The Truth About Teaching: Beyond the 9-5 Job, Salary, and Overtime

As a teacher, I am passionate about the education and welfare of children. It's not just a job for me; it's a 24/7 commitment that goes beyond the typical 9-5 work schedule. Teaching is a calling that requires dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. In this blog post, I want to shed light on some misconceptions about teaching, specifically addressing the notions of working a 9-5 job, being paid for holidays, and the reality of overtime.

real talk

Firstly, let's talk about the misconception that teachers only work a 9-5 job. The truth is that teaching is not a regular 9-5 job with weekends and holidays off. Teachers often work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to plan lessons, grade assignments, and provide feedback to students. We also spend time outside of the classroom attending meetings, professional development sessions, and extracurricular activities. Our commitment to our students and their education goes beyond the official work hours, and we are always on call to support our students and their families.

Secondly, the misconception that teachers are paid for holidays is not entirely accurate. While it's true that teachers have holidays during school breaks, we are not paid extra for these holidays. Teachers are salaried, which means that our annual salary is divided equally between the twelve months of the year. This means that our pay is consistent throughout the year, even during holidays when we may not be working in the classroom. Contrary to popular belief, our pay is not inflated to account for the holidays we have off, and we do not receive additional compensation for these breaks.

Lastly, let's discuss the reality of overtime in teaching. If you calculate the rate of pay on a per-hour basis, taking into account the hours we are contracted to work, teachers are often paid a little over the legal minimum wage. In the UK, for example, the average starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is around £24,000 per year. If you break that down to an hourly rate, it's just over £11, which is only £1 over the legal minimum wage. However, this is just for the hours we are contracted to work, which does not account for the many additional hours teachers put in as unpaid overtime.

As teachers, we often work well beyond our contracted hours. We spend time planning lessons, creating resources, assessing assignments, providing feedback, and supporting students outside of the classroom. Many of us work around 5-7 hours a day as unpaid overtime, which significantly adds to our workload without any additional compensation. This overtime is not officially recognized or compensated, and it can take a toll on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

In conclusion, teaching is not a typical 9-5 job with paid holidays and overtime compensation. It's a profession that requires unwavering dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. Teachers go above and beyond to ensure the education and welfare of their students, often working long hours, sacrificing personal time, and going unpaid for the overtime they put in. It's important to recognize and appreciate the hard work and commitment of teachers, and not to undermine the realities of their profession. So, the next time you come across a teacher, remember that their job goes beyond the classroom, and they deserve our respect and support for their tireless efforts in shaping the future generation.

Carl Headley-Morris

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