You earned your break

We hope you’ve had a wonderful, restful time off. Can’t agree more that teachers need a good, restful break.

What high school student reflect on their teachers’ work-life balance? None that I know of. I remember turning in essays in English class on Friday and receiving them back the following Monday. Each essay was returned to me with spelling and grammar corrections and detailed feedback on my arguments. My classmates and I never realized that teacher sacrificed her weekend in order to grade the hundreds of essays. No late-night outings for Mrs. Berry. Likewise, I always thought teachers just showed up to work in the morning and decided to teach whatever they wanted. No planning necessary. Since I thought like this until I became a teacher, I can understand why many adults keep that same mindset.

My official workday begins at 8:10 and ends at 3:15. Any teacher knows that my workload is not confined to that time period. I have classes to plan for, essays and tests to grade, student and parent e-mails to respond to. Though I often leave the school premises right at 3:15, that’s only because I like getting work done at a local coffee shop. Oftentimes, I’m not finished for the day until 7:00. Saturday is usually my only full day off. After brunch with friends on Sunday afternoon, I’m already in the teacher mindset, preparing and reviewing lesson plans and grading. It never ends. I can plan the best lesson ever, but then I have to have another for the following day.

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