The provincial government, along with the Alberta Teachers’ Association and Alberta school boards released the results of a survey Friday that shows on average, Alberta teachers work the equivalent of six eight hour days per week.

The findings didn’t come as a surprise to teachers; one teacher told CTV News that putting in extra time is all part of the job.

“I feel that teaching isn’t a 9 to 5 job, a lot of our time is spent after hours assessing student work, planning for our lessons, communicating with our parents,” Grade 3 Teacher Carey Stephens said.

For the student, more than 1500 Alberta teachers, working at all grade levels, participated by keeping track of their work hours, both in and out of the classroom over the course of the year-long study.

The findings showed Alberta teachers work an average of 48 hours per week.

“It helps give understanding to use and others, what goes on in the life of a teacher during a work day and beyond,” ATA President Mark Ramsankar said.

Education Minister David Eggen, a former teacher himself, wasn’t surprised by the study’s results, saying teachers do about the same amount of work as a person with typical work hours over the course of a year, but condensed into the nine months of a school year.

“A school system is only as good as each individual makes, so if we’re building a positive atmosphere, I think that reflects positively on our children’s education too,” Eggen said.

Now, the province, ATA and school boards will use the survey results to make sure students remain as the focus of a teacher’s work day.

In addition to the hours, the survey identified distractions teachers face.

“What we’re finding is that there are so many distractions from the core work that teachers do, and it interferes with their ability to fully participate with students during the course of a day,” Ramsankar said.

For Stephens – who has been a teacher for 18 years – the extra time is worth it.

“We do that because we love it and we want each child to be successful, and in order for each child to be successful it takes time,” Stephens said.

Eggen also said the information will be helpful when contract negotiations begin in the near future.

With files from Amanda Anderson