Teaching Profession From Our Research Center

What a Typical Teacher’s Day Actually Looks Like

By Ileana Najarro & Hyon-Young Kim — April 14, 2022 1 min read
Patrick Jiner walks back to his classroom on April 13, 2022 at Lake Middle School in Denver.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

After a new national survey found that a typical teacher works a median of 54 hours a week, Education Week wanted to take a look at what can go into a teacher’s daily schedule. Patrick Jiner, a 7th grade math teacher at Lake Middle School in Denver who also serves on the board of the Denver teachers’ union, shared his notes on what a typical day can entail.

*Time stamps are estimates.

Actual Teaching Time
Non-Teaching Work Time (Planning, Prep, Meetings, Other Work Tasks)
5 a.m. ☀️ Wake up.
6:30 a.m. Leave home on time to account for traffic and a typical 30-minute commute to school. 🚗
7 a.m. In the classroom getting everything ready such as warming up classroom computers, reviewing the day’s agenda, and getting mentally and physically prepared. 💪
7:30 a.m. 🔔 The morning school bell rings and “teachers are on fire.” 🔥 First class period begins. There will be 3 minutes in between this period and the next to clean up and transition the room. (Every transition between classes takes place in 3 minutes.)
8:33 a.m. Second period begins.
9:36 a.m. Third period begins.
10:39 a.m. Fourth period begins.
11:42 a.m. 🍎 Lunch for 30 minutes. It really means:
• Attending to students who want to talk or need to get extra help on work not understood, or
• Helping another teacher with instruction questions, or
• Addressing disciplinary actions.
12:07 p.m. Planning period for own class. Sometimes used for substituting in another teacher's classroom because there aren’t enough substitutes.
1:20 p.m. Final class period begins.
2:30 p.m. Students are done for the day. Teachers are not. This is a planning period.
3:30 p.m. 👥 Meeting around student data, team meeting, or grade level leaders meeting.
5:30 or 6 p.m. Arrive home. Spend time with my wife and kids if there isn’t a Zoom meeting for the union board.
Make parent phone calls and emails. 📧
7-8 p.m. If it's Sunday night, check emails sent over the weekend, read weekly announcements and schedule for the upcoming week, and get mentally and physically prepared.
8 p.m. 📝 Lesson planning at home in the living room. Grading papers and entering data in 2-3 places.
10 or 10:30 p.m. 🌙 Debrief, take a shower, go to bed, and get ready to start again the next day. (If your mind can stop thinking about what you have to do.) 🛏️

(Entries have been edited.)

education week logo subbrand logo RC RGB

Data analysis for this article was provided by the EdWeek Research Center. Learn more about the center’s work.

Reporting by Ileana Najarro | Design by Hyon-Young Kim

Events

Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Cellphones Turned My Teaching Career From 'Awesome' to Exhausting
A former high school teacher shares how his students' increasing reliance on cellphones drove him out of the classroom.
5 min read
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Cassidy Araiza for Education Week
Teaching Profession Teachers’ Unions Are Gaining Ground in a State That Once Forbade Them
With unions now representing educators in its largest district, Virginia is seeing a labor resurgence.
7 min read
Image of a folder and a signed agreement.
iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Q&A 'Fundamentally Changing the Conditions' for Teaching
A specialized STEM program builds in more planning time for teachers.
5 min read
Tess Carlson, Biology & Community Health Teacher for SFUSD Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for Ruier Fang and Aldriana Ramos, both 12th graders at Thurgood Marshall, on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Tess Carlson, the founding science teacher for Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for students on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Peter Prato for Education Week