This article (Teachers stress, December 27th) on the curse of stress in teaching makes for depressing reading, however it does not come as a shock to me, as a spouse of an educator who has taught both in south Wales and the US in the last 10 years, I know how it is. She worked for a agency and taught mostly in the Valleys. She was always impressed with the high caliber and hard working nature that she found with all the teachers and paraprofessionals that she worked with. This makes nonsense of the comments made on the online edition of the article. These people are totally ignorant of how hard teaching actually is, and contributes to why education in both Wales and the US is in the mess it is. My wife finished her teaching at Ysgol Ty Coch special school in Tonteg, and it was the great experience and working with a great team of caring professionals that enabled her to be a successful teacher in one of the best elementary schools in Kansas (with a population smaller than Wales). She was nominated in 2007 for “Special Education Teacher of America”. This would not have happened but for her teaching in Ysgol Ty Coch. Teachers cannot be blamed if they are not properly prepared, and teachers cannot be blamed when they are not properly supported. I have read those comments from people who talk about their own experience years ago. I would remind them that this 2011 and not 1911, we are living in a totally different world where parents leave their kids on automatic pilot (in their rooms texting or playing on the computer). Also we were not competing with China, Japan, and Korea, who value both education and teachers more than we do, which is why they are light years ahead of us in test scores. I leave it to Robert Reich on how education can be improved.