Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I won't apologize

I'm a teacher and too often I read or get the remarks about how nice it is to have summer off and a long Christmas break and how my day ends at 3:00 and so on and so on...

I won't apologize for those things. Those things are very, very nice. I don't want to preach either. I do want my friends and family to know what it is that I do so when I write about my summer off you understand that I deserve it.

Here's a typical day in the life of a 6th grade teacher who teachers all subjects

5:00 - 7:00 am Get up, have quiet time, exercise, dog duty, breakfast, coffee, get daughters up, leave for school
7:20 - 8:05 Sort graded work (graded the night before), finalize lesson plans for the day
8:05 - 3:15 Actual school day. I get 45 minutes of planning. Twice a week I have duty at lunch and once a week we have bus duty after school. This new school year we may have to include morning duty too.
3:15 - 4:45 After the kids leave I may have a meeting, but usually I spent it organizing assignments that have been turned in, calling parents, straightening the room, prepping for the next day.

So, my typical day is usually 9-10 hours at school. Most evenings there are papers to grade. I have to take two grades per subject and we teach six subjects. That's 12 grades a week or 288 graded papers. There are more papers I check for completion, errors, etc... I have to input grades weekly and update my web page too. I often work a few hours each weekend at school. Some weeks are much busier, like when report cards come out and notes need to be written or when parent-teacher conferences are scheduled. Some weeks are slower, easier and I might get to go home after school at 3:30...I love those days!

I'm not complaining, I love, love, love my job. I cannot imagine doing anything else. I get to work with the most amazing people (teachers, admin, staff....not 12 year olds!) and I get to be around the brightest, funniest, quickest, sweetest kids I have ever met. I love 6th graders!

If you're still with me thanks for staying and reading all this. I hope people know that despite the crappy media-rap we get, we do this over and over every year because we love it and not just because we get summers off.


Jeanine said...

I would never believe anything I read or hear about teachers having it easy. Please! I so appreciate every teacher. I know here in Utah, they often come out of their own pockets for necessities of the classroom. They also, as you noted work far longer hours than I ever do. I appreciate what you do for our future adults and all teachers for all they give up and do for our children. Teachers Rock!

Joan said...

Thanks sis! The out of pocket expenses really add up, but I have discovered and I love it! I have received some much needed stuff from them that I could never afford to buy myself.

the.fortes said...

It's tough work! My sister-in-law is a teacher and not only do you have a cram-packed schedule during the school year, but you also have a variety of other issues like kids that have behavioral problems and parents that have even worse behavioral problems. Not only that, but you have people coming to make sure you are doing a good job and all that. It's tough work! I would love to do it some day, though. I wanted to be a teacher, but my parents would have made me stay at home to go to college, so I did engineering instead. I am not regretful, but I would love to teach someday!

Joan said...

c.forte - It is such a good job for moms, it really is. But you have to have the passion. You're right, there is a lot of behavior stuff and parent stuff and things that will break your heart. But when that student writes you a note thanking you for helping him understand integers then it is all worth it.

Frugal Fine Living said...

Joan, as a homeschooling mother of one (teenager with NLD), I totally appreciate the work you do! I appreciate and admire teachers so much.


Carrie said...

Some people just don't realize what a good teacher puts in for their students! Summer is a well deserved time off.

a corgi said...

I truly admire teachers; you all have my respect and admiration. I could not do all you do!! you deserve a few months of peace and quiet


Sigurborg aka Sig said...

I am a teacher, well haven´t started teaching yet but am certified as one, lol. But I do understand where you come from. I got it all the time while studying that I was choosing this profession because of the long breaks, short days etc. i don´t think people realize how much we do AFTER the day ends and BEFORE it begins!