Teaching Profession From Our Research Center

How Teachers Spend Their Time: A Breakdown

By Hayley Hardison — April 19, 2022 1 min read
Patrick Jiner, a seventh grade math teacher at Lake Middle School in Denver, writes on a smart board as he talks to his class on April 13, 2022.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new, nationally representative survey of teachers found that a typical teacher works a median of 54 hours per week. But just 46 percent of their time in the school building is spent teaching. The survey, which was administered by the EdWeek Research Center and commissioned by the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College, offers a closer look at how all those hours are spent.

“The general public needs to consider that teachers’ work doesn’t end with the day’s final school bell. And it’s not just about lecturing at the front of the classroom,” wrote Education Week reporter Ileana Najarro in recent coverage.

Hundreds of teachers on social media have shared how many hours they clock in per week. With teacher job satisfaction hitting an all-time low, it’s crucial to examine how teachers’ schedules have intensified over the years—especially since the start of the pandemic. On top of their core job, more than half of teachers work second jobs to supplement their teaching salaries.

Here’s a breakdown of how much time (the median number of hours) teachers report spending on specific tasks throughout their workweeks, according to the survey:

5 hours     grading and providing feedback of student work

5 hours     planning or preparing

3 hours     doing general administrative work

3 hours     on non-teaching student interaction

2 hours     collaborating/planning with colleagues

2 hours     communicating with parents or guardians

2 hours     doing other work activities

1 hour     doing school committee work

1 hour     doing professional-development activities

1 hour     on non-curricular activities (such as sports, clubs, after-school events)

Check out a visual representation of this information from Education Week on Instagram (and be sure to follow us for more information and inspiration):

education week logo subbrand logo RC RGB

Data analysis for this article was provided by the EdWeek Research Center. Learn more about the center’s work.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Meet the 5 Teachers Being Considered for National Teacher of the Year
From P.E. to culturally responsive teaching, the finalists all find ways to connect to their students.
7 min read
National Teachers of the Year
Clockwise from top left: Carolyn Kielma from Connecticut, Jermar Rountree from D.C., Rebecka Peterson from Oklahoma, Harlee Harvey from Alaska, Kimberly Radostits from Illinois
Teaching Profession Scared, Anxious, Worried: States’ New Restrictions Have Teachers on Edge
Even math and science teachers say they're self-censoring and frightened about falling afoul of the policies.
6 min read
Image of caution tape near the teacher's desk in the classroom.
enjoynz/DigitalVision Vectors + EdWeek
Teaching Profession Morning Rituals Educators Swear By to Start the Day Right
From yoga and exercise to greeting each student by name, educators share their best tips for a great start to the school day.
1 min read
Image of a clock on a spiral notebook.
Teaching Profession The IRS Increased the Teacher Tax Deduction. Will It Help?
Teachers use the deduction to offset the cost of classroom supplies.
1 min read
Image of school supplies
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty