As a teacher my thoughts have been turned toward how it might look if teachers only worked the hours they are "clocked" to work like other working class folks.
Most people go to work, do a great job at work, put in their hours and go home. Once they are off the clock, they are off the clock. They get to go home and either take care of the responsibilities home life brings or go have fun. They are able to spend time with family and enjoy life.
It is a different picture for teaches. They go to work early so that they can run copies, pick up around the room and prepare for the day. They work their tails off all day to keep on top of things. Yes they get prep time but it is usually a whopping 35-40 minutes where they run to the restroom - because teachers have to learn to hold it most of the day. They try to plan lessons and grade papers but really that small window of time is not enough to really get much done. Many times they have meetings and other commitments during this precious planning time. Then comes the 30 minute lunch where they also rush to the restroom, find some time to eat, don't drink liquids for fear of needing to pee and just take a much needed brain break. Then its back to the rest of the day where they teach and manage their classroom. The bell rings, the kids leave and they run copies and grade papers until well past their contract time. Finally after wearing tired of the classroom they pack up a bag, take papers home to grade and post. Sometimes this takes until 7 or 8 at night....
Weekends are just as eventful. They get to enjoy one day, sometimes two but before the weekend is over it is time to lesson plan. This can take hours depending on the resources available.
"But they get afternoons in many schools free of students." Yes they do but, those are meant for professional development. Those are times the teachers go to school. There is no planing time written in for teachers those days. Actually there is in most districts no actual planning or lesson time written into the day. The small chunks of time are simply not enough to effectively plan and grade.
If a teacher only worked the hours that are paid lessons might not get written, assignments would not get graded or posted and well, the class would be in complete chaos. Nothing would get done.