Monday, 15 July 2013

TCH: Teacher Work Time Varies

This post is a follow-up to "Teachers Work 8 Hour Days", the analysis of my teaching hours spent in May 2013 - which itself was a follow-up from some raw data at "A Month of Teaching". In other words, here's my analysis of June 2013. A few things that are going to skew the data:
1- I didn't work Sat June 29 or Sun June 30 but still included them as  days in the month (what's a weekend?).
2- I was sick one Wednesday, then marks were due on the last Tuesday of the month, creating another Wednesday recovery day. So mid-week looks low.

The mean workday is 6.37 hours, the median is 7.25 hours, the mode is 9 hours. Again, for ALL 30 days, including weekends. (Think about that. The mode is not zero.) Not as simple to identify Saturday and Sunday this time either - for instance, Sunday before marks were due was a 7 hour day, and I only worked 4 hours the Wednesday I was sick.

Still, if we go based on 20 "working" days, the 191 total hours of work in June makes the mean jump to 9.55 hours of work per day. Amusingly enough, that's the same number from May. So perhaps we can say that teachers work an average of 9.5 hours, given five days a week.

Of course, I'm a sample size of one. It seems more accurate to say that, overall, the workday varies. Additionally, my discussion of "high impact days" in the previous post failed to account for the "low impact days" that naturally follow. (The old 'hurry up and then wait' phenomenon.)


In May, Tuesday was my powerhouse day, followed by a trailing off. In June, Thursday seems to have been my big day of the week, easily outclassing any average from May. I have no idea why that became the case. Partly the return to work after the sick day, but my desire not to have items for the weekend could also have caused a shift to that day, and Monday.

As far as the activities pie chart goes, I was working 1% less. It's not really saying much else to me, mostly including it here since I did so in May. Here's to consistency.

Just for kicks, here's the summary of June data merged with May AND with the latter part of April, when I began #TchDay tags. Remember, school play is now in there. Averaged over 11 weeks, so slightly more than one school term.



1) I'm not typical. A few people said the daily numbers troubled them. (Okay?) Remember, I don't presently have any kids, and my wife sometimes works long hours too. So I can spend time at work redesigning lessons because I feel it will pay off in the long run... more so than attempting gardening. Also, it still takes me forever to mark.

2) Weekends are less helpful than perceived. Granted, I shortchange myself when I multitask, but perhaps I should seriously consider not doing anything. The problem with that is the guilt factor, coupled with the nagging feeling that, should I remove the four hours per weekday when I'm in the class teaching - maybe weekends are more useful than I think?

I haven't been tracking this month (July), because while I have done some math reading and song parodies while on vacation, I don't count that as part of the job. Now, should I pick this up again in September? I'm inclined to say I won't, unless there's cause. Do you have thoughts on any of this?


  1. Really interesting. I think I'm similar in days (7) and variation (1-12 hrs per day) and total hours. My average is probably closer to 10 than 9. I'm going to try to keep track when our semester starts in Jan.

    1. Thank you for the comment! Glad this finally found some use, and good to know that there's others out there who feel similarly. Your recent twitter poll was a good idea (for anyone reading this, no one below 9 hrs); I'll be interested to see what else comes of your efforts.