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How many hours do teachers work per week?

by mattmns
Tags: hours, teachers, week, work
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mattmns
#1
Jun17-07, 12:41 PM
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My intuition is wrong on many things, so I thought I would throw this question out there to see what everyone thinks. And hopefully some people with teaching experience will respond (of course everyone is welcome to respond).

On average how many hours do full-time teachers (high school or college, specify) work a week? Of course, I am excluding breaks and holidays. Also, when I say college teacher I mean somebody that is paid only to teach, not somebody that is paid to do research and teach at the same time (though if you are a professor I still would like to hear your opinion and experience).

For the past few years I have had the goal of becoming a full-time community college math teacher, and one of the big reasons is that I think it would not be that many hours of work per week on average (I am thinking, or hoping, 30 to 40 hours a week). My rationalization being, 15-20 hours in class, 6 hours in office, so approx. 26 hours a week as a minimum. Now, I think that teachers can assign and grade as much, or as little, homework as they want. For lesson plans, the first few years will probably be more work, but once you have taught a class 10 times I think the amount of time spent here would be very small. Of course, I say all this with absolutely no experience teaching at all, which is why I want some other opinions. Also, writing this out almost makes me question teaching altogether: If I want to spend the minimum amount of time possible, I would probably not be a very good teacher.


Let's hear your experience and ideas. Thanks.
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jonegil
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Jun17-07, 12:49 PM
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it clearly depends on the type of teacher and what he teaches....if you wanna be a good math teacher you will spend many hours so you've to love your job otherwise you will end up being a mad teacher instead of being a math teacher XD
symbolipoint
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Jun17-07, 01:11 PM
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Large proportion of teachers, even at community colleges work part time, but don't bee fooled too much by the relatively few hours per week. Teachers still HAVE HOMEWORK - instruction preparation, checking students' work, and other administrative coordinated tasks. Also, many c.c. teachers work part time not just at ONE community college, but at TWO colleges. This means extra driving and a split of some of the planning time.

Math Is Hard
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Jun17-07, 01:11 PM
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How many hours do teachers work per week?

At the CCs out here it varies widely. Some teachers are teaching five or six classes, others only teach one. Many have other jobs and teach at night as a side gig.

I work at a continuing education division for a university (an "Extension") and we are somewhat like a CC in that some of our classes are transferable for degree credit. Anyway, we hire teachers with individual contracts for each class. How much they work depends on how much they can take on and what subjects we need taught each quarter. For instance, the astronomy class doesn't run every quarter because there is just not enough demand for it.
TMFKAN64
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Jun17-07, 05:52 PM
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Teaching is a hard way to make a buck. My wife is a full-time high school math teacher, and let me tell you, it is a *lot* of work. Not so much the actual class time... she easily spends as much time if not more preparing and grading as she does actually teaching.
mathwonk
#6
Jun18-07, 01:44 AM
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how many hours RE THERE in a week?
mattmns
#7
Jun18-07, 11:07 PM
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Thanks for the responses, it seems to be consistent with other sources I have found on-line (that teaching is a lot of work).
colin.mcenroe
#8
Jun18-07, 11:56 PM
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I had a community college professor in chem that explained how happy he was to work at the community college because he only worked 20 hours per week max.
robphy
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Jun19-07, 01:28 AM
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In addition to "teaching", full time college faculty often have to do at least some "scholarship" and "service".

[I like mathwonk's response.]
JasonRox
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Jun19-07, 10:17 AM
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I'd say if it's a good teacher, for every hour taught, they spent atleast an hour preparing. I heard over the years of teaching the same course it will take less time though.

But say 12 hours of teaching, that's 24 hours total a week. That's not even counting marking and other stuff.
symbolipoint
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Jun19-07, 09:08 PM
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Quote Quote by JasonRox View Post
I'd say if it's a good teacher, for every hour taught, they spent atleast an hour preparing. I heard over the years of teaching the same course it will take less time though.

But say 12 hours of teaching, that's 24 hours total a week. That's not even counting marking and other stuff.
What you heard over the years is correct and very logical. Once a teacher prepares daily lesson plans for a term of a course, he can keep and then re-use the same set of plans when he teaches the course again; requiring less preparation time. The time spent on the other stuff can often be significant. On the other hand, individual teachers differ on how efficient and they are and in how much changing of quizes, tests, and lesson plans they do.

Some news and documentary reports have been made during the last few years describing community college teachers NOT having regular permanent jobs in their cc's and they constantly look for and obtain new job-assignments and perform them at 2 or 3 different schools in a term. The cc's force this practice as a way to reduce hiring of permanent faculty and avoid paying benefits; this also permits more staffing flexibility for the cc's.


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