By Julia Tofan
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Henry Adams, historian and author, believed "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." To this day, the importance of teachers has not changed. Below are the top ten facts about teachers, from why they teach to what they do.
1. Teachers do more than teach. They counsel, support, set up classrooms, cook, and research, among a myriad of responsibilities unwritten in their job description. For many students, teachers are the adults in their lives that believe in them and encourage them to do their best.
2. Many schools in developing countries are poorly equipped, lacking water, electricity, and school supplies. It's difficult to teach when basic resources are unavailable, and it's hard to hold classes when classrooms lack water, light, and climate control. According to a Ministry of Education survey, on average, 1 textbook was shared by 17 primary school students in Kenya.
3. Teachers often spend their own money to buy necessities for their classroom. In the United States, the average out of pocket spending was $513 for school teachers. The money was spent on things like winter clothes, food, transportation to school, and school supplies for students who couldn't afford these items.
4. 16% of teachers hold jobs outside of teaching. Though teaching is one of the professions that contributes most to society, educating the future leaders of the world, teachers are underpaid and often have to rely on another job to make ends meet.
5. Teachers work an average of 52 hours a week. Teachers work for the duration of the school day, but a lot more is going on behind the scenes before and after school as teachers plan their curriculum, organize classrooms, and grade papers.
6. Teachers in developing countries often teach three shifts a day with poor pay and large classes. Working many hours makes the profession stressful and difficult, and large class sizes minimize one on one attention for students who could benefit from it.
7. Many teachers have to teach in a language a large proportion of the class doesn't primarily speak. In areas with a large variety of native languages, students lack a common language and have to learn a new language in order to learn at school. This makes it difficult for teachers to communicate with students and families, be it about the student's progress or the curricular material.
8. Finding teachers who are willing to work in rural and undeveloped areas is difficult, and this is problematic because a large proportion of children who lack access to education live in rural areas.
9. According to the UN, 8.2 million teachers are needed to provide universal access to primary education. Throughout the world, there is a severe shortage of teachers. Many students in developing countries cannot afford the training needed to become a teacher, and many who can choose careers with less difficulties involved. However, by making teaching a more appreciated profession and helping schools afford the resources they need, we can encourage more students to become teachers.
10. The top most important factors to retain good teachers is to increase supportive leadership, increase family involvement, improve resources for students with behavioral problems, increase access to teaching resources, and provide teachers with more time to collaborate. Many teachers leave the profession early, but a survey for teachers reports that these are the top factors that would most make them stay.
Givology strongly appreciates teachers for all they do- we wouldn't be able to do what we do without them! We also support many of our students in fulfilling their dreams of becoming teachers, like [url=https://www.givology.org/~ydong/]Yongsong Dong[/url], who loves the profession because he wants to give back to his village, [url=https://www.givology.org/~rrajakumar/]Ramesh Rajakumar[/url], who hopes to be a university professor to make a positive difference, and [url=https://www.givology.org/~fkokou/]Ferdinand Kokou[/url], who wants to be a school teacher when he grows up.
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