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February 28, 2017

Archives:

14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

American Teacher: Documentary Review

Teaching is a tough job. That much is made clear in the documentary American Teacher  which was directed by Vanessa Roth. It’s a job that pays highly-educated professionals very little for such long hours. Teaching also requires great personal sacrifice, such as spending individual funds on classroom supplies, forgoing family time to attend school functions or grade papers, and even working a second or third job in order to barely cover the expenses of an average family.

The documentary brings attention to the popular public opinion that teachers have short workdays and lots of vacation time. In reality, the workday of a teacher is 10-11 hours long, with another 15 hours through out the week spent on planning and grading at home, for a whopping 65-hour work week. As a former English teacher with six years of classroom experience, I can vouch for the accuracy of that estimate. One former teacher in the video referred to “the insane work hours” required.

Another popular opinion is that “anybody can teach.” The Harvard grad featured in the video then asks, “Well who would you want to teach your children then?” It’s important to note that same teacher now works in a position at a charter school that opted to pay its teachers a yearly salary of $125,000 by finding ways to reallocate public funds.

Just a few enlightening statistics on the teaching profession included:

• 31% hold second jobs

• 62% hold second jobs if coaching and advising are taken into consideration.

• 46% quit before their fifth year.

• 20% quit at urban schools every year

• 14% less in pay is made compared to professions that require similar education.

American TeacherAt only 80 minutes, what American Teacher does not make clear are ways to alleviate the profession’s woes. High attrition rates carry costs for everyone, economically and intellectually. An additional 30 minutes of footage would have provided the time to start a much needed exploration.

A brief comparison is drawn between America’s school system and more successful systems from Singapore, South Korea, and Finland. The valuation of teachers must encompasses selective recruiting, funded training, competitive compensation, a professional working environment, cultural respect, being career-oriented, as well as looking at a school’s annual teaching turnover.

The video ends by pointing out that despite challenges, educators persevere. I beg to differ. The profession is in shambles. What’s your take? What would help alleviate the profession’s woes and keep quality teachers in the classroom?

Jeri (9 Posts)

Jeri Walker-Bickett was born and raised in Wallace, Idaho, a rough and tumble mining town with a checkered past. The storytelling urge struck at a young age, but an undergraduate degree in writing led to a graduate degree in English education. Between living the scholarship-laden life of an academic bum, she did seasonal work in national parks. Jeri met her future husband in Yellowstone and they later married in Las Vegas. This phase in their lives sparked an obsession with food and travel. Fate has intervened to allow her to take time off from the classroom. Her forthcoming novel, Lost Girl Road, is a ghost story that takes place in the woods of northwest Montana. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and their pets.