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Survey Finds Teachers Spend 7 Hours Per Week Searching for Instructional Materials

It's no surprise that teachers have to spend some of their time doing other things besides strictly teach.

New research, however, indicates a lot more of teachers' time than could be anticipated is being spent searching for appropriate instructional materials to accompany their lessons.

Not to mention, the research says, teachers spend an additional 5 hours per week creating their own instructional materials.

"Teachers spend 7 hours per week searching for instructional resources (both free and paid-for) and another 5 hours per week creating their own instructional materials," says a new 82-page report written by Marci Goldberg of K-12 Market Advisors.

Overall, Goldberg's report indicates that most of the instructional materials teachers use in their classrooms come from them (66 percent), not from their school (51 percent).

Teaching has increasingly earned a reputation for being one of the most stressful and underpaid professions in the U.S.; in addition to this new research that indicates teachers spend a lot of their personal time aggregating resources, it's also well-known that teachers spend out-of-pocket money on supplies, too.

Most recent data suggests that the average teacher spends about $500 every school year to purchase necessary classroom supplies, in low-income areas, this amount can be even higher if parents are unable to contribute. 

Goldberg's report indicates that in total, teachers collectively spend "an estimated $1.75 billion each year on instructional materials and school supplies from school-provided classroom budgets or out-of-pocket funds."

Professionals hope that things like Open Educational Resources (OERs) will serve as solutions to this growing problem.

OERs are free-to-access, openly licensed documents that can be easily implemented in any classroom as resources cover nearly all curriculum standards.

Goldberg's K-12 Market Advisors report is available to order here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

2/7/2017

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