Home > Career, Choices, Teaching > (Not) working 9-5

(Not) working 9-5

Since leaving school on Friday afternoon I’ve spent at least 8 hours on school-related work and at least another 3 on freelance work.  Tomorrow I’ll be at school or a professional development seminar from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Tuesday I’ll be at school until 8 p.m. for Back to School Night.  Outside of the peak reading season in admissions or the peak editing season in admissions counseling, I’m not sure I’ve ever put in the kind of hours I have recently, and while I know I should expect to put in a more hours than usual as I learn the ropes, I’m a little worried that my schedule could look like this all year.

Why?  Well, for the other teachers on my team, planning for math means saying, “we can do the penny game Monday – that always works well”  For me it means asking “what’s the penny game?  How do you play it?  What do I need to prepare ahead of time?  How do I introduce it, manage it, and assess it?”  Now repeat that for 4-6 lessons per day, 5 days a week.  Then consider that even with reduced planning needs, the other teachers on my team work very hard, for long hours.  For me to get anywhere near their level of performance that means I’m going to have to work like crazy all year long.

I know my mom will read this and remind me that I’m not supposed to be performing at the same level as my teammates – they’re experienced teachers, this is my first year, and I can’t expect to be just like them right out of the gate.  While I do recognize this, I also know how much my kids need to learn from me this year. I think the challenge of my year – and possibly, my career – will be to figure out how to draw a line between work and life that allows me to give my students what they need and yet also live a sane, enjoyable life.

  1. September 14, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Anyone who complains that “teachers get summers off” doesn’t understand the extra hours good teachers put in to do their job. I still spend at least a few hrs most evenings and more on weekends planning, grading, etc. The key is to give yourself a deadline, and then after that, stop working! Even if you don’t feel perfectly prepared, lessons tend to go okay off the cuff and you’ll keep your sanity if you have a life outside of teaching. That’s hard to accept, but if I throw in a few amazing exciting lessons a week with a few run of the mill lessons, but keep my sanity and family life, I still feel like I’m giving my kids a good education.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: