Overworked vs. Working Overtime
There is a difference between being overworked and working over time. Teachers don’t mind working over time if it’s for a good reason [making great lessons, activities, etc], but when a teacher is overworked, that is completely different and that is when teachers start to get irritated.
Teachers that are overworked are basically just doing “busy work” because administration needs some extra data collected, paperwork completed, email written, parent spoken to, or any other of the 948 tasks… 948 tasks written very small, of course, in order to fit them all into their tiny administration hats.
Teachers that work overtime [which probably 90% of teachers do], are those that work before the school day, during their lunch break, after the last bell rings, and/or after dinner. These teachers, willingly, put in the overtime for school and dip into their personal life because they truly believe that the students will benefit from all their extra effort.
I’ll speak from personal experience: I do not mind working 100 hours on one assignment if it’s an assignment that I know my students will benefit from, they get enjoyment out of it, and I get pleasure in the completion of the assignment and success from my students. I do not mind “not having a life” because I decided long time ago that my life will be dedicated fully to teaching and to the success of my students.
On the other hand, it is a waste of my time to work even 15 minutes on something that is just “busy work”. I don’t care if it’s “necessary” because there needs to be a paper trail and lessons to be handed in. IT IS ALL BUSY WORK! The few hours it takes me to write up a lesson that I will never look at again is a waste of my time. I could be using that time to think of new lessons, creative games, fun tasks, or just researching teaching philosophies and other methodologies in general.
Instead, teachers are forced to be the non-eco-friendly versions of Hansel and Gretel trying to escape the clutches of the Wicked Administration.