Teachers polled say they need help
The Arizona Republic
May. 30, 2007

Training, materials, small classes wanted Pat Kossan
One of the largest surveys ever of Arizona teachers indicates that most think their classes are too big to attend to the needs of each student, and only 60 percent have adequate teaching materials and technology.

A majority also say they spend at least five to 10 hours a week working beyond the official school day.

The snapshot is part of a survey released by state officials Tuesday and designed to measure working conditions inside schools. Every licensed teacher, counselor, librarian and principal in the state's district schools had the opportunity to weigh in. More than half, or nearly 32,000 educators, participated, most of them teachers. Here are a few other trends the survey

Most teachers plan to stay in the business of educating kids, but they want better on-the-job training. Specifically, they want more or better direction for instructing kids still learning English and students with disabilities. They need more ideas on how to help students from low-income families keep up with their better-off peers. Teachers also are hungry for more time to learn about technology and how to use it in their classrooms.

Teachers report that they have little input in hiring new teachers, creating student discipline policies or deciding how the school budget is spent. But most say they are fairly evaluated and respected as professionals.

Seventy-seven percent of teachers say schools are safe, and 70 percent say the adults there are committed to educating every student.

The survey, which did not include charter schools or district-level administrators, was conducted online between March 12 and April 6. Go to www.aztwc.org to read the entire report and get individual results from some schools and districts.