Teachers working hours are growing with more complex student needs and rising administrative burden and paperwork. In a research collaboration with Microsoft, teachers work an average of 50 hours per week, according to a new McKinsey study.While many teachers say that they enjoy their work, late hours assessing learner work, planning courses or completing an endless amount of papers are not areas where teachers reported to be enjoying themselves. Burnout and high rates of turnover attest to the real burden on teachers. For example, teacher turnover is 16 percent a year in the neediest schools in the United States.
High burnout and attrition rates indicate very real teacher strain. Teacher turnover rose to 16 percent annually in the poorest schools in the United States, for example. In the UK, the situation is even worse, as 81% of teachers consider leaving their profession because of their workload. The news that technology is heading towards have to the point where they can substitute teachers with robots, computers and artificial intelligence (AI) is an even more disappointing prospect for teachers.
Contrary to this news though, the McKinsey Global Institutes 2018 report on the future of work suggests that, despite the dire predictions, teachers are not going away any time soon.
In fact, according to McKinsey institute researchers, the amount of school teachersbetween 2016 and 2030 will grow from 5 to as much as 24 percent in the United States. For countries such as China and India, the estimated growth will be more than 100 percent. In addition to that, the research suggests that, rather than replacing teachers, existing and emerging technologies will help them do their jobs better and more efficiently.
The research by McKinsey suggests that 20 to 40 percent of the hours that a teacher spends on activities can be automated using technology that is existing. Thismeans that approximately 13 hours every week that teachers work could be repurposed towards activities that can lead to a higher student outcomes and higher teacher satisfaction. In short, the suggestion from the research suggest that existing technology can help teachers reallocate 20 to 40 percent of their time to activities that support student learning.
More technological advances may lead to an increase in this number and to improvements in class structure and methods of learning, but teachers in the foreseeable future will not be displaced. Many of the qualities of good teachers are precisely the things AI or other technologies cannot emulate: encourage students, create positive school and class environments, settle disputes, build connections and participation, see the world in terms of students and support mentors and coaches. These are the heart and cannot and should not be automated in the work of a teacher.
Unmistakably, the importance of good education begins early and endures for a lifetime. The study suggests that having an effective childcare instructor can only have an impact on the ability of a graduate student to raise their living income by some $320,000.7 Technology will promote a good education when properly hired, but never substitute teachers. In the rest of this article we will explore how teachers spend their time now, how technology can help teachers save time and where they can spend more time. Be careful to note that the effect of technology on teacher time is centered purposefully. We will discuss its broader impact on student learning in future articles