Teachers Work More Unpaid Overtime Hours Than Everyone Else

A lot of teachers complain about being overworked and underpaid. While many might say these teachers are actually paid well, the truth is that most teachers work more unpaid overtime hours than everyone else!

Remember that teachers still need to prepare for their lessons before they go to their respective schools to teach the children.

Preparation for these lessons depend on the grade level and the type of lesson the teacher has to prepare for, but this accounts for at least 1 hour of overtime work which doesn’t get paid or counted at all. This does not also count the hours they spend making test papers and various activities for the students.

Most teachers’ compensation covers the 6 to 8 hours they spend in their respective classes, directly teaching lessons to kids. However, they still need to spend more hours after school as they check the test papers, grading projects and presentations, making grades, and preparing their classrooms for the next day’s lessons.

The cycle continues throughout the school year, day in and day out.


According to data gathered by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the United Kingdom (UK), teachers work an average of 12.2 hours of unpaid overtime every week.

While pre-school teachers are believed to work about 6.4 hours unpaid overtime per week, the number is about twice as high for primary teachers who had to put in 13 hours a week! Secondary teachers have a slightly lower average of 12.8 hours of unpaid overtime a week.

Taking the entire teaching profession as a whole, teachers work more unpaid overtime hours than everyone else – even taking into consideration lawyers, finance professionals, hospitality and catering managers, and chief executives.

Our education system can’t be run off the back of free labor and goodwill. The government must tackle staff shortages and overwork by giving schools the resources they need,” explained TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

Ministers need to work with teaching unions to address the unacceptable workloads that are driving so many dedicated teachers out of the profession.

Sadly, teachers spend more hours trying to make ‘evidence’ of the work they are doing, such as writing lesson plans.

Teachers say many of the hours they are being expected to do aren’t even helpful to the children they teach,” explained teaching union joint general secretary Kevin Courtney.

With workload going up and real terms pay going down it is no surprise that we are facing such problems with recruiting new teachers and keeping the ones we’ve got.

Photo credit: TES

Though these statements were made in the United Kingdom, the same applies to teachers from the rest of the world as well…


  1. I hope our government ofiicials will realize how teachers work.Not counting the saturday we spent just to make our classroom conducive to learning.We love our work,we love our pupils, but we also love our own children ,our family who need finacial support.

  2. Yesssss….way way way more than anyone. We work in the night, correcting, preparing (question papers, teaching materials, for events, etc etc), care for our students and therefore even in our one off, or one break we talk to those students (trying to find the issues, support them etc etc), keep our heads down continuously because we are constantly checking, etc etc. We hardly sleep at night, we forget to eat in time, we forget our severe spondylitis/back pain/or any kind of pain/ fever/sickness/headache etc etc…we forget our children and family/ whether someone is in ICU/is dying or dead even if it is father or mother. We have no social life because we get up early in the morning around 4.30/5 am (specially working mothers) so that after finishing our household chores we can catch the 6.45/6.5./7 am school bus….reach home by 3#/3.30/4/4.30/5 pm. We start disliking if any guests visit us, though we love our friends and relatives, because we have a lot of work. We work on our off days too. Yet we are questioned by management, parents (and students too). And we don’t have answers to those questions because we are too busy doing our work honestly and not keep a track of what we did at what time, on which day and date. People talk about teachers having vacations. We need them. If we don’t have them there’ll be psychos roaming around on streets! And our salaries!! You know, since we are in a noble profession and are doing social service our salaries should not matter. So, if we have to go for an operation or are admitted in a hospital, we paupers have to literally beg and run here and there to collect finance. Or forget about the surgery or medical emergency. And so most of us have to have a second income, again at the cost of family and physical plus mental health. So do we work more….hell yeah, WE DO!!

  3. Oh yes, and, I forgot to mention- more and more young people are employed, which is good, but at the cost of experienced and seasoned teschers because the management/in-charge/co-ordinator/HOD/etc can mould them (read control and exploit with lower salaries). Married people specially lady teachers fall in the firing list. And those with small children (not grown up/adult) are at the top of the firing list. Come to India, do a absolutely SECRET research, you’ll find the ugly truth.

  4. There is always the word “no.” We need to have more pride and awareness of our self-worth. There problem with teachers is we are mostly kind, caring, positive people in systems run by fairly callous and cynical managers. Not always true but in many situations it is so. We need to say no more often.

  5. Where teachers are paid reasonable salary,like many government schools teachers have the least work baring one or two.Private schools mostly have five categories.
    1)Pays good but make the teachers sweat out for money.
    2)Pays good and make teachers do teaching and non-teaching errand jobs.
    3)Religion based schools no standard of recruitment of teachers.Medium workload with no proper payments.
    4)Solely private or Trustee schools medium payments with huge workload
    5)Individuals running schools with maximum exploitation of teachers.Poorly paid.

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