I work reasonably hard. But productivity varies day to day. My type of work -- desk job -- can go boom or bust. If I don't do it today, usually it can be done tomorrow. If I play online Scrabble right now, I can make it up later. It's not a daily grind, it's maybe a weekly grind. Much less so with teaching. Teachers live in day-tight compartments. They can't no-show for Period 3. They can't skip breakfast duty. They can't plan today for yesterday's lesson or show up on Thursday for the Tuesday grade team meeting.
Sure, there are some things teachers can put off to tomorrow. These are important but rarely urgent. Grading. Tutoring, perhaps. Calling parents. But even these delays build up quickly. Kids start to tune out, teacher enthusiasm fades, and teacher procrastination increases. Doom loop.
How to avoid? Well this book helps you get organized. But there's only so much that can be done for chronic procrastinators.
Our sector doesn't explain the Daily Grind aspect of teaching very well to prospective teachers. Whether undergrad or grad school, college is probably the closet thing in life to the opposite of a required daily grind. Plenty of folks procrastinate, then pull all-nighters once in a while, and do just fine.
In some professions, people can choose the work cycle that works best for them. Journalists can write for dailies, weeklies, monthlies, or write books. Schoolteachers have one flavor of ice cream: daily grind.
This work style is not something we currently screen for in our teacher residency admissions process. I wonder if anyone (TFA?) has run numbers on this.
Let's say we consider 2 nearly identical college seniors. Both have a 3.4 GPA and everything else checks out the same. But in terms of work style: one grinds away daily on a steady schedule, the other goes boom-or-bust with some manic periods of activity.
Who ends up doing better as a teacher? Who ends up more likely to keep teaching? Is there any correlation?