The Atlantic-Building Better Teachers

A co-worker sent me this book review from The Atlantic titled “Building Better Teachers.” The part that he highlighted reads as follows:

“But class size is a crude measure of a more important, encompassing concept that is worth attending to: teacher workload. How much time do teachers spend on classroom instruction, and how much time do they have outside of class to devote to the other considerable, less visible aspects of the job: lesson planning, paper grading, conferring with students, calling parents, meeting with colleagues to discuss methods and goals. Here, the PISA results are not ambiguous. Every single country that outperforms us has significantly smaller teacher workloads. Indeed, on the scale of time devoted by teachers to in-class instruction annually, the United States is off the charts. We spend far more hours in the classroom on average, twice and nearly three times more in some cases, than teachers in any other OECD country save Chile. Finnish high-school teachers, for example, clock 553 hours in the classroom each year. In Japan, home of jugyokenkyu, that number is 500. In the U.S., it’s 1,051. (Figures for elementary and middle school show roughly the same skew.)” [italics, mine]

This article just verifies the conclusion that I have reached. I bled while working in the United States. I don’t even know how many hours were spent grading, contacting parents, eating lunch with students who preferred a quiet classroom to a loud cafeteria, holding detentions, decompressing before even starting my commute home, and then doing it all over again the next day.

It can be beautiful.

And it can be downright miserable.

I don’t bleed here in Venezuela. The fire (and the burn out) is not in me here like it was in The United States. I’m still debating if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I’m leaning towards a good thing.

What are your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “The Atlantic-Building Better Teachers

    • Don’t be! There are reasons why you want to do what you want to do. Those will be enough to get you through! Besides, I just ended up in…interesting professional situations. Plenty of people find a school that they love!!

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