As the school year gets rolling into what should be another exciting and eventful year, teachers are getting ready to support students through all the usual busyness that comes with it.
While most would assume that teachers start working when school starts up again, that's actually not true, as there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making a successful school year. Holy Cross Collegiate Music Director and Grade 9 Teacher Sarah Haughey said the preparation for this upcoming school year started as early as June!
"I do a lot of work at the end of June, and the beginning of July, because I like to have things set out before August and September, it makes me feel better. So things like festivals and concerts, some of those I set out at the end of June for the next year. Other things I have to rely on travel agents and things, so I'm still hashing out the details on that."
Teaching isn't as simple as showing up for a school day and then heading home; a big part of the job is working extra hours even before the school year starts to make sure everything is organized.
"I know we spend a lot of time pre-planning festivals or tournaments or concert dates, making sure those are available for parents at the beginning so we don't run into conflicts. Setting up your grading system, things like that, those things take up a lot of your time."
Sometimes, an entire year of preparation happens before school even begins!
"I put all of their notes for science on Google classroom already, the week in advance of school, so parents and students have an idea of what's coming up, which will hopefully make the school year less stressful for students because I think the idea is to promote a safe and caring environment as we can by limiting anxiety and stress that students might experience with a new school year."
It's not just the teachers working hard, Haughey said it takes the entire school staff preparing over the summer to make a school year run smoothly.
"I would also like to give a shout out to the custodial staff because they work really hard behind the scenes all the way through the summer to make sure that the school facilities are clean and ready for students."
"(as for the administrative staff,) doing things like class lists, and making sure the schedules are right, those are epic tasks that I think people don't appreciate. You just find out the classes your kid is in, but you don't understand the hours of work that goes into that."
All of that is just the work that happens before the year even begins! Once classes are back in action, Haughey said she has a couple hours of marking every night to make sure the workload doesn't add up, and extracurriculars like jazz band and choir also take up hours of time after school. While the extra work is truly impressive, Haughey said it's all worth it to be with her students.
"Honestly, I can't think of a happier place than being in the band room with my students. So the hours, I don't really keep track."
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