Date: Oct 13, 2012 12:13 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

How can you agree with this fully when you are not agreeing at all that US public school teachers should be given what math teachers in these other countries (the top performers Japan, Korea, Finland) have, you not agreeing with this since it would cost so much more in terms of total amount of money going to teacher pay? 

Again, what they have is this:

Even though the total number of time per the work contract that they need to be on campus is essentially the same, the standard full time hours of close to 40 hours per week, they have much less time that they actually be in front of the classes, down to around 15 hours per week instead of the what it is in the US, essentially twice that at 30 hours per week or close to it.

And since their *in-class* pupil-teacher ratio is close to what it is in the US, having half or almost down to half the teaching hours means that they have half or almost down to half the total number of students that they have to deal with.

And so it is mathematically inescapable that the only way to match what they do is to double or almost double the number of US teachers.

On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> I agree with this fully.
> On Oct 13, 2012, at 11:30 AM, Louis Talman <> wrote:
> 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
> <>