. A majority of my planning is done the first few weeks of summer. I don't bring work home including on the weekends. Okay, maybe Sunday is the exception because I spend twenty minutes getting things organized for the week. That's it. Any additional planning, grading etc is done during school hours/ prep.

    My evening time is for me and my husband and our very fat schnauzer. Work stays at school for the most part.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,035
    Likes Received:
    1,499

    Sep 28, 2014

    I get to work usually at 7:30 and the kids arrive at 8:30. They leave by 3 so I try to leave by 4. That is plenty of time for me to do most of my work. I do bring home work or look at websites/Pinterest for ideas some evenings and weekends but I really like getting most stuff done at school and not stay ridiculously late. If you are staying until 9pm and going in on weekends then there's something wrong and something needs to be fixed. How do you have a life when you do that? Obviously, you can't.
     
  24. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    237

    Sep 28, 2014

    This is my 9th year in my current position. I have about 20 years total of teaching experience. I will say, however, that I choose to do my work at school and not bring things home, so I am probably there a little more than some others.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,461
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Sep 28, 2014

    I leave work at work.

    I used to overdo it. I'd work until 5-6 in the evening, go in on weekends, and I really had no life outside of work.

    That ended about 5 years ago when I had a health issue come up.

    Nowadays, I leave work at a decent time, come home, change clothes, make dinner, and relax on the couch with my BF. Sometimes, I'll exercise if I'm not too wiped out.

    I don't think I was a better teacher during the years that I stayed late working in my classroom.

    I'd like to add that I pour my heart and soul into my work while I'm there. However, once I leave the office--I'm D-O-N-E!
     
  26. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    15

    Sep 29, 2014

    I just had my second son in June. I used to always take work home prior and even stay until 4:30-5 on a regular basis. This year I've changed my mindset. If I don't get it done, it can wait until the next day. I leave everyday at contract time: 3:30. I prioritize the things that need to be done first (paperwork), then tackle the rest of my to do list. I maximize my time during the day too. I used to stop and chat with coworkers but I don't do it as much now so that I can get my work completed. I believe it has helped me both in the classroom and out. I get a ton more family time during the week as well as on weekends and I'm not a stressed out, frazzled teacher.
     
  27. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Sep 29, 2014

    When I started teaching I would stay at school until seven or so and then still take stuff home. Now, I refuse. I think more teachers should. Until parents and community leaders realize how much after hours we work things won't change. I quit trying to out do my peers with centers and cute projects. I still do some, but not as much.
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 29, 2014

    I'm not a classroom teacher anymore so it's a bit easier to leave work at work, though there have been a couple of times where I've had to either stay late or take work home. I'd rather work at home and be around my daughter than stay late. Even when I was a classroom teacher, I came to work early and worked straight through until the first bell, straight through my planning period, and then a bit after the last bell rang. But I refused to bring work home or work on the weekends. That was family time for me.
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Sep 29, 2014

    I have between 15-20 minutes of prep time, IF I don't have students who need to come in during recess for incomplete homework or classwork. By the time I check my mailbox and use the restroom, that's down to about 10... :(

    I'm struggling with this right now because of my new husband's work schedule. He has evening commitments several nights a week, so he comes home at 4:30 and leaves again around 6:30. If I want to see him and fix dinner for us, I need to leave as soon as possible (kids leave by 3:30, we can leave at 3:45, I have about a twenty minute drive home). I can bring some stuff home to work on when he's gone, but some stuff just needs to get done at school.
     
  30. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Sep 29, 2014

    The one upside to my suddenly getting a job meaning that my wife and I are living in different cities for this first month and a half.

    And yes, I definitely know something is wrong...but knowing that vs. being able to fix it are two different stories :) Easy for people to say to find a balance - but finding that balance is much, much harder, especially as a late hire new teacher.
     
  31. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Sep 29, 2014

    It's really about priorities. What's the most important thing for you? Make a schedule and stick to it. Don't worry if not everything is done.

    I didn't have enough time to make reading quizzes today but that was okay. They have a lot of reading quizzes so not having one won't kill them.
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,035
    Likes Received:
    1,499

    Sep 29, 2014

    So nobody at home is being neglected? That's a plus. But you can't neglect yourself either. I like the other poster's suggestion of writing out a schedule. Prioritize things. What is taking the most time?? I still can't imagine what amount of work would keep someone at school until 9pm then coming in on weekends.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. RainStorm
Total: 355 (members: 3, guests: 323, robots: 29)
test