May 1, 2010

The Upward Trend?

Not too long ago I found myself involved in a conversation with another educator about extra-curricular activities. This educator was under the assumption that as we become more experienced educators we devout less time to students. I do not know if this is true, so I took a look at my extra-curricular hours.

Internship: 200hrs
Year One: 432 hrs
Year Two: 500 hrs
Year Three: 567 hrs
Year Four (current year): Projected: 700+hrs (note: this is time spent directly with students...and awake. Time spent sleeping: 200hrs

Now I am not a math person, but according to my calculations this means by the end of this year I will have spent close to 1000hrs away from home because of extra-curricular activities. I could figure out what percentage of a day, month, year, etc... this all represents, but I don't want to. It might scare me a bit. All I know is that it has been time very well spent. I have developed relationships outside of the classroom that I would otherwise not have been able to. Honestly, my planning suffers a bit because I simply do not have enough hours in a day. But I think that the pros far outweigh the cons.

So, it would seem that I am on an upward trend - that I devout more hours each year, not less. However, this trend must soon change. Eventually, there will be a point in which my hours decrease (because there is not enough hours in a day, and because I will soon be a new father). Understandably, our priorities change as we get older and as a result, we devout less hours to students. The question: will somebody else pick up these hours, or will student's simply lose them? Does there need to be a healthy mix of "experienced" and "new" teachers? Or is this all a lie and "experienced" teachers contribute just as many hours?

There's only one way to find out - leave a comment below that indicates how many years you have been teaching and approximately how many hours you donate to extra-curricular now.


  1. Holy jumping catfish Ryan. That is a LOT of time. I hope students and parents have been appreciative.

    I don't devote anywhere close to what you do. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I can't do it. I'm 56 and in year 29 or so. That makes me officially old.

    Interestingly, when I was applying for my first teaching jobs, I was often passed over for someone, however unqualified for the teaching position, who could "coach football" (or basketball or ...)

    Another interesting question you might want to add to your survey would be, "At what age did you start teaching?" At one time, degree teachers were for the most part 22 or so when they started. I'm guessing most of them didn't have young families, aged parents, and a house to take care of.

  2. I do believe that I spent alot of time with students outside of classtime in my first 15 years of teaching. Between coaching, drama productions and outdoor ed. the years would fly by. They school year still flies by and I believe that I am still very active with students with extra-curricular activities. I am in my 19th year of teaching. I don't coach sports any longer, but I am involved in several student activities; SRC, Book Club, Pottery Club, Travel Club, SEVEC and Grad Co-ordinator. Sometimes I feel that I do less than I did when I was younger, but now that I look at it written down I believe that I am just as involved.