Today’s guest post is by John Unger, one of AAE’s Policy Fellows. In this blog post, he shares his views about the workload that many teachers are confronted with.
The quote, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” really hits home as a public educator. There are often times when decisions about student learning come second to financial decisions or political decisions. When the general public thinks of education, they assume it is kids sitting in a classroom learning all the knowledge the teacher can throw at them, but this is not what our public schools look like at all. Teachers must deal with behaviors, mandates, budget cuts, build lesson plans, teach 100 different kids a day, manage lunch duty, and handle many other requirements. Lost in all of this is the need to educate each kid, and what makes that primary task a greater challenge, is that our students are all different and unique learners in their own way. In today’s education system, teachers are having a hard time meeting the needs of all kids and one reason is our schools don’t meet the needs of today’s learner. The general public doesn’t see the day-to-day needs of all of our students and teachers are often left to fill the multiple roles that non-educators think they should fill.