Monday, September 10, 2012

But You Get Summers Off...

 Disclaimer: Yup its going to be one of those posts. If you don't like my rambling, you might as well go to another page now. And it will be a lot of rambling!!

My blog post is not meant to be a rant or complaint against my life as a teacher or the hard work that comes with the territory. It is simply to remind you of the challenges teachers face each day.

Let's go ahead and talk about that little rumor that "teachers get the summer off".  Many teachers do not get the summer "off".  While technically we are not on campus teaching, it is not a true time of being "off" work. It is time for professional development, moving classrooms or campuses, preparing for the next year, teaching summer school or tutoring, and much more. We work year round as hard as we possibly can for the children that enter our class each day. While sometimes you might find a bad apple among us, let me assure you that is the exception to the rule. My co-workers are some amazing people. I grow as an educator every day just because I am in the same building.

I work hard enough each day to get my job done the way I feel it should be done. I put in enough effort to know that when I leave my classroom each day, I've given my students as much as I can in order to provide them with a good education. Even with that said, there will always be the thought in my mind "maybe I could've done more". This will forever drive me to become a better educator.

There are days that I absolutely love my job and there are days that I want to walk out the door in complete frustration. I think that most jobs have days like these. However, I don't think that you can ever appreciate the work of a teacher until you have spent a day in a classroom.

A Typical Day of an Elementary Teacher
Our official duty time is from 7:35 - 3:45 each day. My average day is 7:20 - 4:30. As the year progresses the days grow longer.
30 minute lunch (pending needs of students/lunches/discipline, bathroom break, etc.)
55 minute conference (including but never limited to parent conferences, student conferences, intervention meetings, ARDs, 504s, planning, organizing, preparing materials)

Expectations regardless of when its completed (even if outside the 8 hour day):
Being prepared for an appraisal at any time (4 - 15 minute observations and at least 1 - 45 minute observation. This is where one of our administrators come in an write down EVERYTHING that you do and say within that time period, then review and compare it to state expectations)

Grade papers/assignment/projects
Enter grades in electronic gradebook for parent access
Make plans for lessons while following constantly changing state curriculum
Find ways to bring new technology into classroom
Differentiate for all students within my classroom
Progress Monitor for academic growth
Discipline children while showing empathy and staying focused learning
Reply to emails
Respond to phone calls
150 hours of CPE per 5 years

Other Expectations (that many outside of education field see as "optional"):
Student events such as Open House, Parent Night, etc. which typically extend our days to 10-12 hour days
Extracurricular Clubs and Activities

So if your teacher friends look tired, its because they work hard each and every day with a smile on their face. Not because they can't handle being "back at school".

PS - If you can read this, thank a teacher. :)
All my pretty pictures came from Pinterest. :)

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