Do the holidays make you feel Guilty – Nah! Not Me by @nickotkdV

Over the weekend I was drawn into a discussion with a friend of mine about the holidays teachers have.

They were standing up for teachers and agreeing that they deserve their holidays although they believe that teachers do not work as many hours within a years as “the average full time worker”. This got me thinking!

They believed that the averages are about even. So I thought, as I did not have any concrete statistic to back me up, I would write about this.

I know I have read a few blog posts about this fact. I know there is a very good blog post published by @teachertoolkit, where he comments on this situation and how the amount of hours a teacher works averages out as that of a full time worker or greater in many cases.

But is this the same for me? I was not sure so i thought i would put my person situation to the test.

Below are my calculations based on my own experience? (this was 1 of the 6 weeks in the Spring 1 term of 2016)

Below is there valuation from my Fiancée who worked for a public sector procurement organisation.

The life of a teacher

  • Monday – I arrive in work for 7.15am and this day I leave around 4.30pm because I have Taekwon-Do in the evening.
  • Tuesday – I arrive in work for 7.15am and start my daily routine. Today I finish around 5.15 as I have some extra marking to do (extended write) and I would like to get tomorrow sorted before I go home.
  • Wednesday – I arrive in work for 7.15am. This day I am at school until 6.30pm as there I twilight meeting. Normally staff meeting go on to 5pm so I am normally out of the building by 5.30 at the latest. I need to be left by then as I have my Taekwon-Do class to teach at 6.30pm
  • Thursday – I arrive in work for 7.15am. Today I have an easier day as the marking is mostly self-marking and I do not need to prepare much for tomorrows lesson. Today I leave around 4.15pm.
  • Friday – I arrive in work for 7.15am. This is normally a day I like to leave early so I was out of the school building by 3.45 and home by 4.10. (Phew!!)
  • Weekend – I have to admit that it try not to work over the weekend although I do on average do 2 – 4hours of work (So that’s an average of 3 hours). This will involve looking over the plans for the following week, making final adjustments to the planning etc.

So, what does this all mean?

  • Monday – 7:15am to 4:30pm = 9h 15m
  • Tuesday – 7:15am to 5:15pm = 10h
  • Wednesday – 7:15am to 4:30pm = 10h 15m (Average)
  • Thursday ­ – 7:15am to 4:30pm = 9h
  • Friday – 7:15am to 4:30pm = 8h 30m
  • Weekend – 3 hours

Total = 50 hours a week

I work for 40 weeks a year (39 standard weeks then I have 3 statutory INSET days + 2 days to set up my classroom)

Teacher – 50h x 40week = 2000 hours

Non- teacher

  • Monday – 8 hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Tuesday – 8 hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Wednesday – 8 hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Thursday – 8 hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Friday – 8 hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Additional time – 2 hours

Total – 42 hours a week – I have

Average working year – 47 weeks

NON TEACHER – 42h x 47 weeks = 1974 Hours

TEACHER – 50h x 40week = 2000 Hours

So there is an difference. small, but still a difference

Does your work/life balance look the same?

Am I underestimating the life of a teacher?

Does the private sector work longer hours and am I doing them a disservice?

Please comment and let me know!

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About Nick Overton 7 Articles
Nick Overton is the UKEdChat ambassador for the East Midlands region of England.
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  1. Thank you for your comments on this post. I think you make a very valid point. In all industries there are extremes, these need to considered. I am not saying teaching is the only profession where people work long hours, i understand we hall have pressure we work under. The point of this blog was to point out that on average the working time of a teacher equates to the working time of an average worker. Like I mentioned before, all professions are different.

  2. I’m new into teaching and I don’t underestimate how hard a teacher works not only in terms of hours but mentally and emotionally. It’s a vocation. However, the 8.30-4.30 example you give as a non-teacher really depends on the job, industry, position, salary, personality and so on. As a manager in business, when in my office I was at my desk for 8am and rarely left before 6.30pm and regularly had evening events to attend. When travelling, which was often, I had evening business meetings, evening work whilst staying in hotels and travelling by plane. There is no doubt that teachers need the holidays in long chunks as term time is incredibly intense with no let up and the job is complex. My business job was more spread out across the year and two 2 week, one 1 week holidays and a few long weekends were sufficient to switch off. Any more would have meant coming back to a built up workload.

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