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Survey Finds Teachers Don't Have Enough Time to Work With Students

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public RadioMost Kentucky teachers and principals feel safe in their schools, but many don’t have sufficient time to work with students. Those are two of the major findings from a statewide survey administered in March.Just over 42,000 Kentucky public school teachers and principals responded to the TELL—which stands for Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning—survey. State Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross says the questionnaire touched on a variety of topics related to work and teaching conditions. 83 percent of respondents said they intend to continue teaching at their current school but only 63 percent of teachers said they had sufficient instructional time to meet the needs of all students.“In Kentucky state law requires that an instructional school day contain a minimum of six hours. And really six hours in not a lot of time," says Gross.Gross says unlike other school surveys that ask about what educators are teaching, the TELL survey focused on working conditions.“Anyone who has a job, outside of the home especially, knows that the atmosphere in your workplace makes all of the difference," she says. "You can have a wonderful job that you enjoy, but if things aren’t comfortable in your workplace, if you don’t feel like you’re supported and you don’t have the things you need then that job maybe isn’t so great."Results from the survey were released this week and are available online for school districts that had at least a 50 percent response rate. The results will be used to generate ideas and improvements at the state and local level.