November 15th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

One Teacher's Story: Danny Kofke

Courtesy Danny and Tracy KofkeEditor's Note: Danny Kofke is a special education teacher and author of two books – "How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher's Salary" and "A Simple Book Of Financial Wisdom: Teach Yourself (and your kids) How To Live Wealthy With Little Money." If you are a parent, teacher or student who has a story to tell, email us at

My name is Danny Kofke and I am a special education teacher. This is my 12th year of teaching. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and second grade. My wife, Tracy, was a first grade teacher for 10 years before becoming a stay-at-home to our two daughters, Ava, age 7, and Ella, 4. This September, after being home for 7 years, Tracy went back to work teaching Ella's 4 year-old pre-k class.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher after having Mr. Stutzke in 9th grade Civics class. He was an amazing educator and inspired me in so many ways. Upon entering college and declaring my major (elementary education) I heard from many about how I would not make any money and would probably be broke my entire life. I realized at that point that I still wanted to be a teacher even though the pay was not as high as some other professions. The basic fact is that if you spend more than you earn, you'll eventually be in trouble. It doesn't matter if you make $10,000, $100,000 or even $1,000,000 a year, the same principle applies.

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Filed under: Practice • Teachers • Voices
Today's Reading List
November 15th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the Schools of Thought Editors are reading today:

Education News: Ohio Vote on Issue 2 Wake Up Call for Ed Reformers
As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praises the outcome of the collective bargaining vote, GOP leaders remained resolved to defeat it.

Miami Herald: State launches charter school competition
Florida's education department offers up $30 million in competitive funding for schools, and at least one school could get 10 percent of the pot.

Saint Louis Today: Increasing targets hard to reach
Only eight high schools out of 700 in Illinois have reached the benchmarks set on the state's high-stakes exam.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: International Enrollments at U.S. Colleges Grow but Still Rely on China
The number of international students at U.S. universities has reached an all-time high.

KQED: Mind/Shift: How we will learn: Can an Online Game Crack the Code to Language Learning?
In an effort to promote a love of Latin, a teacher in Connecticut transports his students back to ancient Rome, virtually speaking.

November 15th, 2011
07:46 AM ET

Carl Azuz reports: The truth about hazing

Hazing on college campuses is widespread, and it's often not reported. CNN Student News Anchor Carl Azuz explains why.

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Filed under: After High School • Carl Azuz • CNN Student News • Policy • video