In NSW Public Schools we get 5 weeks holidays over summer and 6 weeks during the year off class.
Nearly all public holidays fall during this 11 week period.
In addition to this, many colleagues and I work at least two full-time weeks at home during the summer break before going back to school in January and 1 full-time week (at least) in each of the other holidays.
I believe that while working from home is easier work I do not have the 11 weeks holiday that is perceived by the community.
On top of that, the teachers I work with would easily work 50 hour weeks regularly and during report writing weeks 60 to 70 hour weeks.
I did a word-count on my mid-year reports for my students last year and they totalled approximately 28,000 words of writing.
We do these reports over weekends and late into the evenings with a very short window of opportunity to complete them.
We attend meetings (eg. learning support, admin, exec, team (such as literacy, stage/grade) each week;
we participate or lead professional development;
we prepare programs and individual learning plans;
we organise carnivals;
we run dance, music, chess, sport etc. at lunchtimes;
we set up art and science lessons;
we meet with parents, organise rosters, excursions, special assemblies, mini-fetes, Y6 farewells and school concerts etc;
we contribute to OH&S;
we order books and supplies;
we write excursion letters, answer emails, organise risk assessments;
we mark books and write and mark assessments with marking rubrics;
and we are required to differentiate the curriculum and prepare hands-on materials for many lessons.
We spend our own money (significant amounts) on resources, internet subscriptions, books, stickers, additional art and science supplies etc.
We do this because it is the job itself - educating Australian students - which is rewarding.
But all of these additional things, which are on top of the actual teaching which occurs 9-3, lead us to exhaustion and stress.
We do have a union to represent us, and gratefully so.
There is an enormous lack of understanding of what a teacher's work encompasses by the community.
Sally, Reader's Comment, SCHOOLS IN CRISIS : One-in-four new teachers 'burnt out', Brett Henebery, The Educator, 14 January 2015