Professional Series Archives

Tips For Future Teachers

Teaching can be a rewarding experience and it can also be the most challenging job you will ever have. In an effort to better prepare you for this career we have gathered information from current teachers. The following materials will help you to understand the realities of teaching. 

A Day In the Life of a Teacher

Typical Schedule of an Elementary School Teacher: Monday Through Friday
6:30 Wake up
7:30 Prepare for the School Day:
  Review lesson plans
  organize/ test materials
  organize room
  grade papers
   help early students
  meetings/ conferences
8:50 Beginning of Day: Students Arrive
9:05  to 9:25 Morning Routine
  Attendance/ Announcements/ Lunch Count
  collect and/or check homework
  read and Respond to notes
9:30  to 10:10 Math
10:15 to 11:00 Reading / Writing
11:00 to 11:30 Student Lunch:
  Lunch(?)/ bathroom(?)
   help Students
  e-Mails/ Phone Calls
11:35 to 12:15 Activity Time: Enrichment Activities/ Lessons
12:20 to 12:45 Assignments & Choice Time
12:50 to   1:30 Special/ Planning:
   Review/ adapt lesson plans
  organize materials and room
  mail/ phone calls
  lunch(?) bathroom(?)
1:35 to 2:05 Writing/ Reading
2:10 to 2:55 Science or Social Studies
2:55 to 3:10 End of Day: Students Leave:
  Pack up/ clean up
3:10 to 3:30 Socialize/ complain, relax, bathroom(!)
3:30 to 5:30 Planning: Lesson plans for following day
  grade papers
  organize/ clean room
6:00 to 7:00 Dinner
7:00 to 8:00 Free time
8:00 to 9:00 Family/ Friends/ Chores/ Bills/ Grade Papers
9:00 to 11:00 Read/ TV/ Relax
Saturday & Sunday Schedule
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM  
  Unit plans/ daily plans
  grading  papers, stories, journals...
  contact parents

For those who are going for their Masters, they would need to find time during the week and on the weekend for those classes.

Official Job Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Assessments
  • Attendance
  • Building committees
  • Building safety
  • Bus duty
  • Classroom management
  • Child development and growth knowledge
  • Computer skills
  • Content knowledge
  • Continuous learning
  • Emergency drills
  • Field trip preparation and planning
  • Grade level meetings
  • Grade student work
  • Homework
  • Interim reports
  • Legal knowledge
  • Lesson plans
  • Modification of curriculum and teaching methods
  • Parent conferences
  • Parent contact
  • Participate in workshops
  • Plan book
  • Professional demeanor
  • Record keeping: attendance, grades, assignments
  • Report cards
  • Staff meetings
  • State standards knowledge
  • State testing
  • Student advocate: reporting abuse and neglect
  • Student safety
  • Substitute teaching folder
  • Teach variety of subjects
  • Test preparation 
  • Update and maintain permanent student records

Unofficial Job Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Be confidential
  • Be politically correct
  • Conflict resolution instruction
  • Counselor to parents and students
  • Eight to twelve hour days
  • First aid skills
  • Handle people
  • Handle insults and blame
  • Let go of failure and start new
  • Little or no free time during the school week
  • Low hourly pay
  • Moral development
  • Perfect in public speech and behavior
  • Public speaking
  • Role model
  • Source of information for parents
  • Sounding board for parents
  • Student behavior
  • Student motivation
  • Student success
  • Tell a lie from the truth
  • Testify in court
  • Thick skinned

Rewards of Teaching?

  • Be with children: they are excited to learn & quick to laugh
  • Control of your work day: you plan the days activities and events
  • Self -Education: you always continue to learn
  • Every day is a different day
  • Field trips
  • Influence positively the lives of children
  • Laughter
  • Provide a place of consistency and safety for students
  • Retirement: approximately 65% of your pay
  • Self-improvement: teach about life-skills, you learn and apply them
  • Smiles
  • Student learning
  • Work 180 to 185 days a year

Frustrations of Teaching

  • Administration: increasing demands, most administrators have never been teachers
  • Bathroom breaks for self: have to be on a schedule, can’t leave students alone
  • Blamed: for behavior and academic failure of students
  • Curriculum: more added and responsibilities fall on the teacher
  • Dealing with parents
  • Lack of support from student home
  • Low pay
  • Low public opinion
  • Meetings
  • Paper work
  • Must always be politically correct
  • Spending money on school supplies and students
  • State testing: personal and daily impact
  • Student behavior