A day as a teacher

"Ooh, it must be great to be a teacher! You work 9 until 3 and get to play all day! Not to mention the holidays!" Erm, yeah, no. It's not even a little bit like that. I thought it would be interesting to show everyone exactly what a typical day as a teacher is like. I chose a Friday as it's my favourite day of the week!

I should point out that none of these photos, or the content, was created in my workplace or during work hours! Think of the images as reconstructions. 

6am Wakey wakey! I usually stay in bed until 6:20am, then get ready as quickly as possible (no time for make up other than blusher and eyeliner) so I can leave the house at 6:30.

7am After a 25 minute walk to the train station, I board the 7am train and have a little nap. Half an hour later, I change to catch a second train, which I also nap on!

8am Just after 8, my train pulls in at the town of my work. It's only a 15 minute walk to school, where I check my emails whilst I eat my breakfast, take a look over the day's planning and get my resources prepared for the first lesson.

9am The children start to enter the classroom from 8:45 and most are there by 9. At 9:15, we have a twenty-minute assembly before heading back for a literacy lesson. 

10am During literacy, I work with one group closely and walk around every 10 minutes or so to keep an eye on the other groups. After an hour, it's time for break. Once a week, I have break duty and another day is detention duty. On the days when I'm not on duty, I spend the 15 minutes preparing for the next lesson. No time for a drink or toilet break!

11am Time for maths! As before, I work with one group closely whilst keeping an eye on the others. I have a rota system so I work with each group the same amount of times. I also have three teaching assistants during maths, which is great! One of my TAs has become a good friend. It's so much fun to work so closely with someone I'm close to and it shows in our class dynamic. 

12pm Lunch starts at 12:15. I walk the class to the playground, then head to the canteen. On Fridays, I treat myself to a school dinner as it's the best lunch day- Usually beans, chips and a burger! If I'm lucky, it's apple crumble for pudding! At 12:30 or so, I head back to my classroom and start preparing for the afternoon. I always have so many children coming to help that I need to kick some out! (Yes, between 8:30 and 3:30, I only have a 15 minute break!)

1pm Time to pick up the class from the playground. We have art on Friday afternoons- It's our favourite subject! We play some classical music and the children choose to work silently, whilst I walk around, offering suggestions and looking for that week's "Art Star".

2pm A little after 2, we start getting ready for circle time. We have an absolutely wonderful staff member who takes circle time. We've adopted mother and daughter roles as we're so similar, only with an age difference of 30 years or so! It gives our circle time sessions a really fun, nurturing environment.

3pm Time to read a little Harry Potter before the children get ready to leave at 3:15. I take them out and wait until they've all been picked up. I'm usually back in the classroom at 3:30. I check my emails and then start on my marking for the day. 

4pm On a Friday, I have 60 books to mark and that's a good day! I can have up to 90 books to mark just for one day. Of course, it's impossible to do that all in one day so it soon builds up! 

5pm I've never finished my marking by this time, but I need to leave early due to my long commute. School closes at 6 and most teachers stay until they get kicked out!

6pm By now, I'm almost home. I walk through the door at around 6:30pm and Rich usually has dinner ready for me! What a great guy!

7pm I have planning to do for next week but I am strict about giving myself Friday evenings off. I spend my weekends doing the planning and preparing resources for the week ahead. Instead, I catch up on blogs and Twitter.
8pm Rich runs me a bath and I soak my aching muscles! By the end of the week, I'm so tired that I nearly fall asleep in the bath!
9pm It's early but I'm practically falling asleep on the sofa by now. I head up to bed, read for 20 minutes or so and then I'm out like a light.

Still think teaching's an easy job? 


  1. I've never believed teaching to be an easy job - you're creating the world's future generations! Educating children requires patience, nuturing, and tons of know-how. I love this look into your daily grind and how when we're kids, we don't really look at all of the extra work that teachers do for us. Love you and what you do!

    xo Kristina Rose

  2. My boyfriend's mom is also a teacher and her stories are so eye-opening, just as yours are. Apart from hearing about the labor involved in teaching, finding out how much teachers are compensated for their work is absolutely embarrassing, at least in the US, where we live. She has a four year degree from a decent university, works harder than so many others, and is one of the top staff at her school, yet still makes less or just as much as a McDonald's manager. Not to put down anyone managing a fast-food restaurant, or doing another job of the like, but it is my personal opinion that teachers, the people responsible for educating future generations, should be rewarded for the hard work they put in. I know educators generally don't enter the profession in order to make massive amounts of money -- I don't think you should decide to make anything such a large part of your life simply for monetary gains, but that's another point -- but it's truly shameful that their salaries are increased maybe $200-300 per year, still keeping their yearly wages under $40k for the most part. It's very frustrating, even for an outsider like myself, to watch.

  3. Who says being teacher is easy? It's the toughest and most fragile job! You create the country's future and work as spiritual parents :)I'm glad someone else also sleeps in bath hah!
    Got you from #lbloggers chat. I'm glad I was just some minutes late else I could have lost the fun!
    Areeba @ Aree With Umbrella

  4. Having been a teacher (and now being a TA), I can confirm that it is definitely NOT an easy job! Yes, the holidays are good, there's no denying that. BUT... There's so much pressure. As a teacher you could work 24 hours a day and still not have everything done (there's always an even better if..!) Also, it's intense... So, so rewarding though :) xx

  5. Thank you for posting this! Minus the train commute and recess duty this is nearly exactly what my day looks like. Only ever about a 15 minute break!
    I've gotten into quite a few arguments with people who think teachers get paid too much for what they do. They really only see teachers in the school for 6 hours (and of course we spend the entire recess and lunch break relaxing) and then home. I'd really like to have people come join me for a day at school. This is second best, so thank you!

  6. This was so interesting, I loved it!

  7. Hi Becky :)
    As a TA, I know all about the school day, but still enjoyed reading this for some reason! I'm due to start a PGCE in September, so think I was just happy to read about what it's like to actually be a teacher. I'm always looking to get as much info on the profession as possible, thanks for the read.
    Nicola xx

  8. I am off to university in a few weeks to study education to hopefully become a primary school teacher, although the early starts and late finishes and piles of books, I can't wait. Such a lovely post - thanks! Paige xo
    A Paige At A Time

  9. My sister is a teacher and she is overworked and very tired. But Friday night she also gives herself the time off, partly because of our Sabbath. The best idea. I have to say, the life as a teacher doesn't attract me at all, I don't know how you do it!

  10. My sister's a teacher and she is overworked and overtired but she also gives herself Friday night off, it's a great idea

  11. my mum is a caretaker at my old primary school, and ive worked there and volunteered there a lot, I currently volunteer twice a week for reading. I think being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world! last year I helped in the year 6 class doing a day of baking, the teacher disappeared at one point and I had to take on a teaching role when she returned I told her id never want her job! its a amazing job, but not one I could do!

    Catherine x

    beauty is in the eye of the beholder


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