Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world

This is Anna. She just graduated from
college in the United States. And this is Sophia. She also just graduated from
college in Finland. Anna and Sophia both want to be middle school teachers. But it
turns out, there’s a good chance their experiences will be very different. So
different that Anna is twice as likely as Sophia to leave teaching for good.
That’s causing a problem. The supply of new certified teachers in the United
States is shrinking, but the number of public school students keeps growing.
Massive teacher shortages. Warnings about teacher turnover. Educators call
Colorado’s teacher shortage a crisis. So what makes Sophia stay and Anna leave? And how can the United States keep more of its teachers in the classroom? In the
US, teachers work about nine and a quarter hours a day. That’s an hour and a
half longer than the average for teachers in other countries in the
Organization for Economic Development or OECD for short. That’s a group of mostly
wealthy countries that economists often compare to one another. Teachers in the
US. work more than two and a half hours longer than their colleagues in South
Korea, Finland, and Israel. There are some countries with similar teacher work
hours to the United States, like New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK. Teachers in Japan for example work nearly two hours more per day than teachers in the US, but
in all of these countries teaching hours are much lower. Of the nine and a quarter hours that American teachers work every day, they
spend about five and a half of those hours actually teaching. That’s more than
the OECD average and significantly more than teachers in New Zealand, the UK,
South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. Teachers in these countries get more time for planning, grading, and collaborating with each other. So do all those extra teaching hours translate to better results? Students in the US score slightly above the OECD average on the PISA exam, which tests 15 year-olds all
over the world in reading, science, and math. But they score lower than students
in countries like Finland, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore, where teaching hours are much lower. If we look inside Anna and Sofia’s classrooms in the US and Finland, we’d see Anna teaching an hour and a half more per day than Sofia. Anna also spends more time planning lessons, grading student work, and leading extracurricular
activities. But those extra hours aren’t necessarily reflected in Anna’s paycheck. If you compare Sofia to other people in Finland with college degrees, she makes
about 98 cents for every dollar that they make. That’s on par with the pay
ratio between teachers and college graduates in similar countries. But Anna
and other American middle school teachers only make about 65 cents for
every dollar that their college-educated peers make. Still, as politicians in the
US never tire of pointing, out we spend more per student than almost any country
I think than nearly every other country in the developed world. But that figure
varies a lot by state. New York spends twice as much as California on each
student. Mississippi spends less than half as much as Alaska. And American
schools generally spend a lot more on security and other non-instructional
costs than schools in other countries. Plus, if you look at the share of its
national wealth or GDP that each country spends on education, you can see there
are plenty of countries spending a bigger share than the US. There’s one
other difference between Anna and Sofia. When they’re asked whether people in
their country value teachers, two out of three Finnish teachers say yes. But just
one in three American teachers agree. There are a lot of reasons why teachers
like Anna leaves a classroom, but if the US wants to keep more of them around, we might want to take a few pages from Finland’s book. you

100 Replies to “Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world”

  1. As a public school student I can say that I value my teachers incredibly. They do a very good job encouraging me and my wonderful art teacher goes every beyond.

  2. Its the political leaders that caused this to happen in the US. For decades when congress wanted a pay raise they would stack that vote onto education bills. So if you voted no to these bills, they would reduce funding for teachers or schools.

  3. My history teacher is the best teacher I have ever met. He has the best sense of humor and everyone in his class feels like a big family, he lets us just speak our mind and ask questions without raising our hands. Even though he reads from a PowerPoint his lessons stick with us because of the jokes he makes and his style of teaching. Although, whenever we mention anything about teachers, he always gets sad and tells us that if we want to be a teacher we should really think about the pay, he always jokes about not getting paid enough. Even though it’s a joke, you can tell there’s an underlying truth in what he says.
    I just wish teachers would be paid more, they are the ones who are having a critical impact on the further generations. Our teacher is the one going the extra mile to make sure we get everything, while not even getting paid enough for that. Without him, I wouldn’t have grown out of being the shy kid, or developed a passion for history. Just imagine if we paid our teachers even a decent wage, people who have a passion for teaching but who didn’t teach because of the pay would be teaching. They would be the ones who made sure that you got the lesson and actually be motivated to teach better. They would inspire thousands of kids to learn more about the subject, they would make kids more excited to go to school, without dreading the awful teacher who is basically there to make you hate the subject. But instead, we get teachers who have either decided it’s just not worth it, or who seem like it’s their sworn duty to make you hate everything and anything about the subject. If people started to realize that their kids are spending 18+ years of their life in school, while their experiences at school help them figure out what they are going to do with their life, while their personality adapts and changes because of their experiences, that the grades their kids get in school has a role in deciding their collage and maybe even the future of them, that teachers play a big role in their kids grades, then maybe, just maybe, teachers would get an actual wage.

  4. Well, I guess almost every other country envys the finnish education system. But I guess it would be a good start if teachers had to teach less and have more time for class prep, American school hours are just too long. And despite the not so bad spending, teachers in some states didn't see a payraise in 15 years. Also: some schools are way more funded than others due too school segregation.

  5. It might be about pay but I think it’s really the students, they have little to no respect for them and think they are more mature than they actually are. Of course this isn’t all students but a lot of them are still like this

  6. i miss all of you guys. fun times. teaching is quality profession. imo, the main problem i see is that half of these teachers dont even know the subject they are supposed to be teaching. there are too many babysitter teachers and not enough qualified teachers

  7. Where I live the salary for teachers keeps dropping to the point I've even heard of schools getting shut down. I live on a small island by the way.

  8. This is an American parenting problem. Far too many parents trying to live the life of a teenager with no kids when they have kids.

  9. Oh Honey you are so wrong when it comes to Mexico teachers. Majority is 6-8hrs in teaching in the classroom and another 5hrs in grading and planning

  10. The thing about countries like Japan is that they actually need to do and pass entrance exams for high school and college making them more responsible me care more. By now I think we all know the US doesn’t have the best education system and work hours for many individuals

  11. Reality check=Know SEVERAL teachers that used to teach in the US but opted to quit teaching—and became ESL teachers in japan…making more money and working less hours per day..and according to one a LOT less stress.

  12. We have a lot of these problems in Sweden too. Not enough people want to work in schools due to lack of respects from students and parents and low income compared to the work we do.

  13. America too busy building the war machine… no money left for the people… just a profit machine for the 1% elite who use the rest us for making more $$… we are one of the few countries with no real healthcare system… but hey, we have lots of weapons and wounded vets

  14. Teachers in the west have do deal with mouthy kids who disrespect them and disrupt class with no intention of learning or bettering themselves. They see their future in social media, gangs, rap music, sports not academia.

  15. So wait… Strategizing economic problems by adapting more successful plans from data produced from other countries produces a better result than throwing more money at it carelessly is a better solution pfft mind blown man

  16. This video hits on SOME of the problems with teaching in the U.S. but not the most important ones. As a teacher, pay and time at work are not my worries. Would I like to be paid more? Sure, but that’s not what is making my work life miserable. It’s the soul draining standardized testing that doesn’t work, but determines teacher value. Unrealistic expectations for student achievement with no support, not enough resources and not enough time. Growing classroom sizes. Increasingly violent and destructive behavior from students with absolutely no consequences or support for the classroom teacher. Parents who actively support their child in destructive behavior and work to discredit and devalue teachers. It’s tough to teach. And only people who experience it actually understand that.

  17. There isn't a teacher shortage, the endless certifications and the plummeting birth rates, among many other issues are killing this profession. I'm afraid by the next century teachers and schools will cease to exist.

  18. exactly! it's the teachers who are training our children to be members of society in the next decade. how is this job not considered prestigious and of the utmost importance?? the students of today are our future. they're the ones who'll be making sure we still have health and social security benefits when we're older. we absolutely need to put more resources into the youth of america, instead of letting it all trickle up to the point where jeff bezos can buy 24 8million dollar yachts a day, just on profit, while maintaining his 100,000,000,000$ fortune. the money is not distributed evenly. the students of today are the same people who will run the america of tomorrow. we need massive wealth redistribution.

    when the boomers were age 25-35, they owned 21% of all the usa's money. the millenials, at age 25-35 own only 3% of the country's wealth as an entire generation. where is that money going? in the last 60 years, all of the money has been robbed from our economy, and trickled up to the wealthy oligarchs. there's nothing left for us. when this trend continues, gen z is set to only have 1% of the country's wealth when they reach age 25-35. that's ridiculous. how are people supposed to survive? none of the population has any money, it's all being hoarded by the ultra wealthy who literally have everything. between bill gates and jeff bezos, they have enough money to raise a navy 80% as big as the US navy, and certainly bigger than any other country in the world. they're not elected but have more power than our own president. the wealth inequality has gotten completely and utterly out of hand

  19. All people down here are writing about how school teachers in the US are underrated, well it is quite interesting in our country (I'm from Ukraine) and in all post-soviet countries everybody talks about how teachers are underrated as well, even one of our president Zelensky key points at Ukrainian elections was to bring all teachers sallary up to 4000 US dollars (in our currency it is 96000 ukrainian hryvnas, above-average sallary in capital is about 1000 US, and 4000 dollars is a sallary a businessman or CEO in some average company). And the point is that in our country sallary of a government hospital doctor can easily be 200-250$ it's so unfair, but the funniest almost all teachers voted for Zelensky (it's about 650,000 voters) but when the sallary didn't raise up the made a protest under President's administration and houses of parliament.
    So in my opinion we need to respect and pay a lot more to doctors, who actually do save our lives!!! Not talking of UK or Germany where being a doctor is very respectfull

  20. Can you guys use better statistics than 1/3 compared to 2/3, I was under the impression this was supposed to be informative.

  21. This video is literally just the tip of the iceberg. It's so bad in the us for teachers I feel bad for them lol

  22. I had unfortunate experience of finishing high school in the US, after immigrating from Poland (moving with family). My family did not have a lot of cash so had to go to a public school. In Poland, I had freedom to choose Lyceum (Polish version of high school which works almost like junior community college in the US). You can choose what school you get want to get to and what concentration (i.e IT, Chemistry). The better you score final exam in middle school, the more opportunities you have. Not ideal system but worked for majority who had no learning disabilities, were bright but relied on state for tuition. Come to the US, I find teachers treating high schools like in primary school. You can't pick school, you go to one within your school district. As for teaching subjects, I felt they were less advanced and two school years behind and ESL curriculum (because I was immigrant speaking ESL) was even more ridiculously behind and not close to teaching ESL like remote home ESL program in Poland where I had my homework evaluated by teacher in the UK. I still got to decent private 4 college but it coast a lot of money and still did not prepare me to well to find job in my field. My college career center was useless next to nothing.

  23. then US schools should focus on hiring indian teachers.. because you know we're indians we work for less. i can be a teacher in the us for less sallery. anyone?

  24. Im surprised even a superpower country like America still struggling with education problem, if america is struggling, how about the developing country? They"ll be like struggling very very much 😂

  25. Let’s not even talk about how there are schools in the US that aren’t heated and cooled properly. Just yesterday I was so overheated that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. When I made it to the nurse I had to sit on the floor in her office because all the cots were full. It’s winter! I even go to a richer school district. Columbus city schools doesn’t have air conditioning so they have to cancel school when it gets too hot sometimes.

  26. When I get my degree, I want to teach overseas (I’m American). The only way I could be convinced to stay and teach in America is if I get work at a decent private, nonprofit school. Keyword: decent. Some nonprofit schools are sketchy and some are actually extremely great.

    But also, I don’t wanna take bullets for nobody’s kids. 😂

  27. Boohoo with a 99%literacy but still complaining and my country only has just 60% literally rate stil nobody complains like you sick people

  28. "the U.S. might want to take a few pages from Finlands book" why? is there oil in them pages we can 'liberate for freedom'?

  29. Another definite problem is how those working admin in school do not respect teachers. This varies a lot between counties/region but in some places admin hyper focuses on test scores as opposed to actual learning.

  30. This is a sanitized version of what teachers have to deal with. The middle school I worked at had a 50% annual turnover. Doesn't matter how much money you spend because the students are a refelection of society

  31. As a private school teacher pay was not the issue. The fact that students had families who cared about learning made all the difference. Pay increase is good. But not sustainable if you enter a classroom of banshees and/or zombies. Truth is without sound family i doubt if we will ever see teacher vocation on the rise.

  32. I work (support staff) at a private school in Bay Area, CA. Our tuition is $40,000/year and we fill our entire k-12 roster every year, with hundreds on a wait list. And yet…our turnover rates in the last decade have gone through the roof because our teachers literally can’t afford to live in the area they work.

    $40,000/year tuition and there’s still a problem with paying teachers enough to live. Craziness.

  33. USA is not a country it is a corporation, look who is the president. There are no public Hospitals and even the public colleges cost more than a private college when you compare it to any other developed country, so sad.

  34. It generally costs more to run a school when you have to have to maintain anti-gunmen guns and train your teachers to shoot shooters.

    In the uk we keep the state school system heavily underfunded to make sure the public/private schools the rich use will make them seem always smarter than us peasants.

    Feudalism never went away, they just bent the rules around capitalism.

  35. As an elementary ed major, a year and a half away from graduating, I can attest that we talk about this almost daily. It's just one of those things you have to mentally prepare for.

  36. Didn't even finish. You can't pick and choose countries to compare to, especially not choose a different group of compares for each argument you make. A simple distribution graph would do a lot better than those waving pie charts. Number of hours per day mean nothing when the number of yearly days worked are different, etc. ad nauseam. Very disappointing form Vox.

  37. Teachers or the backbone of literally everything. Your doctors, your engineers, your lawyers, etc… you wouldn’t have them without teachers.

  38. This is where the Christian Right can bare much responsibility.. their contempt of the public school system for keeping church and state separate coupled with anti-tax corporatist Republicans is the reason for the American teacher crisis

  39. Wait, there's security in American schools?

    I mean, sounds understandable, but still, it kinda put me off for a moment.

  40. We could provide every teacher in the US a significant raise if we'd divert a tiny fraction of our ever growing defense budget to them

  41. Sure the stats of this videos are true, it only focuses on teachers and leaves out perhaps the more important factor, students. Students in USA compare to Asia, are just not disciplined. The attitude and willingness to learn is more important than teachers. The culture and attitude of US students need to change first

  42. Just curious. Does this account for the summer break, spring break, Christmas break and all of the paid holidays? Does it also account for the ability to retire early with a handsome pension?

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