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American Teacher Explains Why “It’s A Million Times Better” Teaching Abroad

TikTok user Ilana is an American currently teaching in Denmark. She has experience teaching in both U.S. and Danish schools and recently uploaded a video explaining why Denmark is so ahead of the United States when it comes to education. The video went viral, with more than a million views.

She introduces the video saying “Reasons why my life is a million times better as a teacher in Denmark than it was as a teacher in the U.S.”

Ilana—who grew up in and worked in American public schools —made clear she was talking about her experiences only, and not to compare it to all American or all Danish schools.

In this video, Ilana emphasizes how the work hours in Denmark are much more manageable. In the United States, the required weekly hours were 45 and she often had to put in 10-15 additional hours during the week. In Denmark, her contract hours are 35 a week and she works an additional 5-10 more hours on top of that 35. Anyone used to working more than 50 hours in a week knows what big of a difference it makes when working hours are taken off their plate.

The schedule works for everyone since Ilana admits she is a better teacher because of it. With a less intense schedule, she’s not as tired or burnt out and can focus on providing quality instruction to her students.

The primary school teacher users her TikTok account (@thecopenhagenclassroom) to share what life is like teaching in Denmark. In one video, she explains how a big difference between the two is how each country funds its schools. The United States does so through property taxes and Denmark does so through the municipality or city.

In another, she addresses what her teacher pay looks like in each country.

She also shares what life is like in general for an American in Denmark.

@thecopenhagenclassroom

I typed out captions for this whole thing and then lost them 😭😭😭 sorry friends #expat #expatlife #lifeindenmark

♬ original sound - ilanamba