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edu180atl: catherine lindsay linsky 9.16.11

Want to know what teachers want most in the world?  Chances are, if they’re really honest, they’ll tell you…More time.

I was a seventh grade Life Science teacher for years, but I didn’t really appreciate all that my colleagues and I did until I took a step out of the traditional teaching role and began to study educators.  Now, as a third year doctoral student, I am knee-deep data from the 12 teachers in my dissertation study, who all seem to be saying the same thing: “I just wish I had more time.”

I’m not so far into the world of academia to forget what it’s like…There never seems to be enough time to get to all the neat activities, give each student individual attention every day, make enough phone calls, or write more feedback on those papers.  This never ending push for progress and student achievement can get the best of some teachers who end up with a case of the dreaded “teacher burnout.”

However, I’ve also found that, without a doubt, a fail-proof—almost miraculous—cure for teacher burnout is appreciation.  Yesterday a high school Forensics, Biology, and Chemistry teacher told me how incredibly time consuming and tiring her “three preps” were.  But when her students walk in the door and make statements like, “I’ve been looking forward to this class all day!” it makes all her hard work worthwhile.

Please take a moment to thank a teacher today.

Catherine Lindsay Linsky is a doctoral candidate of Science Education who is studying teachers’ beliefs and instruction of Ocean Literacy.

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