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May 7, 2013
06:00 AM
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Teacher Appreciation: A Classy Day

Teacher Appreciation: A Classy Day

It's National Teacher Day. Not every profession has a formal day of appreciation. But not every profession is as demonized as it is lionized. Taking a day to step back from the politicization of education to focus instead on the fact that every day, in every classroom, a teacher stands in front of our kids, attempting to sink in as much knowledge as possible, is a nice respite from the debates surrounding unions and tenure, budget cuts and common core standards. 

So in the spirit of the day, let's look at some recent stats straight from teachers themselves.

The 2013 TELL survey (TELL stands for Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) of 6,000 educators in Delaware shows that an impressive 80 percent of respondents think that, despite everything, their school is a good place to work and learn. The majority, 53 percent, also felt they had an appropriate level of influence in school decision-making.

The most recent iteration of the annual MetLife Foundation Survey of the American Teacher paints a less rosy picture nationwide. The number of responding teachers stating job satisfaction fell 23 percent since 2008.

Satisfied or not, teachers detail the way they spend their workday in Primary Sources 2012: America's Teachers on the Teaching Profession:

  • 5 hours on instruction
  • 36 minutes on supervision and discipline
  • 45 minutes on class prep
  • 36 minutes on grading
  • 15 minutes communicating with parents
  • 23 minutes for lunch and personal concerns

Having been raised by a high school French teacher, I can attest that a teacher's workday doesn't end when the bell rings at 3pm. Evenings and weekennds, there are gradebooks to be updated, background reading to be done, student recommendations to write. It's that above-and-beyond dedication the NEA is celebrating today when it asks Facebook users to update their status to thank a teacher. 

Do you have a teacher you'd like to thank personally? Share your stories here.

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