Ohio

Eye on Education

Teachers Work Fewer Hours than Other Professionals (And We’re Not Counting Summer Vacations)

Ohio’s Teacher of the Year skipped breakfast.

Worthington middle school teacher Tim Dove had a cup of coffee at home and was in his classroom by 6:45 Monday morning. Twenty minutes later students began to wander in. Some chatted with Dove, the 2011 Teacher of the Year, about everything that happened the night before; others made a beeline for him to get help with last night’s homework. It’s not uncommon for him to be with a dozen kids by 7:15 a.m., Dove said.

About twelve hours — and one cafeteria lunch — later, Dove would pack his bags to head home to his wife and dog and three hours grading practice research paper citations, a set of essays and a geography quiz and preparing for Tuesday’s classes.

Dove says work days like this are standard for him and his colleagues at Worthington’s Phoenix Middle School, which has a longer school day and a different model than most traditional public schools.

But they’re not the norm.

National data shows that on average teachers work fewer hours per week than people in other professions–nearly three hours a week less. That’s according to this 2008 analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (brought to our attention by the Buckeye Institute). The analysis is based on interviews from 2003-2006 conducted as part of the American Time Use Survey.

The data includes both time in the classroom and time spent grading papers at home. It doesn’t include vacations and doesn’t account for the intensity of different types of work.

Rachel Krantz-Kent / Monthly Labor Review

About the study
  • The data is drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. The survey provides nationally representative estimates of how, where and with whom Americans spend their time.
  • The data used for this analysis covers nearly every day of 2003–06.
  • Survey respondents were asked to account for how they spent their time during the 24-hour period from 4 a.m. the day before the interview to 4 a.m. on the day of the interview.
  • Survey data was collected for all seven days of the week, so it captures time spent working on the weekend, early in the morning and late at night.
  • For this study, “teachers” refers to people whose main job is teaching preschool-to-high school students.
  • The other professions to which teachers are compared include health-care professionals, business and financial operations professionals, architects and engineers, social services professionals and managers, as well as legislators, news reporters and podiatrists.

Jeffrey Keefe is on the faculty at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations. He’s also a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that supports public policies that “protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers.”

He says the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings are in line with other research on how much time teachers spend working.

“The study is showing you what the average teacher does. And the average teacher is probably showing up at 8 a.m., leaving around 3:30 or 4 and, later in the day, grading and preparing and putting in a couple more hours at home,” he said.

The required work day in the Cleveland public schools, for example, is 6 hours and forty minutes, including a 40-minute lunch break.

There are a couple reasons why the national data clashes with some teachers’ experiences, said Rachel Krantz-Kent, the author of the BLS study:

  • Because teachers are more likely than other professionals to hold more than one job, when some teachers talk about working long hours, they could be factoring in the time they spend at all their jobs combined.
  • And, because the data just accounts for one’s main activity during a particular time, a teacher who graded papers while watching TV at night might identify TV watching rather than school work as her main activity.

“It’s easy to argue that if one was mainly watching TV than this is how it should be recorded in the data. However, if the teacher was also providing some attention to grading papers during this time, she may not feel like she had much of a break from work,” Krantz-Kent wrote.

And, of course, there is individual variation: Just like some office workers come early and stay late while others clock out right at 5 p.m., some teachers work long days, while others only put in eight hours.

Compared to teachers in other countries, U.S. teachers work more hours per week, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization including 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

But the OECD survey just asked teachers how many hours they worked in a typical week on school-related activities and then multiplied that by the “typical number of instructional weeks per year.” That’s a less accurate way of measuring how people spend their time than conducting telephone surveys, the method used in the BLS analysis.

When we got Tim Dove, the Teacher of the Year, to describe his day to us that Monday evening, he stepped us through it, hour-by-hour, as accurately as he could.

Dove has been teaching for 31 years.  As an Ohio State University adjunct professor, book author and educator, he’s not the norm, and his work day isn’t necessarily either.

“All I can tell you is what I do and the people I work with here do,” he said.

But Dove said his schedule—and his job—suits him.

“I like coming to work. It’s my vocation and my job and my work: It’s all three,” he said. “It always has been.”

Tomorrow: See how two different teachers spend their days, hour-by-hour.

Note: A previous version of this story misstated the how data is collected for the American Time Use Survey. Data for the survey is collected through telephone interviews.

Comments

  • jamieteacher

    There are many more Tim Dove’s than this article suggests. Yes, there are the “time clock punchers” but most teachers I have worked with over the course of my 19 years in education have been more like Tim Dove than not.

  • Harrisd6

    There are teachers who see it as a “job” but for the majority of us it is a “passion” and we spend many hours of outside time in the evenings and weekends away from our own kids planning and grading so we can provide the best possible learning experience for our students!!

  • http://americansocietytoday.blogspot.com/ American Society Today

    Teachers Work the Same Number of Hours as Average U.S. Worker: http://americansocietytoday.blogspot.com/2011/06/teachers-work-same-number-of-hours-as.html

  • j keirn-swanson

    This study also doesn’t appear to make much distinction among different teachers. Tell me what homework a PE teacher takes home to grade? What about the music teacher and the art teacher? Teachers in those fields aren’t taking home 150 5-page research papers to grade, typically, so there’s a scale of things within the profession.

    • Anonymous

      Yup, you’re right that the BLS data doesn’t account for different types of teachers, either by subject (art teachers vs. English teachers, for example) or by level (middle school teachers vs. high school teachers, for example).

    • MIRINGS

      I was a teaching assistant in graduate school, a teacher in a regular high school, a teacher at a voc-ed school, a long-term sub in an art class, and both of my children are active band members. I am the child and grandchild of teachers. My experience is fairly varied.

      They work hard — all of them. The art teacher orders and stocks supplies, prepares materials, cleans up paint and clay, loads the kiln, hangs projects in the halls, knows the names of hundreds of kids, monitors behavior, sends home notes with report cards, provides materials to classroom teachers, etc. They may not grade as many papers — their job is different — and JUST AS IMPORTANT! Our band director (in a small system) works in two different buildings. She maintains equipment, teaches all of the kids how to play about a dozen different instruments, teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band AND high school band, runs a band booster group, organizes trips (band day at a college, Florida at spring break, 8th grade trip to Chicago for a seminar at a college), takes three of the bands to festivals, individual students to solo & ensemble festivals, runs marching band camp in the summer, directs marching band at every home football game (which involves getting kids into and out of expensive uniforms), directs a pep band at every home basketball game, directs the band at graduation, leads the band in two parades, spends time with students after school if they wish to switch instruments, ETC, ETC, ETC Teachers are likely to be stopped at the grocery store or a restaurant by parents who want to talk about their child.

      Teaching is often like herding cats! A loose tooth in a third grade classroom can disrupt that child’s whole day. Girls learning how to deal with their periods is frought with trouble. Every age group is characterized by various difficulties in social development with which the teachers must deal. IT IS A CRAZY, WONDERFUL JOB AND THEY ARE THE UNSUNG, EVERYDAY HEROES IN OUR COMMUNITIES!!

      • Ms. J

        I’m an art teacher at two schools. I see about 450 elementary students per week grades 1-5. With nine weeks in a quarter, I usually have several learning goals to address in 4 standards for each grade. So at report card time, I’m inputting about 1800 grades. Those grades are based on marks from quizzes, projects and observation. So how can you say art and music teachers aren’t grading as much?
        As for the rest, for teachers in general , I just don’t know where to start with the wrongness of this study. Is its purpose to refute the claims of teachers that they work long hours, as suggested by the headline? I would like to see a better study plotting real hours rather than “official” hours, plotted over a semester or year. So much was left out of this one: not only intangibles such as how much time spent grading and prepping, but how much “other” uncompensated time is expected of teachers, whether that be serving on teams that meet outside school hours, publishing websites and newletters, serving as detention monitors, writing letters of recommendation etc. etc. As mirings said, there are so many aspects to teaching that can’t be measured in hours per day, because they change day to day. I don’t need sympathy or special praise – I love my job – but I really don’t like to be told I’m not working that hard.

      • poopjuice

        I have to say, the band/orchestra/music teachers are the hardest working people out there. They take a kid who knows nothing about music and in three months, they’re playing an instrument or singing in harmony. It’s amazing to see, truly. It is also measurable because you know these kids start out as dorky little 10 year olds with a flute that makes terrible noise and graduate as swans making beautiful music. Art and music are EXTREMELY important. So is Phys Ed. Those teachers have to be very hands on.

  • Soliveri

    As a new college instructor and doctoral student, I spent roughly 12-13 hours a day on campus, in my office, teaching, or taking classes. My office has been called “homey” by nearly everyone in our department, since I am always there and live an hour away, i need to make it nearly as comfortable as my home. My two coffee makes, the milk I keep in the Department fridge, the two secret snack locations my office mate and kleep (She’s also there 12-14 hrs a day), all help us ensure the successful completion of an 8am-10pm day. Work less my ass. I make $12,000 a year-some one do the math for me: 14 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, 2 semesters a year= pennies an hour. But hey-guess what? Teachers don’t do it for the money, we do it because we feel compelled to. It’s a passion not a career choice. And if you think there is a big difference between college and primary school teachers-guess again. When was the last time anyone other than a teacher spent all their “spare” time doing something for their class?

    • HSTeacher

      Although I do agree that being a graduate student and a TA is intense, I have taught both college (as a TA and adjunct) and high school and can say that K-12 teaching is much more intense than higher education. College instructors do not have to meet with parents, deal with discipline issues, and spend 30+ contact hours per week in front of a classroom full of children. Many K-12 teachers also pursue graduate degrees while teaching full-time, which is even more difficult that your current role. Remember that you are only “working” part-time, which is why your compensation is lower and you are probably also getting a tuition waiver for the coursework you are pursuing.

  • Duckmonkeyman

    When I worked in the private sector at startups, we worked longer hours. As a teacher, I am still working well beyond 40 hours a week, but not as many “face time” hours at the school as was expected in the office. But in private business, the work was different – not as intense every minute of the day, more flex time, long slow meetings, more co-worker socialization time. In teaching, the work is more intense dealing with students all day long and meeting theirs and the demands of administrators and parents. I have little “break” time and seem to spend endless hours outside of class on preparation work or paperwork issues not directly related to teaching. Certainly for newer teachers, the hours are very long and the work exhausting.

    I would not take study’s like this at face value (“lies, damn lies, and statistics”) but look deeper. Are teachers unreporting their hours or private workers over reporting? Is private sector travel and endless meetings considered work time? Are teachers reporting supplemental contracts, school activities, contacting parents? Are private sector workers reporting 24/7 on call duties?

    One thing that is for sure. If we continue to demonize the educators, the best will leave. The war on teachers in Ohio is divisive, vindictive, and serves no purpose.

    • Anonymous

      I think your point on the intensity of the work is a good one. There are definitely some jobs where much of your work day requires your full attention–whereas some jobs allow you more slack. And it’s harder to account for that in this kind of survey.

    • ctteacher

      As a middle school teacher, I also agree with the comment about the intensity of teaching work. My sister is a doctor, and the intensity of her work certainly equals mine in terms of “never knowing what child (and thus what situation) will walk through the door” in the next 10 minutes. (However, no one in classroom teaching gets doctor’s pay; nor am I necessarily suggesting that they should.)

      However, having the emotional flexibility to attempt to meet these students where they are — not to mention 16 of them at the same time, class after class, and then move directly from that to meetings, clubs, or what-have-you, is certainly what both energizes AND exhausts me.

      I would add that I work at an independent (read “private”) school, work approx. 8 – 4:30 or 5 most days, and do approximately 3 hours of homework per night, more on weekends. I may be a bit above the norm at my school, but I am certain that I have plenty of company.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.huffmanfulton Stephanie Huffman Fulton

        16 kids seem like a small number anymore

      • Steve

        Are you serious… Did you really just say the intensity of being a doctor matches that of a teacher? You are a nitwit, I am a teacher and the intensity matches that of a librarian at times. I do not know how my fellow teachers are even arguing, we get paid lunches, a prep, a summer off, and holidays! Not to mention regardless of the work we do at home we can get done on preps or an hour at home!

        • cjmeyer

          Well, you should recap your grading pen. If you are accomplishing your daily tasks during ‘prep’ than you should be doing more. If you have summers off, you’re not doing justice to your students. You should be taking continuing education classes. And holidays? So what? Most people get paid holidays. Not teachers. I am contracted for 180 days of work. I only get paid for those days. Holidays are not included. Dear Steve, please do not try to ‘teach’ in my corporation. Your teaching style, or lack thereof, wouldn’t fit in!

        • Bewildered High School Teacher

          I don’t even understand you. I work 10 hours every work day and at least 12 hours every weekend. How do you even manage to scrape by? I just don’t get it.

        • Exceeds Proficiency

          In Texas, Steve, that would give you a grade of below proficient on your appraisal each year!

          • hope0223

            He is probably a coach with one social studies class to teach, in which case we could all get our work done in an hour. Or he’s lying.

        • Ana Rosario

          How in the world do you grade papers in one hour and much less during your prep, when there are copies to make, office papers that must be filled out and turned in ASAP, and emails that must also be answered ASAP?, or dealing with a parent who just showed up or a student whom the dean wants you to talk to? and God know what else might pop-up? I hardly ever get anything done during my prep., so I also work during my lunch break.

        • Petunia

          Somehow, Steve, I think you are a poser.

          • Jessica

            Steve you must really be a crappy teacher.

        • JustSaying

          I’m glad my children weren’t in your class!!

        • lovemyjob

          I want to work where you work. I get 20 minutes or less for lunch and I have to pay for my lunch. I DO NOT get paid for holidays! My planning time is used for team trainings, s-t-meeting, and parent meetings.

          • Confused

            Then why are you a teacher if all you people can complain how horrible it is?! Don’t you understand the basis of a salary? Yea, you don’t get paid holidays but that is figured into your salary. If it is so stressful, horrible, long hours–why do it?!

          • Tac

            We got into it because we love to teach…most of our time is eaten up by non-teaching duties. No one tells you how bad it is when you are in school. Please don’t judge us, because most of us work our butts off, but have to listen to people talk about what an easy job we have. I haven’t cooked dinner in years because I don’t have time. If I get home before six my family asks what’s going on that I’m home so early. It’s gotten worse with common core.

        • Pam

          My school in Arizona gives 50 minutes of “prep” time each day. However, three of those preps are taken up in meetings every week. Plus, we have an additional two after-school meetings each month. We have 28 students in each classroom and most teachers easily put in 55 to 70 hour weeks. Each teacher’s web page is expected to be kept up to date weekly and parents are to be informed by emails or phone calls on a regular basis. We have parent teacher conferences four times a year with Individual Learning Plans to be written for every student and shared during conference time. In the first quarter we have Meet the Teacher Night and Curriculum Night. At the beginning of the second quarter we have Math Night. As for lunchtime, we get 30 minutes but by the time you get your students into the lunchroom it is around 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes are usually spent with a pen in one hand and something easy to eat in the other. So wherever it is you teach, Steve, be very thankful. Most schools do not keep teachers that put in so few hours each week.

        • justateacher

          I can’t imagine that you’re really a teacher, or how bad you must be, if you are.

        • Tac

          You must be one of those teachers who doss the minimum. I teach 8th math, pap alg 1 and pap geometry. My prep gets taken whenever a sub doesn’t show. I work 10-13 hr days at svhool and more when I get home. I work every weekend. My summers are eaten up by meetings and professional development. I am overworked and underpaid.

    • Kashmir840

      Thank you. You make necessary and valid points.

  • Greg

    My wife works the hours that Keefe describes: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus a couple more hours grading and preparing for the next day. But that comes to 10 hours per day (she works through lunch–usually, she’s attending meetings that the school has scheduled).

  • Mary

    You must living in Disney World. My son is a teacher and the day is not over when the bell rings. Who do you think plans the lessons and grades the papers and call the parents. My son does not have any biological children but he does have twenty -three children ( down from thirty ) during the day.

  • Gail

    You must be kidding me. I teach high school, and I work at that job seven days per week. Find me a doctor or lawyer who sees 100+ patients or clients in a day. As teachers, we are responding constantly to student needs as well as parents and colleagues. We are constantly assessing students and their needs, preparing differentiated lessons, and delivering curriculum, and the list goes on. This is laughable.

    • Howard

      A doctor treats those with illness and injury. A lawyer sees clients with liberty and or property in dispute.

      The last time you made a mistake grading a paper, did you get a malpractice suit charged against you and your school district?

      Your argument is that responding to students, parents, and colleagues and curriculum is more demanding? Okay.

      • Bob

        To answer the question regarding a suit against grading a paper…In the district where I teach a fellow teacher this past summer was brought to task regarding the grading of a test, the threat being made that legal action would proceed (with the aid of a lawyer who has billable time to do more than protect the liberty or property of their client) were the grade not changed…it was changed. And this is not an uncommon practice.

        Each of us in our own professional fields who are conscientious at their job tend to feel that we spend many more hours than our official job description states. Problems occur when we begin to judge others outside of our own fields, since we tend to experience their positions anecdotally or via a news story, which are easily interpreted so as to foster our own prejudices about those fields.

        So, it’s off to Starbucks to sit and grade papers for the next few hours…boy, it’d be neat if they were billable hours. (see how easy it is?)

        • Lazy_beach_days

          Well stated Bob!

        • sam

          go back to school for a different career!!!

          • Lisa

            Good idea, Sam! All the teachers who feel like Bob should go back to school for a different career!!! But wait, school involves teachers who are willing to teach right?

          • titleIteach

            In my district, the threat of litigation shapes many of our procedures and rules. The professional teacher works with it. That doesn’t mean we don’t have many outstanding teachers burnout. I’ve been doing this 30 years, and I think the backlash against educators as being supposedly lazy or whiny has done tremendous damage to not only individuals, but to the entire national education system. Going back to school for a different career is not an option for many of us, and MOST of us really want to stay in teaching. I have been in tears this year over paperwork, changes in curriculum, and intense pressures of getting things done. It is always after school or on weekends when I put in 5 hours and feel like I have not even touched the surface of things. I never, never, never feel that way when I work with the kids or when I am focused on coming up with ways to help them learn better. When the focus on putting more work hours into data colllection than actual work time with kids tips too far toward the inanimate paper pushing, especially when a majority of that data is not used or even truly useable by my school (we don’t get to see what the kids know/don’t know on state tests, for instance, which makes it impossible to know what to beef up for next year’s group), something is awry. I personally gave up a full law scholarship because I fell in love with teaching. It is not a job you stay in if you hate. I would encourage those who have only rude or sarcastic things to say about educators and schools to volunteer at a local school or get involved with the school board. Make a difference. I respect those people.

          • mft

            I would love to go back to school for a different career! Can you please pay my bills while I do so?!?! I live a very frugal and modest life style!

          • pomba gira

            oh yes! let’s send all the conscientious hard working teachers back to school! that is the way forward!

      • steel

        I wonder where doctors and lawyers were empowered to pursue such noble endeavors? Possibly a teacher had some influence. Most likely that influence was solely the marks that the teacher put on the students homework and exams. Okay. I feel that you grossly underestimate the responsibilities that teachers perform every single day they interact with students. I wonder if you ever had a great teacher?

      • RayMondo

        Yep, it is more demanding. Have you tried? Do you know what the difference between and effective and ineffective teacher is? Can you focus 34 – 12 year olds and help them develop understanding and knowledge?

        It’s JUST AS DEMANDING as your job. Get off your high horse.

        • http://www.facebook.com/chipsdigitalpc Troy Alexander

          I agree, it is every bit as demanding. A doctor or lawyer has the luxury of seeing clients who either have or want to be there. A teacher gets 30-36 kids all with varying degrees of interest in what you are trying to get across. Typically, you will have 3-5 high achievers who want to be there. Then, roughly about 10 who accept being there, 7-10 who drag themselves through your class agonizing over every thing they have to do whining the whole time, and/or trying anything and everything to go to the restroom every 5 minutes or play on their iPhone, etc. Then, there is group of the 4-5students who take great pleasure in making your day as much as a living hell as they possibly can and/or trying to ensure that the rest of the class learns as little as possible.
          Sure, you call their parents, but soon find out that the parents are the mirror image of the kids–so the ones you really have to talk to either never call you back, blame you, or whatever imaginary illness (re: ADD) that they have.
          THEN, your job performance is based on tests (standardized tests) that mean absolutely nothing to the kids in terms of grades and/or college. Thus, you consider it a miracle when you can get 1/2 the kids to actually try to take the tests seriously rather than filling in the bubble answer sheet so that it looks like a middle finger or marijuana leaf. (rant over. . )

          • Melanie Kreiger

            You pegged it!
            –27-year veteran

      • Shazza

        Regarding malpractice suits: teachers are on a short (and punitive) legal leash; it’s called the No Child Left Behind Act. (This law, of course, is currently under review with the proposal that teacher evaluations be based on student test scores).

        • Pisk

          Yikes, we are now accountable for doing our jobs? That’s not fair!

          • William Siedler

            Based on someone else’s–a child’s no less, and multiple at that– motivation level and ability. That is not accountability for a job. That is an attempt by politicians to sell their support of education to the masses for votes. And you bought it. Brilliant. Go back to your cubicle and try to do your job without doing something a teacher didn’t teach you. And then when you can’t, shut up.

          • Teacher

            Imagine trying to get 70% pass rate (survival rate) if you’re a cancer doctor, with your job evaluation riding on it. And with Annual Yearly Progress, the bar gets raised higher and higher every year, even though the kids are kids are kids from one year to the next (or cancer patients are cancer patients). If I were a doctor with NCLB-style accountability, why would I work with cancer patients when I can be a cosmetic dermatologist? It sounds absurd in the analogy, but we hold teachers accountable to the same expected outcomes whether they’re working with kids on parole or kids one year away from the Ivy Leagues (I’ve taught both).

          • I_Teach

            Bravo Bill!

            However, arguing with people like Pisk, who are obviously ignorant on purpose, outlines the problem for teachers; we teach this guy’s kids who are Just Like Him. I think that if people were being honest, they would admit that the reason they’re so pissed off with teachers for getting summers off, is because now they “the parents” have to figure out what to do for their children during all of this time. Oh my god, I didn’t think that as a parent I would have to plan for my own children’s days off… that’s ridiculous! Also, I would point out that most parents who have had to plan their 10 year-old’s birthday party that consisted of 6 children whine about what its like to take care of that many children for only a few hours.
            Hey Pisk, if your job is SO horrible that you aren’t given summers off and all the perks of teachers, and its obviously SO easy to BE a teacher, why not become one yourself? No one held a gun to your head when you made your career decision. And remember, its EASY being a teacher, someone as smart as you should have no problems becoming one.

          • pomba gira

            Council – school – please submit percentage of students in your school who will gain x, y, z score on this test. School (full of professionals who have been working with said students for 7 years) 74%. Council – school – please raise this to 92%. We can help every child learn from their base line. All students have the right to progress and achieve, all teachers have the duty to help them. We can demonstrate that accountability in many many ways. Standardised testing is not one of them. Kids are not processed goods.

          • XYZ

            Education system has been broken for a long time. When all of a sudden there is teacher bashing, I say follow the money. The politics will lead you there. Do you really think its about the children as it should.

      • teacher

        No, as a teacher, I was not sued. However, I do know that every last time and every future time I talk to a student I’m aware that I’m molding that student’s impression of himself or herself within the framework of academia, thereby potentially shaping or destroying his or her future…..

        • Kathleen Nichols

          And we are assessed by the scores our students receive on their standardized tests. Our jobs are on the line depending on these results.

      • pomba gira

        research shows that the difference between an extremely effective teacher to an ineffective teacher can be up to 24 months of learning difference in one year! Some researchers claim that 3 years of poor teaching can impede a student for life. Some of us care enough to put the effort in without threat of malpractice, simply because we know that our efforts go towards building someone’s future. And that’s stressful, because you NEVER, ever feel like you have done enough. There is always more you can do. Which is why in my first years of teaching I was up til 11 pm every night preparing for my 8 year olds, some of whom couldn’t read or count even, while my Marketing housemate went out to dinner and drank wine and called me ‘mad’. The only people who feel more responsible for these children are their parents, and in some cases that’s not even true. In some cases we teachers are the only people they can count on, the only ones who care, and say what you like, it’s emotionally draining, and frustrating too, because sometimes you fight for them but you get slapped down in so many ways. And nowadays with all the monitoring and paperwork etc, the best teachers have to work even harder to find the time to spend with the needy kids and prepare for them too! Add to this, that the face of education is constantly changing, we have to keep updated with technology amongst other areas, usually paying for this further training ourselves, unlike other professionals). Most teachers are not complaining, because they’re not in this for themselves, but just every so often you get sick of people having a dig about ‘easy life’ ‘alway’s on holiday’ ‘part time worker’. Don’t knock it, til you’ve tried it OK?

      • fds

        You just outed yourself with “liberty.’ no on sees a lawyer for ‘liberty.’ liberty is what your ideology, LIBERTARIANISM, and that of your benefactors (various libertarian front groups. Please dont pollute the civil discourse with your inanity.

        A free society is unadulterated conversation, not misinformation crowding by billionaire ‘philanthropists.’

  • Howard

    The conclusion I gather from the data is that teachers in Ohio work less than other professionals.

  • observer

    In the graph, I cannot find any reference to the variation amongst samples. There are no error bars (standard errors or confidence intervals), so it is entirely possible that there are no statistically significant differences between the teachers and the other professionals. Without that information, the title of the article may be misleading (and it certainly is misleading by saying fewer ‘hours’ than fewer ‘minutes’ as it is written in the graph). The title of the article does not match the balance of the article.

    In addition, in the graph it appears that, on average, teachers work just over 7 hrs per weekday. However, in the text there is a quote which reads:

    “The study is showing you what the average teacher does. And the average teacher is probably showing up at 8 a.m., leaving around 3:30 or 4 and, later in the day, grading and preparing and putting in a couple more hours at home,”

    Even with a long 1 hr lunch break, this seems to add up to a work day that is at least 8-8.5 hrs long and maybe as long as 10 hrs.

    • Bmoreskyandsea

      Not to mention that “lunch breaks” are often only 15 min and they spend time overseeing the kids eating and/or being interrupted by them. There are no breaks to run and get coffee, you are patrolling the halls. Even finding time to use the restroom needs to be strategic.
      I work in an office and some of the claimed working hours are 2-3 hour lunches, with alcohol.

  • Gayle

    I would like to add for consideration that many teachers are also advising/coaching/supervising students during after-school hours, oftentimes for which they are not be paid. There is also an expectation in most schools that teachers attend their students concerts, plays, dances, games, arts shows, etc. on weekends and evenings. Furthermore, teachers must continually earn credit to renew their certification. These graduate classes are taken in the evenings and summers. Although these are not direct teaching hours, they all factor into the expectation of what makes a teacher effective and professional. There will always be people in any profession who do the minimal amount possible, so please keep that in mind when making sweeping judgments about teachers’ work ethic.

    • poopjuice

      You have contracts and unions that negotiate these working conditions and you agree to them. End of argument.

      • JC

        #1 We cannot negotiate our contracts. We simply sign them or we don’t.
        #2 Very few districts have unions.
        Get your facts straight

      • LoveWorkingwithChildren

        The contracts we sign give us no job security. If we don’t sign, we don’t have a job. The contract states that the district can let us go at any time. If you try to break your contract, the district can have your certification pulled for a year.( I tried to leave my district and was threatened) If you complain in our district, you are threatened…..we are constantly reminded that we should be happy we have a job. Our state law prevents teachers from having unions. We get paid what they state and local governments give us…..nothing more!

  • Sjfone

    Does this mean the teachers should get real jobs?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=27707944 Nick Porter

      What would you define as a real job?

  • Dalbin

    And the point of this data is what…to validate turning the teaching profession into another low-paying service sector job?

    These are the people who educate and provide the groundwork for our next generation of citizens and workers and who additionally, spend thousands of dollars on their own education in order to merit a position. The dedicated professionals who spend their days ensuring that little Johnny and Susie are not functionally illiterate…who open the doors to the world.

    The work can be grueling…try spending the day with a room full of students, many of whom would rather be texting their friends, playing a video game…well, just about anyting other than learning.

    I tried substituting and trust me…it’s a profession you have to love.

  • Lizwisniewski

    This article just adds to my frustration as a teacher regarding the misunderstanding of preparation. Teachers do not just spend extra time “grading papers” (although I am spending this Columbus Day weekend doing just that.) A much greater non-classroom time is put into preparation – planning lessons, developing curriculum and units ands and tracking down resources. Every minute of lesson time takes about 10 minutes of prep time. This is a huge part of a job, it is done after school and on the weekends. It is enough to drive me crazy when those who report on education seem to assume that teachers walk in at 8:00 in the morning saying “Hi kids, what should we do today?” It is a teacher’s job to make sure that all of that 6 hours of instruction time is filled with enriching, differentiated and standards based learning – do reporters of such stories understand this?

    I worked for twenty years as a rates developer in the energy industry that was very male dominated before changing careers in midlife to a career that is very female dominated. The time spent and the stress involved in the two jobs I have held is about the same. Strangely, no one ever, truly ever, considered my job as a rates economist and negotiator a walk in the park.

  • homebuilding

    One must ask WHY this ‘story’ was done.

    Was there someone of influence needing to prove the ‘unworthiness’ of teachers?

    Was this done by a cabal of persons who exclusively define life’s value in terms of the number of hours spent on the clock, behind the desk?

    I guess this would mean that truck drivers and child care workers were among the
    BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH ! Sure. Why not?

    Compared to ‘bankers hours’ they are saints.

    Any overtime spent by Wall Street Bankers has been on schemes to cheat the rest of us.

    Meanwhile, teachers are asked to educate kids that have been nurtured, exclusively on
    an entertainment and amusement culture

  • WiGal

    What? ! taught second grade for 33 years and put in 50 hour work weeks during the school year. And sometimes 60 hours during the first week of school, the last quarter working on grades, the week of parent teacher conferences, the two weeks before Christmas vacation b/c of Christmas program. Worked at least 2 days during my Christmas vacation, put in 60 hours before the first day of school to prepare classroom. And many of my colleagues put in more hours than me.

    • la3173

      I’ve lived with a teacher. He has never had to work the crazy hours–many more than 60 per week–that many professionals–myself included–put in regularly. I’m sorry, but he would get to work at 7:30, get home around 5 (having gone to the gym after work), shower, take a nap, and when I’d get home he’d be glued to the TV.

      • Nicole

        When did he grade, lesson plan, contact parents? When did he go to faculty meetings, sports events, concerts etc? When did he get professional development time in? I am a 3rd year high school teacher. This year I averaged no less than 18 hour work days prepping for 3 different subjects. I also worked at least 10 hours a weekend.

        • poopjuice

          During late start, early release, Professional Days (one a month for every month school is in). School gets out at 3, working 8-5 is not unreasonable. Lesson plans are made during professional days or a few hours on the weekend (like every other professional who has to work except they don’t get paid for it).

  • WiGal

    And forget eating lunch by yourself. I ate lunch with my kids. And in my younger years had difficulty even getting a bathroom break for myself.

  • Sb33162

    I teach. This article does not represent reality for me or for my fellow educators.

    • la3173

      Nor does this represent reality for me or for my fellow accountants. Hours worked per weekday? Less than 8? Never in my life.

  • Kerm

    This ideas in this article are wrong. I cannot speak for every other school district. However, from moment I walk into my building, to the time I leave, I am WORKING. Teachers do not have secretaries. They run off their own copies and fix the copiers as best they can when they break. They deal with more than 100 students a day at the secondary level, and then must e-mail or call parents. We go to board meetings at night and faculty meetings during the day. We prepare lessons at night and grade endless mounds of paperwork. We are expected to learn and incorporate technology into our lessons with little or no training. Our classrooms are often badly ventilated/heated. There is limited access to computer labs. We are thwarted in our desire to teach critical thinking skills because the unbelievable amount of standardized testing requires drilling in test prep. Testing is the end-all and be-all; statistics are everything. Students of infinite degrees of ability are all expected to pass the same homogenized tests, even if they are classified as special ed., or do not speak English. We do not have the freedom to ease into our days with a cup of coffee or confer with co-workers on subject matter, or anything else, for that matter. We cannot enter the building before a certain hour because there are electronic locks in place that are on a timer and our key fobs are useless-for the entrance, to our classroom, and even the bathrooms. There is no way that I could spend time checking my Facebook account (not that I want to) but it is my understanding that those in other professions often do. I do not read a newspaper at work- no time. There is no designated lunch hour in our day. In my district, we have not had a raise in over three years. (I realize many people in the private sector are experiencing this as well; I am simply trying to put the misconception of constant, automatic pay raises for teachers to rest.) I have been in the position of breaking up fights in my classroom and in the hallways, been bled on, vomited on, hit by errant punches, etc. My summers are spent taking extra coursework to try to stay current. If you think a teaching job is so cushy, go get your degree and come join our ranks. Why wouldn’t you, if we have such an easy time of it?

    • sam

      if you think it is so bad……why are you still doing it???

      • William Siedler

        And there is where you do not understand.

        • poopjuice

          It’s not some private, secret society that only They Who Were Chosen would understand. It’s a learned behavior of having a pretty good job with decent working conditions, great pay and lots of time off. No other job, other than congress, gets this much time off with pay. You’re not working in a hot, dangerous factory. You’re not sitting in front of a computer screen for 10 hours a day inputting boring data. You’re not picking up garbage in 100F or -0 weather. You’re not digging graves, waiting tables, etc. Your life is not in danger, you have better health insurance than most of your students parents, better pay, guaranteed raises (again, most of your students parents haven’t seen a raise in years). Quit playing the martyr and just admit that you have a good job that isn’t as bad as you make it out to be. And if it is, no-one is forcing you to do it. You invested 4 years getting an easy college degree and take a few courses a year that you don’t have to pay for. That’s WAY less schooling than most professionals and for a lot more pay.

          • Bill

            I did the 10 hours in front of a computer screen–and it was a million times easier and I got paid more for it, had better health insurance, and the company contributed more to my retirement plan. I do not have a guaranteed raise, and cannot get a merit raise or a bonus. The guys I graduated with–who did not do as well as I did in school–get raises, bonuses, etc. The guys I started the cubicle job with now make more than three times what I make, can afford to buy big homes, go on lavish vacations, and so on. You have no idea what you are talking about. Don’t talk about what you don’t know.

          • Bill

            Oh, and I don’t get paid time off in the summer. I get paid–as all teachers do–based on the 9 months of the school year. i still get a check, but it is pro-rated. My GF who works for another school, gets nothing in the summer, which is often the case. I have to work in the summer, not just to make money, but also to get ready for the next school year. I have more schooling than just about every one of the guys I went to school with–high school or college–and make less than most of them (the exception being the guy who wanted to be a doctor). The rest are business professionals. Salesmen who make much more than I do, have just the 4 year degree, as did the accountants with whom I graduated, who had to go on to school in order to keep their jobs, just as I did.

          • Robert Thomas

            So what? If in your employment as a teacher you’re classified as an exempt employee and not eligible for overtime, you get an annual salary, as negotiated from contract to co contract. That salary is distributed over some agreed-upon schedule, but it is an annual payment. I’d love to have three months a year to study and improve my job skills, but I don’t. I accrue PTO at about five weeks a year, which is VERY generous. But if I actually took off more than ten days a year (not all at once!) I would certainly be made to feel the PAIN of my choice to do so in the form of increased work on return, loss of influence etc.. I don’t expect others should want to put up with this, but if you want to be paid commensurately, taking three months off out of the year, every year, is not the way to achieve such parity.

          • mft

            As a teacher I have had a negotiated contract for the last 6 years. For the last 6 years the school board has refused to fund our contract. We have no binding arbitration in our state and we are not allowed to strike.

          • Robert Thomas

            Neither your district nor your state values you or your skills or your colleagues or their skills. That’s a clue, right? Relocate.

          • TitleIteach

            Teachers in my state have to have a Masters degree to teach. We also have to have 45 grad credits after 10 years, which is a good start towards other areas of certification or a PhD, depending on their preferences. I have 60 grad credits. Most of them were 8-12 credits during the summers or 1 evening class during winter quarter (I always teach afterschool remedial classes or volunteer for school clubs in the fall and spring). I really don’t care about the salary so much, but I do have to say that this is the very first year in my career that, if something happened to my husband, I actually am making enough money that I could keep the house & car payments and still make a budget. As it is, the money is going into a college fund for our youngest. We didn’t make enough for our oldest to have that luxury.

          • Shrinking Violet

            I actually did feel like my life was in danger. I was constantly tired and stressed. Most of the students had no interest in learning. I did quit, and I’m going back to school. I have a lot of respect for those who are still there.

          • hope0223

            We do NOT get time off with pay. We get paid for 187 days but they spread it out over 12 months. Next…

          • Claire

            In the state I live in, the average teacher makes $48,000. That is damned good money for 187 days of work. You are a freaking idiot. You have what is essentially a part-time job and make fantastic money and get great benefits for doing it. NEXT!!

          • Ridiculousconversation

            You are so right Claire. How about we just pay teachers 10 dollars an hour for each child they “babysit” in their classroom each day. Let’s see that is about 230 dollars an hour for 23 children. 230 multiplied by the 6 hours the students are in school…why pay them when the kids aren’t there…that would be 1380.00 and we won’t pay them for professional development days so that is 175 student days…at 241,500.00. That would be so much more appropriate for what a teacher really does… 48,000 is a bargain….Teachers are a bargain…and they don’t deserve the demonization they have been getting from the general public. NEXT!!

          • Claire

            So you think you are qualified to make more than many doctors? Yeah, okay. Every point in your comment is so stupid, there is no way that even YOU believe it.

          • CLAIREISCLUELESS

            Since this conversation has devolved into a series of competing over-generalizations, I will not participate, but explain my own experience as a high school teacher. Our school has no textbooks, we have nothing in the way of pre-existing curricula, I had to design, from scratch, everything I have taught my students. You understand that teaching is really 3 full-time jobs in one, at least at first. once you have your curriculum down, it’s more like 1 full-time and 2 part-time jobs. Job #1: Planning: You have to plan the curriculum, (yearly planning, unit planning, and then daily planning) My hardest semesters of college pale in comparison to researching and designing a curriculum…. and that is just ONE of THREE areas of my job.. Job #2: Teaching: Then you spend 8 hours a day teaching your planned curriculum. That means managing students ALL-Day – I have classes of 25 students, and we are over the state allowed limit of 20% having Individualized Education Plans. That means I have to spend time during my lunch hour, after school, before school, or during my planning periods to attend their IEP meetings. Job #3 Grading Assessment: This is EASILY another 15 hours per week, and many times closer to 30 (based on the fact that I have 6 classes of 25 students, which means 150 essays to grade, every time I assign an essay.) Oh, and I left out the part about Senate Bill 191 requiring teachers to PROVE they are doing a good job teaching. This might be considered my 4th job, as I had to create the most in-depth portfolio in my educational career to PROVE that I’m teaching (It was over 75 pages of documentation with narrative explaining how it shows I am doing my job.)

            So, Claire, if you think teaching is such a posh job, why AREN’T YOU teaching?

          • LoveWorkingwithChildren

            SAFE?? You must have missed the news! I have been attacked by a student that started in my class that morning. I had no warning. I teach students that are in and out of the justice system and are dangerous. We are required by law to teach them. They do not care about getting an education and try their best to prevent others from getting an education too. I spend hours in front of a computer developing Individualized Plans for my students, setting up meeting with parents, other teachers, administration, and school psychologists. All of this must be done according to federal guidelines and can be used against us if we do not follow everything exactly as written. None of it takes into consideration that the parents usually do not attend and will not answer the phone when I try to contact them about their child. I have students in my classes that function on 5 different grade levels but are ALL expected to leave with the same results….I have developed a garden project to give my students hands on learning. I spent the past two summers working in 100 degree heat to keep the garden going during my “summer vacation”. None of this time was covered under my contract days. To make extra money, I tutor and work with adult education, but usually end up back in my classroom after these jobs to finish something I did not have time for during the day. Now I am forced to take training for technology I will probably not see for years. I do take classes, they range in price from $500 for re-certification to $1200 for graduate credit. I PAY for these classes. I have been teaching over 25 years and I NO longer get a pay raise. Please tell me where I need to move to get GREAT PAY!!!

          • TitleIteach

            Me, too. I’ve taken 2 guns and 2 knives away during my time in classrooms, and all of those were before 911. The rest of your response pretty much parallels mine, also. For years, I either scrubbed floors or painted houses (which I enjoy doing, by the way) to earn money so I could sponsor my music students’ time at music camp or for music lessons. My house is full of instruments I bought so that kids in my school could have a band instrument to play until they were old enough to get loaners from the high school. I’m not teaching middle school anymore, but in my third grade classroom, I have 6 special needs kids and a kid who is obsessed with death (we’ve done the paperwork but can’t get Mom to help us get him help). I also have kids reading everywhere from pre-K (new kid from Taiwan, knows about 50 words in spoken English) to 7th grade levels (there are 6 of those–just finished individually testing them today during lunchtime), and everything between. Same story with math. When someone talks about the challenges of teaching, they are not saying they don’t want to teach, “sam”, anymore than the stories my husband comes home with about difficult software customers means he is going to quit writing software and become a Starbucks barista (or my accountant mother-in-law’s worker-related issues, or my father-in-law’s mechanical engineering projects’ quagmires, or …you get the point.). It does mean, however, that teachers are really, really really tired of hearing that they don’t work, and they are standing up for themselves by letting people know a little more of what the job entails. It is not sitting at a desk grading papers and frolicking all summer, if you are doing it right. Most of us make a lot of effort, take a lot of pride in that fact, and get really p—-ed off when people think otherwise.

          • Eric

            I taught for 10 years, and made less than I make now working for a factory. I put in fewer hours per day now, have BETTER health insurance than teachers in the local school district, and I do not have to continue my education. When I was in college, my roommate who was a structural engineering major had a lighter class load than I had, and no more difficult work for those classes. I worked 10 months per year as a teacher (9 months is the student schedule…not teachers’) and got paid less than my coworkers at a factory make after 10 years experience. Granted, after 10 years they only get 5 weeks paid vacation, and as a teacher you have about 8 weeks of unpaid leave across June, July and August. As a teacher, you get no overtime for the extra hours, you cannot work harder to better provide for yourself and your family, and the list goes on. There are lazy teachers who slide by and work the minimum…but there are lazy doctors and lawyers, as well. There are lazy factory workers, there are lazy Wal Mart workers, there are lazy garbage collectors, and there are lazy grave diggers. Most teachers pick up garbage – after your kids, most teachers do spend countless hours inputting boring data – your kids’ grades, teachers get shot at work at pretty high rates compared to doctors and engineers, and the health insurance is not great in many districts…it may be better than the average minimum wage earner’s insurance, but it is not what it was 15 or 20 years ago. My advice to anyone who thinks it is such a great deal is to try it for a few years. No, it is not a secret society, but if you haven’t done it, then you really don’t have a clue what all is involved. I would NEVER go back to teaching, because it simply is not worth the sacrifice to get to be unemployed (and not eligible for unemployment) for 8 weeks per year. I have worked in several industries and professions throughout my adult life, and teaching was BY FAR the most difficult job I ever held. The demands we place on classroom teachers are not backed up by any compensation other than the fact that good teachers want to make a difference in kids’ lives. Many teachers are stuck – by the time they are worn out they are parents and homeowners and would have to go back to school to do most anything else. And, an education degree, though not an “easy college degree” is virtually worthless in any other job hunt. I got out when I had the chance, and I never looked back. I would rather be an ex-teacher than turn into the lazy teacher. Poopjuice should try it…it is very fulfilling – at times. Payday is not one of those times. Faculty or parent meetings are generally not one of those times. Phone calls from ignorant parents to your residence at night are not pleasant. Students with weapons in your classroom are dangerous. Poopjuice is obviously ignorant of what it takes to teach. Poopjuice doesn’t have a clue.

          • Claire

            It is a well known fact that an elementary education degree is extremely easy to get. But aside from that, teachers have incredible benefits. Who else can get a 1% interest home or car loan from their state credit union? Even you admit that teachers have an incredible amount of time off. You could work 40 years for a company and not have near that amount of vacation awarded each year. Btw, I’m tired of hearing about how teachers don’t get paid for the summer break. Why would you be paid to sit around on your hiney doing nothing? Nobody else does!! However, you have the luxury of being paid over 12 months if you choose. And finally, anyone who can’t manage to pay their bills with damn near 50k has more problems than I can help them with. Sounds like many of you need to attend a money management class. How about living within your means? It’s a very simple concept.

          • Elle

            Claire,

            If teachers are scrounging for money to pay bills, it’s because they have to spend 4-8 years getting the degree that is required. These people tend to have a bigger course load, taking more credits per quarter/semester, and have more money to pay. If anyone had that large a course load, they wouldn’t be able to work during college. Not working means you have to have loans. Having loans means more bills. If I made close to $50k a year, that would be less than all the loans I had to take out in order to get that $50k.

            Teachers don’t have money management problems, society does. In other countries, teachers work less than they do here and they get paid just as much as lawyers and doctors. They also get more time off, paid maternity leaves, shorter days, and better benefits than those in America.

            The system is broke and we need to fix it, starting with ignorant people like you. If you don’t want future generations to have the skills to survive in an increasingly technological world, then by all means, get rid of teachers or keep paying and treating them like crap.

    • pomba gira

      you forgot to mention the people who get threatened at work, both by students and parents, schools that have emergency panic buttons in the classrooms. Oh and time to pee!

  • p/o’d by teacher bashing

    Comparison of the first pair of bar graphs indicates that Teachers on average work 7h15m on weekdays vs 7h30min for a selected aggregate of other professionals. There are no standard error bars, and I’ll bet the original data indicate no significant difference between the individuals aggregated.

    The graphs for whatever reason don’t include the obvious fact that teachers do prep and mark homework on top of their 7+ hours, weekdays.

    Finally, after you correct teacher salaries vs doctors, engineers, architects, engineers etc, you’ll find that teachers are working equivalent hours for far less money.

    The appropriate headline would be, Teachers work 15 minutes less a day than other professionals (and that’s not counting marking)

    • Anonymous

      FYI, the differences in hours worked were only noted when they were significant. Not sure what you mean by “the original data indicate no significant difference between the individuals aggregated.” Can you clarify? However, the graphs do include all time that people reported “working,” whether in the classroom/office or at home. (Data here: http://www.bls.gov/tus/)

      One thing to note: some teachers (and people in other professions) might have, say, graded papers (or done other work) while also watching TV at home. They could have reported that time as TV watching rather than work, which could be part of the reason why the hours worked clashes with some people’s personal experiences.

    • poopjuice

      A teacher has no where NEAR the amount of schooling required to become a doctor. And most doctors are on call 24 hours a day for a week at a time, sometimes a month and are called constantly. They have tons of paperwork after they see patients, office staff to manage or hospital staff if they’re a hospitalist. They have to be in constant education on top of working and are constantly at risk of causing serious harm or death if they’re having an “off” day. They don’t even start breaking even after paying back student loans until they’re well into their 30′s. There is NO comparison and it’s ridiculous for you to even try. It completely negates any credibility.

  • Milly Bloom

    Who is paying for these incendiary attack articles on teachers? The title of this piece is inaccurate and wrong. Teachers work 6- 8 hours then return home to grade papers for 3 or more hours? Others provide after school supervision for science clubs, band, language clubs, sports, coach, etc. I then look at the list of article titles and the list includes attacks on teacher compensation. Do teachers get $100,000 bonuses, million dollar bonuses? Please, and I reiterate, who is paying to support these messages?

    • poopjuice

      The people who get that kind of compensation chose whatever field it is that is paying them that. Don’t complain, you’re not an indentured servant. You negotiated your contract and your salary. And it’s not like you’re grading papers in an empty room. You’re watching TV, hanging out with friends, at a sporting even for your kid. Notice that guy on the cell phone at your kids basketball game? He’s working too. The woman on her Blackberry? Yep, she’s working even though she was at the office at 7:00, got no lunch (no contract to protect her), left at 5 to pick her kid up from daycare and is both at the basketball game (for which she does fundraising on the weekends) trying to placate a client. Her day will wrap up at about 11:00 p.m. after she has to fix an excel spreadsheet, answer 52 emails, return client calls for overseas clients and then she also has to work Sunday night while the new computer system rolls out so your ATM card works MOnday morning.

  • (Mr.) Laurie Norton

    As a middle-school teacher, I worked constantly & had to take summer jobs because the teaching pay was so poor. (Tens of thousands less annually than those in most other fields requiring a masters degree.) For years my friends considered me a running joke because I never went anywhere during the school year without papers to grade, lessons to prepare, and bookwork to do.
    Also, an hour of teaching 30 thirteen-year-olds, many of whom have no desire to learn Spanish (or much else), is something you have to experience to appreciate. I’d like to see some of those with MBAs and engineering degrees give it a shot for a couple of days. (Likely to end up in tears!)
    I could have done anything (summa cum laude from college and grad school), but I’m proud to have taught for thirteen years and to have eventually become a good teacher. Don’t ever think it’s easy!
    We seriously undervalue these people we charge with caring for and educating our youth.

    • Howard

      “I’d like to see some of those with MBAs and engineering degrees give it a shot for a couple of days. (Likely to end up in tears!)”

      Sir, there is no logic in your statement. Your discrimination against engineers is not fair. You should be proud that you graduated your master of arts with honors, but I am most sure that it did not include four semesters of calculus or any other advanced mathematics.

      • Laurie Norton

        You miss the point of my comment if you take it as an insult against engineers, whose academic abilities are generally impressive and whom I greatly respect. I used engineers and MBA’s only as examples of professions that require advanced degrees, as my NYS teaching position did, but which are much better compensated in our society. I could have added doctors, lawyers, architects, and a host of other professions. (I shouldn’t have mentioned my academic record; it’s irrelevant. I probably hoped it would make people take my comment more seriously…)

        The comment about crying was not meant to impugn engineers’ emotional control, but rather to emphasize how difficult and emotionally wrenching teaching can be. I believe you’d find very few middle-school or kindergarten teachers, whatever their background, who during their first years of teaching had not ended up in tears more than once after class.

        In my case, when I began teaching, in additional to having my exemplary academic credentials, I was married and had raised two children, one of whom had graduated Harvard with honors in three years. Having all this experience and sharing the condescending/unappreciative attitude toward teachers many Americans have, I assumed teaching would be easy for me. It wasn’t! More than once during those first years, I, myself, cried tears of frustration and emotional exhaustion at the end of the day!

        I was working seven days and seventy to ninety hours a week creating lesson plans, tests, and worksheets; grading papers, doing book work, organizing my classroom, and calling students and parents. That doesn’t count the time struggling to get thirty kids at a time to pay attention, not shout out and not throw things in class! I had no life other than my work and would have left teaching immediately if we hadn’t needed the money desperately at the time.

        Teaching is much more an art than a science, and it’s a difficult one to perfect. While a teacher’s knowledge of the instructional content is important, such knowledge by no means prepares one to be an effective teacher. Effective teaching requires excellent organizational and communication skills, patience, self-control, understanding, empathy, along with a willingness and ability to put students’ needs and egos ahead of your own. One has to utilize all these abilities to have any real chance of reaching the many students who come to school to socialize and who have no particular interest in learning. (Many of these students come from homes where the parents themselves hated school and have a disrespectful attitude toward teachers that they transmit to their children.)

        Teachers change lives. I don’t know about you, but now, at over sixty years of age, I still think frequently of several who changed mine. They play a huge role in our children’s upbringing, and we should want teachers to be the very best people we can possibly get in the job. Instead, too many of us cling to the idea that “those who can’t do teach” and, recently, people have even complained that teachers are overpaid because they earn more than the average American worker! (The “average” figure they quoted includes many professions requiring no more than a high school diploma…)

        Consider the fact that we’ll pay four or five dollars an hour to have a babysitter just watch our kids and keep them out of trouble, but many of us say teachers are overpaid when we ask them to take thirty of our children at once, not only caring for them all day, but also teaching them both instructional content and social responsibility!

        The bottom line is that we need the best teachers not only for our own children’s sake, but also so future generations will be able to compete with nations where only the best students go into teaching (eg., Japan). We need to value teachers, pay them well, and make teaching a profession for only the best and brightest if we want the best for our children and want America to remain a world leader.

    • guest

      thank you & well said

    • viv

      Question? Which teachers were included? As a math teacher, we should be aware that certain people can skew data. Ex. If you are discussing salary, Donald Trumps will cause data to incorrectly lean a certain direction. Were college professors who have ta’s included? Were prek & kdg teachers included? These individuals effect the data as their info would be significantly different than upper elementary-high school teachers. Most upper elementary-high school teachers are on duty during lunch. Their planning time is not really used for planning. Rather admin sets that time asidefor parent conferences, iep meetings, sst meetings, pdp’s, etc. Please don’t forget required tutoring before and after school. Return emails and calls to parents must be done outside of work hours. In addition, was subject area taken into account? PE teachers vs math and language arts teachers? I’m not saying that 1 is less important than another. I’m saying that the degree of work is exceptionally disproportionate especially when it comes to outside of school hours. This data is very inaccurate due to having too many variables.

  • Ginger Riddle

    Even if this data were correct (and I certainly put in a lot more hours than described here), here’s how I interpret it—teachers work about 7.5% fewer hours than the “other professionals” described here, yet make something like 14% less per hour worked than other college graduates according to an article I read recently. We will not entice intelligent young people into the profession by paying them less than they can earn in other professions.

    • Howard

      Please keep in mind that the majority of teachers are government employees. They earn a slightly lower salary versus private sector employees, which is consistent with other government employees, because they earn pensions as well.

  • Jack

    I am a high school teacher and I love my job. I will not speak for other professions. I arrive at school at 6:30 every morning and go non-stop until 4:00 when I pick up my child from day care. After my child goes to bed at 8:00, then begins all of the grading, writing tests, emailing parents, writing college letters of recommendation, and lesson planning. I work 10-14 hour days during the week. I work weekends. I do it because I care about my students and take pride in what I do. I acknowledge that the teaching experience differs by district and individual, but C’MON!!! I know that my experience is not the exception. This negativity about teachers has gone far enough. I used to laugh, but now I am losing my sense of humor.

  • Justin

    One must take into consideration the intensity of the K-12 teaching profession. Unlike many executive jobs, teachers do not have much alone time in their office to prepare presentations and meet with other colleagues. Teachers are always “on duty”, as student needs can be very demanding and discipline problems can take up a lot of time. Good teachers never feel “caught up” in their work and are always “on stage”. To the previous blogger who stated that there is no difference between college teaching and K-12 teaching… yes there is.

    • CSmiles

      I may be late on the draw here but I have to support the statement: “Teachers are always “on duty”, as student needs can be very demanding and discipline problems can take up a lot of time.” I have worked on all levels and Pre-K through 8 is by far, in my humble and experienced opinion, the most challenging, physically and mentally.

  • Anonymous

    Seems pretty stupid to be attacking teachers in the middle of an education crisis.

    By and large, those other professionals you cite are making 3+ times the income of a teacher, and they have less demanding work to perform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=27707944 Nick Porter

    When did NPR start crediting right-wing think tanks like the Buckeye Institute? The title for this article should have been “Low Pay Forces Teacher to Work Multiple Jobs” OR “Teachers Work 24 Minutes Less Per Day Than Other Professionals. Does This Justify Their Low-Pay?”

    I expect more thoughtful analysis out of NPR. Shame.

  • Teacher Man

    Yeah, put up the statistics of what we teachers are paid compared to other professionals and this article seems a lot less accurate or important. I work 6:30am to 3:30 pm, five days a week. I don’t grade papers or lesson plan at home because I am not paid to do so. It may be true to we teachers work less hours per week but we are not paid for the hours we do work, we are under appreciated, and seen by many as the root of all evil. My wife is an adjunct professor, teaches online, puts in about two hours per week and makes three times what I do. Reading this article and thinking about it- I just might show up late tomorrow.

  • RayMondo

    I have 137 seventh grade humans to teach mathematics to. If you think it takes less time than other professionals to do my job, yoiu must not have had a decent math teahcer because your ignorant. I have held positions in Sales, Management, and engineering. None of those professions are as full on engaged as a teacher, because there are never 33 clients all at once.
    No thanks to NPR for posting that headline-and making a generalized statement that I now have to defend my postition against. Like the political climate doesn’t already beat us up. I could have simply read FOX news if I wanted to now how easy people think my job is….

    • poopjuice

      A teacher claiming someone else is ignorant but using improper grammar (your ignorant???) makes me LOL. And sad because I’m tired of correcting the spelling and grammar of the typed up teacher notes that my kids bring home. I can’t very well expect them to “keep up on they’re homework and practice there grammer and spelling everynight” when their teacher can’t even write the directions out correctly.

  • Tmort03

    This is a ridiculous argument. As a teacher in a very small rural junior/senior high school of about 125 students in grades 7-12, I spend WAY more than 8 hours a day working with and for my students.

    I arrive at school by 7:30 at the latest, and our first bell rings at 8:05 AM. I teach Agricultural Education courses for 7 periods each day, seeing about 75 students in one day. Our class periods are 50 minutes long. We are given a 25 minute lunch period, during which I monitor the lunchroom while nearly inhaling my sack lunch. After school, I work on grading, planning and preparing lab-based lessons for my students until at least 5:00 PM.

    On a good night (usually Wednesdays only), I get to go home to my family after that. On a more typical night, I leave my classroom to go run the scoreboard at a volleyball game, take tickets at a basketball game, or run the concessions stand at our football games. Many days, I attend meetings at 7:00 AM or 5:00 PM for our school’s SPED department, steering committee, school improvement committee or the Science education committee.

    I do not coach any athletic team, but I am the advisor for our FFA chapter. This means meeting with students when they have time to practice for competitive events – before school, after sports practice, sometimes even on the weekends. I wouldn’t even attempt to make a reasonable guess on how many hours I work on the FFA program – it doesn’t matter to count the hours, I just do what needs to be done.

    In addition – when we talk about “summer vacation,” let’s not forget all the teachers, coaches and activity sponsors who work all through the summer months at camps, activities, and summer school. We don’t run out of the school in May and return in late August without having done a huge amount of work over the “vacation.”

    And I love every single minute of it. I don’t think I need a raise, or the recognition or praise that many teachers seek. I do my job because I love it, because I see the vital importance of educating our youth in the world of agriculture – food, fiber, natural resources, sustainability, leadership – to help prepare them for a college career and a productive adult life.

    It doesn’t matter to me how many hours or minutes I work in a week. I know that I work hard at my job and I know that my students benefit from that hard work. It’s ridiculous to try and quantify the time that teachers put into work. All good teachers know that even if we did or could count the minutes we put into work, that’s not the point. The point is educating students.

    Now, if we want to talk about a profession that REALLY works more hours than any other, let’s explore the life of a production farmer/rancher.

  • Matt

    Wow. I have 215 students. I get to work no later than 6:45 am, and I do not leave school until 7:00 pm. My job is 24/7.

    My high school is dealing with 2 lawsuits at the moment for specific teachers’ failure to differentiate instruction for students with special needs (or rather, take the time to DOCUMENT that they are making accommodations). Out of the 215 students I see, at least 60 of them are special needs.

    This article is almost offensive.

  • tchrmom

    “(and we’re not counting summer vacations)” because summer ‘vacations’ time is UNPAID.

    • poopjuice

      Um, no. Your contract is for $XXX per year. How you divide it up, either over 9 months or 12 is up to you. But you’re getting paid for all 12 months. You seem to forget you have contracts that YOU negotiate. With raises every single year no matter how the economy is, no matter what the profits of the company is, no matter how many other people are scrimping by. You’re guaranteed the money you were told you would earn. If it’s too difficult for you to budget, maybe you should take the 12 month option.

      • Lisa

        HAHAHA who is YOU??? You cannot sit down with your principal and say, “Oh actually I would only like to do bus duty and not breakfast duty and by the way that number is way too low – try another hundred grand and we’ve got a deal” AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAA HILARIOUS!!!! I’m dying. Literally dying. AND NO TEACHERS ARE NOT PAID ALL YEAR. My hours are ALL ACCOUNTED FOR DURING THE YEAR and I choose if the money is spread out over the year so I can budget to pay my goddamned bills. You are such an idiot. Go do a teachers job for a week and let me know if you survive. Don’t forget you will be assessed on your test scores and little Timmy counts who has not attended school in the past week at all and he doesn’t speak English. Sorry – not my problem. Good luck teaching that five year old to read! Best of luck!

        • thumbs up

          you sound like a great techer

  • amy

    Poorly timed article in my opinion. Of all the problems in our schools we focus on this? Educators across the country are teaching in underfunded school systems while being antagonized by the American media and one-sided documentaries (Waiting for Superman anyone?). In North Carolina, teachers are working with larger classes than last year with a 46% cut in their supplies budget. They can’t pick up the financial slack in their classrooms because many counties also cut dental insurance, and medical insurance was cut substantially across the state. How about writing an article that focuses on why teachers are being forced to seek out part time jobs to make a living wage and how that affects their students?

  • amy

    And where’s the fancy bar graph that shows the salaries of these other professsionals as compared to educators? Or that shows how many other professionals have had to seek out part-time positions because their salaries are paying the bills? I think that graph might shed a different light on this argument.

    • poopjuice

      Well I can tell you that the teachers in this Ohio school district start fresh out of college at $70K per year. Kindergarten teacher at my child’s elementary school is pulling down $110 plus benefits after 20 years. I’ve worked 20 years in a career that required A LOT more schooling and am not anywhere close to that kind of salary, nor have I gotten a raise in 3 years. She’s an excellent teacher. But another child graduated high school recently and one of his teachers who spent the year berating him for having a hole in his socks or not having his homework written as neatly as they’d like (even though they’ve taken handwriting out of the curriculum) retired with a nice $1 million nest egg. She’s 48 years old, retired with a beach condo, full health insurance for life. As a bonus, she can come back and “substitute” or consult for her full salary (on top of her retirement).

      • Teacher

        70K right out of college??? I have been teaching 17 years and I am only now reaching that level and that is with a Master’s Degree plus a slew of other classes on top of that and I can’t stop there, and my district pays some towards courses but depending on where I get a class it usually covers one of three credits. Your district is an exception not the norm. CT has the highest paid teachers per capita in the country and we are no where near those numbers. Do leave in the most affluent part of Ohio where the property taxes can support numbers like that? Full health insurance for life, sure its called Medicare (don’t know how full that is). Quick seach: In 2011 average teacher salary in Ohio was 56K (All teachers no matter how long they have been teaching). I think you are making up numbers….

        By the way for all your whining, why don’t you become a teacher and see how long you are able to hack it. Teenagers will tear your cocksure attitude right out of your chest. If you think it is such a cushy profession, put up or shut up!!

        I loathe righteous stupidity…..

      • Lisa

        YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY MISTAKEN!!!! I teach in Ohio. I am a second year teacher and I am NOT EVEN MAKING 30 A YEAR. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY NUTS. My health insurance is also just AWFUL. You can also bet your ass that I get to school at 6 and leave at 8 ONLY to work another hour at home and then I WORK ALL DAY SUNDAY from 9-8! I don’t do it for anyone but the 25 little first graders that I work with because they are wonderful people who deserve the right to learn and learn well! WHO THE HELL IS MAKING 70K STRAIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE. Send me that districts name because thats where I am going.

      • Lisa

        I also love the teacher “retirement” that I get that is PULLED OUT OF MY PAYCHECK – MY SALARY every month and put into a fund for me for later. What a perk! Take my own salary and save it aside for later. I bet no one has every had that privilege before.

      • Julianne

        PJ: You seem to regard yourself as somewhat of an expert when it comes to the teaching profession, so I assume that you are aware that Ohio publishes salary information for each public school employee which includes the following: employee name, school district, position, contracted days per year, hours worked per day (contracted not actual), and salary. You stated that teachers in your school district start out at $70,000.00. FALSE. The highest median salary for teachers in Ohio is $68,716. Again, that’s the MEDIAN, which a first year teacher would be far below. You also stated that a Kindergarten teacher at your child’s elementary school is “pulling down” $110,000.00 a year, which is more than most of the superintendents in Ohio make per year (most make less than $100,000.00). Furthermore, teachers that retire, then return to consult or substitute, do not/cannot return to their previous contracted salary and collect retirement. Laws vary from state to state, but I didn’t feel the need to research this particular “fact” due to your previous delusional statements. In fact, the only credible piece of information you seem to have offered is your descriptive discussion board name. Clearly, you have a need for attention. I would suggest you use your free time, which you seem to have an abundance of, developing social skills with a qualified and patient therapist instead of making inflammatory baseless claims on internet discussion boards. I wish you the best and hope you find the support you need.

      • XYZ

        10 YEARS 42, 000 arrive to work at 7 and leave at 5 but mostly 6. Spend another 2 hours grading papers and writing lesson plan and creating or starting anchor charts that will be completed by students. This is not a complaint. I love my job!!!

      • Heather

        I don’t know why I am bothering to comment, as you are clearly firmly set in your beliefs (and have commented on nearly everyone’s opinions). However, I think it is worth saying that you don’t know the full story. I have no idea what teachers in Ohio get paid, but I work in Florida and it is a very different story. I am well-educated and hard-working, but so are most teachers I know. After 15 years of teaching high school with a Masters degree, I have barely cracked the $40,000 mark. I teach in the district with the highest number of advanced-degree teachers in the state, yet we are the second or third lowest paying district in the state. I am sure that your simpleton answer would be for me to move to another district or go back to school. The problem is that I love where I live and the school in which I teach. I work in the lowest SES area in the region as well, but those kids (many who are juvenile offenders or teenage parents) deserve an education. I want to give them that.

        I think you miss the point here, though I am sure I will not convince you of that. The vast majority of us work very very hard and don’t retire with condos at 48. Most of us work hard joyfully and WANT to teach children. We guide them and, very often, parent them. We don’t need your sympathy. I don’t WANT your sympathy. I just want you and others like you to stop vilifying us. We are blamed for every failure of children (no thanks to parents who don’t care about their children’s education) and criticized as having cake-walk jobs that we laze our way through. You could not be more wrong.

        My district has a program where professionals within the community come and shadow a teacher for a day. I have never seen a shadow leave our school who is not duly impressed with our work ethic and overwhelmed by the frenetic nature of our jobs. In the end, however, people like you cannot respect what we do because you haven’t seen it firsthand. Luckily for people like me, there are 130 teenage voices that speak louder than yours every day. They see what I do for them and they say regularly, “I could never be a teacher.” Their respect is far more formative to my psyche than your disdain will ever be, sir.

  • Tepmahler

    More accurately, the title of the article should read, “Teachers Paid for Fewer Hours than Other Professionals (And we’re not counting summer vacations).” Teacher salaries are based solely on contact hours with students. Nowhere in the equation is grading papers, lesson preparation, research, etc. taken into account. For example, I teach in a charter high school with a 6-period day. This year my schedule was cut back to 4 classes of 6– four different classes, so I need quite a bit of preparation to be effective– and since the hole in my schedule is in the middle of the day, I now receive 80% of my former salary for being at school from 7:30 to 4:30 every day with a 15 minute lunch. I still spend hours at home and on weekends preparing to be the best teacher I can be for my students. Somehow I don’t feel valued like much of a “professional.”

  • Kashmir840

    I am a high school teacher, and I can’t imagine working any more…it would be physically impossible.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/T2YURJ6JKEXW4PEIL6GO7RH53E Ryland

      For as much as all of you teachers say you work. You have an awful lot of free time to write these arguments online. I am a junior architect and I work 50 hours a week at the least and make 25,000 a year. Stop complaining. Thats all the time I have. Back to work.

  • Anonymous

    In answer to some of the questions about whether or not the differences between the hours teachers work and the hours other professionals work are statistically significant, here’s what the study’s author, Rachel Krantz-Kent, says:

    A couple of the comments questioned whether the differences were statistically significant. All of the comparisons that I made in the visual essay were tested at a 90-percent confidence level and only those that were significantly different (at this level) were mentioned in the essay.

    • john k

      I think that in this day and age we should be able to put together a poll that will get hundreds of thousands of teachers feedback to answer survey questions to get a realistic view of the actual work hours of a teacher. Just reading this “http://www.scholastic.com/primarysources/pdfs/Gates2012_full.pdf” shows that of 10k teachers say they are working 10h and 20m a day on average. This researcher Rachel Krantz-Kent did in this article is either completely false or a VERY poor job of researching and reporting and I hope needs to answer for her poor job of it. My wife is a teacher, and this is simply disgraceful! Myself and my kids put in many hours during the year help her so that she is able to spend some time with us. Here, let me do a couple quick (false) reports. All police officers can be found at doughnut shops. All Americans are fat, lazy, and stupid. Anyone can perpetuate a stereotype, and that is all this report is.

  • Anonymous

    “real teachers” put a considerable amount of time off the clock in preparation, grading papers(class and homework), before and afterschool tutoring, policing after school events, meetings etc. teachers in schools with mandatory extended days get a 30 minute lunch(only free time),preparation time is used for parent conferences, meetings and whatever comes up. private industry people get 3 free breaks in 8 hours and most don’t have to take work home with them.

  • Abwleos

    I teach special education in a middle school and my “work” includes hours spent writing IEPs(personalized education plans),gathering and preparing materials for lessons/lesson planning, grading papers and assessments,contacting parents,meeting with my assistants and peers at lunch because there is no other time to do it,researching new ways to meet my students high intensity needs etc. and most of my fellow teacher also do all these things. Our days are not measured by the clock but by the work load and programs where we must meet the standards laid out for us while trying to meet the students needs. Get grip folks some “jobs” are not just jobs!

  • Jnewport49

    There is a significant difference between “average” teachers and those who are good and great. Thes folks work significantly longer days than those who are “average.”

  • Anonymous

    There is a glaring error in this report: ATUS is a time-use survey, not a diary. It is a telephone interview in which respondents receive advance notice, and they are not required to do any pre-work (no diary!). Check out the ATUS FAQ.

    Also, the two considerations expressed by Krantz-Kent is based on what data exactly? It seems to be a bit of a leap from the original data. The reporting here seems a little biased.

    The headline is certainly attention-grabbing, but may do more harm than anything else. When drawing a conclusion, you don’t rely on one or two studies or incomplete data. There aren’t enough factors parsed out here (some have been echoed in the comments) that could potentially impact findings.This article isn’t doing anyone justice, and the topic deserves a lot more coverage (and study, probably) than it’s given.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right about the description of the survey–thank you for catching that. I’ll correct that today.

      The two considerations expressed by Krantz-Kent are her conjectures about why the data in the essay might contrast with some teachers’ experiences.

      StateImpact is an ongoing reporting project–this isn’t the last word on the work that goes on inside (and outside) Ohio’s schools. But taken together with the linked stories, it’s a start at looking at these issues. If you have other studies to suggest or avenues you think we should pursue, by all means, please post links or send them to ohio@stateimpact.org.

  • http://ohio15th.blogspot.com StubbornLiberal

    I find it amazing that just before the Issue 2 vote goes before the voters you come up with this flawed survey. You say that teachers only worked seven hours/day? Really? When I taught school, I worked a total of ten hours per day teaching, grading, planning, calling parents, etc. My weekends were spent on grading and preparation. Teachers also are carrying a load, especially in middle/high schools, 100-180 students per day, and facing various behavior problems. This survey/poll is bogus and a clear attempt to make teachers look lazy. I guarantee that many people who’ve never been in a classroom are the first to criticize. They don’t have the guts to teach, especially in our inner city schools. Go visit a classroom.

    • Anonymous

      What specifically about the Bureau of Labor Statistics research do you think is flawed? Farther up in the thread, people have mentioned that it doesn’t take into account the intensity of different kind of work. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

  • Millermarzke

    I am just reading this series of articles and responses now, as an exhausted teacher wondering if anyone making education policy understands what it takes to be a good teacher. If teachers “worked to rule” and put in only contract hours, lessons would be off-the-cuff, papers would not get graded, and the kinds of engaging hands-on activities that require hours of prep would be replaced by worksheets. That’s a mathematical reality, and I don’t understand how even as cursory a methodology as phone-call surveys could miss this. I have read the BLS study, and it strikes me as time for BLS or some other research organization to take a more refined and sophisticated look at how different kinds of teachers use their time. The results of the BLS study are so contrary to what I have experienced myself and observed in my colleauges that I have a difficult time believing the results capture reality. Clearly many teachers share this reaction. We need more data from a variety of sources–most of it is still anecdotal and/or superficial.

    However, even if we were able to document objectively what so many of us experience, the fact is, our country knows it can’t afford to pay teachers for the hours they really work. Doctors experience this all the time–especially the ones who take a lot of medicaid patients. There’s only so much people are willing to spend on public goods, and most people have very limited understanding of the complexity of what teachers, physicians, and others who provide public goods actually do. Teachers are not alone in being poorly compensated by the public for services rendered, though we do seem to be alone in the level of vitriol directed our way. Doctors aren’t getting the blame for the epidemic of obesity, so it’s hard to understand why teachers are getting blamed for the epidemic of lazy-mindedness among youth.

    Everyone keeps hoping enough caring and passionate teachers will continue to donate their personal (and family) time to meet the increasing demands placed on teachers. They keep hoping we will make up for what families seem unable or unwilling to provide for (and demand from) their children. That’s a pretty risky policy, and it’s clearly failing. Good teachers flee the field after a few years, and gifted college students pursue careers more likely to reward them with both respect and wealth. We can bury our heads in the sand and call teachers whiners, but at the end of the day, we all lose. I hope I can ignore the nonsense and just teach, but thanks to stories like this and the general tone of the political discourse around education, I may end up taking my skills somewhere else.

  • C. Bernardi

    Arrive at school at 6:45. Often have students waiting for tutoring or retaking assessments. Other students want to chat about personal things. If no students present, I photocopy items for the day, prepare classroom, including posting daily objectives, etc. If that is not necessary, I continue grading items that have not been completed. If that is not necessary, I read/answer parent E-mails or other internal E-mails. Start to make plans for upcoming lessons. There is no minute that cannot be used for school type work. I teach one class and then have a planning period. Every moment of planning period used to take care of school business. Sometimes parent meetings or staff development issues are planned for this planning time, but every minute is used for school-type business. Sometimes I have a snack while I work. I never stop working, even if I’m eating. Then two more classes to teach before my designated lunch period. Every other week, first 25 minutes of lunch period is spent on duty checking students who are leaving and entering the cafeteria. Trying to find out if they are where they should be. Then I work while I eat during the next 25 minutes of my lunch period. On the off-week, where I don’t have duty, I work through the whole period and stuff some lunch in…maybe. Often students come to my room for tutoring, retaking assessments, and more answering E-mails, calling parents, taking technology courses, grading, etc. Teach three more courses. When official school day over, tutoring, spending time with students working on assessments, preparing for the following day’s lessons, grading. Often I leave the building between 5:00 and 7:00. Arrive at home, prepare dinner for myself and my husband. After dinner, sometimes I grade papers, plan for lessons. Planning? Aside from writing down what the class will actually do the next day, reading tons and tons of websites. Always searching for more resources. I teach French, so I look for resources to provide authentic materials to teach my language. I listen to French songs that could have discussion and grammar pertinence, watch Youtube videos to help with teaching (cannot review most of the items in school due to time and blocking of most sights having to do with French as they are classified as travel, music, shopping and/or other problems). In order to teach foreign language as related to what people do, these websites should be available to teachers during planning times. This is something we are forced to do at home every night, during the weekend and during the summer. If I haven’t been able to finish grading in school, this is when I complete it. However, largest amount of time spent at home is in the creative mode. Finding and creating interesting ways to teach my subject. Textbooks no longer provide this service to foreign language teachers. So after another 3-5 hours spent during the evening. I get some rest and turn around and do the same the next day. I would say that I work 12-17 hours daily, adding 7-8 hours each weekend and countless hours during the summer. By the way, much time and money spent most summers to learn more to train more and to achieve more to make my lessons more interesting during the school year. Who are the teachers who are working less that most professionals? I don’t know them.

  • Ann

    I’m absolutely offended. Unbelievable! I have no idea how this data or research can be accurate. I currently teach first grade in Texas. I am in my classroom by 6:30 everyday. At 7:35 the students begin coming into the classroom. I literally have to use an egg timer throughout the day in order to get everything done. Our day begins with announcements and then Number Corner/Calendar Math. At 8:20 I begin Reading Workshop. While the students are independently reading I either pull Reading groups over or I conference with individuals about their reading. At 9:00 we have a Phonics lesson. At 9:15-10:15 we begin Guided Reading. I work with an additional 3 Reading Groups. As soon as Reading is over, I begin Writing Workshop. After a quick mini lesson, I conference with individual students about their writing. Next we begin Math. After the lesson, students work at Math Stations. During their independent work time, I am usually testing or tutoring individual students. After lunch, the students are given 20 minutes of recess. After recess, I teach Science or Social Studies and then I have an additional 30 minutes where I work with small groups or individual students that are not meeting expectations. On most work days, I have to use the restroom at 7:30 before the students arrive, and I don’t get another chance to go again until my lunch break at 11:35. Even if someone watched my class while I took a quick break, I wouldn’t be able to get everything done in our day. It would throw us off schedule, because it is so rigid. We have so much to do in a school day. When 2:50 arrives, I have an after school duty. We have meetings after school nearly everyday. After our school day and/or meetings, I have a host of duties: Lesson plans, copies, documentation on the computer, emails, grading, conferences, etc.. I’m not allowed to check or answer emails while students are in my classroom. I’m not allowed to grade papers or do any other job related task. My cell phone has to be on silent, and I’m not allowed to answer it if it rings. While students are independently working, I’m required to conference with or tutor individual students. I rarely leave the building before 6:00. I go home to dinner and a quick workout. Then it’s back to work until it’s time to go to bed. On the weekends, I average around 3 hours of school work on Saturday and Sunday. I am not the exception either. This is what is expected. There are no shortcuts. I never truly have a break either. During my 7 weeks of summer vacation last year, I spent 4 hours a day for 4 weeks on a classroom project. My holiday breaks are similar. I worry that I do my job at the expense of my family. Should I have to sacrifice my family to do my job? Fewer hours than other professionals? I challenge and welcome someone to step in my shoes for a couple of weeks. Then report your data. I bet it would read differently!

  • http://twitter.com/arwilson Tony Wilson

    I’m a little concerned about my colleagues’ knowledge of plural versus possessive. I have 206 students, not 206 “student’s.” We dont need any more ammo for the teacher haters.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AZ2FHSYBUPVUYTYJDYFT3H4YRE jenniferu

    I don’t know where they did this study, but it is definitely not true! Before becoming a teacher I worked in retail management for 5 years, as a secretary for 2 years, and in fast food. As a teacher I work much longer hours and ten times harder than I ever did in any other job. The entire time I am at work I am working. I must wait until recess to use the restroom, I don’t get “coffee breaks” and I can’t play on the internet like most of the other professionals I know. I have to get an entire room full of rambunctious kids sit, listen, and participate at the same time. I deal with students who bite, hit, and pick their noses and must do it all with a smile. If I want to take a day off I have to leave a detailed description of what I want the kids to do while I am gone. As if that wasn’t enough, I spend 2-3 hours per night working on curriculum and/or grading papers. If I have “special” children in my class who aren’t capable of performing to our ridiculous state standards on a test I am now a ‘bad’ teacher, I can’t just fire them. I must find a way to make every child, parent, and administrator happy in order to be successful. The reason teachers get holidays and *summers off is because no sane person would do this job all year long! (*our summer break is actually only 6 weeks – 2 of which I spend in workshops or taking summer classes) Why am I still a teacher? Because every hug, handmade card, and successful child makes it all worth it. While teaching is by far the hardest job I have had it is also the most rewarding!

    • poopjuice

      If you’re claiming that teaching is harder than working fast food, you’re flat out lying.

      • JC

        You are a complete idiot! I challenge you to teach in my classroom for 1 day, AND accomplish everything that is required.
        Oh, and if the students don’t get a high enough score, on a test covering what you taught, YOU don’t get paid!

  • Vee

    Excellent article. Well written and very informative. Teachers are overpaid, under worked, and are not well educated. I am personally very insulted by the term so loosely used when referring to teachers, “Professional”. Teachers are not Professionals, they are just teachers. They work part time, there is not one Professional, myself included that works part time. On average teachers work 154 days per year. And usually, on 4-6hr during that day. I work the entire year, only taking 3 weeks vacation, and putting in 12-16hr days. Depending on the case load I may not get out of the office for days, I often have to sleep in lounge.

    In the future, please do not refer to a teacher as “Professional”. It’s very insulting and offensive.

    • NCJD

      If you want to give it a shot I’ll trade you for a month.

  • Brandon

    Teaching is an easy job to do poorly and a difficult job to do well. I have only been student-teaching for about 2 months now, but I put in no less than 45 hours a week at school. This doesn’t account for time I spend at home researching possible future activities, collecting worksheets, or brainstorming ways to help my struggling students. It can be exhausting, and the extra 15-30 hours I work at my other job eat up any possible free time I may have.

    Anybody who believes teaching is an easy gig has a) never taught or b) only observed teachers that don’t put in the extra effort to make each minute in class as productive as possible for his or her students. I’m not saying that teaching is the most difficult or stressful job in the world, but it’s hard to understand the anti-educator sentiment that seems prevalent at the moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.nygaard Richard A Nygaard

    You guys kill me. None of this was a surprise. If you don’t like it find another career. I can count the number of teachers that I had who I considered to be great on one hand. Getting a voucher system in place would be a great start. I NEVER thought I would consider home schooling but after just two years of my child attending public school I’m seriously considering it.

    • NCJD

      You need to do more of your homework on vouchers and the public education system. It’s not that teachers are bad it that their hands are tied so much.

  • Bailey

    I would welcome the author of this article to follow me around for just 1 week as a High School English teacher.

    Please, I formally invite you to shadow me during my 65+ work hours a week.

    So little of what teachers do is actually in front of the classroom. If I only worked 10 hours a day there would be NO graded papers, NO parent phone calls, NO letters of recommendation, NO tutoring after school, NO writing conferences during the day, NO extra credit, NO answered emails, NO parent contact in general. I would NOT be there as a friend, mentor, counselor for my students (which is a lot of my work day).

    I think it is truly amazing where these statistics come from. How many of these individuals who come up with this information have actually been in front of a classroom?

    This is amazing.

    Invitation is still there – you can come teach with me anytime, folks!

    • Ida Lieszkovszky

      Hey Bailey,
      I’d like to talk to you about your offer. I’m not sure it’s feasible for me to follow you around for an entire week, but I do have some ideas. When you get a chance, please email me at ida@stateimpact.org.
      Thanks!
      Ida Lieszkovszky

    • IdaZL

      Hey Bailey,
      I’d like to talk to you about your offer. I’m not sure it’s feasible for me to follow you around for an entire week, but I do have some ideas. When you get a chance, please email me at ida@stateimpact.org.
      Thanks!
      Ida Lieszkovszky

  • Kathleen Nichols

    Who ever wrote this article must be delusional. Teachers may have more days off than those in other professions but during their time off, they are often getting ready for their students. Additionally, they are grossly underpaid and disrespected. How can you possibly expect students to respect their teachers when society is constantly running us down by complaining about having to pay us and your misconceptions about how much we work or in your opinion, don’t work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.huffmanfulton Stephanie Huffman Fulton

    I understand teaching is a huge time consuming job.I’m sure you knew that going in. I’m also pretty sure you knew the pay scale too. I do believe pay should be higher. Class sizes below 16. It should also be easier to fire crappy teaches

    • NCJD

      The problems exists in the fact of: What makes a crappy teacher crappy? No one can decide on that.

  • CSmiles

    The title of this article is misleading as it states an opinion rather than a reflection of the true study. Im my opinion, the title is another negative blow towards the teaching profession. We work 40 hours plus within a 10 month calendar year, not to mention I have had as many as 2 addtional part time jobs. You also have to take into account the emotional imapact of teaching, especailly in low-socioeconomic areas….This also adds to the hours we work. There are times that I have thought aobut a solution well into the early morning hours….

  • CSmiles

    ….And WE ARE NOT PAID during the summers so it is a good thing that it is not counted….

  • Henry

    As a science teacher I work approximately 80 hours a week, covering 45 weeks of the year. This works out to 3600 hours a year. I get 2 paid days off per year, and haven’t used a single sick day in my last 3 years.

    I normally get into school at just before 7 and leave at 5, where I go home and continue to work until about 7 or 8 at night.

    On the weekends I plan for the following week, and grade, usually for 10-20 hours during the weekend.

    During the summers I attend classes for my teaching field, as well as for general education, (all unpaid) as well as volunteer time to coach or to help with school-related activities.

    And I do this for less than $45K a year, or about $12.50 per hour. With a first Master’s Degree completed, and the second one on the way.

    Want to know how to get better teachers, and keep the good ones? Treat them like they matter, pay them like their professionals, or at least just leave them alone.

  • Mr.UnpaidOvertime

    Lets not forget about automatic step increases (raises) and cadilac benifit packages and the awfully generous match the state makes towards their retirement either.If you want to know who’s really ruining this environment, you need not look any further than your union. In a community where the average house hold makes around 44k and the average teachers salary is 55k NOT counting benifits/retirement which would come out around 80k. They still cry and call the community cheap for not passing a levy. They claim “it’s ALLL about the kids” but when the levy fails the first things that go are for the kids…ie.. bussing/sports/arts..?! The unions have been used to getting their way for a while but now we’re in a recession and tax payers cant afford to keep just handing out money to a district who spends frivolously and wants more every time you turn around. I’ve also heard teachers complain about having to share hotel rooms when they go to labs or trips… I’ve been a financial advisor for three years and EVERY dime has come out of my OWN pocket. My travel expenses, office supplies, my own personally paid health coverage and my personally funded unmatched retirement…I mean at what point are you just happy with what you have? I’m going back to obtain my masters in education so I can feel how living easy, never having to worry, having all summer and major holidays off is like. When you’ve lived off the public dole your whole life and never had to make it in the real world, it’s easy to be discontent. Just be happy you have a job. A lot of your taxpayers dont.

  • mt

    i have been a teacher for 24 yrs
    i love my job, my career choice
    but teachers work MORE hours than any other profession
    if you think it’s easier than your job then you made a bad choice, eh?

  • katie

    And in the same survey, it stated that teachers are almost 50% more likely than other professionals to work on a Sunday. The survey also showed teachers are more likely to have a second job, that is in addition to the time teachers spend in their primary career as a teacher.

  • katie

    Here is where you can find the research: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/03/art4full.pdf

  • Spouse of HS teacher

    My spouse has taught high school foreign language for over 20 years in the “reddest of red” (politically speaking) areas of Ohio, the location of the “Buckeye Institute” a “club for growth” style anti-union and pro-corporation “think tank”. My wife works a very stressful day attempting to teach resentful, rude, disrespectful and ill-prepared teen age students. The stresses of her job far outweigh anything I face on a regular basis in my own stressful job as an enterprise level information technology professional. I note that there is no measure of workplace stress mentioned regarding a teacher’s workday. How incredibly foolish! Teachers face some of the most difficult workday stresses of any worker in America. To claim that “teachers work fewer hours” without pointing out the conditions of work is ludicrous! I find the claim that teachers work fewer hours highly unlikely. My wife works over 8 hours every day. She works at her school and takes work home every night and when she isn’t grading papers and entering grades online, she is creating class materials and uploading material to the several web sites she has used her own money to purchase accounts for her students. Over the course of weekends and summers, my wife attends training sessions, workshops, classes to maintain her licensure and remain knowlegeable in her field. Most of her work is unappreciated and ignored by administrators fixated on their own self-interest. The amount of work she does includes a massive amount of record keeping required by initiatives such as No Child Left Behind. Under no circumstances would I ever recommend teaching as a propfession . In fact, I use my wifes situation as amn example of what not to do when discussion careers and professions with my children

  • Chris R

    This is crap. I work my butt off to make a heck of a good living, and when I am done with my day, my wife, a teacher, is still working for. On weekends she is working. I finally told her it was not worth the loss in family time for the 36k a year – before accounting for the tuition we pay for our own child to go to the school. I would say they work a ton more hours…. The good ones anyway.

  • Melanie Kreiger

    Reading all this is exhausting. I am a teacher, I work hard, usually seven days per week, and I am burning out, mostly due to the lack of genuine student engagement, and censure I feel from the media (and public by exension?) in that:

    If students don’t learn, it’s my fault, or so I am told. Whether they choose to try or have the support to succeed, however you describe it, becomes irrelevant in the media frenzy that points the finger at teachers. I am not trying to say that I work harder than other professionals, but I definitely work harder than almost all of my students. I do everything I humanly can to create the most engaging lessons and valuable learning opportunities I can. I can’t do any more; I am working at capacity if I want to continue to stay married and stay alive. We are absolving our youth of their responsibility with our social mantra of teacher and system blaming. The system has its problems, but each individual an still exert control over his or her learning and future.

    So far as the “competition” for who works hardest, I think what it comes down to is that we all deserve respect, no matter what our profession. Teachers want to hear that we are not the cause of all social ills; all workers want others to understand that they work hard at what they do. This should not be a competition or an argument.

    Let’s agree on a return to the American value of personal responsibility and work ethic — rather than blaming circumstances, let’s all focus on doing our best work to elicit the best results possible, rather than point the finger at someone else for not doing enough to provide for us.

    • Ward Morris

      The only teachers I remember are those who would strive to motivate me and my classmates. Some of them weren’t necessarily the best at their subject or level. They would find a way to find a spark in each and every person in the classroom. I remember just 8 teachers before college and 3 in college.

  • jm

    wtf !! in what world??????
    I put in 60 % more hours and get paid 50% in teaching compared to the private sector!! Not complaining…My choice ! Most of the teachers I know do the same.
    Your labour board statistics seem very unreliable to me!

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  • guest

    I teach, do not hold 2 jobs. Workday starts at 7am in the building (students in 8am) to prep, run copies, etc…runs until 3:10. Stay until 4:30 most days—cleaning the room (custodial cuts), meetings, more paperwork. Over 200 students per day, six classes, rarely eat a lunch (tutor, plan, papers, call parents, etc.). At home, take a 30 min break, do personal chores for self and family. Around 6:30, more paperwork and reports and planning. Stop at 11 to wind down. In bed by 11:30 and up at 5:00am to start again. Usually, 4 hours Sat and 4 hours Sun or 8 hours total planning and papers over weekend. Summers are shorter; middle of June to middle of August. Usually 2-3 weeks spent clearing files, cleaning neglected home, and taking classes to maintain license. Total down-time maybe 3-4 weeks. Sounds wonderful, not complaining but the 60-70 hour weeks pay for the summer weeks. I have friends who are nurses, and actually have more time off if they want it. Can work 10-12 hour shifts (by choice….questionable how safe-healthy for everyone), earn OT, work 6 days on, 3 days off and sometimes do the 3 days off back to back so they come 6 days off. Not such a bad thing if you want that time off and the good pay. Also required to maintain license but very few ER nurses are lugging bags of papers around for homework. Just sayin’ folks…..there is way too much job envy out there, rather than divide and conquer walk in someone’s moccassins, or better yet go do it, if you feel its that easy…

  • Young Pak

    Not sure why anyone would really concern themselves with the hours that a teacher works. How does one even measure that? There are plenty of people in high places that do very little and make more than most people can imagine. There are also those that do hard labor, work long hours and have nothing to show for it. If you’re looking for a profession to crucify for working short hours, why start with teachers at all? Ice Cream Tasters, Personal Shoppers, Virtual Head Hunters, Talent Agents, working for a policy institute (Think Tank), etc. These professions pay quite well and aren’t nearly as stressful as facilitating lessons for young people. I guess life just isn’t always fair. Don’t women still get paid less than men? If there should be any outrage about those who are paid well for doing very little, look no further than Wall Street and Washington DC politicians.

    • Ward Morris

      A lot of the professions you named are commission based jobs. Talk about stress.

  • jejennf

    This article is completely skewed and has no basis in reality. I am an art teacher and average approximately 50-60 hours per week just on the things that need to get done to make my classroom run. This schedule is also upheld by the majority of the teachers that I have worked with. When they say 8 hours/day- that is absolutely impossible to teach classes, grade, write curriculum, go on duty, assess data, meet with students, call parents, discipline students, go to meetings, etc. etc. etc. All meetings are held out of the 8 hour day and are not paid for out of our time. These stats are completely skewed and I am not sure who provided the data. No one should take this as anywhere near fact.

  • Paula

    What about comparing how stressful is a teaching hour and a hour in any other domain?

    If you are not a teacher, do homework with a child for one hour, then multiply the effort by 25 ( how many students are in a class), and make it bigger because a teacher teaches like 6-7 hours daily.

    Do you still think that a teacher works less than you?

  • An older teacher

    Man, I’ve been teaching 20 years and I’ve always put in more hours than many of my “other professional” friends….INCLUDING summer break! I wish I knew where they got this data, who they interviewed, and if they considered the work done at home….Seriously question this article!

  • poopjuice

    I know this teacher personally and can attest that he is definitely deserving of his award. This program, Phoenix, is not your typical public school program. The teachers are very invested and involved with the students, the learning philosophy is different, the entire atmosphere of the school is different when you walk inside. The school day is very long for the teacher AND for the student who are at school until 4:30 after arriving before 8:00.

    However, this is NOT the norm. In the very same district, there are the most apathetic, entitled, lazy teachers who take every single sick day, spend lots and lots of time socializing the the hallways with each other while the students get handouts or watch TV, spend the bare minimum getting CEC’s and have their students and their own children grading papers for them while they watch sports or play video games or golf.

    The actual teacher lies somewhere in the middle. Many start off with great intentions and energy and then quickly fall into the judgmental, arrogant “I can’t be touched” attitude once they have tenure and a solid contract. The teachers at the charter schools are more like Mr. Dove – very dedicated, long days and it shows in the students work and attitudes about school.

  • CSB

    I don’t know how you calculated your time on task for the average teacher, but you are TOTALLY WRONG. Teachers work more hours than most professionals. The average working day is 10 hours, M-F. On the weekends, it could be an entire Saturday of 8 hours and perhaps a few on Sunday. A good estimate would be 50-60 hours. Then you talk about the “summer vacation.” It’s not what you think. Many teachers are taking courses, preparing for the upcoming year and catching up on all those things that get neglected during the school year. Also, keep in mind, that teachers are only paid for the hours the students are in the building, not before or afterschool and certainly not weekends. The job is only 10 months under contract. It is not 12 months with 2 months vacation. The 2 months that teachers are “not working” they DON’T GET PAID for that time. CHECK YOUR FACTS, PLEASE.

  • ckjitty

    why is everyone acting like teaching is the hardest job in the world numbers or not there are plenty of jobs that are way more stressful and have you working way more hours which are much more physically demanding than writing on a chalk board. Everyone here is saying they work way more than 8 hours a day when the truth of the matter is that i find this data to be pretty accurate. come 3:30 most of the teachers in my high school are out the door. not to mention i don’t even call the shit that they do in the class room teaching. the text book writes the curriculum for you and all you do is re read it and maybe in your own words. I’m sorry but there are only one or two teachers that have actually gained my respect as most of the other ones don’t even deserve to be called a teacher

    • kevin

      fuck you you dumb peice of fuck. I work hard much harder than a shity brat like you why dont you try doing what we do teaching usless fucks such as yourself and see how u do

    • Meredith Horne

      So you’re what, 16, 17, 18 at the most?? I thought I knew everything then too. No one said writing on a chalkboard was physically demanding. But planning lessons that accommodate 30 different students with different learning styles from different home lives, while balancing extra curricular activities (which most teachers, if not all, are required to do) grading, responding to e-mails, contacting parents, maintaining online class sites, posting grades, writing the college recommendations that help little punks like you get into college and hopefully acquire scholarships for said college (let me add that half of these half to be specifically written for different schools or scholarships and connote just be the same one reused over and over again–limited numbers of kids apply to just one college) attending staff and parent/teacher meetings, staff developments, and other tasks which most students don’t notice because they’re too busy taking selfies or snap chatting one another, are mentally draining which results in a physical drain for most teachers…especially if they have a home life which requires that they take care of their own families. Just because the teacher is doing some of that work from the comforts of their own home doesn’t mean it isn’t work. I have yet to have textbook that has written my curriculum for me, but I would sure love to find one. If that’s all your teachers are doing, then no they aren’t a teacher. However, the number of teachers I’ve seen that do that are far outweighed by the numbers that go above and beyond the pages of a prescribed book. Good luck with your superiority complex as you get along in your educational and vocational careers. The attitude in your statement shows me you’ll go far in this world with your respect for authority figures.

  • Yvette

    I notice they don’t take into account the differing grades taught either. The higher you go, the more work you have to grade, especially when you get into language arts and classes that require a lot of essays/written work.

  • Still teaching

    I thought teaching looked like a terrific job when I was on the other (student) side of the desk too. Then I began to teach and found out what the job really was. The next generation will pay dearly for the “hate the teacher” mentality in the United States today. Who in their right mind would want to go to college for 4+ years and then get a master’s degree to do a job that’s so disrespected? Not the best and brightest any more, that’s for sure. When the “C” students are the only ones teaching the next generation, you’ll see whether we need to respect the teaching profession or should continue to rant about “how easy teachers have it.”

  • Lolo

    I totally disagree with this article. Unless you are a terrible teacher, only working the job for a pay check and the vacations and leaving once the bell rings then you are working long tedious hour inside the school and at your home. I have worked several jobs including health insurance and teaching and I have to say I’ve spent twice the amount of time working as a teacher then any other job I’ve been at.

  • Dumbarticle

    This is a ridiculous article. I don’t know any teacher who works less than 50 hours a week. Our school day is 8 hours long and no lunch break. We have to eat at work and it is 30 minutes where we can still be asked to do other things.

  • Phil

    Simply put, teachers who endeavor to find ways to be more and more useful to students and their families are working smarter and wiser. The time inputs and their associated quantities are superficial at best.

    Teachers who are readily recognized and approached by students past and present while out and about in the community, are teachers that left the greatest impact on said students.

    It’s not about the amount of time put in, but, rather the impacts imparted through time.

    Show me a teacher that truly puts in 60-80 hours per week total, and I will easily surmise that this teacher needs to prioritize and simplify with respect to functionality.

    Quality interaction with youngsters as they grow and learn trumps any amount of time spent planning, testing, grading, satisfying the system, etc.

  • Jw

    Just ask yourself “Have you ever met someone who left teaching to peruse a different career”. And then realize how any people left their career to become a teacher. All these people who complain have masters degrees….go get a different job, I know your degree is in education but its not that difficult to get a different degree after you have gone so far. Teachers complaining is what makes things worse on them not better.

  • Nay

    Sorry, I have to call BS on this. Experience tells me the info in this article is not correct!

  • blissin heaven

    7 hours a day through the week! are you having a laugh? more like 14. my wages work out at less than 5 euros per hour when i take all the overtime into consideration(fully qualified, full time – plus all the extras, with more than 10 years of experience). what a load of bull.

  • Petunia

    Maybe you shouldn’t lump all teachers together! PreK-6th grade teachers, more than half of the U.S.’s total teachers, have little grading to do, with fewer total students and quite short responses. Middle school teachers don’t grade all that much, either, compared to what we do. I teach high school English. I have had as many as 150 students and as many as 1200 essays to read and mark per year–long papers that take 15 min. each to reply to. With 300 hours of grading _beyond_ planning, creating assignments and tests, and–oh yeah: _teaching_, I am working far more hours than my sister with her class of 20 first graders.

    After too many years neglecting my home, family and friends to do right by my students, articles like these make me so angry. Writers think they know what teachers do just because they spent so many hours in school. Please. I thought I knew what waitresses do until I became a server. I thought I understood what parents do until I had a baby!

    Newer English teachers: Get out now, while you can. Few truly appreciate your efforts.

  • MLewis

    Your graphic is a little confusing: whereas the average amount of work on Saturdays and Sundays for a typical worker, probably means that worker is not working on Monday or Tuesday for instance… They have a 5 day work week. Whereas teachers have a 5 day work week, and put in hours on Saturday and Sunday. Typical teacher week is in fact much larger than any other worker (and much of it is uncompensated -if a typical worker is working on the weekend, they are clocked in, and getting paid). Any rhetoric surrounding what you think a teacher work-week looks like should be accompanied by an admission that you have not accounted for paid work hours.

  • ed2291
  • John Donne fan

    Obviously, the data collector didn’t interview high school English teachers.

  • Patti Johansen

    No one asks me how many hours I work. I teach 4th grade. I am at school by 7:00 most mornings and leave by 6 pm. I take home 2 – 3 hours of planning or grading every week night. I go into my classroom for 2 – 3 hours on the weekend. I also do 2 – 3 hours more of planning and grading on the weekend at home. Let’s see, if I can do the math correctly that is 74-76 hours each week. Oh and don’t forget the time I spend driving back and forth and thinking about my day and my students when I am not actually “working.” On top of that, I am working on a Masters degree online….more hours dedicated to my profession. I love teaching. I am an excellent teacher. I want to be recognized as the professional that I am.

  • Pam Moyers

    1: I believe the teacher’s hours are underestimated or unreported and
    2. None of those other professionals would have made it without a teacher!

  • Annoymous

    I think Rachel Krantz-Kent should go into teaching and see what it’s really like. I do not know of any lazy teacher who only works 40 hours a week and 2 hours. Even pre-service teachers are not that worthless.

    • Annoymous

      2 Hours every weekend.

      Annoymous

  • jascwi

    Other than actually teaching classes, I have these tasks to do: attendance, enter grades, study and analyze music scores, make copies, research teaching and learning resources, arrange 5 a cappella songs each semester, learn 460 pages of music for the musical (typically have 2 weeks to do it), write scripts, plan field trips, find accompanists and choreographers, work with community businesses and vendors, organize fundraisers, fix sound equipment, place orders for supplies, balance the expense ledger, help students outside of class, organize and maintain all concert attire,…can I stop now? A 12-hour work day and a 70-hr work week is nothing for some of us teachers. My record so far is working 8-16 hours a day for 41 days in a row.

  • teacher1

    I work 65-70 hours a week, or more depending on late night meetings/trainings, I get to school at 5:30 am, I work all day on Sundays, and I did not have a lunch break all year long. The only time I had a break was to go to the bathroom when my students were eating lunch, then I ate lunch with them. It is obvious from the posts on this wall that different teachers have different experiences, especially the person who compared their work to that of a librarian, which I assume would also offend some librarians yesterday.

  • Jenn Smith

    hahahahahahah such BS there are no jobs that work longer hours than a teacher. NIce try though.

  • Edith Ritter Wild

    This study is just, wrong! I am a teacher. During the school year, like most high school teachers I am up at 5:00 am and out the door no later than 6:00 am. I am in my classroom by 6:35, clocked in on the computer in my room by 6:35 am. I work for an hour getting set-up for the day. My tutoring group arrives at 7:30 for a 45 minute session – these are the students that just need a little push. My ordinary classes start at 8:20, I teach 3 of those and have a planning period. During planning I grade and enter the HW from the 1st 3 periods as far as possible and eat lunch. During “lunch” I have several students come by for additional help. Then there are two more classes. Art 3:15 all the students, except for the afternoon tutoring groups and clubs leave. At 4:30 the last of those leave. I do my first round of parent calls then, unless done earlier. I finish grading the homework and start the daily quizzes. I enter everything in the grade book. At 6:00 pm, I leave, but take my preps for the next day with me, I have two more hours of grading, reading and notes. At 8:30 I start my online class for “recertifiying” my license to teach. I finish that at 9:30 and go to the readings for the next session. At 11:00 pm I am asleep. The next day it is the same. I love what I do. Now, in summer, I am writing my syllabus for the coming year, I will have grade 8 English (2 classes), grade 9 English (2 classes), Journalism (1 class) and intensive reading (1 class) during the school day. After school I have Advanced Placement English Language and English Literature tutoring (required of the students). So essentially I have 5 preps, see 130 students during the regular day and 20 more in the afternoon.
    Currently I am reading, writing and lesson planning for this coming year…about 8 hours daily but during the year its more like 12-14 hours a day.
    The kids learn!

  • Royston Maybery

    I was a tech teacher for four years. In the main I taught high school machine shop and welding. I have a degree so admin on occasion used to on let me loose on other subjects. With marking and extra curricular I found myself working an average of about 12 hours per day. True I got more holidays than most, but I also had to do some prep during this time. I may have indeed worked less hours than most other professionals but I also got paid substantially less than other professionals. That said I certainly worked more hours than other tradespeople. Eventually I made the choice and went back to my trade, I have no plans to re-enter teaching. I of course have no problem mentoring apprentices in the company I work for. However, they like most other companies I have worked for don’t employ any (I have encountered only four apprentices in forty three years I have been working).

  • Leigh Pedigo Siegfried

    Clock out time? What teacher gets to clock in or out? I’m there 2-4 hours a day longer than I have to be, whether it is in meetings, setting up for the day, taking kids home from practice, tutoring, or planning. And it takes that 2 month summer break – unpaid by the way, I spread my check out so I don’t have to go 2 months without pay – to get all the planning done for the year to come so I don’t have to stay even longer. People can manipulate data to prove any point they want. As far as what do I make? I make a difference.

  • Dana

    40 minute lunch? I can’t fathom the idea. Once I’m done finding people to handle situations (counselors, principal, etc…), and/or making copies, I’m lucky if I have 10 minutes for lunch on a normal day.

  • Raji the Green Witch

    I am SO sick of hearing that teachers only work during the school day and ONLY 9 months of the year. As a math/Science teacher my day began at 6:30 AM Answering notes, phone calls and working on lesson plans while I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t even had a cup of coffee. I was out of the house by 7 AM and walked in the door of the school at 7:15, EVERY morning. By 7:30 the first kids showed up and they HAVE to be supervised, Guess who gets to do THAT. Mind you now, My PAID time did’t begin until 8 AM, So, by 8 I have already given an hour and a half of my OWN time away for free, all while getting dressed, wolfing down breakfast, and the short drive to school. My “lunch hour” (actually 20 minutes) is spent wolfing down a sandwich and a cup of anything liquid and also responding to random kids popping in to ask questions or get “extra help” on various assignments (some of which were from OTHER classes). Then it was on to 10 minutes of unpaid supervision outside, or in the gymnasium. The 3:15 bell would ring and the kids all got to go home. I still had another 2 hours before I could leave. I had clean up from my various activities, had to prepare for the following day’s activities, and IF I had some time, start of grading papers. At 5 or 5:30 I would leave for home where I immediately began to grade papers (which as a math/science teacher is a LOT more than just making a red mark on wrong answers. You HAVE to show WHERE each student went wrong and show them HOW to do it correctly. Easily 10 minutes per student can be expected on just this portion. do the math, each class is about 20 students times 5 or 6 classes per day) I could be up until well after midnight just grading, THEN I have to work on my lesson plans for the next day. Why? Because LAST year’s plans have had to change because Science has the bad habit of having NEW discoveries that MUST be included into this year’s curriculum. Now yes, we DO get one period of Prep time (50 minutes), but THAT time is NOT spent doing Lesson plans, at least for a science teacher. It is spent assembling ALL the equipment, supplies and setting up the demonstrations for the next series of 5 or 6 classes until the next prep period. This was often the most hectic of times because Science equipment tends to be spread out through a lot of different cabinets and drawers, And if chemicals or biology specimens are part of the activities a separate room must be accessed to retrieve those items, as well. So, what doesn’t get accomplished during this prep period MUST be done after classes let out and the kids go home. However, when that LAST bell rings, there are at least a half dozen kids who come asking for extra help, EACH of whom MUST be served. After that, the endless paperwork begins and mixed into all of this I have to make calls to parents, meet with others, and interact with the community. On at least THREE days out of the week, there are “Extracurricular activities”, functions that the school organizes for the community to entertain itself, such as Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball, Lacrosse and a dozen other sports which I, as the handy dandy teacher must either coach (acquire THAT credential as well as teaching all at my OWN expense), OR do gate duty and collect the admission fees for games and meets. NONE of this duty is paid time at the job, by the way, or if it is, it is at less than minimum wages. If it weren’t for Saturdays and Sundays, I wouldn’t get ANY time for my family. Time for ME? Well that is entirely out of the question. ME time is the ten or fifteen minutes that I get to sit on the toilet each day, and that is about it.

  • walk.a.mile

    All I can say is try assuming ALL (substitute teaching doesn’t count) teaching responsibilities for a week then talk to me about how hard teachers work. Unfortunately it is too often assumed that just because you’ve been a student you understand what goes into teaching. That’s like saying because you’ve been a patient you understand how to be a doctor.

    Besides is this even a valid study? There is no information to indicate whether it is. What states were surveyed? Was it a sampling of many types of districts (urban, rural, high income, low income, and etc.)? What was the sample size?

  • Connie

    I did not read through all of the comments, so someone else may have mentioned this, but I would like to point out that the time worked is an average of pre-school through high school. In my district preschool and kindergarten are only 1/2 days and elementary school is a full 2- 2:30 hours shorter than high school and middle school days. there are significantly more pre- elementary teachers. By averaging them in together you are essentially negating the extra in-school hours that high school and middle school teachers work.

  • hmd4

    I agree with many comments that the above does not reflect my own classroom experience or any that I’ve observed – ever – in ten years of teaching, but let’s assume that the numbers are accurate. The emotional toll taken by teaching is real. This job is tough. If it wasn’t, why would we be losing nearly half of our teachers within the first five years? The numbers of those who don’t make it even through the first year is incredibly high. And because so many teachers are retiring, I think that the situation will soon be a basic economics lesson – unless you want teachers teaching your children who really can’t get a job anywhere else, we will need to begin to improve working conditions, increase support, and increase salaries. If we don’t, many teachers who can get a job elsewhere, will. What kind of teachers do you want? Consider this link:

    http://www.edutopia.org/new-teacher-burnout-retention

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