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Teacher Voice

TNTP reminds us how teachers spend their days

TNTP recently tracked the day-to-day activities of the five Fishman Prize winners (awarded to excellent public school teachers), and learned more about what their days actually look like -- the results were pretty astounding (and visually pleasing -- check out the original post on Medium for more).
Here are some observations we had from looking through these numbers:
  • Beyond lecturing: More than half of the teachers’ time is devoted to duties beyond direct instruction. Some use a lot of their time coaching other teachers, while others plan future lessons. (Check out this piece on TNTP’s new publication that explores this finding. We’ll be publishing more about the Fishman Prize all week long.)
  • Every minute counts: It’s perhaps no surprise that these five outstanding teachers spend the vast majority of their time on activities that, in one way or another, influence student achievement and development.
  • One size fits one: Each teacher’s day is unique, and there is no perfect answer to how an educator should spend his or her time. For instance, Jenny Corroy Porras, an IB English teacher, spends significantly more time grading papers than her four peers.
  • Cut the distractions: On average, 10 percent of these teachers’ hours were spent on tasks that were not a valuable use of their time. How can we quickly identify what these tasks are — understanding that they’ll be different for every teacher — and minimize them?

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