British Teachers Seek Shorter Work Week

British teachers are seeking to change current policies and implement a new 35 hour work-week which would result in teachers interacting with students about 24 hours per week. The remaining time would allow teachers to grade papers and to plan their future lessons. In 2001, Scotland implemented the McCrone Agreement which established a 35 hour work week which has been reduced to 22.5 hours interacting with students.

Any time teachers discuss the topic of how many hours they work, the public becomes excited and angry because it is assumed teachers have an easy life. In reality, few good teachers work less than sixty hours a week given the demands to create lesson plans each day and to interact with students after school. Let me cite an example, if a teacher assigns a writing assignment to 80 students and devotes 10 minutes to making comments and grading, this constitutes 800 minutes which is over 10 hours of work.

The difference between good teachers and mediocre ones is that the former work many more hours than what people who never have taught understand.

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