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Is a Teacher's Workday Long?

Quora Question: How long is the average workday for a teacher? Do they find themselves working at home after school?

The workday for a teacher varies from teacher to teacher but, in general, the majority of teachers will be at school from early in the morning (often before 7:15 a.m.) until at least 4:00 in the afternoon and sometimes later. And…yes, the majority of teachers find themselves working at home and on weekends. This does not mean that they work all weekend nor should they. Teachers need to have time for themselves and for their friends and family.

I spent a LOT of time nights and weekends the first few years that I taught. Over time, I learned how to reduce my workload while also becoming a more effective teacher. This was not something I learned in any of my teaching credential classes. I learned this “on the job” and from experienced teachers.

Here are some of the strategies that helped me find work/life balance as a teacher:

  1. Evaluated student work in class, not at home. (students appreciate the immediate feedback)

  2. Taught my student’s how to use a scoring guide and how to do effective peer-evaluation of each other’s work.

  3. Allowed my students to evaluate their own work (using my scoring guide) and then make the necessary edits in order to improve their score and learn! (I walked around the room with a clipboard and gave them credit while they were doing this)

  4. Planned my curriculum calendar a full year ahead. This took time initially over summer break but saved me a ton of time and stress once the school year started.

  5. Created lesson plans that were evaluated in class like: Art Gallery style work (student work displayed on individual size white boards or paper around the classroom), Small-Group Discussion (credit comes from the student prep for the discussion, active participation and summary of learning), Socratic Seminars, Debates, Role Plays, etc…

Final Thought: For more ideas read my book for teachers, “Wait, Don’t Quit” Chapter 34-Overwhelmed-Too Many Papers to Grade and Chapter 35-Sunday Night Blues: How to Avoid Them)

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