Most teachers spend the majority of their time in the classroom or preparing for classroom activities. The amount of time dedicated to other tasks varies by school, but activities outside of the classroom are often described as an integral part of the job. Here’s how teachers describe their time on the job:
|Segments||Public School||PrivateDay School||PrivateBoarding School||SpecialNeeds|
|Teaching in the Classroom||25%||20%||20%||15%|
|Grading Student Work||20%||20%||15%||5%|
|Personal Attention to Students||4%|
This is the behind-the-scenes element to teaching. Preparing for class is time-consuming and can entail everything from authoring “lesson plans,” to brainstorming tomorrow’s lecture, to developing thought-provoking questions for discussion, to physically setting up a special needs classroom. All teachers report that they spend extra time planning fun activities to encourage class participation and student interest. One chemistry teacher we spoke with spends much of his time outside of class devising bizarre experiments he can use in class to break up the monotony of lectures.
Teaching in the Classroom
For the majority of middle and high school teachers, class time is spent either orchestrating class discussion or lecturing students. Insiders say that all too often, the allotted 45 to 55 minutes are simply not enough to cover the concept they set out teach within that class period. Taking attendance, dealing with homework assignments, and managing other administrative items can cut into as much as a third of class time on the middle and high school levels. Elementary and special needs teachers may use class time on various activities that teach new concepts and skills.
Grading Student Work
Grading student work entails evaluating the quality of students’ papers, tests, and homework assignments. This is often a difficult part of a new teacher’s job, since they often question they’re grading too leniently or too severely, or if their tests and class workload are appropriately suited to their students’ level of ability. Special needs teachers are generally less concerned with grading student work than with evaluating individual student improvement.
Administration includes attending meetings with other teachers and school administrators, as well as writing required reports documenting student performance and progress. Many schools have formal faculty meetings once a month, but individual departments frequently meet to discuss specific book orders, student needs, or interdepartmental protocol.
Personal Attention to Students
In private and public high schools, teachers pay personal attention to students by tutoring those who are having trouble with their schoolwork, serving as mentors, and counseling them on personal issues. In elementary school, teachers encourage individual student progress and monitor disciplinary problems. Special needs teachers spend the majority of their time working individually with their students, helping them to develop academic and daily living skills.
Most educators believe that a child’s education extends outside of the classroom, and therefore, teachers need to be involved in a variety of student extracurricular activities.
Some teachers serve as coaches for student athletic teams, while others are responsible for managing the school paper or directing the school play. As more and more schools are
requiring their students to get involved in local community service, teachers are called on to set up and lead these programs as well.
Teachers must notify a student’s parents if a child is having difficulty in the classroom or if a teacher feels that parental involvement would benefit the child’s learning experience. At the elementary school level, teachers generally hold parent/teacher conferences twice a year to discuss the student’s academic progress. Most elementary schools also have a “Parent’s Night” during which parents can visit the school and experience their child’s typical day, at which they are encouraged to ask questions about the curriculum and the goals of the various classes. At special needs schools, teachers meet with parents as often as once every two weeks to establish a student’s individualized education plan (IEP) and discuss his/her progress.
One of my favorite end of the year activities that I did with third graders was Teach the Teacher Day. I usually planned it for one of the last days of school, but not THE last day. Each student gets to teach a lesson of his or her choice. It can be about anything!
It was so fun because you really get a glimpse into each student’s personality. I had one girl bring in a karaoke machine and teach us how to sing a song. One student taught us how to make no bake cheesecake, and she made enough for everyone! One student taught us how to draw Manga. He literally led the class in a drawing lesson, and the rest of the class was so excited with their final drawing. Some students would teach us languages, lessons about their heritage, karate moves, and so many other fun and interesting things.
As teacher, we learn so much from our students everyday, but on Teach the Teacher Day, I was always amazed at how much they had to teach me.
You can grab the lesson plan template for students FREE! Just click the image below to visit my store:
It’s so simple:
I would give students about 2 weeks to prepare their lessons. Just pass out the lesson plan template. Then, I would encourage them each day to practice their lessons. Then, set aside one of your last days, and let them teach.
There really is a lot of critical thinking involved in planning a lesson. (Preaching to the choir, I know). Students have to plan step by step how they will present the material, and write down the steps.
You could grade the presentation. This makes a great language arts grade for speaking and listening skills. You could also grade the lesson plan. I just added a rubric that you can use, too! (It’s included in the file.)
I had students include a multiple choice question. One year, I was on top of my game, and I typed them up ahead of time to make a class test. They LOVED seeing their question typed up like a test. I even took the test with them and let them grade me.
As they were presenting, I jotted down specific notes to myself and then later wrote each student an individual note about their presentation. They really appreciated it. I could tell because I would catch them re-reading the notes throughout the day. You could also have students write notes to each other on index cards or give them a time to praise each other.
This is my favorite end of the year activity. I hope you love it, too! If you are looking for some resources to promote summer learning, I have those in my store also!
I would love to hear how it goes or see pics if you try Teach the Teacher Day or other More Than a Worksheet lessons in your classroom! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me @morethanaworksheet on Instagram!
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end of the year, last day of school, presentation, speaking and listening, teach the teacher day