Day in the Life: Administrative Specialist

Job Title: Administrative Specialist

Industry: Education

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Age: 36

Gender: Female

Salary/Benefits: $33,600 / Net: $24,936 / Benefits: 11.9% taken out for ASRS Retirement, have a la carte healthcare where I take home an extra $20 per month, vacation and sick leave available as it accrues.

Employer Type: Government

Employer Size: Large; my school is part of 10 Community Colleges across the District

How Long in Current Position: 2 years in April

Highest Level of Education: Bachelors plus some grad school

Path to This Job:I come from a long, long retail history and sort of lucked out by getting in with the city government in my previous city. My now husband was moving to Phoenix so I applied to anything in Phoenix that would keep me in the Arizona State Retirement System and landed on this role.

A typical day at work:

4:30am: We wake up every day (except Sunday) at 4:20am since my husband starts at 5am and getting up with him that early makes it possible for me to hit the gym before I start work at 7:30am. After my husband is out the door I get my things together, feed the crying cats, clean the litter and head to the gym.

5:00am: I usually I get to the gym around 5am, work out for an hour, either running on the treadmill for upwards of five miles, or weight training. I get ready for work at the gym since my gym is conveniently located across the street from my job. I get out of the gym usually a little before 7:30am so I call my mom most mornings from the school parking lot to catch up on my way to the office.

8:00am: I drink a green spinach and banana smoothie every morning with hot tea at 8am like clockwork.

9:00am: When the weather is nice I take a break around 9am to go for a walk, the campus I work on is really nice for walks (when it’s not summer and 117 degrees).

12:00pm: I usually take lunch around 12pm but a lot of days I just eat fast at my desk and then go run whatever errands have accumulated.

My work flow ranges from crazy hectic busy, during the semester, to much more slow when the faculty and students are gone. Since I am an administrative specialist, technically a project assistant, my tasks range from outreach to budget reconciliation, report writing, data analysis and event planning and everything in between.

4:00pm: Work ends for the day.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

A Day in the Life: Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Industry: Education

Location: Alberta, Canada

Age: 38

Gender: Female

Salary/Benefits: $93,000 CAD, with good benefits (full drug coverage, $1500/yr dental, $500/yr for paramedical (massage, chiropractic etc). And health spending account.

Employer Type: Public independent school

Employer Size: Large. About 45 teachers, and 15 admin/office staff.

How Long in Current Position: 12 years

Highest Level of Education: Bachelor of education, secondary

Path to This Job: I started university in the faculty of arts, in psychology. Unfortunately the psych degree had a lot of math (stats) and math is not my friend. I like to read and write and I like to talk about my passions, so I transferred to education.

A typical day at work:

6:30: Alarm goes off, I hit snooze.

7:10: I listen to the news and get up. Let the dog out, wash face -brush teeth etc. Hair, makeup, get dressed, make lunch, out the door between 7:40-7:50.

8:00-8:10: Arrive at school, get my classroom ready for the day (announcements etc).

8:30: Students in homeroom. Take attendance, show announcements on video, give other info as needed.

8:40: Starting at 8:40, I teach four 80-min classes over the course of the day, in the humanities. My students are in grades 7-8 so there is lots of drama and management in a day. There are three recesses (two short ones, am and pm), and one long one at lunch. I have to supervise at recesses, help clear the halls, run meetings at lunch, call home, touch base with other teachers, all in a day.

Over the course of a week I will also plan for the week, do all my own copying, call home again if needed, do all my marking (there is A LOT in the humanities), help plan and run extra-curriculars (such as dances and field trips). Over the year I attend professional development. I also am helping to negotiate a collective agreement, and I attend meetings with my union.

4:30-5:00: Leave school, depending on how much marking I have.

Bonus! Best/Worst:

The best thing about my job is the stability. By and large my weeks are predictable, although the days can be very different. I love what I teach and most of my students are fantastic.

The worst is the parents, who seem to think they know how teaching is because they were students once, too. And the bureaucracy that comes with working as a government employee.

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Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash