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.
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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.)

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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

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