How much time do you work in a week

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by mathandme, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. mathandme

    mathandme Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2006

    I am just wondering if I am not working way too much. Most of the time, I stay at school until at least 6 pm and sometimes 9 pm (and my last period ends at 3pm), to prepare for the next day, organize, etc. On weekends I bring home papers to grade and spend a lot of time on them.
    Am I doing something wrong?
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Sep 9, 2006

    Is this your first year? If so, you are probably spending a BIT more time than you need to, but I found my first year teaching and my first year in a new school system took more time than other years. You are learning to teach (sorry to any college professors, but I just don't believe it is something you truly learn until you are in the trenches) AND you are learning the culture and expectations of the school you are in. DO give yourself a break, though, and take care of yourself. You won't be a good teacher if you get run down and sick.
     
  4. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Sep 9, 2006

    HAHA. I ask that question all the time! I'm just in my second year, and I teach Kinder....but I am still doing a minimum of 10-hour days. Hard to explain. Part of it is I'm kinda detail-oriented, part of it is I need a "transition time" after I'm finished at 3:15, so I go a little slow for a while! I usually get to work at 7:30 (don't have to be on duty until 7:55) to at least 5:00-5:30, and often as late as 6:30. My goal this year, though, is to NOT do that. I had no personal life last year, and I want to improve on that!

    (Oh yeah--I still wind up doing the classroom newsletter and writing out lesson plans over the weekend...) :-D (I am pathetic, though--don't follow my example!!!) Mrs. R is right about one thing--it takes a while to learn the school culture, schedules, and expectations. My school is high-achieving, and there is a lot of pressure, even for Kinder. So I'm always working to be "up to the challenge." But this year, I have a lot of "learning" behind me, so I expect to be better off very soon!!
     
  5. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I think that sounds about normal, unfortunately. Until you get it all down, it will be like that. But once you have basic plans set up for the year and your tests are already made out, you just have to worry about prepping and grading. I am putting off a family and kids for the next few years definitely.... lol
     
  6. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2006

    It depends on you and what you do.
    I used to put in 20-40 extra hours a week. Each year, it lessens
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Each year I manage to cut back a bit as I learn more strategies to make things easier. I have to be at work from 7:50-3:20, and I get one hour of planning time per day. I'm always at work from 7:15-4:00, and once or twice a month I stay until around 6:00.

    I always do my lesson plans and grading on Sunday afternoons while I watch television, and occasionally I have to grade papers during the week . . . but I always do them while I'm watching television, which makes it seem less like work to me. LOL

    If I wanted to do so, I could be busy 24 hours a day with my job, but I had to learn to cut back and only do what was necessary.
     
  8. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    To keep my sanity, I am trying to keep my hours to 60/week, about 10 hours (7-5) on weekdays and 10 hours over the weeekend. It's my first year, and I know I have a lot of work, but I know that I need to take care of myself too.

    Maybe you could have students do more of the grading? Or decide on a few things per day to grade and just give credit for doing the rest? Also, do you have an aide or a willing parent who could help you make copies? Just some thoughts, because you need to take care of yourself! Good luck! :)
     
  9. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    i have to be at school from 8:45 to 2:45
    however, as a first year teacher
    i get to school a little after 7 and try to leave before 8 or 9p.
    i have also spent time on both saturdays and sundays IN school setting things up, or redoing, or organizing or prepping...or even making copies.
    i usually talk to my aides over the weekend and the first thing they say to me when we get on the phone is "Leave school now."
    Yesterday one of my aides called and i said, "guess what im doing right now" and she said, "sitting in school taping something to the wall". the pathetic thing is...she was right!
    i know it will get better and i will spend less time in the building, but right now there are things i need to do...and things i dont mind doing. i like being in my classroom...its comforting and i get ideas from looking around my room.
     
  10. Teacher 218

    Teacher 218 Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I think it also has much to do with the subject one teaches. Grading essays takes longer than checking answers on a math quiz. (unless you are also checking the process) It also depends on how creative the teacher wants to be. Teachers who just work straight from a book and the associated worksheets may not need to put as much time in. Just a thought.
     
  11. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I teach from 7:25-2:00 daily. Then, from the 2nd week of school through the 1st week of February, I pretty much have rehearsals, either for honors choir auditions or the events themselves. Those last (usually) until 3:45/4:00. THEN it's time to make sure "the paperwork" is all caught up. This is my 31st year of teaching....so the extra hours pretty much stick with you forever!
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 10, 2006

    That first year you are learning EVERYTHING from district and school expectations and laws, classroom management, curriculum, lesson plans, etc. Then by the second year you know a lot of that stuff buy you are still fine tuning stuff and making new lesson plans and taking out some of the previous disasters. After a while you build up a good routine that works for you.
     
  13. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    This is my first year teaching. During the week I work my a** off, but on the weekends I try to limit how much I do. I don't leave until the next day is all planned and ready to go, however, I do leave with papers. I like sitting at home in my comfy chair, watching football, while grading. I'd say LEAVE SCHOOL when your planning is done, and go home relax and eat dinner, then as your listening to music or watching tv do your grading.
     
  14. pi lover

    pi lover Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2006

    I have small children at home, so I try to do as much as possible at school. If I take papers home I can't work on them until the kids are in bed. By then, I'm too exhausted to grade them anyway. I've learned that my students get better/faster feedback if we just grade in class daily. They can see right away where they need more help. We can make sure to improve on yesterday's work before starting in on the new lesson. All quizzes and tests I grade myself. On those days I just force myself to stay up and grade them if I can't get them done at school. I just know that my weekends are "catch up" time for planning, grading absentee work, etc. I spent MAJOR hours at night and weekends grading the process on daily homework assignments before I got smart and realized I wasn't Wonder Woman! Having kids of my own taught me to prioritize and to realize taking 5-10 minutes in class to grade together can be a learning experience in itself and worth it if it saves me hours at night. Teachers need to remember they have lives, too. Teaching requires a lot of time if you want to be effective, but it does get easier the more years of experience you have. Being creative takes time, but if you enjoy what you are doing it won't seem so much like work.
     
  15. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Once you get your system down, you'll spend a lot less time than you do now. I agree, it does depend on the subject you teach. Grading essays takes longer, but I found that when students are working on essays, I could grade other essays. On the other hand, grading math is quicker, but I can't grade math when the students are completing classwork.

    One hint - stagger the due dates for assignments. For example, if I know it will take me more than 1 day to grade an assignment, I will have it due the day before block scheduling begins so I get an extra day.

    Also, as the students get older, you can require more from them - assignments must appear a certain way or you don't take them. Decide which way makes it easier for you to grade. For example, if the final answer is not boxed, I don't accept the entire paper. No way could I search for thousands of unboxed answers.

    I assume you teach math also. One technique that works great for me: check daily homework on a complete/incomplete basis, but do not collect it. Review the homework in class, have the students make corrections each day and then keep their work. On the last day of the week, they create a packet with all of the week's HW in it. I check this on Friday afternoons to make sure they have made corrections. It works out perfectly since I have already checked each assignment in the packet, and the students do most of the work by checking for accuracy. I manage to exceptions in this case. It reduced the amount of time I spend on HW significantly and allows the students time to really review and check their HW. Plus, I am only grading homework 1x per week and now I can focus on planning. I give a quiz 1x per week which takes me about 15 seconds per quiz to grade (average). If I work hard I can grade all 200 in less than 1 hour. Tests take longer, but I give them back in a couple of days instead of the next day.

    good luck. You'll get your system down soon.
    dave
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 12, 2006

    I also stagger due dates. When I take up journals, I take up five-6 per day, depending on the size of the class. By the end of the week I've checked all journals, and by the end of the month I've checked them all and begin all over. Grading five journals a day isn't a big deal, but trying to grade up to 120 at once is impossible!

    When I first started teaching, I wanted all of my kids to turn in their writings at the same time. . . .and then it took me FOREVER to grade them all. Now I give them longer to complete them, and I take them up as they finish. I also no longer grade every draft. In fact, I don't even look at them until their third draft!
     
  17. Chemteach

    Chemteach New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006

    There's the problem: to really do the job justice, working enormous numbers of hours is unavoidable. If only the public understood the time committment of the dedicated teachers. Each student deserves attention and careful, thoughtful and timely feedback.

    In order for you to feel good about what goes on in your room, preparation of a creative and engaging lesson with clear learning objectives accomplished is also necessary. It is a great job if we could have half the classes.
     
  18. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I stay an hour after school and then I leave no matter what and do the rest at home. Each night, I would say I put in at least four hours after I get home. On the weekends, I try to catch up on things I didn't get a chance to do. My husband works nights, so I try to get as much as possible done when he is at work. Luckily my kids are teen/preteen and busy with their friends, although when they are around and not doing anything, I put my stuff away to make myself available for them (I like to take advantage of those few moments to chat with them). However, as a rule on the weekends I give myself either Friday evening or Saturday off and I work the other day plus Sunday to get ready for the next week. I find it very draining and I look forward to those long weekends.
     
  19. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I am required to be at work from 7:15-3:15. I'm normally at school by 6:40am, and some days I don't leave until 6:00pm. I don't like to bring anything home with me until the weekend. I try to grade all of my papers at school, as well as plan for the next day. When I get home I unwind, and sometimes I mentally plan.
     
  20. ?!?!

    ?!?! New Member

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    Sep 25, 2006


    I'm at school from 6-6 school ends at 2:50
    I always hear work smarter not harder but how?
     
  21. lolo2

    lolo2 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2006

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been wondering about the long hours! I am at a new school and teaching a new subject (social studies) and find that I'm at school from 6:45 to 5:30 most days entering grades on gradequick or getting things set up for the next day (student time from 7:15-2:30-no planning time). I take things home for additional planning at least one day a week and then that takes me until about 4 hours or so. I also spend Saturday afternoon/evening grading papers while I watch football or movies. I keep wondering if in my effort to make the subject more interesting, i'm not just wearing myself out and most of the kid's don't care anyway? (did i mention i teach middle school?) i agree that if i just took work out of the book that it would be quicker but it also would be really boring. i'm trying to include some of the boring but useful worksheet stuff as bellwork and then use class time as activity/cooperative learning. I'm wondering if there isn't a better way with the grading part or a better way to teach this stuff (any social studies teachers out there?)
     
  22. stbteacher

    stbteacher Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2006

    i think it is amazing at how much time teachers spend "off the clock" doing things. Reading all these responses is really insightful to me and I'm glad I have a heads up now.
     

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