A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I would be shocked if a fifth year teacher was working even 40 hours a week (averaged over the whole year).
Maybe it varies by school district, but the teachers I know worked more like 60 hour weeks. They have to grade student work (say they're teaching 4 classes of 30 students - that's 120 things to grade every time there's an assignment, and think about how often you had to turn stuff in in high school. Just and calculating and recording the grades takes quite a lot of time, especially when you're actually writing assessments that go back to the student/family, as opposed to college profs who just enter a grade). They have to fill out paperwork. They have to meet with students individually. They may have to oversee detention. They have to do administrative departmental stuff. (Like prepare for all the standardized tests students have to take these days.) They have to figure out how to accommodate students on IEPs. At a lot of schools, they're involved in extracurricular activities - school newspaper, theater, sports, whatever. They have to have regular meetings with parents. They even do goofy things like decorate their classrooms (and in many cases, they have to buy their own school supplies). Most of this is stuff they can't put off till the summer, which is when they engage in professional development (which they're often required to do to keep their positions). And there are also lots of teachers who take extra jobs in the summer to make up for teaching salaries.
I realize TFA isn't the best example because of course you're throwing newbies into the classroom, but even so, people don't burn out and leave teaching when their TFA term is up because the job isn't hard enough. I mean, sure, the prep gets easier after you've done it for a few years, but that's not the only issue.
In my HS, they almost never graded work based on correctness, they just kinda checked that you tried. Meaning you could check 120 pages in an hour. And in grade school it was often just write the answer on a line, and they'd grade with a key. And a lot of teachers offloaded that work to teachers pets.
And a lot of in class time we would do work quietly while the teacher graded papers.
Even if they worked 60 hours (which they don't) that's still only 50 hours a week when you factor in them getting 1/6th the year off in free vacation. And I don't believe they actually do 60.