Date: Oct 13, 2012 8:24 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

Well, there it is. 

Your denial of the OECD data that talked about in
is now exposed as utterly false. You just confirmed that your school is not a school from which one can in any way infer to the general case for US elementary schools, an inference you have repeatedly tried to get away with in your denial of the OECD data.

And you STILL have not told us whether your school is a charter school or some other special school. (But it seems to me I might recall that you have said some time ago that it is.)

If it is a special school like some charter school, then that is even more devastating to your wrong thinking that you could infer to the general case from your school. You need to be up front here and tell us honestly whether your school is any type at all of such a school, including any type of charter school.

Nothing you have said and nothing you could ever say about your school is relevant to the general case, since the vast majority of elementary schools in the US are not schools in which this method that some call looping is implemented. (This is the method of one teacher teaching only 20 or so kids all subjects all day long. The students do not have different teachers for different subjects at all.)

Yes, 900 teaching hours per year for your son's teacher (if this is really to be believed - I still do not since we have no idea the details of her actual teaching contract and how things are calculated in it since we do not know the school and district) is still 50% greater than the teaching hours per year of a teacher in these countries in question, but still almost 200 teaching hours per year shy of the average US elementary school teacher. See the OECD charts linked to in my post above and stop denying them.

The title of this post is true. In terms of hours in front of classes and in terms of total numbers of students in all classes when the classes are so-called one-hour classes (all secondary schools and the vast majority of elementary schools do not practice looping), US public school teachers are overworked and underpaid in comparison to the teachers of the top-performing countries of Japan, Finland, and Korea, which for primary and secondary schools range between mid 500s and mid 600s (see the OECD charts and stop denying them) with primary hours greater than secondary hours (true even in the US - see the OECD charts and stop denying them), for school years that are respectively 243, 190, and 225 days in comparison to 180 days in the US.

> On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 6:24 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> Primary school Paul. She has the same students all day. She teaches them less than 5 hours. For goodness sake, are your telling me I don't know what time I drop my son off at school and pick him up? Except for activity, recess and lunch, he is in that classroom the whole school day. His stuff is in his desk, including papers he was supposed to bring home. I saw them.
> 5 hours is still 900 hours, only 100 or so shy of the article you posted. I don't understand your beef.
> Regarding secondary school, which I have as yet verified, what would bother me more than teaching algebra 5 times a day is teaching a mix of algebra and remedial maths 5 times a day. But I would do what I had to do I guess. My job is no walk in the park either, and it is year round. The only way you are going to get less teaching hours is for the U.S. to reduce the school day as some of these other countries have done. I suspect if that were to happen then they would also reduce your salary.
> Bob Hansen
> On Oct 13, 2012, at 5:59 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

>> A total of only 20 students in all that teacher's classes added together?
>> If that teacher teaches many different one-hour classes per day,
>> different students in each class, 20 students per class, then do the
>> math - it's more than 20.
>> The only way a total of 20 is mathematically possible is if that
>> teacher had the exact same 20 kids in all the classes he/she taught
>> each and every day. He/she teaches many different classes to the exact
>> same set of kids each and every day, meaning she teaches all her
>> students all the different subjects? All the teachers in that school
>> do that? They don't have those who are stronger in math and science
>> teach that, have those who are stronger in language arts and such
>> teach that, and so on?
>> Is that what is going on? I know that some places try this idea of one
>> teacher teaching all subjects to the same set of students, being tried
>> in some places, but it is out of the ordinary - it is not the usual
>> way of doing things, even for elementary school. It is never or almost
>> never done in secondary schools.
>> Some charter schools or other special schools do this. Is your son's
>> school a charter school?
>> If this one-teacher-teaching-all-subjects way of doing things is true,
>> then just this by itself definitively proves that your inferences from
>> your school are false - just as I in
>> said, these and other inferences being to the working hours and their
>> distribution of the average US teacher, primary and especially
>> secondary, and the average teacher in these other countries we talked
>> about, since your school would be not in the norm.
>> One would think that those of you who preach that there should be
>> teachers (even at the elementary school level) who know really well
>> the subject they teach would not be in favor of having one teacher
>> teach all subjects.
>> But if your son's teacher is in the usual teaching context, having
>> many different classes each with different students, then why did you
>> reply the way you did? I have *repeatedly* throughout this thread been
>> talking about the total number of students from all classes that a
>> teacher has. (And even without me saying that, talking about 60 or 120
>> different students clearly means the total from all classes.)
>> On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

>>> My son's teacher deals with 20.
>>> Bob Hansen
>>> On Oct 13, 2012, at 11:58 AM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

>>>> If you
>>>> have to deal with 120 students and I have to deal with 60,