About teachers’ job perceptions, Education Week’s Madeline Will writes:

“Teachers in the United States, like their counterparts around the world, are satisfied with their jobs even while largely agreeing that society does not value their profession, a new global study shows.”

Indeed, as Michael Lubelfeld, superintendent of the North Shore School District 112 in Illinois, put it: “The teacher shortage is real, and I think long-term, as a nation, we have to restore our faith and value in the nation’s public schools. We need to restore the appeal or college teacher preparation programs, so we can sustain the supply and demand for teachers.”

Indeed, we do…

Conducted by the Teaching and Learning International, together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the survey sought out responses from more than 150,000 7th, 8th, and 9th grade teachers and more than 9,000 principals. Of them 2.500 and 165, respectively, hail from the U.S.

The findings:

  • Our teachers report working, on average, 46.2 hours a week vs. the global average of just 38.3 hours.
  • Of those 46.2 hours, 28 are spent teaching and not tending to administrative activities or professional development; the survey average was just 20 teaching hours.
  • As for professional development, just 9% of U.S. teachers vs. 24% from other countries said they greatly needed training on teaching special needs students. Similarly, just 6% of U.S. teachers indicated a need for multicultural or multilingual training vs. 16% of those worldwide.

As for trying to explain the apparent differences in the two groups’ responses, Will ends her piece by quoting James Lynn Woodworth, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES):

“It may be that American teachers feel they are sufficiently prepared to do their jobs, or it could be that they think the professional development opportunities they are offered are not particularly useful.”

I suspect it’s the latter; how about you?

With my many thanks…  ~ Carol (schoolwisebooks.com)