What educators need in today’s schools is time. The public perspective is that teachers work from 8 to 3 (when students are in school) and they have all of the school holidays with summers off. Most publicly wish they had the teachers schedule. Teachers and Administrators alike know it just isn’t that cushy.
When students are in school, teachers are on every minute. With class sizes are running over 30 in most public schools today, a teacher never stops moving in the classroom. They have to teach the lesson, check for understanding, help students who need it, while maintaining an atmosphere that promotes learning. When teachers are lucky enough to have a prep period, they have meetings, planning to be done, papers to grade, parent phone calls to make and not to be forgotten a much-needed trip to the bathroom. A teacher’s prep period is much like most people’s work.
If that is not enough work for a teacher, when the bell rings at the end of the day, teachers begin preparing for the next. Feedback has to be given on all work turned in. Engaging lessons have to be created. Still more meeting with departments, grade level or special education providers. Parent phone calls are still needed for those that could not be reached . Run to the store to purchase supplies needed for class. Sounds like a repeat of what is done during prep time, but you can only accomplish so much while students are in school because teachers are often interrupted. Teachers are also expected to help out and attend after school events ranging from band concerts to sports and everything in between.
So after all the school work is done teachers can enjoy their families? Well sort of, most teachers also are engaged in improving their craft. During summers, school holidays and breaks many attend professional development. Most states require a number of PD hours or college credits to stay current.
After all of this is done a teacher may enjoy their free time….. or just take a nap to get up and do it all over again.