One of the things that I hear all of the time about being a teacher, is how nice it must be to get summers off. Then the conversation usually drifts into how teacher pay is so great, because we get paid a full year’s pay, and how summer is basically a paid vacation. Let’s take a look at that:
Teachers are contracted to work 196 days per year. In addition, we are also required to be at school for events outside of the 196 days of the contract. Events like graduation, open house, and even to staff the different extracurricular events like sports, grad bash, prom, and school dances. 
During those summer breaks, teachers are required to do things. One of them is training to comply with Federal and state law. For example, I have to attend 120 hours of training on educating students who do not speak English as a primary language. Last year, it was 60 hours on special needs students, and another 24 hours on school security. On top of that, many schools have training requirements of their own. My wife (who works at a different school) has a reading list of books that each teacher must read during the summer. For example, last year’s book was “Find a way.” 
It can be difficult to add up the hours, because teachers are salary, and each school and teacher has different requirements. Here in Florida, every teacher has a contract of what they must do, and this contract lays out the minimum. My wife and I are high school teachers, so I am going to use that as an example.
To begin, each teacher is contracted to work an 8 hour day for 196 days a year. That covers the 6 classes per day that we are with students, plus the planning period. That comes to 1568 hours.
We are also required to provide course materials like power points, worksheets, and tests. You either create them or pay for them out of your own pocket. I also have to grade student papers. I have 140 students a year, so any time there is an assignment, those papers take time to grade. My school requires that I have my students complete a minimum of 3 graded assignments a week. Some classes are harder to grade papers than others. Essays and complicated physics problems take longer to grade than a multiple choice quiz, for example. A new teacher spends about 4 hours each of the 180 workdays where we have students on this. More experienced teachers can do it in about 2 hours. There goes another 360 hours or so.
In addition, we are required to attend 5 events each year. Those events include prom, sporting events, etc. On top of that, you have to attend the awards banquet for your students. There are two of them (9th & 10th grade, and another for 11th & 12th). There is also graduation, baccalaureate, and others. In all, these events add up to another 40 hours or so.
Last year, every teacher in the state had to attend a 120 hour class on sensitivity to illegal alien students. That was in addition to our regular in service training. Same goes for the 60 hour special needs training we did this year, and the Guardian training that will be required, if they ever establish that. If you want summers off, then you have to find a way to take those classes at night or on weekends during the school year. These trainings usually come to another 100 hours or so,on average.
Total it up: 1568 + 360+ 40+ 100. That is about 2068 hours. That pretty much equals the 2080 hours that you work in a 40 hour a week job. 
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Angus McThag · May 20, 2019 at 5:28 am

Hardly anyone who's salaried in the private sector works a mere 40 hour week. 60+ is a lot more common.

Many of these jobs also carry continuing education and certification requirements which are rarely paid for by the employer.

We've got high school teacher friends (Pinellas and Pasco) and they definitely have more free time than Harvey and most definitely have more days off.

Divemedic · May 20, 2019 at 11:31 am

I had a salaried job for 22 years before I retired and became a teacher. I made double what I make as a teacher, and only worked about ten percent more.

For the last couple of years before I retired from firefighting, I had the pleasure of doing the applicant interviews. The last set I did was for three positions. We had over 200 qualified applicants.

We began the school year with six classrooms that were staffed by subs because there were not enough applicants to fill them. Three of those classrooms still have subs. You obviously think that teaching is an easy gig. You should apply.

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