--Louis A. Talman
On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM, Robert Hansen <email@example.com>
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.