The Hardest Part of Teaching?

"As we consider how best to prepare each and every student for success beyond high school, it is important to ask teachers, and listen to what they tell us."
-Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation

There is no question that meeting the needs of diverse learners is one of the most difficult challenges teachers face. But, as the latest Metlife Survey of the American Teacher reports, teachers are committed. More than 90 percent of all middle and high school teachers say that helping learners with the highest needs meet college- and career-ready standards must be a priority. But many teachers struggle with how to reach that goal. According to the same study, less than two thirds of teachers feel confident customizing instruction effectively, and feel that schools need to make systemic changes to meet the needs of diverzse learners. Here are some of the strategies they recommend:

- Create opportunities for collaborative teaching
- Give better access to online and technology resources
- Expand tools for understanding students' learning strengths and needs
- Build instructional strategies for teaching English language learners 

It doesn't add up. Are teachers the sole factor in determining student achievement or are there more factors at play?

92% of parents think the teacher is responsible

97% of Fortune 1000 executives say it's on the teacher

73% of teachers feel that it's both school and home

Teachers Weigh In
What's the Best Part of Your Day? What's the Worst Part?

"Best part of any day: when a student and I can laugh together!" -Karen Hoover

"The toughest part of my day is teaching math and reading to four different grade levels, each with some children who test two years below grade level." -Jan Cash

"The best: when laughter and enthusiasm fills the room. The worst: the 45 minutes of late bus duty!" -Cindy Wilkins

"The toughest part of my day is managing several kids who are on behavior IEPs. They get little behavior support in the way of an aide and are mainstreamed, and it's hard to budget myself out for everyone." -Colleen Alice Jerns

"Best: when a harebrained, last-minute idea ends up working beautifully!" -Michelle Reed-Kempf

"Best part: hearing children say ‘YES!' when they master a new skill." -Denise Janssen

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