Working Conditions for Teachers
In the field of teaching, general working conditions can be quite ideal. In fact, the working conditions of teachers – including the convenience of most school hours and having summers off – have always contributed to the appeal of the teaching profession. However, there is a downside to the working conditions which prospective teachers must consider. The following concerns about working conditions for teachers don't just impact job satisfaction; they also affect job performance.
#1: Being a Teacher Can Be Stressful
There's no doubt about it – teaching is a stressful occupation! That's because a good portion of what you're trying to cultivate in your students – such as good work habits, a healthy attitude, and the intrinsic motivation to succeed – is ultimately beyond your control. These are also factors that are influenced by many variables, including parental involvement, economic factors, and stress in the home. Therefore, as a teacher, you have to be careful not to take your work too seriously. Make sure that you're taking time for yourself, to decompress and relax while you're not at school, so that when you return to the classroom each day you can really be your best.
#2: Physical Strain on Your Body
Teachers naturally spend a lot of time standing, and this can be hard on your body over time. In addition, you may not have a lot of control over things like when you'll be allowed to take scheduled breaks for eating lunch, and even for going to the bathroom. This may sound like a minor concern, but it can wear on your body over time.
#3: Intense Work Cycles
As a teacher, there are certain times of the year when your job is much more intense, like during the first few weeks of school, when you are working to set up your classroom and plan the first few weeks of lesson plans. In addition, the weeks just before report cards come out are also very intense, as is the end of the school year, when you have a lot of work to do cleaning up, and possibly packing, your classroom. As a teacher, these cycles will feel less disruptive if you're prepared for them and know what needs to be done to accomplish your personal and professional goals.
#4: Having an Endless "To Do" List
Another working condition for teachers that may be under-recognized by those just entering the profession is the fact that your "To Do" list is rarely complete. Whether you're preparing for a new school year, or working to retain your students’ interest in the middle of the semester, there is always something to do. Teachers can learn to cope with the endless stream of work by learning how to work smarter, by using technology to streamline tasks, and by creating routines for things like planning lessons, grading papers, and communicating with parents.
#5: The "Work Hours" are Misleading
Finally, the idea that teachers work minimal hours is misleading. Most teachers work far beyond the actual school day, and spend a large portion of their evenings, weekends, and even summers planning lessons, grading papers, and communicating with parents.
In the end, most educators find the working conditions for teachers to be quite manageable, although it takes some time to adapt to the constraints and create a routine that really works for you.
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