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Denver teachers have more classroom, less planning time than those overseas

Denver teachers have less time to plan their lessons or collaborate with other teachers than those in high-performing overseas districts — or even others in the United States — a new report finds.

The report, which was produced by the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), compares professional development systems and teacher schedules in six cities, including Denver, Lexington, KY; Seattle, WA and Shanghai, China. The CTQ is a national non-profit focused on influencing teaching practice and strategies.

A breakdown of a typical teaching schedule in six education systems.

A breakdown of a typical teaching schedule in six education systems.

Center for Teaching Quality

The report also includes interviews with teachers from the featured districts, including Karen Wagner, a third grade teacher at Denver’s Polaris at Ebert Elementary School. Highlights from Wagner’s interviews include:

  • “In my district, teachers only have three official professional days annually, and what we experience is pretty much determined by the principal and/or district.”
  • “It’s extremely rare for another teacher in my building to see me teach. It only happened once last year when another colleague observed one of my math lessons—and the feedback was very informal.”
  • “Teachers may seek our own professional development opportunities outside the district, and many do, but we do not have a way to coordinate our learning.”

The full report is available here.