Doghouse – Education

Article from Issue 282/2024

Non-teachers often underestimate the work of teachers; the profession merits greater support and funding.

Recently, I participated in a Facebook conversation with computer science educators (mostly grade school) about how many courses they were teaching and how many of them require preparation time before they walk into the classroom. In case you have never taught, good teachers prepare their lesson before going into the classroom, present the lesson, and then develop and grade the tests. If the material is new to the teacher, and a difficult subject, the teacher might take four, six, or eight hours for one hour of presentation. If the classes for the course are three one-hour presentations a week and the teacher needs four hours of preparation for each hour of class, that is 15 hours of work for each course. Add another hour per week for answering questions and grading tests, and you are up to 16 hours. Three courses brings the total to 48 hours a week of work.

Some of the teachers I spoke with were teaching six courses (or more) at a time and feeling "a little burned out." So I answered:

Will you please allow me to be outraged for you? I do not know the exact situation you are in or what level you are teaching, but five preps plus teaching a sport? In a way I can understand teaching the sport. It is probably the one thing that helps you keep your health and sanity.


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