“My biggest surprise as a teacher was realizing how much work there was to do as a teacher apart from actually teaching! I usually worked after school, at night and on weekends to grade papers, create lesson plans, complete paperwork, contact parents, and handle discipline issues. I routinely put in well over my 38 hour contract week.
I was frustrated that I was continually exhausted and had little free time. It bothered me that I was not able to call in sick at 7am (without significant planning) or take an extra day off around the holidays (every school in which I taught forbade using one of our personal days next to a holiday weekend). I saw my friends and relatives working many fewer hours with more respect (and higher pay) and finally thought: Is this really what I want to be doing in 10 years?
In 2004 I left teaching to become an attorney. I now work reasonable hours (for more pay) and do not spend my nights and weekends stressing about my job. I know several teachers who love their jobs, but I know many others who feel as I do.”
-from a former teacher, posted on my data gathering blog