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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