Sunday, 9 June 2013

TCH: Teachers Work 8 hr Days

Where "teachers" is defined as me, "8 hr days" is defined as the mode, and the month in question was May 2013. Let's break it down further, shall we?

The mean workday is 6.77 hrs, the median is 8 hrs, the mode is 8 hrs.  But the first thing to notice is that this is for ALL 31 days of the month, including weekends. In that graph, every day under 6 hrs was work done on a weekend - with the exception of 4 hrs of work on Holiday Monday.

Since no one works EVERY day (even I have two days at zero), we equalize. Wipe out the eight Sunday/Saturday data.  The month is left with 22 "working" days (23 if you include the holiday).  The mean is now 9 hrs, the median is 8.5 hrs, and the mode, well, still 8 hrs.  Except there's now 12 hours of work unaccounted for, so we put that back in... and the mean "work day" rolls up to 9.55 hrs.  (If you're wondering what counts as "work", I'll refer you back to the rules in the post that started this venture.)

That actually feels slightly LOW as an average, when you take into account:
1) I have a tendency to short change myself when rounding off to the half hour.
2) The days were all pretty typical, with a 4 hr day balancing a 12 hr day. The true "skewness" of a teaching distribution is better seen around report card time, with lots of high impact days.

Also, again, this is me.  Newer teachers may have to work more, people who get to teach the same course twice in a day may be able to work less.  I have NO idea what's typical.  Feel free to speak up and tell me I'm a slacker, or a workaholic.


Now, it was suggested previously that I break things down by day, to seek patterns. Good idea. As May had more "Wed/Thurs/Fri" days, I'll take the individual daily totals and divide by either 4 or 5.

Monday is a bit lower, but again remember there was a holiday in May, when I worked but did no teaching.  Observations:
1) Tuesday seems to be my powerhouse day; I start to trail off towards the end of the week.
2) I *SEVERELY* overestimate the amount of work that I can accomplish on weekends. Again, possible personal bias in that weekend work tends to involve multitasking, so I invariably chop my times in half... but seeing this makes me feel like, heck with it, I should just stay later during the week.

Given how the month ran to a total of 210 hours worked, I next became curious how much time I actually slept in May. If we assume 7 hrs a night for 31 days, that's 217 hours. Which is probably low - there are some weekends I sleep in - but if we add in my commuting time (20+ mins twice a weekday), one could probably say I'm involved with work/teaching just as much as I am sleeping.

The "Social Media" wedge there is for 1.5 hrs daily, on average, which might also be low.  I also publish a mathematical web serial, which sucks a couple hours out of me per week, but I suspect is even less than the commute, so would be in "Other".  As is stuff like "meals", "lawn care" or "doing the dishes".


Okay, just for kicks, here's the numbers for the last 2.5 weeks of April: 165.5 hrs worked.  Mean 8.7 hrs, Median 9.5 hrs, many modes (4, 7, 11.5, 14.5).  But that's across 19 days.  So, equalizing again to only "working" days gives (ready for this?) a mean of 12.75 hrs per day.  Because of report cards and the school play alongside everything else.  But I wasn't recording yet during the first part of that month, so it's kind of artificial.

Now, June only has the report cards, no play, so these last three weeks should be a piece of cake or something, yeah?  ....  Oh wait.  Exams.



  1. You really work too much. As do your fellow teachers. That's a workload that would result in the Labour Board stepping in, especially when sustained. I once did a 19-day work week and was burnt out and needed time to recover.

    For the Mondays, can you separate out the holiday Monday from the rest? Or maybe subtract the time at school from the average of the non-holiday Mondays for comparison? Because it's starting to look like you did more work at home the holiday Monday than any other weekday.

    Hmmm... One thought just occurred. What if you took out the in-class time? The "regular" work hours, so to speak. Compare the "overtime" (for lack of a better word here) per day. Weekends, it's all "overtime" (really need a better word here). It might be educational for non-teacher types.

    Looking at your daily graph, Tuesdays seem to be your heaviest day, though the holiday Monday skews things a little. Wednesday through Friday is more steady.

    1. I'm trying to picture 19 days crammed into one week, and it's blowing my mind. Maybe I missed something there. Also, not sure how to adjust for the holiday without putting probably far more thought into this than necessary.

      At first I thought "great idea!" for the removal of in-class, but then it occurred to me that it would only be removing 225 minutes (3.75 hrs) from every day. Or 5 hours if you include the 75 minute "prep" period I have to do, er, everything else. Which isn't that hard to do (lobotomize the bars) and simply shows that, on a daily basis, I work 4 hours more than people think I do. Or 3 hours more, if you accept I work at lunch and need to be in class before the bell actually rings (the standard "6 hour day").

      Yeah, Tuesday I try to prep for the rest of the week while I'm still fresh. Suppose it doesn't really surprise me. I think June's been shaping up the same way.

    2. I worked 19 days straight, along the lines of your daily summary chart, except the spike was Friday instead of Tuesday. That you do that sort of work for the bulk of the year is mind-blowing and exhausting. I've been thinking about accounting for the holiday Monday, too, and nothing is coming up. I think that, overall, Mondays are going to look light because most holidays during the school year fall on that day.

      Hmmm... I was thinking your "at-school, in the physical building" time, more. And, if you work through lunch, it counts. The regular work world gets time off to eat without working. (Though, I've done light work through lunch like start a PC re-image because the PC is at my desk.) I was also thinking that you should merge the April data with the May and see if that changes anything on the graph.

      Aha! However, weekly prep is needed and is best done at the start of the week instead of the end, so that doesn't help smooth the graph any. Still, the graphing and tracking is showing a definite pattern.