A Call to Educators: Log Those Work Hours!

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As educators, we know our jobs don’t end when the final bell rings, but unless we’re keeping track of how many hours we put into our jobs, it’s tough to know exactly how much of our time is dominated by work-related tasks (with much of that time being unpaid).  Thanks to a colleague of mine, I’ve been inspired to log exactly how many hours I devote to my profession, from the time I spend in the actual classroom to the time I steal at night and on the weekends to get things done.

As part of my endeavor to find out just how much time I put into the profession and provide tangible evidence for the we-work-far-more-than-others-think mantra many educators spout, I encourage educators from all over the globe to participate in a movement I’m calling #LogMyEdHours.

As a participant in this movement, I am asking you educators out there to keep track of exactly how much time you spend “on the job” for one month — whether that time is at school, at home, or in the waiting room at the dentist’s office — and to report back to me your calculations at the end of that month.

So who should participate, what counts as loggable hours, and how should you keep track of it?  Read on.

Who should participate?

Anyone employed in the business of educating children, teenagers, and even adults.

  • pre-primary, primary, and secondary teachers
  • community college instructors
  • university professors
  • adjunct instructors/professors
  • school counselors
  • school social workers
  • school psychologists
  • school administrators
  • paraprofessionals
  • student teachers/interns
  • graduate students/doctoral candidates pursuing education credentials

What counts as loggable hours?

Any time spent performing your job, preparing to perform your job, providing feedback, or seeking professional development.  Specifically, any time spent:

  • in the classroom
  • at IEP/504/other student-centered meetings
  • in professional development sessions
  • on college or graduate coursework aimed at recertification or professional growth
  • at workshops and conferences
  • at open house
  • at parent/teacher conferences
  • contacting students/parents via email, phone, or in person
  • coaching sports
  • sponsoring clubs
  • attending school-related events (sports games, drama productions, fundraisers)
  • writing letters of recommendation
  • grading student work
  • preparing lesson plans
  • meeting with colleagues and superiors
  • attending board meetings
  • attending working lunch/dinner meetings
  • researching best practices
  • tutoring students
  • completing required training sessions (CPR training, concussion courses)
  • reporting welfare concerns/attending welfare meetings
  • at staff meetings

What does NOT count as loggable hours?

Anything not directly related to your work as an educator.  For example:

  • commute time to and from work, training sessions, workshops, etc. (everybody has to do that!)
  • lunch breaks (unless they’re working lunches)
  • after-school get-togethers with colleagues (unless the primary purpose is work-related)

How should participants log their hours?

You can log your hours in a number of ways, from using apps on your smart phone to jotting them down with good, old-fashioned paper and pencil.  Some ideas:

Android Apps from Google Play

  • Working Log Free (what I use)
  • My Work Clock
  • Job Log

iPhone Apps from iTunes

  • HoursTracker
  • WorkLog LT
  • Eternity Time Log

App-free Options

  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Word/Google Docs table
  • Paper/pencil

How do participants actually participate?

Leave a comment letting me know you’re participating, log your work hours, encourage friends and colleagues to participate using the hashtag #LogMyEdHours on social media, and report back with your results by leaving a comment on the results post I publish in a little over a month.  It’s really that easy!

This is a great way to keep track of how much time you actually spend working, to gain insight on when and what you’re working on, and to share with the world exactly what educators do and how much time they spend doing it.  Will you join me?