Teachers form the backbone of the American educational system. These hardworking individuals spend their valuable time imparting important lessons to today’s youth. The routine of a teacher shows how much effort goes into the day-to-day business of education. Steven Foxworth, a social studies teacher, explains how a teacher’s daily routine impacts the students, staff, and school community.
The day starts early for a committed teacher. After taking care of business at home, a teacher arrives at work an hour or more before the students. In the morning, teachers take care of administrative and classroom duties. They may plan lessons, grade papers, or have meetings with their colleagues. Teachers often find that the morning hours before other staff or students have arrived are their most productive.
Teachers need to spend time making sure that all of the equipment in their classroom runs properly. Whether it is a smartboard and computer or science lab equipment, they need to make sure that everything is optimized for use. Teachers often spend their morning hours fine-tuning their classroom systems.
When the students arrive, teachers will be called upon to supervise the morning assembly and the hallways before classes begin. Teachers need to handle crowd control and disciplinary issues at this time, along with making sure that important safety issues are addressed. Teachers can make this time pleasant by interacting with students and teachers they know.
Teachers in middle and high schools generally have six or seven classes per day, with one preparatory period to take care of business items. Often, teachers have classes at different levels, from advanced placement to remedial courses. They need to adapt their teaching style and lesson plan to meet the needs of diverse student groups.
There can be a mix of ability levels even in one class, making it necessary to take care of various groups of students at the same time. Some students will need help and support, while others will need extra enrichment activities to keep them engaged. Steven Foxworth notes that this can often be a daunting task.
Teachers get short lunch periods, and they often have to supervise students in the cafeteria. Anyone who expects a long lunch with time to relax would be unhappy in the teaching profession. Teachers return to the classroom after lunch and deal with another set of classes.
During the day, teachers may have disciplinary problems to deal with. Teachers handle most of these issues on their own, but sometimes other school personnel must be involved, especially in cases where students’ health and safety is at risk. Teachers are more involved in the lives of their students than skeptics would believe. They truly care about all of their students and do their best to foster a positive learning environment.
Teachers stay busy long after the closing bell. Many teachers meet with students to give them extra help. They may also be involved in various after-school activities like clubs and teams. Teachers have regular meetings with the staff and administration to keep everyone abreast of developments within the school.
After tutoring time, club meetings, and staff meetings, teachers need to spend preparatory time on grading assignments and planning future lessons. They often meet with their grade and subject counterparts to make sure that the educational curriculum is consistent.
Teachers often take work home in the evening. Teachers with families at home face the challenge of getting their work done at home and putting dinner on the table or caring for young children. In the evening, they may also work on professional development tasks like reading professional journals.
Steven Foxworth believes that parents and community members are not aware of the time investment required to be a good teacher. They see only the hours that students are in the building and assume that teachers have an easy job. With the time they need to spend before and after school, as well as over the summers and on vacations, teachers are often underpaid for their work. Families and community members need to appreciate their teachers and understand their dedication to their students.
When teachers are properly appreciated by their school communities, they are better able to provide a quality, up-to-date education for their students at all ability levels.