I really wish it was hosted at some other international venue instead of just down the road at the local university’s amphitheatre, because then that would have meant that I would’ve gone on an all-expenses paid trip overseas somewhere to attend the latest teachers’ conference. Anyway, the theme this year was about trying to get teachers all across the world to get compensated fairly for all the hard work they put in, which opened up a serious can of worms as the private discussions broke out.
As it is, so much work goes into the teaching profession and many teachers would argue that the relatively long school holidays we’re said to enjoy don’t make for enough time off. Teachers do a lot of extracurricular work, a lot of which might shock you because this is work for which we often don’t get paid overtime and this is often so much more work on top of all the extra prep work which forms part of the normal curriculum planning.
First let’s discuss some of this prep work which forms part of the regular work teachers do.
It takes hours and hours of preparation work to plan a lesson which lasts a mere 40 minutes, but fortunately you get better and better at it as time goes by and as you gain more experience as a teacher. Then there’s all the assessment work which needs to be completed and recorded..
No two teaching years are ever the same for a teacher because you often have to adjust your teaching style to match the general learning style of the group you’re entrusted with! This happens on your own time, at your own expense if there are any associated expenses.
Identifying and catering to special learning needs
Fortunately as far as it goes with my specific position, I’m part of an institution of learning which focuses squarely on identifying special learning needs as they exist around each learner, so I can’t personally add that to my workload as something extra. Many other teachers can’t say the same though!
The Extracurricular Work
As teachers it’s really difficult not to get emotionally attached to, well, “your children,” as their individual characters and personalities reveal themselves to you as time goes by. Even the naughtiest of kids could have you feeling really bad for them as opposed to writing them off as simply being a nuisance, because the amount of time you spend with them inevitably has that bond forming.
Consequently, lots of extra-curricular work is taken on by teachers, some of which isn’t even known of by the higher power echelons of the institution of learning. The principal may not have a clue that you’ve had collaborations with some Arizona child support attorneys as part of getting to the root cause of one of your learners’ sudden poor academic performance, for example, but often these are commitments teachers are more than willing to honour without expecting anything in return.
Trust me, when you’re out on the field coaching the assigned age-group on some sporting code, that’s some more of your time which you give up without any compensation or without even expecting anything for that matter!