Date: Oct 12, 2012 11:22 AM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 9:18 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 12:03 AM, GS Chandy <> wrote:
> > The 'Education Debate':
> >
> > Paul A. Tanner III (and others on his side of the debate) claim that US

> teachers - comparing them with teachers in Japan, Finland, etc - are
> severely overworked and hugely underpaid.

Is it that they're overworked or worked in the wrong ways?

I'm guessing a Japanese teacher would take umbrage at the notion they work
"less hard", likewise a Finnish teacher.

Paul has been talking about hours in the classroom as a measure, whereas in
Japan, a faculty member is expected to spend more time discussing and
crafting curriculum.

In my book, crafting curriculum is an important responsibility of any
teacher and if I can't find any resources you worked on, if you have no
portfolio, then I will have a harder time thinking of you as a teacher.

If all you do is get in front of the classroom and hold forth, then I might
think of you as an actor, and not a teacher.

Because the curriculum used in North America is so ridiculously out of
date, so bereft of essential nutrients (much like the fast food diet), it's
all the more important that the real teachers among them start redesigning
the curriculum pronto.

Relying on vapid, unimaginative, risk-averse, textbooks is not only
guaranteed to churn out more people with mediocre skills and abilities,
it's downright lazy.

In other words, I would argue that "teachers" who only hold forth in the
classroom, but do no curriculum design, are actually working *less hard*
than those who design curriculum.

They're also shirking a core responsibility.

They've been manipulated out of doing a credible job. They are not really
teachers, just glorified textbook presenters and day care providers
(institutionalized clowns charged with providing minor innocuous
entertainment in a society that wants to "socialize" its young people in
large prison-block like buildings).

In short, if you don't help design curriculum for your school, you're
closer to a lazy-good-for-nothing than a teacher. You should fight to get
your real job back.