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Labor Day Tribute: Recognizing Teachers and Staff Hard Work

This Labor Day weekend, as we close out summer with family, friends, and barbecues, let’s not forget the real purpose of the holiday.

Labor Day is the celebration of the workers who have made America what it is today.

And, as every school leader knows, our public schools are full of some of the hardest workers in the country.

Administrators, support staff, custodians, counselors, teaching aids, and especially teachers, work long hours—yes, even in the summer—often times for less than optimal pay. Most are driven by a singular purpose: ensuring students get access to the education and life skills they need to succeed.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of critics out there who underappreciate the effort teachers put into their work. Summers off? Out at 3 p.m.? Sounds like a breeze, right?

Think again. This infographic from Busy Teacher aims to help folks who don’t work in schools understand just how hard teachers work.

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If you find yourself in a conversation this weekend about the work ethic of America’s public school educators, here’s a few important points to keep in mind:

  • Teachers work a lot more than 8 hours a day
    The average day for a teacher is somewhere between 12 and 16 hours, according to Busy Teacher. Besides the eight-hour teaching day, teachers often add an extra hour before or after the school day to help struggling students. Then, there’s another three to five hours of grading, prep work, catching up on emails, and other tasks that many teachers opt to tackle outside of the normal school day.
  • Summers off? Not so much
    While many think teachers benefit from having summers off, Busy Teacher points out that it’s rare for teachers to take three full months for vacation. Most teachers take at least two weeks of continuing education classes during the summer. On average, teachers take about three weeks during the summer for curriculum planning as well as an additional month for trainings, meetings, and classroom prep.
  • Many teachers make under $50,000 a year
    The estimated average salary for a teacher in the United States is $49,000, according to Busy Teacher. While some may argue this is appropriate compensation for nine months of work, as the infographic shows, most teachers take only a few weeks off during the summer.

For more, check out Busy Teacher’s full infographic below.

It’s easy to overlook the heady responsibility that teachers and school staff have when it comes to our future. Educating our next generation of workers and leaders is one of the most important jobs there is—and we should all be grateful for the work our teachers do!

If you see a teacher, or a school administrator, or any other public school employee this weekend, be sure to thank them for their hard work.

TrustED will return with fresh new content on Tuesday, September 5. Happy Labor Day!

teacher appreciation infographic