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Community Post: 11 Annoying Things People Say About Teaching


1. “Teachers aren’t as good as they used to be.”

The Teacher Advancement Program, which uses both student test results and observational methods to assess teaching effectiveness, concluded that 85% of teachers were effective.

2. “Teachers get paid too much.”

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The national average teaching salary is $56,069 (starting teaching salary is $35,672). Teachers also usually spend a lot of money out of pocket for classroom supplies, grade papers on the weekends, and spend hours after school prepping for lessons. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of teacher salaries.

3. “Teaching experience doesn’t matter because anyone can teach.”

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The study of a Cornell University economist shows that teacher effectiveness improves with experience.

4. “The school day is over when the students leave.”

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According to Francie Alexander, chief academic officer for Scholastic, teachers work an average of 53 hours a week.

5. “Those who can’t do, teach.”

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Research indicates that teacher preparation and knowledge of teaching and learning, subject matter knowledge, and experience are all leading factors in teacher effectiveness.

6. “Teachers are solely responsible for learning.”

According to the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching and Hillary Clinton, it takes a village to raise a child.

7. “Merit pay will make more effective teachers.”

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Researchers from the National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI) concluded that incentivizing teachers with bonus pay based on good results, without good professional develop programs in place, does not make a notable difference in student results nor does it increase teacher motivation.

8. “Teachers unions are bad for student performance.”

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A Harvard University study showed that students in states with high unionization tend to perform better than students in states with lower unionization.

9. “Kindergarten and preschool are glorified babysitting.”

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The Perry Preschool Study, which took place over 35 years, found that students who received a high quality early education were far less likely to become teenage parents, go to jail, drop out of high school, or be unemployed.

10. “If teachers aren’t piling on homework, they aren’t doing their job well.”

Homework at its best should be practice or review. Researchers at the University of Virginia found that the quality of homework, not the amount of it, actually increases test scores.

11. “Teachers don’t really care about their students.”

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A survey of 400,000 students about teacher performance showed that 77% of students think that their teacher wants to see them succeed.

For most teachers, this is the reality:

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