I often hear people say how teachers are so lucky because they get to leave school at 3:00. They do? The funny thing is most people who say this are not teachers. When the school bell rings, the kids go home. However, then teachers start the second part of their job. So, what do teachers really do after school? Here are a few things this former elementary school teacher used to do after dismissal.
With an average of 30 kids and ten or so assignments a day, the papers can really stack up. Many of the assignments had rubrics that I had to consider when giving a grade. Writing took the longest to grade. Since writing is somewhat subjective, my teammates and I would get together and grade some of the writing assessments together. That meant we each read about 60 papers each. It took at least an hour after school for several days.
Since we were trying to meet grade level standards, my gradebook was set up by standard. A lot of time was spent recording data from each standard. It was time consuming. However, I was able to see which areas my class was excelling in and which areas needed reteaching. As a grade level, we were also able to set up enrichment classes to work on certain standards. This really helped our students.
I used to make a lot of my curriculum. I fine-tuned it to my students’ needs. For instance, I made up projects and comprehension questions for novels we were reading. I created reading logs with questions that were standard specific. I also prepared for art projects, science experiments and made math games too.
Change Bulletin Boards
I think room environment is very important. Many teachers I know spend a lot of time on their bulletin boards. I used to change my boards every season and for special occasions like back to school night and open house. Although it took a lot of time, I actually loved doing my bulletin boards (and decorating my windows). We also put up bulletin boards in the hallways of the common areas so kids could see their work as they walked to the cafeteria, library, etc.
Call/Email Parents and Staff
The majority of my parents spoke spanish. I spoke spanish but not well enough to call myself fluent. Still, I did my best to communicate with my parents and asked for help from our community liaison when I needed it. I also read important emails from administrations and other staff members.
Attend Staff Meetings
I worked at one school where the staff meetings were before school for a half an hour. Another school I worked at had meetings for one to two hours after school. The amount of meetings really depends on a teacher’s school and administrator.
Attend Team Meetings
Most teachers I know have team or grade level meetings. This is where you decide on things like field trips. We worked on lesson plans and block plans. Since we had a daily intervention classes, we decided what students belonged in each group.
Typically, parent-teacher conferences are held two to three times a year. Some districts hold goal setting conferences while others are for report cards. Parents or teachers may request conferences any time of the year.
Go to IEPs
IEPs are individualized education programs. Children with learning and physical disabilities, speech and visual impairments or a host of other reasons may have an IEP. A special education or speech teacher may lead the IEP with the parents. However, in my experience, classroom teachers and other educators involved with the student’s education plan are supposed to come to the meeting. Some of these meetings are scheduled during the day. However, some are after school. Depending on the student, the meeting may last 30 minutes or several hours.
Not all teachers have second jobs. My job paid me well enough so I didn’t have to. However, I did take on extra paid leadership roles such as team leader and curriculum development. Many teachers run after school programs, coach athletics or have other jobs. Whatever it takes to pay the bills, right?
Thus, that is a little bit of an insight about what teachers do after school. And, yes, on occasion, I did actually leave at 3:00 or 3:30; however, usually it was for a dentist appointment.
More from Melissa:
Four Mistakes Teachers Make: How to Avoid These Common Pitfalls
Teachers Becoming Parents: On the Other Side of the Looking Glass
Teacher Turnover: Why Do Educators Leave?