Have you heard how horrible teachers are in the United States? Part 1 of 3

20 Oct

If you have read or heard that U.S. public school teachers are lazy, incompetent, and don’t care about the children they teach, that was a lie. After you read this post, ask why would anyone want to lie about that and who are these liars?

The BBC reports, “What hours do teachers really work?

“Teachers’ unions have warned about excessive workloads and complained about staff being put under too much pressure. The long working week has been one of the grievances prompting teachers to go on strike. …

So how long is the working week (for teachers)?

“For secondary head teachers, it stretches to an average of 63.3 hours per week – the longest of any of the teaching jobs. Primary classroom teachers worked longer hours – 59.3 hours – than their secondary school counterparts, who worked for 55.7 hours per week. The hours in a secondary academy were slightly less, at 55.2 hours.”

The Washington Post reported, “ Teachers work 53 hours per week on avearge (the source of funding for this survey will surprise some if not many who read this post)?

“Teaching is a much talked about yet often misunderstood profession. Educators frequently hear well-meaning comments from parents and friends like “It must be so sweet to spend your days with children” or “How wonderful to be done for the day by three o’clock.” Are they serious? …

“A new report from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, called Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on the Teaching Profession, finally quantifies just how hard teachers work: 10 hours and 40 minutes a day on average. That’s a 53-hour work week! …

“The 7.5 hours in the classroom are just the starting point. On average, teachers are at school an additional 90 minutes beyond the school day for mentoring, providing after-school help for students, attending staff meetings and collaborating with peers. Teachers then spend another 95 minutes at home grading, preparing classroom activities, and doing other job-related tasks. The workday is even longer for teachers who advise extracurricular clubs and coach sports —11 hours and 20 minutes, on average.”

For a comparison to understand how hard teachers work, it helps to know how long the average American works in a week.

“Americans do work hard. Americans work an average of 34.4 hours a week, longer than their counterparts in the world’s largest economies. Many work even longer. Adults employed full-time report working an average of 47 hours per week, which equates to nearly six days a week, according to Gallup.”

My works weeks when I was teaching ran between 60-to-100 hours for a seven day week.I didn’t work only five days. I took work home and worked all seven days.

Continued in Part 2 on October 21, 2017


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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6 responses to “Have you heard how horrible teachers are in the United States? Part 1 of 3

  1. Susan Lee Schwartz

    October 20, 2017 at 17:21

    There was never enough hours in a day to do everything, including wiping the plaster from the desks in places where the ceiling shed it every day. Calling parents, cleaning my room, trying to set up for the next class, and endless interruption by the administration whose job it was to support the teachers, but who were often adversarial. I was the NYS Educator of Excellence and still, had no help from the principals who wanted to break my tenure and hire a novice.

    I took home work that kept me up late in the night, and I worked through holidays to finish planning and grading.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      October 20, 2017 at 18:19

      How true. There were never enough hours in a day. That’s why I looked forward to holidays so I had extra days without having to teach to correct papers, compute grades and plan lessons.

      For years the roof leaked for the classroom I taught out of for the last decade of the thirty years I was a teacher. The old carpet always got soaked. I used up several trash cans to catch as much water as possible. The ceiling had a lot of water stains from the leaks.

      One year, the room filled with the stench of death. It was so horrible, I moved my classes to the library. It took a few days of complaints to get the district to act and send a crew to find out what was wrong. They ended up cutting a hole in the wall and finding a dead possum and its babies inside.

      • Susan Lee Schwartz

        October 20, 2017 at 20:44

        Lordy… I lived with the stench dead animals in the walls. I was given a classroom with no glass in four window panes; most of the classrooms in which I taught had no materials. I bought EVERYTHING, and in the last tenure, where I was the NYS Educator of Excellence, I bought most of the books and all of the art materials that I used, because they NEVER GAVE ME A CENT.

        THe story of what they did to me, in that last place would bring tears to your eyes.

        I often think of writing it as a play, to show the behavior of the people who ran the show in what was the premier district in NYC., and to show how the UFT not only failed the teachers, how they enabled the corruption of the DOE!

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        October 21, 2017 at 08:11

        I think what happened to you was happening from coast to coast. What was happening was a throwback to the Catholic inquisitions with a twist regarding witch hunts. Instead of accusing women who didn’t fit the politically correct mold of the time, they were conducting a witch hunt against public school teachers and they have been doing it for decades in an orchestrated, planned attempt to destroy the teaching profession and take over the community based democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools.

        The reason I saw that is because when I started teaching in the late 1970s, there weren’t enough books for every teacher to have even a class set. Being a new teacher, I had one copy of the textbook with no teachers manual. At night I copied onto ditto masters the lessons from the book and arrived at school before all the other teachers so I could use the ditto machine and get my copying done. I used that ditto machine so much, the other teachers started to call me Mr. Ditto and my fingers gave it away because the ditto fluid when it gets on your fingers turned the skin purple. I had purple fingers for the first few years as a teacher under a full-time contract. I taught out of portable classrooms with no windows and horribly inefficient noisy HVAC units. IF we used the unit, our students couldn’t hear what we said but most of them didn’t work anyway. The first portable I taught out of had a floor that bulged in the middle like a huge giant pimple and with 36 students the old desks covered in carved and inked graffiti on top and old gum on the bottom would slide off that growing floor pimple and collide with students sitting in desks at the bottom of that tumor.

        We also didn’t have phones or intercoms in our classrooms.If we had an emergency, we had to send one of the students we trusted to run to the office and get help.

        Eventually, they moved me out of that portable into another windowless portable next to the street. The HVAC system was as bad as the other portable’s, but the floor was flat. Then some cats got under the portable and died because someone poisoned them. Because the custodians could see the carcasses under there through the air vents, the district got the dead cats out and the stink wasn’t so bad. The dead possum came years later in a brick and mortar classroom. It was in that classroom that a street gang tried to break in to reach my student editors of the high school paper one night when we were working late to get the next paper out. We were cut off. No phone, No mobile phones. No internet yet even if we had a computer but we didn’t have any of those yet. I managed to get the door closed and with no windows, all we had to do was wait out the gang until they left. They banged on the walls and kicked the door and cursed and shouted what they were going to do with my student female editors.

        To get out of that portable, I was forced to write a letter and sent a copy to every principal and PTA chapter in the district. That embarrassed district administration and they moved us to a brick and mortar classroom further from the fence. But that room was smaller than the average classroom so it was really crowded in there. That was also the room with the leaky roof and eventually the dead possums in the wall.

        Years later, a VP told me I was on a blacklist to be forced out and I probably got on that list because of the methods I used to get things done like getting out of that portable after the gang failed to molest my girl student editors and beat or kill me to get to them.

        There was seldom any help from the top unless you made it a district-wide issue and included the elected school board and PTA chapters o all the district’s schools. The micromanaging district administration that Trump would have been proud of didn’t like that. I was warned one year that all the top brass actually held meetings and talked about how they could get rid of me but they feared me because of my tactics and I had become a high profile teacher featured in the media because my English students were winning literary contests with the poetry and short stories they were writing in my class and my journalism students were picking up regional, national, and internal journalism awards for students. The local teachers union was worried so much about me that they cautioned me to not take so many risks with the top district brass. But that didn’t stop me. Eventually, reached 30 years and left. The top brass probably went to a bar and celebrated my departure.

        They went after me several times, and I beat them every time and one time I had to have the union step in and provide legal support to protect me. At one point, I even had the ACLU involved and another Civil Rights group that offered protection for K-12 students who ran student newspapers at public schools.

        I had my sources form the district office on down and my sources told me that as much as the top brass wanted to get rid of me, they feared me more because I played a role in getting rid of at least one principal if not two who they hired to crush the teachers at the high school.

        That witch hunt with teachers as the modern day witches, that modern-day inquisition based on a mixture of fundamental Christianity and pure greed where god (Notice no capital letter for their god) is worshiped at Milton Friedman’s altar of avarice after President Ronald Reagan declared the war that became a witch hunt for teachers in 1983 when he released the A Nation at Risk Report that a few years later was proved to be flawed and horribly misleading by the release of another report, The Sandia Report, that the corporate reformers of public education and their politically election minions have deliberately ignored and attempted to bury.

  2. Jon Awbrey

    October 20, 2017 at 17:25

    It’s a very standard sort of brand-switching campaign, a lot of it run by the very same advertising firms.

  3. drext727

    October 23, 2017 at 07:58


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