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What time do teachers start and finish their day?

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Ashley’s Answer

Hi Paul! That really depends on the school, the age level you're teaching, the subject, time of year, how long you've been teaching, and more! The minimum typically is a few minutes before school starts until 20-30 minutes after school ends....but that's a minimum. When I was a new 9th grade language arts teacher (I've since moved into the business world), I worked from about 7am until 7pm pretty regularly, and then a few hours on the weekend at a minimum (but the first few months, it was pretty much around the clock). And you'll find most teachers doing at least some work during the summer--maybe teaching summer school, working a different job, taking classes themselves, etc. Many schools require you to coach a sport or advise a club, and that can also take time!
Many people don't see all of the hours teachers work--but it is a very rewarding profession. I once heard "teaching is the only job that loves you back" and I think it's very true!

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Amy’s Answer

Hi! Having retired from teaching for 29 years, I can definitely answer this question, at least as it pertains to elementary school.

The technical duty day for teachers is approximately 8 hours. Mine was 7:30 to 3:30. However, it truly takes more time to do the job well because teaching is an art. I usually arrived by 7:00 and often didn't leave until 5:00. It can be challenging to work that many hours per week, especially if you have other responsibilities outside of work. I can say the effort is really rewarding if teaching is your passion. Once you see the fruits of your labor, so to speak, it inspires you to do more.

Another thing to keep in mind is you will need to attend meetings. Faculty meetings, ARD meetings, 504 meetings, and committee meetings can cause you to need additional time at work preparing for your classes. The beginning of the year is the hardest and takes the most time, but usually putting more time in at the beginning of the school year sets plans in action and creates procedures that are easier to follow and keep up.

My best advice is to leave your work at work. Even if you need to stay a little later than you hope to, don't bring your work home with you. It is important to recharge with family and friends.

Amy recommends the following next steps:

Observe a teacher for a day to see what the typical day entails. Try doing this at different times of the school year.