The Life of a Teacher…

Feeling the tiredness of my first full academic year, I felt a repost of this particular post wouldn’t go amiss!

Life… teacher… the words don’t naturally go together, not here in the UK at least!

Why? Well, I am here to report back to you that the reality of a teacher’s existence is not what many people out there think.

wlb

There is this all important phrase bandied about ‘work/life balance’ and it is a very important principle. Your work shouldn’t be all-consuming, you need to be able to compartmentalise your life so work doesn’t overshadow your life, and your personal life doesn’t impact upon your professional one.

And for a teacher, this should be really easy, right? After all you work from 9am to 3.30pm, and you get all the weekends, and all those holidays?!

Really???

Nope, not reality AT ALL!

I have been in my new teaching job for the last 6 weeks and I am exhausted! And you know what, I haven’t even really started properly yet!  September, when I have my own first class, will herald the start of a new love/pressure on my already full life!

My day, my working day, starts at 7.30am, when I get into school. Yup, 7.30am. I bring my children to school to go to breakfast club, and then get started on preparing things for the day, alongside my team.  This involves, setting things up in the classroom, updating children’s books, photocopying or printing, having a cuppa, catching up with the team, and preparing each other for the day ahead.

tacher wlb

Then from 8.45am to 11.45am we have the morning children in.  Apparently, lunch starts then for an hour, but in reality, we have to clean up the morning children’s mess, then prepare the classroom anew for the afternoon children’s arrival, before actually eating.  Oh and there are inevitable emails, and other bits of paperwork that need doing too, then 12.45pm doors open again for the afternoon lovelies, and we are kid busy until 3.45pm…

Yay! School day done! the kids are gone! But not the teachers… oh no. Then the fun of discussing the day gone by, any changed to plans for the week, paperwork, emails, more preparation for the next day, and depending on the time of the year, there will be reports, progress grids, and at the moment for us, the fun of home visits and new pupils, and their indecision as to whether they are coming to us or not, to contend with too!

teacher wlb 1

It’s not long before the clock says 5.30pm, and on occasion it’s even been nearly 6pm before I have finally left the building.  My kids aren’t having to endure nearly 11 hours at school, I have wonderful in-laws who come to pick them up at the end of the children’s school day, and they are fed and relaxed by the time I get home!

At this stage, realise that within the day, we have had no official breaks apart from the lunch hour that ends up being the lunch 15 minutes, due to the other jobs we need to do.

So that’s more or less 50 hours a week… so far…

But I haven’t factored in the evenings or the weekend, where you may sit, researching, or planning for an hour or two a night sometimes, or updating books, writing reports and updating data, again, depending on the time of year.

So probably a 60 hour week, related to work, then obviously the time for your family is really important. I need my time with my impressionable kids, and need to try to not be tired, and ratty with them. And obviously my hubby, who is neglected, due to my exhaustion, needs time too.  I have friends who I don’t get to chat to on the phone, let alone see, because the moments I have in peace, are just that… moments… and I have learned to really appreciate them.

I’m up a 6am, I probably don’t get to bed until 11.30pm… and spending a day with a class full of children is exhausting, physically and mentally.   I say whole heartedly, that teachers deserve those holidays.  Those holidays where they spend a whole lot of time thinking about their class, and the next term, the topics and tasks they will be covering. Or they go to places and think ” Ooooh! My class would love this!” or “I wonder if they do class trips? But seriously, I do love what I am doing right now, and I finally feel I am in my ideal place, with my family and home, and in a job I love.  It’s just a shame that teaching is not actually just about teaching anymore… if the government could cut the red tape, the constant data yielding that teachers are expected to do, and actually allow them to teach, from the heart, I do believe that the results would become, themselves, amazing!

So, the next time you sit there thinking a friend who is a teacher has an easy life, please check this post out again!

( I haven’t even touched on the pay in this post!)

All images from Google Images

102 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. princess6742
    Jul 20, 2016 @ 22:05:36

    the government should stop interfering with school across the world and i’m glad there a teacher that can say it. i no idea that the teachers had so much work to do to prepare for the day and to do even more for things like exams.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. kidsofthe50sand60s
    Jul 19, 2016 @ 06:33:57

    So, so true!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: The Life of a Teacher… | Afternoon of Sundries
  4. afternoonofsundries
    Jul 19, 2016 @ 05:15:07

    I’m with you, my teaching sister across the sea! Well put! A reblog, if I may?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Jul 18, 2016 @ 11:35:17

    My eldest is thinking of perhaps becoming a teacher…. I should let her read this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Erika Kind
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 21:03:49

    Gosh, I remember this post! How fitting again, Sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Trackback: Life of a Teacher – Fleeting Muse
  8. eloquentparadise
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 07:21:38

    Who are you? Superwoman?
    You just inspired me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. elementhealing
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 02:47:11

    Teachers are incredibly overworked and under paid. It is such an important job, you’d think it would be more appropriately compensated.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. pranabaxom
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 00:20:17

    This is a poem I wrote as a response to your post. I have not posted it on my blog yet. If you like it enough, post it ( with due credit though😊), otherwise let it linger here.
    Life of a Teacher

    Life of a teacher
    Not that of a preacher
    Not a father nor mother
    May be an elder
    Brother or sister
    A friend, maybe
    Guide and a philosopher
    Mould and shape
    Like a sculptor
    Hope never be the tyrant
    To doom a life for ever in prison
    If money is all you crave
    Then to be a teacher
    You must be brave
    Life of a teacher,
    Challenging, yes
    Dull, never

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Marta Frant
    Oct 19, 2015 @ 12:23:26

    An average teacher in Russia has 150$ per month? How are the things out there?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. shelie27
    Jul 18, 2015 @ 06:56:57

    Even though you’re busy, I’m glad you’re happy. I’m sure other teachers would be grateful to you for explaining the run down. I worked in daycare for three years when I was twenty-one. The mental exhaustion of keeping track of them had me in bed by eight, sometimes earlier I couldn’t imagine taking it on with a family. It’s a calling!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 03:43:02

    Teachers give so much of themselves, because they truly love what they do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. An Artsy Appetite
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 01:58:54

    I am a teacher by profession, too, Ritu! Your post is ON point.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 17, 2015 @ 07:01:39

      A kindred spirit!!! It’s a tough life, but satisfying, right?!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • An Artsy Appetite
        Jul 17, 2015 @ 22:46:11

        With all those hectic days and grading papers etc etc, I would not do anything else, Ritu. I love teaching 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Jul 17, 2015 @ 23:02:02

        Absolutely! me too! Being in nursery, or kindergarten, with 3-4 year olds, I don’t so much grade papers, but creating stimulating ideas for the children, and the whole assessing through observation, its a tough job, but, like you, I love it! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • An Artsy Appetite
        Jul 19, 2015 @ 06:19:27

        Being with little ones is so challenging as you have to make the environment very interesting and create stimulating material, as you said, unlike with the older grades where you have a whole lot of study material that you can work around. But something about teaching is So satisfying for me that I can’t think of being in any other profession. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Jul 19, 2015 @ 09:49:17

        Me neither! It was always my dream… Now its come true!!!

        Like

  15. wafflemethis
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 22:05:41

    Mould even

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. The V-Pub
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 21:27:35

    Teachers are so overworked. It seems the day is never done. I think that your husband is right – you should get overtime!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. The Story Reading Ape
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 21:26:10

    My wife was a teacher before retiring and even though her students were adults, she was always on the go – when we dated, part of the date involved me either helping her gather the necessary information and materials, or, sitting quiet as a mouse and obey the DO NOT DISTURB sign that wasn’t visible, but there just the same 😃😃😃
    Bless your little Busy Socks Ritu 👍🐵

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  18. Erika Kind
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 21:11:38

    Ritu, I am honest: Reading your post made me develop stress symptoms.Not kidding!!! I know you love what you do. But this is really a lot. And you have family AND you are running a huge blog and want time for even more followers??? Ritu you need to be cloned!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  19. edwinasepisodes
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 20:49:21

    I have the utmost respect for teachers and do not underestimate what they do, and all the time they put it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. wafflemethis
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 20:19:39

    6 weeks sunning it up😜😜😜😜😜😜😜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. thebookblogger2014
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 20:16:51

    I have nothing but respect for teachers, they work longer hours than most, and they work harder than most. On top of that, I think that they are generally underpaid, given that they have the vast responsibility of passing on knowledge to the next generations.
    Best, Matt

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. Marissa Bergen
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 20:08:14

    Yes, I was thinking that you are probably on salary so all this overtime you are doing goes unappreciated money wise as well as in other, more obvious ways. However, I have often heard that teaching is not a easy as it seems in terms of the whole time off thing to say the least, so I do not underestimate you at all!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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