Here’s some Math for you.

May 31 + 1 = June = tomorrow

Despite its awkward elegance, this is only a temporarily true statement. In less than 24 hours it will be 364 days until it is true again. I am not sure 1/365 is a good ratio for truth. Despite these odds, I want to share some figures with you. So happy last day of May 2018 to all of my colleagues in education. Isn’t Math fun? Don’t worry, there will not be a test at the end.

CalculatorFrom a fractional point of view we will have completed 9/10ths of our instructional months at the sounding of today’s dismissal bell. That equates to roughly 180 days +/- in the classroom.

At 350 minutes per day in school(lunch excluded) that means approximately 70 000 minutes of planning, instructional, assessment, supervision, leadership, counseling, and communication time this academic year, so far.  Multiply that by our membership of roughly 80 000, it means we have worked about 5.60 billion minutes or 93.3 milion hours inside of school walls in 9 months.

Add in the other 110 000 educators teaching from K to 12 in our province, I might need a new calculator.


Now consider the time spent in education outside of school. Let’s say that 4/5s of our union membership brings home anywhere from 2 to 3 hours of work with them each evening(180 days x 150 minutes x 64 000 members = 1 728 000 000 minutes or 28.8 million hours).

And then there’s the weekends. On average I spend 3 to 4 hours per weekend, reading, planning, and assessing. Let’s say 200 minutes to be safe(not conservative) over 40 weekends per year that is another 8000 minutes or 133+ hours for me. Now if 60% of our colleagues are also doing this, it means an additional 383 million minutes or 6.38 million hours.

Are you still with me? I also lead clubs and coach which adds at least another 90 minutes per week. 90 minutes x 40 weeks = 60 hours or 1.5 weeks of a work year spent coaching and mentoring. If 50% of our teachers are doing this it adds another 2.40 million hours since September. All invested in the lives and well being of learners beyond the classroom.

When I add it all up in the past 9 months our membership have worked roughly 133+ million hours since the start of the year. Dividing 133 000 000 hours by 80 000 educators we get an average of 1662.5 hours over 40 +/- weeks or easily 41.563 hours per week – again a fairly spartan(not conservative) estimate.

I know that these figures appear subjective, but I have intentionally minimized many of them to allow for possible inaccuracies to avoid sensationalizing data. However, I am seeing the extremes and maximums far more often than not. When I calculate the time I spend in this calling, it is far greater than 50 to 55 hours per week. My spouse might argue it’s well past 60 hours per week.

I just see it as time well spent and 100% sure I’m not alone.

Thank you for all the minutes and hours you pour into education. I look forward to finishing the final 10 % of this year strong. Wishing you all the same.

Updated: May 31, 2018 — 3:37 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

Grade 5 lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, divergent, and modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at

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