What Weekends Are Really Like When You’re a Teacher


Weekend in the life of a teacher

Ah the weekend, those blissful two days we get every week to rest, recharge and hopefully recover from a long week of work… unless of course, you’re a teacher. Teachers don’t get normal weekends like the rest of the working public. We get 48 hours to accomplish 100 hours of stuff, and oh yeah try to sleep in too. What does a typical teacher weekend look like? Let’s take a look.

1. Sleeping in on Saturday

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Is there a time of week more sacred than Saturday morning? It’s the first time all week we get to turn the alarm clock off and catch a few extra z’s.

…unless, of course, you have small children

…or you have to work a second job

…or you have an enormous pile of work to catch up on

…or you’re so worried about the enormous pile of work that you wake yourself up in a cold sweat.

…or your biological clock is set to waking up at the crack of dawn so you’re incapable of sleeping in, ever.

2. Your morning cup of coffee

Congratulations, you get to enjoy your coffee while it’s still warm! Savor each sip as you gently arise and greet the day. By the way, you only have about 10 minutes to savor because now it’s time to….

3. Start the laundry

By Saturday morning, your hamper is full to over-flowing with an entire week’s worth of clothes. And somehow for every child you have, the amount of dirty clothes triples. We’re not exactly sure how that works, or how it’s possible… but believe me, it is. You drag Mt. Dirty Laundry to the washer and begin this eternal process that will somehow take you all weekend to transform into Mt. Clean Laundry That I Don’t Have Time to Fold.

4. It’s Parenting Time

You spend 5 days spending more time with your students than you do with your own children, so this is a good time to reconnect with them and see how everything’s going. What are they up to in school? Are they making friends? How did you scrape your knee? What’s that bandage doing on your arm? You know, basic parenting questions that you don’t have time to ask during the week.

5. “Hey mom, guess what I have to do this weekend?”

Being a parent is so much fun. Every day is a brand new challenge. Like when your child informs you on Saturday that they have a major project due on Monday and you need to help them with it. The best part of this process is trying to get straight answers from your child.

Me: “When did you get this assignment”

Them: “Um… I think like a month ago?”

Me: “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Them: “I don’t know.”

Me: “What supplies do you need?”

Them: “I don’t know.”

So helpful, aren’t they? You just spent an entire week doing school-related things and now here you are doing more school-related things during non-school hours. 

6. Remember to switch the laundry into the dryer

Yeah, the buzzer went off but you were too busy driving to Wal-Mart getting all the supplies your child needs to complete their project.

7. Stare at your ungraded papers

Oh yeah, you brought home a metric ton of papers that need grading. This might actually be a good time to start on that, but c’mon! This is the weekend. You’ve earned a little break, so why don’t you push that off until tomorrow and give yourself some “me time”. 

8. Housework can’t be ignored forever

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I hope you enjoyed all 10 minutes of that “me time” because this is the first time you’ve seen your house during daylight hours in a week and… wow, is it a mess! That means it’s time to grab a broom, a vacuum, a mop, and a dust cloth and get to work.

9. The first load of clothes is done in the dryer

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Great, you now have one pile of clean clothes that just came out of the dryer, one pile of wet clothes that just finished in the washer, and a still very large pile of dirty clothes waiting their turn on this merry-go-round of cleanliness. You’re about to start folding the clean clothes, but then realize you were still in the middle of house cleaning, so you leave the clean pile alone and finish cleaning.

10. A home-cooked meal at last

Most teachers have become experts at throwing together a dinner in under 30 minutes. It may not be haute cuisine, but it gets the job done. But now it’s the weekend! You have a little extra time to create a really nice dinner… right after you run to the store to get the ingredients.

11. Another load finishes in the dryer

You now have a large pile of clean clothes, one pile of wet clothes and somehow still more dirty clothes.

12. Netflix and…. Lesson plan?

Other people may get to turn off their brains over the weekend, but not us teachers. We are the undisputed champions of multi-tasking. So let’s get comfy on the couch with the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a glass of wine, and all the standards you need to teach next week.

13. Sunday morning

OK, so the first day of your weekend wasn’t exactly peaceful, but you’ve got another day to make up for it. Or do you?

14. The laundry monster strikes again

You realize you left a load of laundry in the washer overnight and now it’s musty and must be re-washed. There is now an avalanche of clean clothes that probably should get folded and put away at some point.

15. Stare at your ungraded papers again

That’s right! You still have those ungraded papers to deal with. But it’s still the morning and you know you have the rest of the day to deal with them. Better put them off until later.

16. Magically it’s later

This is a weird phenomenon that happens every weekend. For some reason, teachers just seem to time jump and several hours disappear without warning. One minute, you’re sipping morning coffee, the next minute it’s dinner time. Time to prepare meals for a houseful of picky eaters.

17. Oh no! Tomorrow’s Monday!

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This is the part of the weekend where all teachers take some time out of their weekend to curl up and silently sob for a bit over the realization that tomorrow is, in fact, Monday.

18. Congratulations, all your clothes are clean

Hey, look at you. You managed to successfully clean all the dirty clothes in the house. Unfortunately, they are now in an incredibly large pile, unfolded. You will never actually fold these clothes. Every day you will just pick what you will wear that day from this pile. 

19. Your papers still aren’t graded

Dang it! Well, maybe you can just get up extra early tomorrow and grade these papers at school, which makes you wonder why you brought them home in the first place.

20. Good luck trying to fall asleep

It’s now Sunday night, your weekend has disappeared and you don’t know where it went. Suddenly you start to think about everything you need to do this week, the students you’ll have to deal with, and all those deadlines that are coming due. You’ll try to fall asleep but your brain is running a million miles a minute calculating all the tasks awaiting you when you wake up.

But don’t worry… maybe you can relax and recover next weekend.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out: Welcome to a Day in the Life of a Teacher!

Just Another Weekend In The Life of a Teacher

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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