Date: Oct 13, 2012 11:30 AM
Author: Louis Talman
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

> I think in this discussion, "Overworked" means "Underpaid" and the vast
> majority of "teacher" discussions and arguments are in regard to pay, or
> benefits.

Whatever the term "overworked" may mean to those in the discussion, it is
probably misdirected. The underlying problem is that, in the public
perception, teachers who aren't in direct contact with students aren't
"working". This point is amply supported by the way this discussion has
revolved around "teaching hours". It's bad enough that the term "teaching
hours" doesn't apply to all of the out-of-class support work that teachers
must do, but that's only the surface of the issue.

Read Liping Ma's book. Note that the Chinese teachers attribute much of
what they learn about not only teaching, but subject matter alone to their
interactions with more senior teachers. American public schools, focused
almost exclusively on teachers making direct contact with students, make no
provision whatsoever for teachers to talk to each other.

What is particularly disappointing about this fact is that the teachers
themselves don't recognize and haven't identified this problem. They
complain about being overworked---not about having their work misdirected.

--Louis A. Talman
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Metropolitan State College of Denver