by John Martin, CNN
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
(CNN) – Chicago's mayor and the city's teachers union have come up with a plan for a longer school day for students: hire additional teachers, but don't extend the school day for most teachers. We asked our readers how this might impact students. The forum shifted from the impact on students to a lively debate over how hard teachers work compared to other professions.
Some readers questioned whether longer school days would benefit students, with some offering opinions on how a longer day could be structured:
Felix: This is only the 1st step....IMO the trend should be towards what the countries that have surpassed the US have done – longer Days...less Summer vacation if any at all (Some school systems don't have a summer break anymore...just weeks of hiatus during the summer), Less television, more after school sports/activities and more teachers.
Cindy: As a teacher, the days are long enough, what we need is a longer school year. More contact days. Students lose ground over the summer breaks (which 200 yrs ago were so they could work on farms...I don't think we need that farm help now.) Longer school years will allow more remediation time that is needed with some students or more time for deeper teaching of intense subjects.
teechr21: Extending the school day isn't the answer. It's about changing what happens DURING the day that makes all the difference. An ineffective teacher is still going to be ineffective, just for a longer amount of time each day.
Maggiemae: If the schools use this time for students to do their homework in a supervised environment I would definitely support it. Kids seem to have a great deal more homework than when I was in school. The education folks often bemoan the fact that parents don't make sure kids do their homework. Why not do this in a room with a supervisor who can assist with questions?
Robert: You can make the school days longer as you want, that doesn't mean anyone will learn. That's like sitting in a cardboard box for an extra 30 mins thinking you're about to learn how to save the world. IF you don't have teaching skills, it won't work...
Dave: Something that is often neglected in these discussions is the fact that research on longer days has shown they are not effective in increasing student achievement. The mayor's claim that lengthening the day to increase time in the core subjects will lead to a significant increase in academic achievement has no basis in the research. Look it up.
Dave, we looked it up. A 2010 study of other research studies found that sometimes longer school days are effective, sometimes not. They found that longer school days seem to work in some programs, but the research also suggests that students who already are mastering the curriculum may be better served participating in alternative learning experiences. The study's authors say their biggest conclusion is that more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of longer school days. So that debate continues.
Some might call the resolution of the dispute in Chicago a win-win. But as the debate shifted focus from students, to teachers, most of the comments centered around the length of a teacher work day, and whether teachers are paid adequately.
coloradom: Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!
Jolyn: That 296 minutes is the time spent in front of the students. It doesn't count the hours teachers spend preparing for lessons for each subject they teach and grading.
doctorguy: I just fail to understand why it is so difficult to put in an accountability system for teachers and why unions oppose it so much. As taxpayers, I feel like we give them lots of things that most people do not have. Teachers get great benefits, get summers to do as they please, get every weekend off and get instilled vacations for winter and spring breaks on top of their personal and sick days. I know that many teachers use their weekends and "breaks" to plan, but they get to use this on their own time and do not directly report to someone at these times and class planning time severely decreases after several years. However, I digress. I just think that given all these niceties, tax payers should get to see that the best teachers are the ones with the jobs and getting their money.
George: We don't believe a word about all that supposed extra time teachers say they put in. No one in the real world can imagine having 3-4 months a year off from their job. Teachers have this little habit of saying what their ANNUAL salary is, but not wanting to note that they only work about 8 months for that pay. A little more honesty from teachers would go a LONG WAY.
Teacher: My salary is for 9 months that I choose to have allocated over a 12 month period. I don't get paid for not working. I get paid less while I'm working so I have a paycheck when school is not in session. Furthermore, while I may not have students over the summer, that does not mean I am not working. I have spent this summer doing a summer movie program for my students because there is no where for them to go in our small town. This is not contracted time, but something as their teacher I choose to do. I also spend my summer at workshops and writing curriculum units. It would be best to not judge someones profession unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.
John in NY: What makes you think teacher's salaries are substantially less? Locally we have many teachers making over $90k a year, not counting any summer classes they teach and/or coaching they might do. Now add to this that it's only for 180 days a year and that each day includes less then 5 hours of actual teaching I have to wonder why more people aren't disgusted by this?
Some readers compared the American education system to that of other countries.
yardbird1: Oh pahlease, not all children are educated in other countries. If a child can't cut it in many countries, they are only educated until 8th grade. In countries that do educate all, like Germany and Switzerland, teachers are respected and paid way more than here.
GabeK: Let's get the facts straight. Yes, most Europeans do go 13 years and yes, many only go 8. That's because they split off after "Junior High" and MASTER a trade for 4 years after the split. Not everyone goes to university, but everyone leaves the system with the skills to earn a decent living...
Lori Ceangailte (-High school teacher): "In Europe they go to grade 13." I dispute that. I live in Sweden, and obligatory schooling here begins in grade 1 (the children are 7 years old when they start) and ends in grade 9 (age 16). The school year is 180 days, 6 hours a day. High school is voluntary and, if the student chooses it, lasts 3 years.
bdougherty: Students in other countries who perform well are not coming out of public schools, they are attending the best private schools and most of their teachers are Americans. I know because I have been teaching at international schools for the past decade and would never return to teach in the US (in a public school) – the reason being that classrooms back home (and the kids in them) are not conducive to teaching and learning.
And finally, a teacher offers a comment about commenters:
julie: I don't want sympathy- I want to not be villainized. The average working stiff is not discussed on the internet by 8 million people. I like my job and even though I would love to be paid more- who wouldn't- I'm happy with my compensation. I'm unhappy with being accused of being a lazy loser all the time.
My son's teachers arrive at the school at 8:55am – have two 15 min breaks and an hour for lunch and they are in their cars at 3:30pm. That is a five hour day.. Since they get paid for 8 hours like the rest of us, I would expect them to take work home or stay until 5pm like the rest of the working class and get their class plans and marking done for the next day. Why is that sound so outragious to them? How does that make them overworked?
Are they actually paid hourly? Or are they salaried? Because if they are paid hourly they would get paid overtime for the grading and organization they do at night. Salaried employees generally work either 40 hours in one week, or 80 hours in two weeks, and receive no overtime benefits. So, assuming you are an hourly employee based on your comment, if you stay an extra hour, you get overtime. If you wanted to take a day off, but had no vacation (assuming you were allowed to take that day with no vacation left), you could potentially work an extra 6 hours or so during a pay period and have more than enough extra cash coming in to make up for the 8 hours you took off without pay. True salaried employees, with no special overtime benefits allotted, do not have that option. Every teacher I've ever known is salaried – not that some aren't hourly, just not around here. Finally, if you work 8 hours (again, based on your comment), how is it possible that you know your son's teachers get to school at 8:55 am, have two 15 minute breaks, plus an hour for lunch, and are in their vehicles at 3:30? Unless you work the night shift and sit at the school all day to observe, there is no possible way for you to know that information.
I taught for 25 years and never had more than 30 minutes for lunch. By the time I got the kids to the cafeteria and then went to the bathroom, I rarely had as 20 minutes to eat. I have never known a teacher who had an hour for lunch.
I don't know your sons, so I can't answer that question.
I have never heard of a school district that gives teachers an hour for lunch. In my district, lunch is 30 minutes and we are not guarenteed breaks. We are expected to arrive at least 30 minutes before students in the morning and stay for at least 30 minutes after students leave.
I have been a high school chemistry teacher for 25 years. I am really tired of all the teacher-bashing. If you think we have it so easy, become a teacher. Most people wouldn't last a single marking period once they discovered what it was really like. And that's okay – there are plenty of jobs I wouldn't be suited for either. However, I would never presume to criticize the entire profession for my own shortcomings. I work from 7:30 – 4:30 every day (including working through lunch). Then I take papers home to grade. If I don't have grading to do I spend a large amount of time looking for new ideas to make my class more interesting or relevant to my students. I do not allow my students to trade papers and grade as this would be a FERPA violation. I do not take vacations in the summer, I work a second job. I have never been to Europe, Asia, Australia, or even Canada. I have never been on a cruise. And by the way, have you ever thought that one reason you run into so many teachers on vacation during the summer is because we can't take one any other time. I will never see the leaves turn in the fall (I live in Texas) or a white Christmas. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me. This is the career I chose and I am very good at it. But I do work hard. And no matter how hard I work I can never advance unless I leave the classroom – there is no merit pay in teaching. Unless you are willing to give it a try yourself, quit bashing us.
I'm not a teacher, but I agree with everything you said.
I taught high school chemistry and physics for 2 years and I got so tired of the lack of respect from students and parents that I left the profession. I was going to work around 6-7AM every day and usually not leaving until after 5 PM, then grading papers, answering questions, and preparing and improving lessons after that. I was at one of the highest paid schools in the state and still made around $4/hr. Like every professions, there are lots of good people and a few bad, but in teaching it seems people assume the few bad are everyone. It takes not only a lot of skill, but also a thick skin to teach, anyone who likes to criticize teachers should try doing their job well and having to listen to critics such as themselves, they may just change their opinions.
Well stated Will.
This is my 8th year teaching and I discovered that this is a very thankless job. I love teaching. I love working with teenagers, teaching them geography, and coaching and yet the public hates me. I know that I will never be able to please everyone, but parents ALWAYS defending their children and making the teacher a hated position is taking its toll. I hope that I can survive until retirement, that is...until the public has found a way to collapse union rights in this state, something that groups generations before me worked so hard to attain to assure that they were not slaves to a master. I earn a very good salary for what I do. But why hate on it? The way I see it, we all make choices. Why didn't they all decide to be a teacher? Oh wait....I thought it was because we earned too little? Will is right...Walk a day in our shoes and be exhausted after 5 in-your-face teaching hours of awesomeness. You are so much more to those kids than a person giving them content.
I stopped going to my chiropractor when he found out what I did for a living and kept on giving me jabs about getting summers off and ending my day at 4:30. Then I walked out of his office to see his hours from 1:00-4:30 every day. What a tool. People don't think we deserve it because they have a false sense that they "passed" us up in life because they graduated the 8th grade.
Want to know what I make? I make a difference...What do you make?
A lot of jobs are thankless especially when you're salary. You show you can do the work and it just gets you more work. you do that and it just gets you more work. Go in for your review and its "in this economy you're just lucky to have a job. now get back to work" Whatever...
@Kelly – I agree with you about it being harder than people give it credit for, but I definitely don't agree with the vacation part. A lot of private sector jobs, you'll be lucky to get 2 weeks vacation a year. I know some teachers that I swear they seem like they have a week off every 2 months.
Not sure what teachers get a week off every month. Certainly none of the ones I've been hanging around. As you see from many comments from teachers here, they wouldn't mind getting rid of those vacation days of summer to have more face-time with students. I am one of them.
Interestingly, it is often the parents who balk at their children not getting a two month summer vacation!
There are a lot of different activities, and teaching is one of them, that people think are easy. Like all of these activities, they have no idea of how difficult they are until they try them. Then, it is an entirely different story. I have had several past students who became teachers, and they all said they had no idea how difficult it was "on the other side of the desk." I am a college professor, and, contrary to popular belief, my salary is not that great. Many high school teachers, with less experience and far less expertise, earn more than I do. I am not jealous of them. I wouldn't do what they do for what they get paid. You would have to pay me a lot more than they earn to get me to think about teaching in a public high school.
Good response. I quit teaching and went bsck to landscaping. Most people will never get how hard teaching is as a profession.
As a former teacher and now an IT engineer, landlord, and computer lab tech in a local college....teaching is SCREWED due to the union and nepotism....Nepotism, the ugliest thing in any career is running RAMPANT within schools. Remove that and people who love to learn/teach/children get back in the door.
Aside from that, School tax is COMPLETELY socialism! You pay whether you have kids or not you pay even if you choose an alternative (private/catholic school)...this is insane...parents should pay, everyone else gets lower motrgage/rents and we can actually say "the rent isn't too damn high"
I love football. It's a great sport, and I love to watch it on TV.
Anybody else out there love football?
One thing most people do not understand about teaching is how physically demanding it is. As an English teacher in my mid-20s, I was shocked at how tiring it was to stand in front of five classes a day, walk around the room, etc. I also had to carry all my materials between classrooms, as I did not have a regular room. That was in the late 1960s. The only more difficult thing I have done in my life is take care of a newborn baby 24/7, with all the effects of sleep loss. Anyone who thinks teaching is easy is welcome to try it! I changed careers because I could not imagine having a family while spending every waking moment thinking about teaching and grading papers. Cheers to those who soldier on!
An easy job? Then why aren't more people clamoring to be teachers? Yes, 296 minutes per day are contact hours only. One could call them performance hours. Compare to actors. Are actors paid for their performance time only? No. There's lots (and lots) of prep time before one goes onstage in a classroom to teach ~ perform. And then, of course, there's homework to grade–which is not done in the classroom, and which needs to be returned to the students in a timely manner. Teaching is a 7-day/week job. Vacations are much shorter than they look. Again, if it's such a cushy job, why aren't more people applying?
Plenty of people unqualified for more creative or challenging jobs are signing up to teach.
And somewhere around 50% of them will quit the teaching profession within 5 years. Where do you suppose they go then?
really? why are there teaching shortages around the country if so many people are signing up
nice troll, here I've got one. Morally bankrupt and like lots of money? Join the banking industry.
You hit this right on, Barbara! If teaching really was a "cushy" job, people would be flocking to this profession. I don't see the correlation here.
I was an instructor in secondary education for 38 years. I was my own harshest critic & I stayed prepared to the teeth. This took 2-5 hours added time per day. You can understand that anyone who was my critic that did less or cared less, I found it difficult to tolerate. If you criticize a teacher & have not taught school you might as well hold your tongue. I also had an added income & this gave me the privilege to continue to educate & council these young people. The greatest percent of summer time was spent either working, furthering my education, or vacationing in a fashion that increased my awareness for the classroom. I'm retired now & satisfied with my tenure. What kind of jokes do I laugh at? I laugh at critics of education who have no idea of the effort & satisfaction gained from the teaching profession.
You did not "council" those students; you counseled them. Check the difference. Council is a noun, not a verb, and the meaning is not the same as counsel.
We have lazy parents raising lazy children. That is the issue, end of story. Kids have access to more knowledge now than ever before. They also have more access to a wider range of diversions in the home. A parent who instills the value of education in their child will have a child with better grades. If your child isn't getting the grades you expect then turn off the TV and the computer and sit down with your child and their school work. It is the government's job to provide an education, it is our job as a parents to make sure our children are taking advantage of that education.
I love how all these people state all of the private sector has such horrible benefits. Many of us in the private sector have done just fine over the last few years. I worked for the same company for over 21 year’s non-union. I have received a raise each year, 3.5% average over the last 5 years. I work M-F 7-3:30 no overtime allowed and no weekends. I am an hourly worker no need to check emails at home or any work for that matter. My family health insurance is $90 bucks a month with a $2000 family deductible and with a 4K out of pocket max, $10 drug co-pay. 6 national holidays off per year plus 32 days of vacation this can be used in as little 15 minute increments. Our dental coverage is $1500 a year for the entire family. I also have a defined benefit pension plus a 403B (non-matching) I have a BA degree with some masters credits I have compared my salary to a very good teacher from our school district (state web site) He has 21 years teaching with a MA degree plus extra credits pays about 3x for medical, pension probably close. Days worked over the year minus my vacation time are 220 his counting all time put forth in education comes in at about 220. I will take my 62K a year over his 62K any day.
More and more stupid people breeding these days is the problem.
I teach college full-time and earn about half the salary of many high school teachers. When grading papers for the first time in the semester it baffles me that most students cannot write a thesis statement. I cannot help but wonder what it is students are being taught before entering college. These days most students enter college under-prepared, and the trend is only worsening.
I'm tired of hearing the whining from teachers. I really don't understand how they can complain about longer work days. They simply do not work as hard as the average american. I work in an industry where people bust their butts 9-12 hours a day, six days a week and get paid much less then the average teacher. Oh, and we don't get three months off, a pension, full benefits and tenure. I think the teachers can suck it up for once.
I would like to see your proof that the average teacher makes more than you do.
People who actually paid attention and did homework in school become teachers while I was a knucklehead who didn't study or do my homework and now have to work hard.
F all you people who had more sense than me to take school seriously.
You going to be ok Janice? Why are you working that job? You should trade shoes and be a teacher. Serious, it's not that bad of an investment of money and time to earn your teaching certificate. You might really like it, and you would have vacation and the money. We need teachers – good teachers. You sound like a good candidate. Go for it!
I am tired of hearing whining from other careers that teachers do not work. Unless you have seen the dedication and emotion that goes into teaching first hand...you just can't understand. Given, like ANY career there are weaker employees, but good teachers at my school arrive at 7:00 in the morning during the school year. Most of them work until 5:00 in the afterschool program. They then go home to correct and comment on students work, and/or prepare materials for the following day (after stopping by Walmart to purchase materials with their own money because the state has cut out all funding for textbooks and supplies for classroms). On the weekends many attend classes to get their masters degree (which is required) and then do the same over summer break. Many of them leave school to go to their second jobs as well. Over the summer they spend the first part packing up their rooms and organizing all of the materials from the previous year. Once the rooms are cleaned they are back out unpacking and organizing their rooms for the fall. In the between time they are attending required meetings and seminars, learning the new standards and systems for the district, planning curriculum and units, and making resources.
Now, given most love doing this and are not complaining or whining...they are simply working for a living and are blessed to have a job they are passionate about...sorry you aren't.
Oh good lord. This is one of the most idiotic uninformed statements I've ever read. I worked for 10 years in the private sector before I went into teaching. Company car, expense account, cell phone, bonuses, golf trips, 2 hour martini lunches. Yep, sure was hard. The problem is people compare factory work to teaching. Try working a job you can't even go to the restroom when you need to. Nothing quite as humiliating as an adult to have to call the office and beg them to send up a person for 5 minutes so you can go take care of a basic human function. You're welcome to try teaching all you want. I've worked on a road crew, poured iron in a factory, worked assembly line work, fast food, nothing, I mean NOTHING came close to as hard of a work day as teaching.
It's so important here to understand that there is such diversity between class day length, teacher salary and benefits it's hard to have a national conversation here. I live in the Chicago suburbs so I understand their wish to lengthen the day even though some studies may say it doesn't help. Nowhere in this article does it say that Chicago has the shortest day in the nation (and it's suburbs aren't much better) Many of our Kindergarteners still only have a 2 1/2 hour day, which includes recess, gym and snack time. Kids with a Sept or Oct birthday don't get a 6 hour day until they are nearly 7 years old! How can we compete in a world (and other states for that matter) if other kids are getting full days when they are 4?
Oops, I made the it's or its mistake... Maybe I needed a longer school day 😉
Teachers have it made: more time off than anyone.
If teachers have it "made" like you and many say, why aren't there more people flocking to the profession and thus, bringing about stellar, high caliber educators that people want? I don't see a correlation here.
I am not a teacher, but I respect the hell out of them. They do not have an easy job. Too many parents blame teachers for everything. Then there are those who call them lazy. As parents it is our responsibility to help our child grow, and learn. If your child isn't doing well in school don't just look at the teachers. What are you doing to help your child succeed in life? Are there bad teachers? Yes, just like there are bad doctors, lawyers, and every other profession out there. Also, to those who think teachers have it easy... Why don't you try teaching, and get back to me as to how easy it is. Our war is not with our teachers it is with ourselves. Do you like your doctors, and nurses? Many teachers taught them. In fact, everybody in every profession has been taught by many teachers. Teachers are not over-paid, over-benefited, and under-worked. They are not the ones destroying the economy. They are not the ones bringing the housing costs down. They are not the ones controlling the price of gas, or the price of food. Stop blaming the teachers for our contry's problems.
Thank you. This is exactly the sentiment that has been running through my mind as I read these comments. There is no excuse for incompetence; however, it runs rampant in EVERY industry and every part of the world, all the time. I recently changed my primary care physician because he's absent minded, forgets who I am, and has lost or misplaced my patient file EVERY time I visited him. I recently hired a lawyer to work for 5 hours for me. It cost me $1,000 and she did nothing. Absolutely nothing and didn't understand my case at all. But she took my money. Meanwhile, as a teacher, I know every quirk and learning style of every one of my students. Should I forget or neglect to teach to that particular learning style, believe me, I get reminded.
yep teachers have it made. Make 30k less then other people with my level of education? You willing to give up 30k a year for 3 months off? Sign up. We need math and science teachers.
i worked with the top 2 teachers in a major city in america this year. 90% of their students passed their regents exam in math. did the teachers need more time to teach them? NO. and these were ONLY black and hispanic kids, mostly from single parent homes or foster homes. this was a public school in a dangerous neighborhood. stop thinking time will solve all the problems.
second, i would never take up this profession if i didn't have the summers off. the job is incredibly demanding. you are never off. everyday you are planning, grading, staying in touch with parents and dealing with bullying between kids and kids bullying the TEACHER (yes this is common) especially those in gangs. the pay is also a joke for 6 years of college. are you kidding me?
Those two teachers would also suggest that you get familiar with the shift key. 😉
One of the comments in the blog got it exactly right. The teaching profession needs some strict accountability. There are some great teachers who work many hours and the students benefit. And there are lazy teachers who barely show up and/or stink at teaching anything. I worked for one in college. He did close to nothing. I graded the papers, prepared and graded the tests and filled in for office-hour visits. Way overpaid in that case. They get tenure and check out mentally and physically.
there are plenty of doctors and engineers who do that as well. people will always do it. it's just the law of averages. you can't have everyone great in something. you always have levels of performance. oh, the pay also sucks. let me know when you decide to pay doctor or engineer level salary to a teacher if you want to recruit top talent. not a mcdonalds middle manager salary.
Let me know when you want teachers to go to 21 years or more of school and then maybe they can make 150+k a year. I mean seriously! Docs have 13 years of grade school, 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, minimun of 3 years residency, and 1-5 years of a specialty fellowship. AND 250k in student loans. A teacher makes 29k-45k has 4 years of college and probably 40-60k in loans and the government will forgive all educators loans after X number of payments.
How about we make the pay inline with doc pay. Performance based. The more patients Docs see the more money they make. The better they treat people the more patients come to the for help and again the more money they make. So...Teachers should get paid based on student success rate. The better the evaluations from students, parents, other teachers and admin the better the pay and the better the test scores the better the pay. Also, if a school could actually fire a teacher for being horrible at their job they might try harder. Now obviously it is not all the teachers fault. The parents should take an interest in their childs education and make them actually work instead of stuffing them full of candy, and letting them play video games until they kill over. We dump our tax money into a system that is broken. Give the power to the people/parents and let them choose schools based on performace scores. And the schools that loose enrollement loose funding.
Basically don't attack other professions and their income. They put in the work and made it happen. Teachers choose to be teachers and they are paid accordingly. Granted it is not enough but maybe an incentive based pay would work better for most in the end.
By the way do you want someone that is performing a 16 hour surgery to be worrying about their house payment or you lying on the table?
The problem with the analogy that every industry has lazy workers is flawed because I do not pay taxes to subsidize that laziness and that lazy persons benefits. Did you support my 401K for writing this reply? This goes for politicians as well. If a doctor, accountant, plumber or stay at home mother chooses not to work hard I do not have to pay for that crappy service and can go elsewhere. Teachers are professionals and inherently should have work at home. Most professionals do otherwise blackberries would not exist. Stop acting like an hourly babysitter and start realizing its not the good teachers who give the profession a bad name. Stop acting like the extra work is the exception when in actuality you are performing up to the norm. If you are a good teacher you should want to get rewarded by being compared to your under performing peers. If you are a good teacher why is additional time not beneficial. Stop contradicting yourself by "saying pay me more because I am valuable and yet more time does not benefit the student." Provide me a list of schools whose teachers work a typical professional 8 hour day (by the way that is not long and that does not include work from home). Simple stats. Chicago has the shortest school day of a major city so Chemistry Teacher with 25 years working 7:30 -4 we are not talking about you (though you still get thanksgiving, Christmas and spring BREAKS so technically vacation days are not needed for your trips). Illinois has over an $ 80 billion pension crisis right now most of which is tied to teachers pensions. No this is not based solely on investment results but politicians who failed to pay into the system with my tax dollars. Why should I support the shortest school day, summers off and holidays. We are not bashing good teachers but we all know bad teachers and the public tax dollar is tired of paying for them.
CK, you have choices. If you don't want to pay tax dollars then I hope you don't own a house, if you do then maybe you need to rent. If you don't like public schools, then put your kids in a private school and pay the costs of the school. Remember though that private schools also require things of the parents such as time spent helping in the school or at activities. The down side is that if there are too many students in a private school the they become no better than a public school but private schools can turn away lower performing students which makes the private school look better when maybe they aren't any better.
If principals were doing their jobs, people who shouldn't be in the classroom would be weeded out BEFORE they got tenure.
CK- you do subsidize those lazy engineers and nurses and whatever; not with tax dollars but with higher prices.
You are making a standard error – college instructors are generally Not teachers; have had 'zero' background in teaching, and most often resent being referred to as a 'teacher'.
I have taught 15 years in elementary schools and 32 years as a university professor (yes! some overlap) and I assure you that teachers put in far more time than professors – both are poorly paid, even if one ignores their investment.
As a person with no children, I should be upset that I have to pay to educate other people's children. On the contrary, I'm happy to pay into a system that educates the generation that will be running the world around me when I'm not able to.
What does upset me is not having a system to measure the success or failure of teachers and their administrators. I want to make sure that the money I do pay in the form of taxes, is spent wisely. If a teacher can't perform, they need to be replaced with someone who can. Just like the rest of the working world. Just because it's a government job, shouldn't mean it's yours until you don't want it anymore. I need some form of proof of purchase basically. Then I would be happier.
As for how long the days are, how we teach, I agree with one poster, in that those decisions shouldn't be made by politicians of the 8 million people online telling everyone how it should be done, but educators. Seasoned Men and Women that have spent time teaching and understand how best to teach a full range of children.
Masters degrees - one piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked when discussing teacher pay. Those who complain about "high" teacher salaries forget that most teachers have, or are in the process of getting, Masters degrees. These professionals have skill sets that could net them much higher wages in other fields, but they choose to teach because they see the needs of their students. What other profession demands such a rigorous qualification for a low salary? How can we attract top talent to the field if we do not help pay for their qualifications?
I'm biased. I just completed my first year as an English teacher. Am I enjoying a relaxing summer to recuperate? No. I'm taking graduate classes and lesson planning almost every day.
To those who boo teaching as easy or overpaid: try it.
There's a lot of ignorant from posters in this article. First, I don't know any teachers that work 296 minutes (just less than a 5-hour day) a day, even if it's just in front of students. My wife is a teacher and she works 7:30-3:30 with a 20 minute lunch. Sure, that still sounds good compared to my and a lot of other people's work days, but when my day ends at 5:00, it's really over. I know for a fact, despite what "George" in the article thinks, that they do work many hours at work and on weekends. She goes in every Saturday for hours just to enter grades into the system. She meets with parents almost every single day to talk about "Little Johnny's" progress, and counter his lies about how he didn't know he had homework, why he doesn't have time to study, etc, etc.
The biggest problem we have with our educational system is the PARENTS, not the teachers.
I agree with you completely. I'm not a teacher nor am I married to one.
Thanks, John, for the spousal perspective! As a teacher, my husband would second that. Many excellent, hard-working and knowledgeable teachers do exactly what you described. From my experience, out of a staff of 35 teachers, maybe 4 or 5 did not do this. It is interesting to read the array of perspectives out there.
As a 3rd grade teacher myself, I couldn't agree with you more!
You know I normally don't comment here, But your post is just so true. My mother was a teacher, and my Wife has been a teacher trying to get back into it. (NJ for elementary general ed is flooded she taught both regular and Montessori )
They go in at 7:30 work till 3:30 / 4 get next to no break, Because you know as well as I do they generally take their lunch with a pile of papers that need grading. Then they come home, if my wife could cook she would make dinner, (my cats even avoid her food lol) but my mother would cook, then after dinner from like 7 – 8/9 she would be grading papers and writing lesson plans. It doesn't get easier, as schools will occasionally change your grade, One year you get an accelerated class the other you get the slow class.
So The way I figure it, they work 8 / day at the school 1-3 out of the school say 4 days a week. so easy worst is around 52/wk. They also have school before and after students are in school, Usually 1-2 weeks to set up before school year, and 1-2 to break down the room after the school year. In reality they only get off July and 3 weeks in august. So if you figure an average worker does 40/wk that is 280 hrs, So even if they don't work what I saw, to make up these hours, they have to work 1.5 extra hours per day through the Student year only.
I mean, hello, they have conferences with parents, they have back to school night, they have all that other crap they do. Plus the days they are in over the 180 days of school itself. In reality we don't pay them overtime we give them a break they can choose to do what they want with.
In case anyone cares to make a comment on the hours aspect, If we payed them actual overtime then technically they need 1 hr extra a day for 180 days since overtime is 1.5x any hours over 40 hours a week. YES THIS IS LAW BASED.
Now as for longer days, eh I say no, but I do think instead of summer off, we should spread the time off through the year, say 1 week in nov – 2 in dec – 1 in feb this way they spend 1 – 2 weeks in school every month. Too much is lost in those months.
I believe teaching is a great and wonderful profession. I am not a teacher and I don't think I would have the patience to be one.... But I did have wonderful teachers that molded my mind and challenged me, and I had horrible ones that I completely despised.... But I had wonderful parents that made sure I kept up my grades, and did not leave it to my teachers to teach me about courtesy, manners, common sense, or how to be polite instead my teachers were able to concentrate on teaching me about History, Math, English, Health etc etc.... Parent's now a days do not care about their kids education or seemed be too involved with what is going on with the Kardishians or who which celerity got arrested!! For those teachers who rock I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best and thank your for education our future leaders, and for those parents who are parents thank you for being dedicated! To everyone else shut up and do your own job and do not pretend to know better!
As a parent with a child in the public school system.. I see a school system that is failing our children. Kids our falling through the cracks. The schools are over crowed and teachers are overworked underpaid. My child attends a school where classes are frequently out of control and security has to be present to keep control of the class. How is learning going on when you cant even hear the teacher. My daughter comes home with homework and needs help but the school does not issue books for references. My child's science went through 5 science teachers, two of them where PE teachers. As a parent I am met with indifference when I complain by school administrators or by teachers who stare at me blankly. I have all the respect for teachers, but why cant u tell me how I can help my child??? Because you dont know my child, she is just a number to you in s sea of endless faces. So i am taking over now, I will no longer allow my child education to go down the tubes. We are all responsible, stop pointing fingers and blaming each other. Take Control and start getting back on track, we all should be on the same team.
Parents need to step up and help their own kids as well. Many simply dump them on the school and say it's your job. Wrong.
School are not failing–they are achieving exactly what the society demands of it. Cheapest method for minimum results. The system is hung up on traditional calenders not on a modern industrial society. It plays around when parents need baby sitters. If the country would open its eyes and yes pocket book it could be a great system.
Summer vacations are a joke. No one needs to go help out on the farm anymore and it's a HUGE disservice to the students. It's the teachers' sacred cow.
Then there's this testing BS...teachers don't teach what kids can or should learn to be successful in life, they teach them to succeed on the test that will determine their pay and the school's funding.
And of course, the parents who don't have a clue what their kid is doing in school, but are so quick to blame the teacher when their child brings home a report card full of D's and F's.
News flash, dls: Teachers only "teach the test" because that is what we are TOLD to teach. The problem isn't that teachers are choosing to teach ONLY what is on a test, the problem is that they are given NO choice about what they teach.
Every profession has its' challenges. Every individual has a choice as to whether to continue in a given profession or move on to something else. There is no value in attempting to make a comparison such as between a Teacher and a Barrista or a Broker or a Carpenter et al. They are all valuable people in professions which have intrinsic value in a given community.
I was a teacher, and enjoyed my time doing that. I left that profession for something entirely different, but which has also been fulfilling - and certainly a lot more stressful - but that was my personal choice and I don't regret my past or present professions.
Should teachers feel appreciated? Maybe. I'd look for that recognition primarily from within the employment of the school, and secondarily from parents or the community. As with any job, the only people who can really ascertain performance are the ones you work with who set performance standards. Anecdotal comments from the community regarding an individuals' performance might be useful, but also might be uninformed - if they don't know what is being measured or how it is measured there it's not reasonable to get accurate feedback. That said - perhaps the school should work to educate the community about what its goals are.
As with all professions - there are people who are really good, people who just do the job, people who slack-off.
When I taught, I too bought supplies for my kids - however, that was MY choice to do so - I could have done the job without throwing in my own cash. In my own school days as a child, teachers did not bring in materials - if they couldn't get it from a supply room it just didn't happen unless parents provided materials. If you want to buy school supplies for the students - go for it, but don't complain about it afterward. If you can't afford it, don't do it.
As for "prep time", well, it depends. In most "white collar" jobs, there's an unspoken rule-of-thumb that out of 8 hours you get about 6 hours of actual work on projects - the rest is handling administrative tasks. A teacher clearly needs time to handle tasks such as reviewing students assigned work, preparing materials, discussions with other staff members, responding to parents' inquiries, and various other "administrivia" that goes with the job. I'd expect at least 2 hours daily would be needed, and possibly more depending on the size and nature of the class and curriculum – so 3 hours doesn't sound too bad.
Are teachers paid too little or too much? That probably depends on where people work, what they do, and how well they do it. The question really has to be looked at locally and with consideration to how many hours will be worked and how that compares to "market value" of the position. We are, generally, paying an hourly rate for most teachers and most probably don't get overtime pay for anything they handle outside of business hours. One would hope they could complete their work within an 8-hour shift, but that's probably not the case for most teachers. If they are working long hours, the question that comes to mind is "why?" - a question I ask all the time of my hourly employees. Is there too much workload? Is the overage "really" important? Is this a personal choice or something that is important and urgent?
I know and have known teachers who seem to get through most weeks without having to work overtime, and some who constantly are working on projects. It's probably a good thing to "step back" and really ascertain the reason.
Regarding the original point of the article on longer hours:
Yes – I agree with the idea. It might allow for additional classes and/or more time allowed in classes, as well as providing study-time or remedial teaching. It gives the school some options and it is my great hope that the teachers and administration will find effective ways to use that grant of time and money, preferably with some checks and balances in the mix to provide the community with measurable results.
I consider teaching a seasonal job, just like ag work. It's not full time/year round work.
You look at only the time in the classroom Its like seeing that doctors only in surgery. The summer is generally spent going to get CEU's, revamping courses to be vertically alligned and standards that change every year, state wide testing training, computer update training, discilipine management courses and law. As you watch a sporting event you see the event but you don't see all the practice–same thing.
I love my job and wouldn't change for the world. If you think it is great and want your summers off also then go back to school and get the degree you need. We can always use a few more great teachers! Whether I work hard or not, whether I get paid too much or not, I am glad I have this job and wouldn't change for the world.
Everyone wants to talk about teacher salaries and how they are over paid for 180 6 hour work days. I work 200 days, starting at 7 and ending at 5. I go home and work more, like many other professionals. However, unlike those other professional my experience and higher education are negatives. Plus, as an educator I am not in charge of what is taught. That comes from politicians and bureaucrats with no idea what a classroom is. I recently met an individual in charge of a state literacy program. He informed me that he had never taught a day in his life, has the same level of education I do, but makes more than twice what a tenth year teacher does. Put control in the hands of the people who know and get politics out of education.
Ok I have read enough from both sides of the argument. When I compare what I once did as inpatient pediatric RN (20 years) to that of an elementary school teacher(7 yrs +)- it's about the kids people. What is best for them and their families. I teach because I CAN. Just like when I nursed children to "safety and comfort." For those of you who have an axe to grind, grow up and play your part in today's society. If you are not happy with your income, time off or benefits etc. find your passion and then work will no longer be 'work' but a joy and and a comfort. Find your own niche and quit belly aching. This leads only to more discontent on your part. Complaining is not the solution. For those who believe we teachers work "beyond." what is expected, well, from living this life it IS true. We do. For those who believe we only 'work' 10 months of the year, you just haven't walked a mile in our shoes.
The point is that teachers are paid with tax dollars, so there is more scrutiny on the system than some average private sector worker. In the discussion, people say "teachers," but what they are really saying is the flawed education system and the unions.
There's A LOT of ignorance on this board. I am an Ivy League-educated engineer and one-time high school teacher. Teaching high school was BY FAR the most demanding job I've ever done. I spent on average about 10 hours a day in the building, sometimes as many as 14 if there happened to be sporting events, parent conferences, meetings, etc. After the students left my room, the administrative side of my job began. It was up to me to clean and decorate my room, do my grades, fill out paperwork, attending "optional" and mandatory meetings, call parents, coach, and so on, and so on.
Every time those students show up, you're not just an instructor, you are a salesperson, improv performer, and when need be, a drill sergeant, security officer, nurse, and psychiatrist. If you think managing the behavior of a roomful of hormonally overcharged adolescents is a walk in the park, you are sorely mistaken.
Are there bad teachers out there? Of course. But our concern shouldn't be weeding them out as much as it should be attracting and retaining talented people. Right now, the exact opposite is happening. Punitive policies are continually being enacted that suck the joy out of teaching and multiply the stress. And we wonder why retention is bad and performance isn't increasing.
I left teaching because I had other career options where I could have an active personal life on the side. There are plenty of other difficult jobs out there, but let me just say that I'm loving my life as an appreciated professional, doing a job society thinks is so much harder and rewards my work much more amply.
Our students are our future, and the teachers are on the front lines of preparing them for adulthood. They should be celebrated and supported, not demeaned, as they so often are.
All I can say is...when I was hiking this summer for a week – my first real vacation in years – almost every person I saw on the trail and spoke to was a teacher in one way or another (secondary school or university). I'm not begrudging them their summers, but it is curious that they are the only profession left that gets to actually take such long vacations. It was very interesting.
Well, it's pretty obvious: we go to work when your kids do.
You're right. We are the only people who get to do that, but unlike other jobs, we don't drop our pens and papers and shut everything down at 3:30PM. We go home, take care of our families and grade papers and prep for tomorrow morning. On weekends, we grade papers and prep or go to seminars and conferences to get more ideas and materials. This is white collar work. I don't doubt the comments on here that there are people who work for less pay, but consider that they may have less education. 6 years of schooling and striving for a master's, I hardly would consider myself lucky or lazy. These are all my choice. Teachers do get raises, but we start low. We have to put in our years in order to get our raises. We invest that in sweat and time in the 9.5 months that we teach. Please don't accuse us of being lazy. There may be some teachers out there that are, but I assure you the majority want your children to succeed. With budget cuts and political standards on HOW students should be taught, we have to put our extra time and OUR MONEY to make up for that. A hike during the summer shouldn't be punished. I'm sure you hike on your weekends or vacations and I'm not judging you for it. Our vacation is the 2.5 months off. I don't get time to do those things on weekends so I'm making up for them during my vacation.
With all the changes in the past 30 years, I think we need to entirely rethink how we education. the 80 year old methods just are not sufficient enough. Too much information to be learned these days.
Are you serious? How much more can we cram down our kids' throats? They get no time to be children anymore. I, for one, am sick of the "we need to compete with other countries" mentality. I am a product of the "old" school system and have done quite well. I have a Masters degree and am currently studying for my doctorate. I do this because I CHOOSE to do it. My son is in the 2nd grade and gets ridiculous amounts of homework. Sometimes we do it, sometimes we don't. He will compete with the world, nonetheless.
Hey Jax. Just a quick thank you for your post. Man, we have become so fearful and paranoid about "the other countries." If some of these idiots who comment all the time only knew what they would have to sacrifice for that "other country's" educational system. And sadly, the people we hurt most are our kids. Thank again for your very needed point.
Here's an interesting way to think about it. In alot of cases, teachers are like babysitters. Let's say the average babysitter makes $10/hour/child and let's say the average class size is 20 kids. That's $200/hr x 5 hrs/day so $1000/day. Times that by 180 days you get an annual salary of $180K. This is just for the babysitting piece, remember that these are educators also.
Sorry, Rick. I get to interview and determine who my babysitter is. Most of these teachers can't cut the mustard.
A lil' perspective–I teach English to 160 students. It takes roughly 15 minutes to grade each three page essay. Thus, I will spend 40 hours grading one assignment. When do people outside of education think I grade these papers? During my one hour of planning time? Ha, it would take a month alone to grade all of them (assuming I have no other planning/grading)! How about the other 25+ assignments my students typically complete every quarter?
Cry me a river Shawn. No one on this board forced you to be a teacher.
Shawn is not complaining but explaining what she has to do in a day. Everyone complaining does not realize what teachers have to do besides teach. Don't you remember the papers and assignments you got back from your teachers with the comments and grades? Do you think grading gets done in a vacuum? Parents are the ones that have to wake up and take responsiblity for their children's education and stop blaming the teachers! And I AM NOT A TEACHER! I'm just not oblivious to what others do around me!
I think what Shawn is saying is that he spends a lot of personal time grading papers and preparing for class. I applaud our teachers for doing an important job that doesn't pay especially well. That's a bad combination.
Read it again Ry. No where does he say he is complaining. He does it because he wants to, but wants you and everyone else who complains to understand that there is more to teaching then classtime.
I recently retired after 34 years teaching middle school. I have also started another job, and returning home after my first 8 hour shift, it was a revelation... no marking, no planning, report cards, parent calls... I had the evening to myself!
One last point. One of my roomates works hard in the oil patch. He does work hard and gets paid well. The first weekend here he asked me, as I was getting ready to go in to school on a Sunday, did I get paid overtime. He was astonished I was doing this on my own time, and couldn't understand why I would even think of working with out pay.
Now he is a big supporter of teachers as he sees the extras we do.
Shawn, you sound like the Union Rep where I used to work. Really? 40 hours to grade a paper? I want to know what the real time is that is spent doing these things. Not max. My teacher friends did get a good laugh on the... argument.
Perhaps you didn't read correctly–40 hours for 160 papers. No, I do not spend 40 hours grading one paper. If you think 15 minutes is too much time, simply proofread three double spaced pages that a teenager composed, and write your comments. I only take 15 minutes because I have graded thousands of papers.
If teachers were not stretched so thin - instead of trying to teach a class of 3rd graders – they must try to adapt to special needs, mainstreaming, etc., etc... Which holds the teacher back and the children back. Our society is in sad shape. The teachers are not respected nor are they obeyed. Back to the old days. Neither the school day or year would need to be extended.
@Justin. Americans are lazy? If you do some research you will find that Americans work more hours and take less vacation time then do most other people in modern democratic countries. Also, if we look at Finland, often cited as a world class example, most all teachers belong to a union and work LESS hours on average then to teachers in the United States. Teachers already work outside of the school day on lesson plans and grading although the amount of this extra time varies depending on the specific assignment. Making the day longer for teachers will certainly produce more burnout and those that have other opportunities in other careers will take advantage of them so hiring more teachers is certainly called for. There is a higher turnover rate in teaching than what most people probably realize. Also, as for summer breaks, many adolescents take advantage of this time to work and isn't the ultimate goal of education to prepare children for adulthood which includes work? Yes, it is. So, the experience gained on those summer jobs is not wasted. Also, one of the biggest concerns with the education system in the U.S. is the high drop out rate. One of the leading reasons children drop out is to go to work–in many cases, because the family needs the income. Most other democracies do not have that problem because they have much lower poverty rates.
I agree with you, we here in America have a strange habit of throwing money and resources at a problem hoping it will go away. Often times this doesn't work, and the reason is we are focusing on the wrong part of the problem. The real problem with our education system is the home life of the students and the anti-intellectual culture of America. If someone found a way to build up our infrastructure while making it "cool" to be smart our education system would probably not require any additional attention or resources. Instead teachers (at least in the public schools I've been in) fight a battle against students who couldn't be more apathetic about their education (minus a few exceptions). I'm a currently a college student (undergrad) and I think it's safe to say that my generation will be a generation of Americans who fall behind the educational cure compare to the world, and instead of doing anything about it American politics and ideology will prevent us from making any real progress into returning to the breaking edge of anything. Which is probably why most of my friends/peers in research are talking about potentially moving abroad to have a have a better opportunity in their fields.
I can't believe half of these crazy comments. The only reason most of you want longer schooldays/schoolyears is because you don't want any responsibility in educating your child. As a parent, I always looked forward to time with my child....both after school and days off. Any parent knows that a child, whatever age, takes energy and enthusiasm. That's why you want homework. Again, so you will have an excuse not to interact with your child...go to your room and do your homework...don't come out until it's done...good, now get ready for bed...school's tomorrow!
That is such nonsense, summers off to do as they please. My father had to work a second job every summer just to make enough money to support 2 children because he made so little money as a music teacher. That plus the fact that he gave guitar lessons every week for over 25 years at our home the entire time I was living there. We had to get government assistance with food when I was in kindergarten because he couldn't support us as a single dad, as well as the fact that both my sister & I were eligible for Head Start because our family was classified as low-income. Everytime the Republicans got into power in the local, state, & federal governments, all they wanted to do was cut the budgets for education. So much so that in order to court the teachers, George H.W. Bush (Poppy Bush or George the Smarter) called himself the Education President. There's no love lost between the Republicans & the teachers (except for the wingnuts) because all they want to do is lower our standard of living, while refusing to cut defense & military industrial complex spending. Money for bombs, & bullets, but none for books & buildings. Go walk a mile in a teacher's shoes, then come talk to me about how easy teachers have it.
If your child can read, thank a teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a Marine.
Semper Fi (1986-1992)
we can agree that the republicans are almost all hypocritical while reasoning that government funded schools is wrong. Music aint exactly the smartest profession to get into if you want to be eating every day. I could be wrong, who knows. Maybe in the free market people would hire lots of music teachers.
" all they want to do is lower our standard of living..."
Spoken like a true idiot.
I've read through all the posts. Before I reply to any, I want to make clear that I've been a Pittsburgh Public School teacher for twelve years. I love my job; I work hard and I love every minute spent in the classroom and preparing to move my students forward. It is a hard job; make no mistake, it is a hard job...but if you are dedicated and devoted, there is no better job in the world! And, I have worked in retail, in business and the private sector before I became a teacher.
Almost everyone in this country has had it hard for the past few years. People have been laid off, downsized, outsourced – teaching cannot be compared to an electrician, doctor, janitor or veterinarian just as theirs cannot be compared to my career.
Everyone has "tough" days; everyone at some time wishes that they had a different job; everyone would like to make more money and work less. Regardless of your occupation, this is human nature.
What we are seeing right now in this country is an assault on education – and the children are losing. If it were just the teachers' fault, that could be rectified. If it were just the administration fault, that could be rectified. But, it is so much more than pointing fingers at the teachers, the administration, the unions, the school boards. This is a monumental problem and what we are doing in these posts are not helping.
Whether or not you believe teachers "deserve" their pay, whether or not you believe that teachers work 6 hours or 12 hours a day, whether or not you believe that summer vacations are good for students and teachers, it does not matter. We all agree that the American education system is a mess and we need to pull together and work together to find solutions.
To those of you that say, "walk a mile in a teacher's shoes", it's never gonna happen. To those of you that say, "just quit if you hate your job", it's never gonna happen. Humans are humans and we tend to go on the defensive when we feel threatened.
If you are not happy with what is going on in public education, get involved. Visit your child's school. Call or e-mail the teacher. Talk to the principal. Attend PTO meetings, school board meetings, open houses. Demand that your child's teacher does his job – teaching your child.
But, please, don't lump all teachers into one category and call us lazy, overpaid, whiners.
You can add yourself to that list, Defender.
John in NY, you are very misinformed! I don't know any teachers that make $90,000 a year? I've been teaching 7 years and only make $40,000. I've had one raise in 7 years because of the economy. I work long hours and have started getting ready 2 weeks before school starts, in my classroom, without pay. I spend an avg. of $1,200 a year in my classroom out of my $40,000. My first year I spent $3,000 setting up my classroom. John in NY, you are very misinformed!
The government or the people have no business telling you if you are overpaid or under paid. Government schooling needs to be ended, period. Once that happens, you will always be receiving exactly the correct salary, and that may be more or less than what it is now.
So, people in sweat shops receive the "correct" salary? Makes sense.....
There's no telling if the people in sweat shops have the "correct salary" because of the market distortion created by two or three socialist/fascist super power economies.
So, you are arguing that a small number of countries have amassed all the wealth and it should be more evenly distributed to the "sweat shop" countries??? Sounds like communism to me...way to make your arguement.
First of all, this American arrogance that we deserve higher wages than the rest of the world because we are somehow special is absurd. People in China and India are currently happy to work for "sweat shop" wages because at least it puts some food in their mouths. Perhaps if we dropped our wages by 25% they could afford running water. The fact is, human kind is working on raising everyone's standard of living, except for America who believes everyone else is there to work to produce our consumables for them. If we took our standard of living and averaged it with china's standard of living, that's about what is "fair" for now. But right now we've got a false sense of reality. If we allowed the free market to function there would be no more "sweat shop" wages within the century...ANYWHERE. But the idea that we have to nanny everyone and everyone gets weekends off and all of this nonsense slows production and slows our growth. Perhaps you dont care about your childrens future. You just want to keep borrowing money to support your lifestyle. That's your choice, but dont force others to do it. And before you come at me with war budgets and corporate welfare, just stop. Dont even try it. Those are killing us too. Grow the F up. Ish happens.
Betty – I'm guessing you don't live in NY. In many school districts in the metro NY area, many teachers are paid VERY, VERY, VERY well, especially once they are tenured and have a few years under their belt. I'm not saying I'm agreeing or disagreeing with how much they are being paid. Just looking to set facts straight – pay varies vastly from district to district!
Yes, Betty. In the chicago suburbs teachers are making well over $90,000 – many in the $130 – 150,000 range after only the 5 years tenure. The school district that was paying these high salaries got so in debt, they cut out many of the special programs and reduced the school day, letting high schoolers out at 1 p.m. and if they were involved in sports, etc. they HAD to leave the school and come back later. What a disaster! The other unfortunate situation is that most of the teaching jobs were political. Not the best teachers, but those connected to politicians got the jobs. How sad!
Betty, John is absolutely correct, there are MANY teachers in NY making WELL over 90K per year. Here is a link to an article about one of NY's school districts and the insane salary progressions that are happening....this is VERY typicla of the NY districts near me....
Betty, I can top your story. My wife has been teaching 20 years and only makes $45,000 a year!
She foolishly taught in a private school in eastern Kentucky for about 7 years, and they have no retirement system at all.
This is about day care for children so the single parents of Chicago don't have to be responisble for their children. The big government is going to step in and take care of your kids year round now at the tax payers expense.
Read chapter 4 of the book, "In your face IRS: zero taxes", ISBN 978-14776404-5-6, it is written by a former professor who tell the real work – 3 courses per semester = 9 hours per week, he added few hours and still couldn't get to 15 hours per week.
Why do people put all the blame on the teachers? Parents need to take a more active role in their children's lives. You wanna blame the teachers but, instead of continuing to educate their children, they send them off to camp every summer so they don't have to deal with them. Parents need to be active in their children's schools and life in general.
I think teachers deserve a tremendous amount of respect for their dedication and hard work. I understand that they work hours outside of their normal work day. Guess what....many professionals work numerous hours outside of their normal "8" hour work day and are not compensated for the additional work. This is not a phenomena that is solely associated with the teaching profession however, I do not see numerous articles or television programs discussing how much overtime other professionals put in and how much work they do and how unfair it all is. If someone makes $50,000/ year for a 40 hour work week for 52 weeks a year (not including the nights and weekends they work and don't receive compensation), they get an average of two-weeks vacation and a week of sick leave. On the other hand if you are a teacher making $50,000 a year you still get far more vacation than the person making $50,000/year in another profession regardless of the extra time that is spent grading papers and planning lessons, and how your paycheck is spreadout. $50,000/year is $50,000/year. Rather than complain about how bad teachers or for that matter anyone in the work force has it, if you are lucky enough to complain about how much you have to work you should be thankful that in this economy you have a job.
Teachers are not underpaid, they are paid just right, as the free market system dictates. The problem is the schooling of the Teachers...I have seen numerous friends pick teaching as a career specifically because its a simple degree to get, there is no accountability in the job, and you get extra vacation. They have no business teaching young people, and should have been weeded out of a teaching degree. So now you have way to many teachers out there...all complaining about not getting paid. Decrease the number of teacher by making it a worthy degree to get, and the pay will go up as supply goes down.
BS- Free market only works with private sector jobs, not government
I think, that as in every profession, there are excellent people and some questionable people. Here is one problem with making teaching degrees harder. I have taught with folks who came out of school with top marks, but failed to relate with students. Some of the best teachers I have seen were marginal students in school, but excelled in front of the class.
I don't think any one can see what a teacher can accomplish until they are actually working with students..
I taught school right out of college and was laid off due to federal funding cuts. Since then I have worked in small privately owned companies and Fortune 500 corporations. I have also owned my own business. I finally was able to return to my true love, teaching. I can tell you that in every job I worked more than the required and paid 40 hours per week but I have never worked so hard and so long as I do teaching. When you break down my hourly pay (not including the voluntary time beyond required district hours) I make just over $25/hour. I have three college degrees. I am at the top of my salary scale. I have 13 years of experience. To borrow a phrase from a former corporate co-worker, in those previous jobs "I wouldn't get out of bed for $25/hour." My consulting fee was $75—$150/hour. A fellow teacher cut her salary in half when she went from the corporate world to public education. Why do we do it? Because we love it. But should that mean we get paid half of what we would make in the corporate world? Add on another 30 hours per week or more and we're making less than our students who are flipping burgers.
Well, I think part of it is the gravity and importance of the job, as well as what is required. Teachers in my state must have both a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree (at their own expense, of course). My wife has been teaching for 20 years and makes $45,000 a year. Heck, truck drivers make more than that and need no education at all.
People keep talking about teachers making $50,000 a year. This is a false premise because many teachers make far less. Because people are allowing the pathos of these discussions to outweigh the logos, they are grouping all teachers in the same category. States that do not have unions do not always pay teachers well. In NC, I am still making starting pay 5 years after starting. That is about $20,000 less than the income you keep talking about. Pay me the $50,000 and I'll be happy. With that, I could support my family. I work in low income areas, and my students achieve high test scores. Teachers do not get to make decisions in many states. The people vote for politicians; they set policies. If teachers do not follow them they get fired. When we follow those policies and your students don't do well, we are vilified. I do not think that educating your children (which is the reason teachers become teachers) and making a decent living should be mutually exclusive.
Stepehnson you're right. Teachers in Hawaii are abused by their students because of culture. I knew a teacher there who got a second job at a grocery store because they weren't getting paid enough to cover their living costs.
I am the daugher of a high school teacher who taught a total of 180 kids per day. The teacher's day DOES NOT end when the kids go home. She would stay after school so she could grade the homework or tests of the students. She had to pay to have childcare for us so that she could do her work. Even after she came home, she would fix supper for us and then afterward, go back to grading and planning.
As far as these almighty salaries?? Not even close. We went shopping for clothes twice a year, and only during sales. What we got during these shopping trips were pretty limited because she just did not have a lot of money. I cannot tell you how many times we heard the mantra, "we can't afford it." There were times where I got hand me downs from the neighbor's daughter.
Summers? There were times she had to take a second job during the summer to make ends meet. These were the days before they allowed the school year salary to be divided across all 12 months.
My mother's life was constantly under stress. For any of you who haven't walked the walk, you have no idea what you are talking about.
That doesnt mean we cant offer solutions. If she needs fewer students, eliminate mandatory schooling. If she works too hard for too little pay, find another job. Not trying to be mean, but why keep slamming your head against a brick wall. They'll miss her when she leaves and the ones left are the ones that dont take the extra time. Why wouldnt she apply to a private school ASAP? Or go for a PhD and teach in college? Teacher pay is one thing, but other expenses at the school also matter. Sports have to go. I don't know if she was the type to teach 180 students and also coach basketball at the end of the day, but that is not necessary at all.
I taught for 47 years and I know that unless you have walked the walk, you have no idea of the amount of work a teacher does and the stress a teacher is under daily. Obviously, as the child of a teacher parent you understand.......the long hours of planning, grading papers, meetings, extra duty assignments, parent conferences............not to mention the fact that every teacher I have ever known spends a goodly amount of money out of his/her own pocket to purchase items that will enhance the learning process for the students. Then, there are those supposedly "free time" summers. What a joke!!! There are training courses, academic requirements to be met for continued certification, courses needed to keep one abreast of the latest developments in the profession and abreast of new content/research in specific subject areas. With any kind of luck, a teacher works 10+ hours per day during the school year........plus time on evenings and weekends. Those who criticize teachers need to walk in their shoes for at least 6 months.......preferably a calendar year.
Big deal. Most salaried employees work long days and sometimes take homework with them at the end of the day. Sometimes we occasionally work weekends too... and we don't have months of time off every year, or a fat pension and lifelong benefits waiting for us at retirement. Teachers need to shut up about their hard work and compensation... many people work much harder for less pay and benefits.
Erin, I understand completely, and applaud your mom for her accomplishments. Also, for raising a child who appreciated and understood her hard work.
I highly doubt that majority of Americans can handle longer days of school. They will rather to be at home, eat junk food and watch movies.
What's interesting to me is that we compare our student's perfomance to students in other countries without taking into account the fact that high school is optional in those countries. If we were to remove all the kids who did not earn the privilege of being in school, or who just didn't care, I bet our scores would be at least as good, if not better. The problem with our education system is its attempt to serve families who really don't care about education. These parents and kids use up resources better spent on those who will take advantage of the opportunities. Why make education mandatory for everyone when it isn't appreciated? By forcing these individuals through the system, they bring the quality of education down for those who will actually benefit. Moreover, if I had to choose one reason why private school kids perform better than public, it would be that the private school population is self-selecting for families that value education and push their kids to succeed.
I'm 21 and a college student. I DISAGREE with summer breaks since I was a kid. Summer breaks should be shortened! What's the point of having summer breaks if all teenagers complain about how bored they are. That's one reason why many Americans are becoming LAZY. We need to put an end to summer breaks, and let our children to graduate earlier and be able to attend college while they are underage. I really don't care about America, and what direction our country is going to... because after I complete my BS degree, I'm going to renounce my American citizenship and move to Switzerland. I'm disappointed with America, all my life I was brainwashed that America is the only country with freedom which it is NOT true! Other countries appear to have better freedom than America. Gas prices are soaring slowly but still CHEAP comparing to other countries and every day I hear from people complaining how expensive gas prices are. SHUT UP and STOP being so obsessed with Money MOney MONey MONEy MONEY!
Justin, please leave our country now or kill yourself now. Please pick one today, thank you.
lol at Justin! Yah like anyone here is going to listen to a 21 yr old virgin who probably still lives in his parents basement while going to community college. They reason why you didn't like summer vacation was you had no friends except for your computer.
justin: don't let the door hit you on the way out
We are so quick to judge the teachers but have you ever tried to mold clay with no water.....
have you ever tried to mold clay with too much "water"
Andy, are you even a teacher, or just talking out of your a$$???
Chris, what does that have to do with anything? What is your point?
You seem to "know" so much about teachers, and I was just wondering if this is actually based on any experience or just another opinion from someone who have never been in a classroom.
Christ I've spent 16 years in a classroom. Have you ever been a chef or a waiter? Have you never criticized one of them for terrible service?
Ok, so you're a private school/college professor who doen't believe in public education or government at all. So what happens to all those who would go uneducated without public education?
Chris. I don;t know what happens to them. Life is what you make of it. There are other ways. And I believe in as much government as it takes to stop another government from coming in and taking over.
It is fair to hold teachers accountable up to a point, but where is the accountability for students and parents? In a system where students get passed on to the next grade regardless of their performance or effort they have no immediate stake in their learning. For many students, especially the younger ones, telling them that they need to do well in school so that they can go to college, get a good job, or even be a good citizen is abstract to them. They need somethng to hold them accountable in a more immediate way so that their efforts will match those of their teachers and peers. I have some students that simply refuse to work or try. They won't work in class and they don't do homework. I can't give them consequences for this other than withholding the rewards that I give the other students that do work. They earn poor or even failing grades, but get passed on to the next grade with a standardized end of year test score that verifies that they did not put forth effort in their own education. As the teacher I showed up for the job, but as the student they didn't. However, I am held accountable, but the student and parents get off scot free. It is only one end of a spectrum of student performance and parental involvement, but if we want similar outcomes for students then we need to expect similar efforts from everyone involved. This also means similar accountability for everyone involved. Education is not a product like a hamburger where the teacher makes it and the students eat it, it is a process.
What's really fair is to hold student accountable and expell them if they dont maintain their grades
The problem is there is too much money and too many resources being spent on helping kids to pass (above 50%), and hardly any money or resources being spent on the students who actually perform above grade level. And the high achieving students are the ones who end up bringing up the averages for school performance. Not every student/child is ready or wants to go to college. There should be vocational options for them, and resources for students who want to learn and consistently perform.
Replying to posters is dumb on my part. Replying to a comment so stooooooopid is even dumber and a bigger waste of my time. But I just HAVE to say: you are one dumazz fool! Einstein failed courses in school. Following your (il)logic comment, he wouldn't have been who he became and the world would have not received the benefits of his work. Go back into your Mom's basement and be still....very still...so still no one knows you are there. Old Soldier, out!
Assuming you're talking to me soldier, Eintsein being expelled from school wouldnt preclude him from making his discoveries, nor would it have precluded anyone else from making the same discoveries if he did. Unfortunately I cannot offer a counter example about a kid who suffered through school with a bunch of other flunkies bringing down the quality of education and who did not discover the cure for cancer because life is not a controlled experiment.
Andy, I would LOVE to expel failing students. The problem is that then they get their lawyers and sue and now the district is broke and I'm out of a job. Think I'm kidding? Some family is suing a district for getting a C+! Google it. Same thing with holding students back – never gonna happen. I just hope that I can get out before it all goes down the tubes.
"We have me the enemy and he is us." – Pogo
All the people that think that teachers have such easy jobs: why don't you become one yourself and join those lucky people that work a couple of hours a week and get the big money instead of complain? How do you think you can judge a job you haven't had?
they're not judging a job they've ever had, they're judging a product they are forced to overpay for that they dont even necessarily want in the first place. It's as if you were forced to buy a car at double the price, and then you come along and tell us how hard you worked on it as if that justifies the poor workmanship
Andy, I would like to see our youth not be in school and see how far they get! If society didn't want their kids to be educated they why do they send them to school and complain if we have a snow day?
They complain about snow days because then they've got no one to service their day care needs on that day while mommy and daddy go to work. And the youth would do just fine. They have many many many options. Go to work with mom and dad to get real experience. Go to work somewhere where they get training and advancement opportunities. Teach themselves or have the parents teach them. (Homeschooling, internet, library, etcetera) Go to private school. Pool money with other parents to hire a teacher. The youth would do much better without public mandatory schooling. They could learn all of what they get out of public school in half the time and have an extra 10 years of earning potential.
You're not overpaying for teachers and your children's education. You're getting it CHEAP.
John, how do you figure? It's much more expensive than it would otherwise be.
LOL they would be eaten alive
Wow, seems like most of you are being lead by the nose in the wrong direction.
Pay has very little to do with how hard you work. Sorry to step on your traditional Quaker work ethic. Today its more often determined by the value you provide. ...and educating the next generation SHOULD be a pretty high value. I really don't care how hard (or not) a teacher works to achieve a good result.
Lets face it most people don't want to do hard dirty work. So we have to raise the reward (pay) for doing hard work simply as a matter of supply and demand. In the information age, this is now the exception. Not the norm.
The challenges that educators AND PARENTS face in the education of our children are multi-modal in scope. Teacher pay needs to be brought to parity with that of other college educated professionals. At the same time, a system focused on performance evaluation needs to be applied to assure that only the most competent teachers are hired and retained. Using student progress as one indicator of quality performance is not out of the question.
Parents should not be left out of the equation. The teacher's job is to provide information in a compelling and interesting format. The job of teaching values, focus, work ethic, etc. belongs to parents. I have observed that those skills, when taught at home, enhance the enducational environment.
Simply adding more hours to the school day is not the solution if you ignore the skill sets ofthe teachers and the habits taught in the home by parents. Don't waste time and our tax dollars by applying a narrow soltuion to a broad problem. Address all of the issues and you can then expect results.
It's not just a failure on the part of the schools. It's a failure on the part of the parents.
I know that it's easy to blame the teachers for poorly performing students, and some teachers deserve the criticism, but from my experience, the majority of teachers work very hard and feel terrible when a child isn't progressing. What I hear time and time again is that they can only do so much during the day with 20 other students to attend to, and that the rest must be done at home. Many parents will say that it's the schools job to teach the kids and that they don't have the time to follow up at home. It would make sense that private school students perform better because their parents can either afford the extra help outside of school, or they get more involved themselves because they are paying extra money for the education and they want to make sure that their investment pays off.
God forbid anybody point out little Johnies illiterate parents who have parked him in front of a tv for the first decade of his life.
Let's look at the easiest and one of the highest paid jobs in the country: head football coach at a university. Based on what many of you have said about teacher workloads, I compute the football coach's workload and hourly pay as follows:
15 games x 4 hours per game = 60 hours per year of work.
5,000,000 salary/ 60 hours per year of work = 83,333.33 dollars per hour
That football coach gets over $23 per second of pay.
Now tell me a teacher is overpaid and lazy. (By the way, I know the athletic supporters are going to want to argue that my computations above are not valid. So are your computations regarding teachers' pay.)
If you look at the work side, football coaches work VERY VERY hard. They pull all nighters watching tape and preparing schemes because the other coach is doing the same. However, football isnt "necessary." Government has no business subsidizing it in high school or in college where students get guaranteed loans to go to college whose only reputation is their football program and the associated tail gating parties.
Those kids aren't going to molest themselves.
*kicks Dave* Wow man you are really stupid!!
When you bring in 50M a year to your school you'll get paid 5M too.
I get very tired hearing teachers complain about work they do outside of the classroom. I volunteer countless hours at our local school with musicals, fundraisers, tutoring students in math and science – all of this done on my own time outside of my regular 10+ hour ( non-teaching) work day. While I have tremendous respect for gifted teachers, I find that too many are more worried about their outside activities and businesses to be concerned with how well they are teaching. I also find that many are deeply concerned about having put in place any method of measuring their effectiveness. Also, too many of the science and math teachers have very little in depth knowledge of the subject they are teaching. To those educators who have a gift for teaching, I commend you. To those who chose this career in order to have summers and holidays off – you need to move on.
You are a lying piece of filth who works with Michelle Rhee.
Even with time spent after work to "prepare", less than 5 hours a day for work is ridiculously light duty. Most people in the "private" work force work 7 to 8 hours a day AND work extra hours after that. AND....they don't get summers off. AND...they don't get a pension and post-retirement medical. So please teachers. You don't have it that rough. And if you don't like teaching...then please don't. Because I had plenty of teachers that didn't like it and shouldn't have been there, but they stayed for the benefits.
With all do respect. I start my day at 7am and leave the school around 3 or 3:30 (so, roughly 8 hours, a period for lunch and planning makes it 7 hours). Then, I go home and work after dinner until around 10 or so ( roughly another 3 hours). And, I usually put in about 10 hours over the weekend. That's a total of 60 hours for the week. I also put in about 30 hours a week during the summer (not being paid) as I readjust lessons, revisit my practice, attend conference, do continuing education programs, and participate in research projects. I do this for about 40K/year. As one of the comments about said, I'm not looking for more money or pity, just a little respect.
How much respect do you think the rest of the work force gets for working the same kind of hours? Want respect? Try self-respect.
Where did you get "less than 5 hours" a day. 7:00-2:00 or 8:00-3:00 is 7 hours, not including morning and afternoon duties...
I believe that all schools should be private. Education in this country is so bad because there is no accountability. I say let the community pay for the school buildings but make the parents pay the teachers and administrators salaries and benefits. You could partner school so a "rich" district would be paired up with a "poor" district. You could give income based scholarships and tax breaks to parents who could afford full tuition. This would make the parents responsible to make sure their child is getting educated as the money is coming out of the parents pocket and not being provided as some sort of welfare benefit.
> This would make the parents responsible to make sure their child is getting educated as the money is coming out of the parents pocket and not being provided as some sort of welfare benefit.
The parents who dont' care still won't care. Some might not sign up at all then you'll have social workers looking for them to sign up their kids somewhere.
There's no need for community "buildings." That's arguably the most wasteful thing for the government to pay for. No, just completely privatize it and dont mandate that people go. A child could learn more depending on the parent's job just by going to work with him. Farming is an obvious one. There can be private schools that pay for their own buildings and there can even be "free lance" all around teachers that do "house calls." In that case, a group of parents can pool funds to have a teacher make the rounds and trade off whose house is used.
Andy, if there was not madated school at any age and parents had to pay for it then very few people would be posting on here because they wouldn't be able to read or spell. Education through the 8th grade is very important if a person wants to learn to read, write, and compute numbers. After that much of what is taught is important for a person to decide what they want to do in life. What would you learn on a farm? How to milk, plow, water, but not read or write. I don't think you understand what would be lost without an education and my guess is it is because you didn't or don't like school. I am sorry for you.
I never said education wasnt neccesary. I said government mandated education wasnt neccesary. My cousin taught himself to read because he enjoyed listening to Led Zeppelin at age 4 and had a drive to read the lyrics on the CD album cover. Not everyone is capable of teaching themselves, but parents can certainly teach their children to read, and if they cant, they can certainly find a 14 year old babysitter to do that much. Too narrow minded you are. See the forest through the tress you cant
Wont work. No way the government is going to give up those tax dollars. I think the government is female cuz once they have their paws on your money....they dont let go!!!
why do private schools consistently outperform public ones, with 1/4 shorter school years.
END OF THAT STUPID ARGUMENT.
Because they take only the smartest students.....They don't have to put up with kids who have bad or no home life. They can kick kids out for whatever they want, bad grades, talking back, whatever......
> why do private schools consistently outperform public ones, with 1/4 shorter school years.
Because of parents involvement, of course. The teachers are not paid much better there. But the environment is so much more comfortable and respectful towards the teachers.
... in part because private schools attract smarter students. But I agree with you on accountability .. that is the problem.
One of the reasons private schools test scores look better than the public schools is due to the fact there are far fewer, if any, special education students in these private schools.
Distribute special education students equitably across the board to private and public schools and then let's compare.
After that let's do the same with students whose primary language is not English, and then let's take a look at those test scores.
Because most private schools can pick and choose students they like and don't like once they have been there for a while (i.e. special ed). Public schools have to take any and everybody.
I worked as a teachers for a little while .. easiest job I ever had .. then as an engineer, there is no comparison and I really loathe their whining. Get real.
Well, you were probably a bad one. Good thing you got out of it.
So Mike, you only get paid 30k as an engineer? I doubt that but that is how much a teacher gets paid in some areas. I am glad that it was easy for you. I don't teach because it is easy or because I get summers off (I teach summer school), I teach because I want to make a positive impact on a student's life. I knew I wouldn't get paid much and that is fine. What I don't appreciate is someone telling me that because little Johnny didn't learn enought in my room so I will be fired. Let me tell you that if little Johnny didn't have to be up till 1am listening to his parents fight, or was fed breakfast before school, wanted to learn my subject instead of writing cuss words on my desks, or had someone at home when he got there, and had someone ask him how his day went then he might have performed better. It isn't all up to the teachers, it needs to be a community effort.
Adults are generally lazy, kids are generally lazy, but they can read. People who know keep looking to Finland's successes in education and trashing ours. Not just secondary but post secondary as well. High school is optional in Finland. If a student doesn't wish to go the college route they have the opportunity to go to trade school and learn a valuable, needed skill that pays well. Oh and secondary students in Finland only are in the class room for 4 hours and now for the icing on the cake – no homework! Say what you will, they out preform our students on testing. The information on what works and what doesn't is out there, easy to find, if you try. Oh, I won't tell you how teachers are respected in Finland, because if I did you wouldn't believe me. Our USA had better wake up, we are behind in more ways than you would guess. Bet off the couch and go see, you will be shocked.
... that is really true ... I grew up Finland ... including the respect part ... you also have very competent teacher, almost as hard to get into as medical school ... and I think they all know that Greenland is not a continent, as my daughter's 3rd grade teacher claimed recently.
A friend of mine who grew up in the USSR has stated on multiple occasions that 8 years of soviet schooling was worth the same as 13 years of American schooling. America number 1 right?
The USSR no longer exists. That speaks for itself.
> The USSR no longer exists. That speaks for itself.
Have you looked at who teaches math and physics in US and Canadian colleges lately?
> A friend of mine who grew up in the USSR has stated on multiple occasions that 8 years of soviet schooling was worth the same as 13 years of American schooling. America number 1 right?
I grew up in USSR. Most teachers weren't all that good outside of the big cities. But the whole country had the same textbooks. The texbooks were very good, though. They had a systematic approach and it was very fast paced compared to american. Russian math is very good, to this day. I use their textbooks to teach my kids. And since everyone learns from the same texbooks it is much easier to control the quality of education.
US math cirriculum is beyond horrible. One might think it is intentionally confusing and soooo slow. Russians learn in 3 years of math what americans learn in 6.
Since many teachers weren't that good I just read the textbooks and library books. You have to want to learn, it is not the teacher it is how you and your family value the education. In USSR scientists were paid very well, had a realatively easy life (compared to others), so people really valued education for this very pragmatic reason. ))
You can certainly teach reading, writing, and arithmetic in less than five hours. Everything else is bullcrap other than history or geography (do they still teach(?) these)
I worked as a teacher in Baltimore and I made half the salary I do now teaching in Canada. Almost all the teachers at my school had second jobs. I realize pay varies greatly between school boards and states. As in all professions there are some slackers but most teachers are extremely hard working people who care deeply about the children they teach. As teachers we deal with all of societies problems on a daily basis. Poverty, abuse, divorce ... we try to pick up the broken pieces of your children everyday. I have taught for 15 years and every year I have had to call children's aid for at least one child. Teaching is much more than lesson plans and marking.
As a teacher, I work full 8 hour days. Just because I don't have kids in my classroom during my planning doesn't mean I'm napping under my desk. I am at work and working on any number of school related tasks. I arrive at work early and frequently stay late- which means I have to pay extra in daycare. I don't get paid overtime and I frequently don't get reimbursed for the money I spend on other people's kids. I teach in the lowest paid district in my state and haven't had a raise in 5 years. Due to increased insurance costs, I am making less than I did 5 years ago. I have serious doubts that I will be able to retire after 30 years and that my pension will still exist when I need it. My pay is now linked to how well my students perform on standardized tests- regardless of whether they come to school well rested and fed. On a daily basis I have to work with out of touch administrators who are implementing education policy dictated by out of touch politicians. In my cake job, I am lucky enough to contact social services a couple of times a year because a student has confided in me or I have seen their bruises. But hey, I get my summers off.
As a not a teacher, I wish I had summer breaks, 8 hour days, and Saturdays off. Sadly, as a not a teacher, 55-60 hour weeks are necessary more often than not. Teachers seem to undervalue the time off they receive. Not many other professions give you the ability to take so much time off at one time. Every summer my Facebook feed is filled up with teachers taking trips to Europe, cruises, and bemoaning how the start of school is only a few weeks away in between cute meme post suggesting that no one understands how hard teachers have it.
Teachers absolutely should receive more money, but they should also be expected to work more hours annually. Others on this story have correctly pointed out that students atrophy over the summer, so the easiest solution seems to be to eliminate the summer break entirely. It's not like students today have to leave school to help the family bring in the harvest each summer. The summer break is a vestige of an old economic system, and it needs to be eliminated.
You won't get to retire after 30 years? I've been working 25 years and most likely have 25 more years of work ahead of me. And if I can ever retire, I won't get the pension or benefits that teachers get, which I pay for. And hey, I don't get my summers off.
Should I call the "waaambulance?" I've been teaching for 15 years, after I actually worked for a living as a self-employed sub-contractor for 15 years, in Alaska! Talk about cost of living!! I am 55 years old and I have had several jobs in all kinds of work places. Teaching is a piece of cake, and you know it. I go to "work" early, (8:00am) and stay until 5:00pm most days. We have 182 contact days. Let's round that to 200 days per school year. 200 * 10 hours, (again I'm "padding the true #). I "work" 2000 hours per school year and I will "earn" $75,000 dollars for transferring things from my brain into the brains of 10 year olds. I am adored by students, parents, administrators, and staff. I truly care about each kid that has been in my class/school. It's a pretty "tough" school and we deal with the same things you do. Low income/poverty, abuses of all kinds, clueless parents, as well as 70-90 different languages spoken!! I pay my Union dues, (don't get me started) and a portion of my health insurance. But, I take most weekends off, Thanksgiving = 4 days, President's Day, Dr. ML King Day, Easter, oops, I mean Spring break = 10 days, and Christmas, oops, I mean Winter Break = 17 days. How many hard-working Americans would give their eye teeth just for that? Then we take about 80 continuous days off in the summer! In Alaska! How cake is that? I also get paid to be sick for 15 days if needed, if not those days get "banked" towards my retirement! Paid Personal days = 4. Are you starting to understand why the "normal" working stiffs are getting fed up with us? In a few short years, (6-8), I will retire with a pretty sweet pension plan. In Alaska! Not bad for a former sub-contractor, huh?
Stop whining, Mike
FINALLY! Someone who is honest about teaching! It is a GREAT QUALITY OF LIFE CAREER!!
Currently at work, and will be here likely till 7 (since 830am). No overtime though, and no pension. I probably make more than you, but I also work 55+ hours and summers/breaks which you do get off. Calculate our hourly wages and they may be very similar. If you're still planning your agenda each day after 10 years of the same or similar curriculum then you're doing something wrong. My question to you is:
When you applied for a job labeled as a civil servant what did you think you'll get?
Now back to work....
Screw the students give me my golden pension
I work as a secretary in a high school and I can tell you firsthand, teachers have it made. Teachers in my school (Pa.) work 7:45 to 2:15 but have two planning periods and a lunch in between. First day of school the first thing they do is put in for personal days around every holiday. Planning periods are spent at the convenience store. Fridays in May? At least 20 teachers call out "sick", unless it rains, then only 12-15.
I work 12 months and I am sooo glad when they leave for the summer so I don't have to listen to them whine about how they can't wait for a day off during the first week of school
If you're so convinced teaching is such a great deal why haven't you tried it out yet? Great pay, great benefits, lots of time off, why aren't you applying now. Why aren't you buying what you're selling? If you're not a teacher already, I don't think you have even convinced yourself!
if you're so convinced that teaching is such a bad deal, then why are you (presumably) still a teacher?
For those of you who think teaching is so easy – Please go get a degree and the needed certification SO YOU TOO CAN LIVE THE DREAM OF BEING A TEACHER.
All of the bashing of these teachers make me wonder why you are not teaching yourself.
It sounds like they are all getting wealthy while not working at all. It obviously is the dream job. Quit bashing them, and go join their ranks. It sounds like it must be a little slice of heaven.
you are obviously full of something other than the truth.
No one said teachers have "a bad deal." Most teachers enjoy their job. Just don't tell them its easy. And don't tell me something tastes great if you're not willing to have any yourself....
I am one of those spoiled rotten teachers in Alaska and I couldn't AGREE more. I was a self-employed sub-contractor for 15 years in AK so I can "feel your pain." You folks are the under-appreciated and over-worked backbone of schools. God Bless you.
If teachers don't want to spend their own money of classroom stuff, they don't have to. It's a choice. If they don't like the hours of grading, they can get students to trade papers and grade their own or else get a student aid or offer extra credit for grading help. I was a student slave in high school and graded many, many papers. There are options other than grading in bed in the evening. Because there are options, I don't feel all that bad. I'm sitting here at a desk in the middle of summer earning a few bucks per hour less while doing work that still requires some level of thinking. I don't get seasonal breaks and "in service" days. If teachers have it so hard, they can always switch schools or re-train for something else.
Let's break down what school has become. You've got the initial purpose, which was to make sure not too many ignorant people voted in our elections. You've got the secondary purpose, which was to make sure more people had more skills so everyone could make more and better stuff in our economy. Finally, we've got the superfluous purposes like keeping people physically healthy (sports) and socially healthy (interaction.)
On all three counts we have a major fail. On the first, people still aren't very smart about voting and CNN FoxNews and MSNBC do most of the educating anyway, even for college grads. On the second, public schools dont provide the "necessary skills" even if they were competent. "History" is a niche subject for a niche in the job market. "Math" is the same. Physics chemistry and other advanced sciences get taught in college remedially anyway, as does simple precalculus. On the last count, there is no reason to be putting people through sports in publicly funded schools. Why would we? So we can send the NCAA more athletes to line their pockets? And people would have more time for "social interaction" in a natural social setting without forced one size fits all schooling. Join a private club sport on the weekends. Be done with school by noon and do more homework. Without forcing the ones to go to school who dont want to, lessons will go much more quickly.
Grades 1 through 12 could realistically be completed by a kid of average intelligence by age 12 to 14 without the government deciding what needs to be taught. And they would choose to do it that way if there was no forced schooling, AND it would be cheaper for everyone...so much so that the private schools and even free lance teachers would be able to cover the poorest kids with free tuition/charity. I'm not even talking just about teacher pay. Communities could hire two or three teachers and trade off whose house is used for lessons on each day rather than spending millions upon millions on buildings that invariably get demolished in the longer term when people move away from given areas.
School and education should not be defined. A farmers son can learn to be a fantastic economist just by having his pop explain how he needs a seasonal loan each year for the crop and how he makes more money for his son's xmas presents when the other farmers fail. He also gets a real hands on agriculture education. Why force this kid to go to school when he can be a pro farmer by his teens? It makes absolutely no sense. Let people do as they wish.
Maybe let's think about this another way. If a child's school day could parallel majority working hours for mothers–then THAT would be something to think about. Many/most families these days are two income household, and families are struggling to find childcare during the "inbetween" hours. If school days paralleled working hours, then it could alleviate some stress on the average American family. I'm not advocating that teachers have longer hours–but many extra curricular activities have been taken away over the years: arts / dance / music / foreign language! We need to bring some of the arts back to create well-rounded students/children.
THANK YOU, I've been saying this for years. I cringe every time I hear about "family values" when some politician is pushing for something that really won't help my family at all. With 2 working adults its so hard to manage work and child responsibilities. It makes it harder when school is out on days that are not holidays for anyone else (I'm looking at you Presidents day) and at my school they only go half days on Wednesday so that complicates it again. If someone really wants to help working families then start by extending the school day and providing more after school options.
Repubs wish there were no teachers; they only want the bible taught.
A great education system requires 5 elements: a sound curriculum, skilled teachers, community support, parents providing resources and expectations, and students committed to learning. When one of these 5 elements is weak or missing, the education system fails on some level. We are spinning our wheels when we look at only one element. Education is complex. To improve it means we need to focus on all elements and improve each.
Not sure where these figures come from, but my teaching colleagues on average earn in the mid 30's per year and they aren't paid a nickel over the summer. Many would love to have the opportunity to work through the summer as well, but those opportunities are limited and hence they work summer jobs often in retail. 90K a year? Certainly not here in NC. Not sure where this figure comes from, but it sounds totally bogus to me. So, have a heart and appreciate the fact that teachers are certainly not overpaid in the real world, and are often the first criticized for poor student performance that can often be linked to lack of support from the most important teachers of all (PARENTS!).
Google PA Teacher Salaries – site set up listing annual salaries – numbers aren't bogus. Shame such a disparity between the states.
As in all professions, the bad apples spoil the bunch. Like my 6th grade teacher who spent lunch in the bar down the street. Or the teachers who proudly say" I became a teacher so I don't have to work summers. And I get paid for cafeteria duty....." unfortunately these teachers along with the incompetent ones who are protected by the union overshadow the good ones. There are good ones out there. We just forget about them sometimes
Ignorance abounds. My dad was a K-12 teacher and so is my brother. They work over 60 hours per week. You cannot count just classroom time. Don't forget to count:
* Paper grading
* Lesson planning
* Test creation
* Grade submission (report cards)
* Administration (e.g.supplies, room setup, etc)
* Parent communication
* Student assistance (e.g. extra help)
* Cirriculum planning and other administrative meetings
College professor, all of above plus research and same pay.
* Paper grading: My children pass their papers to another child to be graded during class time by the children.
* Lesson planning: The lessons are recycled each year. It is obvious from the content.
* Test creation: Again, recycled each year. My children are not allowed to take home their exams so that the questions are not available to be seen by future students.
* Grade submission (report cards): Grades are entered into the computer and this data entry cannot take very long. There are even generic codes set up so that the teacher does not have to actually type a comment about the student.
* Administration (e.g.supplies, room setup, etc): For the most part administrative tasks are completed during the school day, either while the children are working on an assignment or are in a special.
* Parent communication: The bulk of parent communication involves requests to come in to make copies for the teacher or process book orders for them.
* Student assistance (e.g. extra help): Our teachers are available to assist students as tutors at a rate of $40+ per hour. There are a few exceptions, of course. One math teacher was available for extra help (for free) if the child came in at 6:30am.
* Cirriculum planning and other administrative meetings: Meetings take place during the school day. We actually pay for district wide subs so that all the teachers can attend meetings during the school day. My second grader's teacher wants to be a principal, so she has joined many committees. Her meeting all take place during the school day. We stopped counting when the class was on the 14th sub if the year.
In the 8 years (to date) that I have had children in school, this has been our experience. For the very few good teachers out there (we have had two so far), these types of comments are not directed at you. The majority, however, are protected by the union and put in precious little time or effort while making a substantial salary ($40-90,000 here).
Very well put, I have nothing more to add, except it's time for the Teachers Union to GO!
They are not for our children, time and time again, they show that they are more worried about their pay than the child in the classroom. I have only met 2 teachers in my two adult childrens school years that seemed to really make a difference and they needed a raise! We need to find our best teachers(accountability), and fire the rest!
But as long as we have the Teachers Union protecting bad teachers, our childern will suffer.
I have taught for eight years upper level math as well as algebra. My opinion is we should let those that aren't interested only go through 8th grade to traditional "school". After that, guarantee them 3 years of training and oversight in auto repair, home construction, masonry, etc. if you want to continue on to high school, you can but you will be expected to make an honest effort. If teachers can get motivated students, the sky is the limit and we can really prepare tomorrows leaders in more sophisticated classes such as economics or foreign policy, etc. Maybe they can fix this mess we've got here.
I can teach forty kids if they are going to pay attention, but the constant interruption from students who haven't "bought in", hampers the progress of the whole class.
Also, consider requiring that all kids do,some sort of "extra curricular activity" either band or a sport basically. I'm a teacher/coach and my coaching salary is less than 1/10th of my teachers pay despite spending easily an extra 30+ hours beyond my classroom duties. Not many qualified people still willing to do that anymore for virtually no pay. It would be nice if the other teachers had to work 8-5, so they knew how lonely this place gets around 3:30. We should be using that time to teach practice, dedication, teamwork, etc. maybe some teachers could get their grading done if there are no kids needing extra help
ive read most of the posts here...many of them make some sense....and many of them are just nonsense. the funny part is...i dont ever even really remember reading a news story here. seems like we're writing the news story for them on this one. the 'story' itself was just a bunch of comments from people or 'fake' comments from people. what a farce.
anyways, to my point. ive been an elementary school teacher for the past three years. its the hardest job in the world. especially when you deal with students who come from families where education has little to no value. trying to teach reading, writing, mathematics, and science is one thing...but how do you teach children that they should WANT TO LEARN when no one else has ever instilled this value? this is what teachers do. or at least what good teachers do and try to do. if everyone knew the value of education and actually tried to put this value above many other things in their lives, teaching would be alot easier – i agree. but until that time...it will always be a very difficult job. the behavior problems that must be dealt with? unreal. you try to teach a subject to someone who is 3 or 4 years behind developmentally while having another 3 or 4 children at any time laughing and trying to disturb the class. ive always loved my students (even the really difficult ones), but honestly, the job is just really draining. ive had other jobs before and none of them were this taxing on the mind and the psyche. yeah vacations are great, but to be honest...teachers need whatever time they get JUST to recharge. during my school year, i am a teacher, a counseler, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a cousin, an uncle, an aunt, a motivator, a doctor, and a nurse...all on an easy day. then i get to give advice to parents on what could make them better parents when they ask me 'do you have any suggestions for how i can get my child to work more at home?' or 'do you have any suggestions on what i should do to make my child act right at home?' you have no clue what teachers do every day in their respective schools. i would imagine that some teachers have it easier than others...but i can't imagine too many people working harder than i do each day. and if you are...kudos to you...because you're doing alot.
My mother had the hardest job in the world, you don't even come close. Try being the first woman in a copper mill factory. No private lockroom, threaten every day for the first five years, no ladies restroom, heckled the long way as you walked to your part of the plant, being given the dirtest, hottest, most dangerous jobs just to force you to quit, now do all that during 8 hours come home and take care of two kids by yourself. God bless you mom I thank you for your sacrifice every day of my life.
My aunt heads an oncology unit at a local hospital – her days are long, she works hard and at the end of the day gets to see patients she has become very close to die. I can appreciate your points in saying you work hard but please, you insult everyone here with 'hardest job in the world' and 'no one works harder than me'. Perhaps you need a different profession?
The idea that children learn in the same way, and can learn is a falsity. Some children are not capable of learning. That is not the teacher's problem. In falt. In fact. Many times, students bring behavorial problems to the classroom and, their parent's don't help the situation. Parent's don't have time to attend parent/teacher conferences. Classes are plenty large enough with thiry students particurly when high school teachers are teaching 6 separate classes of 90 minutes now of minutes in length. I don't think parents what they are talking about. Teachers don't assume it is easy being a fireman or a doctor why do people assume that teachers are dumb? Teachers have to earn professional level degrees, and in New York, they have to earn Masters Level degrees and ten year to maintain their jobs.
I agree with what you are saying, just not how you said it. I hope as a teacher you are not teaching your kids the same way you write. You made several misspellings and punctuation errors that my old english teacher would have marked in red and drilled me on!
The biggest problem with the current education system in this country is the fact that many parents aren't involed with ensuring that their children do well in school. They send their kids off to school and view it essentially as day care. There's only so much a teacher can do with a child whose parents don't care.
Y'all chose that profession–get over yourselves! You knew what it would be like going in. No one pulled the wool over your eyes. With your vacations added up and summer breaks-you cannot sit there and say you work harder than every other person you know. I work in higher education and I can honestly say something is wrong somewhere in the educational system; by the time they reach this level I cannot even fully describe what I witness on a daily basis (lack of common sense, no problem solving abilities, expectation that everyone does everything for them, etc...)...it's just ridiculous, but I digress.
> what I witness on a daily basis (lack of common sense, no problem solving abilities, expectation that everyone does everything for them, etc...)...it's just ridiculous, but I digress.
It sounds like a lack of independent work skills, i.e. homework. I got it once from my daughter in 3rd grade – "But the teacher didn't teach us that ...". i said, "You can read? Go read it". She doesn't say this anymore.
I don't know where kids got the idea that they are supposed to know only what they are taught. How about doing your own research?
Not happy with your job? SOLUTION: QUIT !! I'll bet you won't because of the great pay for 8 mionths of "work" per year and the outrageous benefits !!
> Not happy with your job? SOLUTION: QUIT !! I'll bet you won't because of the great pay for 8 mionths of "work" per year and the outrageous benefits !!
Yep, don't like your accounting job? Quit it and go work at McDonalds. It is the equivalent of people saying – don't like something in the US ( like education), go somewhere you like. Except this is not a practical advice since as a US citizen you cannot just go and live in some other country. You actually require a citizenship of that country.
Seriously? Last I calculated, I work 10 months, as well as at least 30 days over the summer for my salary and benefits. It is a great job, but I deserve every penny and benefit I get!
If teaching has such great pay and benefits and only works for 8 months to get it, why aren't you in that profession?
George, where do you get that 8 month school year? My daughter is in special Ed and she gets 2 months off in summer and her pay is little more than half of the $90,000 in NY and she does not have the option to move to NY. I challenge you to spend one day in a ghetto school with special needs kids with a teacher who actually loves these kids individually. .do not talk about what you seem to know so little about.
Typical Repub who hates teachers and despises learning.
Instead lets all go to your office and critique your skills.
Most professions who have jobs that require a bachelor or master degree are exempt jobs. That means that they have to complete the job, no matter how much time it takes. There are are lot of people who work more than 40 hours per week in order to meet deadlines. So don't complain about how much extra time you put in for your job...that's what lots of other americans are doing in order to keep their job. I've taken work home. I've gone into the office on Saturdays. Why should teaching be any different?
Different because 1) It's a public NECESSITY – unlike your job. 2) It is more difficult than most jobs. You are doing CONSTANT. UNINTERRUPTED work for 7 hours everyday with no breaks. I've worked in four other professions (sales. marketing, management, and law) for over 30 years and I was never required to work as hard in a day as I did while teaching. But, alas, the grass is greener on the other side and if it was SO EASY then you should stop complaining and become a teacher. Personally, I couldn't handle the daily pressure and quit after 4.5 years but I now know how demanding teaching is today.
It's a Catch-22 that when people accuse me as a teacher of putting in less hours than other professionals, I choose to defend my position and the hours I put in. On a typical day, I spend a minimum of three hours grading papers in addition to the seven hour school day. On a test day, I am usually up until 2 AM getting the scores so the kids have them the next day (think about it: 150 papers- if I spent only 2 minutes grading a paper, that's 300 minutes or 5 hours outside of class time). When I put out any honest defense as such, I then get accused of complaining about my job. I'm dam ned for sitting silent and dam ned for speaking up. All I can say is that if the job is so darned easy, get your degree if you don't have one already, take the necessary education courses, quit your job to do your 12 weeks of student teaching and join us.
I love America. If you don't like your job, you can choose to get a different one. If you are not a teacher and you want every holiday off with your kids, quit your job and do what it takes to be a teacher. Of course, like they have been for more than the near half-century I've been alive, they are underpaid. That's why I don't teach. If you choose to teach and are under mandatory retirement age, you went into this profession knowing that teachers are not paid handsomely. Stop whining. Want to be paid more? Quit your teaching job and get a job somewhere else.
I served in the military defending all your rights for years. I worked 100+ hour-long weeks. The last two years in the Navy I got a TOTAL of 61 days off. Note that just getting weekends off with no holidays, sick days, or vacation whatsoever would net you 208 days off during that same period of time. I shared six beds (2 ft. by 6 ft.) shoved into a cube that was 6 ft. by 6 ft. by 6 ft. with EIGHT other people (we had to take turns sleeping) puts most other people's working conditions to shame. The engine room was usually 100 to 120 degrees and from time to time we had to worry about people trying to kill us.
Stop all the whining if you don't like your job and get another one. WWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
Thanks for your service, John. I am a teacher in Alaska and you are exactly correct. We teachers have it made in the shade. I wish I had more vacation time to reply to the hundreds of whining teachers on this blog, but I have to go catch a king salmon!
I went to school to become a veterinarian for 8 really dreadful yrs.and as far as the class loads and difficulty it is no comparison to teachers classes. It's been 30 yrs. ago. for me but people still actually do it and graduate to 60 hrs. a week and about $30000 a yr. Plus there is no union and they have to pass real boards and be competent at what they are doing or no job at all. My sister and brother in law are teachers. Seems they never work and neither could tell me who the vice president or secretary of state were. They make much more than an employed veterinarian. Screw teachers.
jcvet, you are an idiot. You start out by saying "I went to school to become a veterinarian", and in the same paragraph say "screw teachers". Without those teachers, you would not BE a veterinarian. You would not even be able to write "screw teachers" without having had one teach you. I am a teacher, and a very good one. I worked my butt off for 4.5 years in undergrad, another 2.5 in my MEd program, after serving four years of active duty in the military. I work with underprivileged kids in inner city schools, many of whom have no good role models. I work 8-5 on site, and then go home to grade and plan for another three. My school is year round, I have been teaching 11 years, and make under $40,000 a year. I have a wife and son and a mortgage. I am not complaining, because I love what I do. I can hold my head up at the end of the day because I KNOW I made a difference in a positive way. And you say "screw teachers"? Screw you. I am proud of the work I do, and to have people like you question how hard I work because of your own preconceived notions, and your obvious anger makes me sick. I do noble work in a noble profession. I appreciate that caring for sick animals is very respectable, but at the end of the day, whose work matters more? Yours, or mine. Without you, animals might die. Sad. Without me, generations of kids might fail, and our country will pay the price.
They nightmare I have is having to hire today"s HS grads who can't make change so again screw teachers.
So, screw teachers? Is it because you were a miserable med student who couldn't cut it as a doctor and ended up being a lowly vet? What a moron! It is teachers that provide that conduit to allow you the capability to learn whatever your profession choice is. And most teachers DO NOT belong to a union and this misnomer about paid for only 8-9 months is laughable...they get paid JUST for that classroom time but get it spread out over 12 months. And yes, they work at least 2-4 hrs each day outside the classroom and start back at least 2-3 weeks before the beginning of school. And if there is a beginning teacher that earns more than a vet in your area, (never) then YOU picked the wrong profession.
FYI, at most universities, it is harder to get into vet school than medical school.
30,000? My neighbor is a vet and makes $150,000+ in a relatively poor, rural area. He does work long hours and earns every penny of it, in my opinion. Perhaps you should return to school and take a few business classes.
jcvet33, I must bow to your superior logic. Some kid shortchanged you at 7-11, so therefore you condemn an entire profession of people who give way more than they receive. No teacher will ever say they entered the profession to get rich. We simply want respect. I will say it...there is no WAY a person like you could do what I do everyday in the classroom. As high strung as you appear to be, you would burnout in a month because you would find out that what we do is actually VERY hard. I have taught on the south side of Chicago. I have taught in HARLEM, NY. I have taught in east Cleveland. I REGULARLY go into neighborhoods that most people would drive 20 miles out of their way to avoid. I have been punched, shoved, had a metal garbage can thrown at my head, been threatened in more ways than I care to relate, and I still go back everyday. I could easily have switched to safer schools, but I choose not to, because I know I make a difference, and most of the kids may fight me tooth and nail, but in the end, I earn their respect. Still think I "have it easy" with vacations???? I am guessing the occasional dog biting you pales in comparison to what I deal with. And again, I make under $40,000 annually, and have a family, mortgage and student loans to repay. If you don't respect, trade places with me for a day. You will after that. I respect your profession. I know it is not easy. Learn to respect mine. And one more thing. Imagine how it would make you feel if everybody held YOU responsible for their dog's bad behavior. They mistreat their animals, neglect them, beat them, and then say that because they act out, it must be the vet's fault for the way he does his job. That is what happens with teachers. My students come in damaged, and I am expected to produce perfection. I will agree that there are some teachers who need to be out of the classroom, but do not say "screw teachers", when the majority of us work as hard as anybody else in any other profession.
You know, the majority of teachers these days would probably settle for some simple respect! Every comments thread for articles about teaching is full of people dissing teachers and their work. I sure as heck wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for some awesome teachers I've had along the way. Any penny I make above minimum wage, I owe to a teacher who gave me the skills to get a well-paying job. Yet my town constantly under-funds the school district, and the argument is always "those teachers just need to stop complaining about their cushy job". I went to a school in a high-income area, and I still wouldn't call my teachers' jobs cushy! To anyone complaining about what teachers make and how long their work day is: YOU try dedicating your life to giving a bunch of kids the tools to succeed! I'm pretty sure 90% of us aren't cut out for it!
There is not enough discipline in schools now days kid's know they can do whatever they want to and get away with it. They have no respect for the teachers and a lot of times the parents don't care enough to even know where or what their kids are doing much less if they are doing their homework. It makes it difficult for the kids who do want to learn. And yes there are bad teachers out there but there are a lot more good ones but the parents and schools need to support the teachers. On the other hand kids need to have the chance to be kids I don't know why schools think they don't need recess in elementary but that is part of learning,learning to socialize, learning to get along with other kids and a good way to get exercise. All you hear about is how so many children are over weight but with no recess and and then they go home and play video games (might I add violent video games) and they don't get much exercise. Kids need to be kids they need to play and have fun and they need to be taught respect for adults and yes have discipline in school so they know that they cannot get away with everything. Unfortunately the good kids are the ones that
get punished and the teachers get the blame when they don't learn.
Thank you Becky! I am a high school teacher and what you say is so true. Another issue
is admin seldom backs the teacher in dispute for fear of being sued by the parents. As for the time issue,
I may only have to be on campus from 7am to 2:30pm but people seems to forget the HOURS of prep time and
grading time, sometimes the "day" doesn't end until 11pm!
Admin truly are an overpaid plague upon the public education system. Never in recorded history has there ever been one worth what they're paid.
I just wanted to thank all the hardworking teachers posting here. I know you work hard and I am thankful. Not everyone is bitter, there are some of use who very much appreciate what you do. (And I am going to remember to give my kids teachers a gift card so that she can buy more supplies )) ).
I didn't grow up in the US, though. And that makes me wonder how many americans lack the respect for teachers. Judging by the posts, it is quite a few. Perhaps, it is the main problem with the american education.
I can't compare what I do to other professions because I haven't held jobs in those other fields. I do remember giving my teachers a hard time and they just had to deal with it. I also don't know where all these wealthy teachers are, but the time off is nice.
Try New Jersey. Did some work out there and was flabbergasted when I passed a school parking lot. Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus were the typical brands. If you live in a place that doesn't pay teachers so well, you will need to drive over to the school district administration offices to see those nice cars.
doesn't that assume that 1) those are the teachers' cars, 2) that they are the sole earners in their houses, and 3) those are new cars. These are just assumptions. And why don't teachers deserve to have nice cars? Why do you have an issue with them making a decent living?
High school is BS except for math classes. I learned much more in community college and then even more at a university.
Some missed points. First, I started in Education in college but quicly figured out – not enough money in the field to live on. I come from a family of teachers and for all the kvetching about pay, easy solution, pay em by the hour. You won't get off cheaper. As the son of an English teacher, now retired, we kept track of Mom's hours the last two years she taught. A little bit above minimum wage when class prep, school newspaper/yearbook and all the rest was added in.
The problem most folks have is not what teachers are paid as much as what they are accountable for. For the teaching "profession" you have a choice – either be a profession or be a union. You can't do both, I can tell you that as a practicing labor lawyer. You want to be a profession? Fine, get rid of the dead wood. Any teacher can tell you within about 15 min who the effective and ineffective educators are in a school. You need to police your own profession. You don't.
You want to be a Union? Fine, keep you nose out of curriculum, teaching methods and administration. Those are topics for management, not the Union. Also, expect to be evaluated on how your students do on tests irrespective of their background or individual effort, and that your compensation will not be linked to number of years worked. Just the quality of the product you produce.
I taught evenings at a community college in addition to my full time day job. I taught 1, three hour class once a week and it was exhausting. After about 4 years I realized that as much as I enjoyed it - I made about $1/hour. For 3 hours of classroom time, I spent another 10-12 hours correcting assignments, preparing lessons and meeting with students. Anyone who thinks teachers today are overpaid should try it for couple of years.
My sister is a retired teacher (earning about 80% of her avg pay in a retirement pension). She told me that after the first few years, the prep process is like being on "auto pilot". You basically "tweak" the lessons from the prior year. This is especially easy if you have a non-evolving subject like math, or a language.
Yes, there is a talent to teaching, something I don't possess myself, but the once low pay rates have risen and surpassed those in the private sector, especially considering the benefits package.
RE: Brian M Smith
My sister is a retired teacher. She told me that after the first few years, the prep process is like being on "auto pilot".
So your sister was a poor teacher and never adapted? Most colleagues I knew rarely used the same thing year to year because every kid/class is different. If you did, and the students under performed, you got fired.Things are different now than they were 30 years ago.
"This is especially easy if you have a non-evolving subject like math, or a language."
Non-evolving? WOW. Just shows how little you know and I wonder why you would even comment.
"Yes, there is a talent to teaching" ya think? "something I don't possess myself" Thank God!
"but the once low pay rates have risen and surpassed those in the private sector, especially considering the benefits package." and how do people get private sector jobs? There aren't millions of unemployed teachers so supply and demand doesn't agree with your theory. You mention benefits package but you know little or nothing about the "benefits" teachers across the country have.
My advice, read a little and do some research BEFORE you comment. Apparently, you had some poor teachers because you've failed internet posting 101 (know something about your topic and having an obvious agenda).
More homework is not the answer. Quality classroom time is – and that means time not interrupted by unruly students and teachers who actually use the time to teach, not have the students merely read quietly on their own. My daughter is about to start 7th grade. She has NEVER had homework other than science projects or research papers. And, last year, she was testing at 10th grade to college level in all subjects. In 4th grade, she was testing high school level in all subjects. So, don't tell me that more homework is the answer. And, this is only on 4 hours of instruction per school day. The rest of the time is PE, lunch, and recess/time between classes.
Teri, I disagree with you on homework. Homework is absolutely necessary to teach discipline, work ethics, independent learning skills, analytical skills, time management and so many more things.
Let me first admit that I have not read all of the comments on here but I've read enough to know most of you have a fantasy impression of what a real teacher does or is all about especially CNN. If people here really think that teachers sit behind the desk all day, have weekends off and do nothing after 3pm, I invite all of you to follow a teacher around for a whole week!
A typical day for my family during the school year starts at 4:30 am, leave the house by 6:30 and we don't get home until 6:30 or later. Then once we get home, someone must cook dinner, give the kids a bath, the kids (notice I said kids) go to bed and I stay up working on lesson plans or the next day activities.
During the summer, yes, I have it easier. I get to sleep in until 6:30 and I get to sit in (unpaid) professional development class while I pay for daycare. I get to go to week long classes where my children get to go to their grandparents house out of town. So I miss seeing my children grow up while I learn how to deal with "hard to handle parents" who teach their children all the misconceptions that most of you posted here.
Oh, don't forget that teachers spend HUNDREDS of dollars on materials so your child can have hands-on experiences in the classroom, which we do not get reimbursed for. Show me a doctor, lawyer or even a car dealer that will spend their paycheck on someone else's child and not get even a thanks. Instead of getting a thank you, we get "you're the teacher, you buy my child crayons." or even "you are the teacher, I shouldn't have to do anything with my child. I send them to school, you deal with them"
We, teachers, not only do the above but we do more. Many of us are giving YOUR child a great education AND trying to hold our own families together. Not only myself but many others are single parents (either by divorce, choice, widows or like myself have a deployed spouse). When we come into your place of business, we don't tell you have you are over paid, lazy and worthless, no we respect you. So as a teacher, when you come to my place of business, I ask for the same respect.
Teacher and Mom- I agree with you whole-heartedly. Many people believe that as teachers, we have it easy. They do not know that we spend our own money on supplies for our classroom, and their children. That at the end of the day, when the students go home, we attend staff meetings, or the prep that goes into the next day, or even the next week. Most people don't know that a teacher barely gets to sit behind his/her desk. Most days, I don't see my desk until at the end of the day.
Doctors without borders, St. Jude's Hospital, Operation Smile, Pro Bono, and do you really want to compare yourself to a slick car salesman? School ends by 3:30p, most teachers are cleared out by 4p so don't add your kids extracurriculars in to your time on the job. Your salary can be disbursed over 12 months so those days of professional development that require paid childcare is covered, just like me. I have to pay for 10 weeks of day camps for my two kids and I too am a single mother. As long as we send kids through an educational system that has at best a 50% graduation rate you will here us "outsiders" bellyache at your failings. I'm just not getting what I pay for and I've had enough from the lot of you. Learn to teach and teach to learn or find another job.
You pay around $500 per year per child for k-12 education in the public system through property tax. That is around $25 a day. If you think you can do it better -home school.
Actually, according to an article by the Washington Post... the graduation rate is 75%. Slightly better than the 50% you quote. But I don't think any of that matters to you really. No matter what is said here, you have had some poor experiences or simply don't like teachers. All of the teaching professionals I know work hard, they care about the students in front of them and they strive to ensure they succeed. They don't get paid well, have to put up with comments like these everyday and still find enough in them to do that every day. Heroes.
There you go assuming.. I didn't "add (my) kids extracurriculars" into the hours I work b/c I can't afford for my kids to be in extracurricular activities. I can't afford them b/c I am too busy spending my hard earned money on YOUR children and making sure YOUR child has a good education. We are required to have staff meetings/vertical team meetings,etc after school. So while you are working your 9-5 job, I'm still at work. Its people like you who have a chip on your shoulder that think that everyone owes YOU. I love my job and I love my family. My husband had the same view as you about teachers until he saw first hand what REAL teachers do.
aww siberianmommy sounds like he/she isn't working now and has an OBVIOUS AGENDA. Life sucks for him/her so she has to find SOMEONE to blame for his/her problems.
"School ends by 3:30p, most teachers are cleared out by 4p so don't add your kids extracurriculars in to your time on the job." They are still working 8+ hours a day and probably 45-40 a week.
"Your salary can be disbursed over 12 months so those days of professional development that require paid childcare is covered" How is it the teacher's fault that school is off during the summer? They DON'T GET PAID FOR THE SUMMER. It's hard to find a summer job for 4-6 weeks so most disburse their pay over 12 months. Every teacher would be 100% glad to work and get paid during the summer.
"As long as we send kids through an educational system that has at best a 50% graduation rate you will here us "outsiders" bellyache at your failings." Again, you are showing your agenda and your ignorance. Grad rates are 75% nationally – one of the best in the world – top 10. And it's "hear" not "here." I'm sure a teacher has taught you that before.
"I'm just not getting what I pay for and I've had enough from the lot of you." You have not a clue how much you've even spent on taxes on education. It's only 2% of federal budget, 10-20% of state taxes, and local property taxes. Even so, it's a public need. Your wants don't matter. I want no crime but that doesn't mean the police aren't doing their job. I don't want to pay any taxes but education is for the common good.
"Learn to teach and teach to learn or find another job." Why find another job? You have shown your ignorance stating that less than 50% graduate when it was actually 75% and among the best in the world. Do you even have a point? What were you watching or heard that made you say all the ignorant stuff you said?
Thank you for these words. I feel we will be at a real teacher shortage if we keep up all the teacher bashing.
Most teachers do not go to classes all summer long as you describe. I appreciate your dedication, but you are the exception apparently. I am married to a teacher and most of our friends are teachers. It is a cush job with a tremendous amount of time off and very good reimbursement and benefits (in NY). I work your same hours and get told that I'm overpaid all the time. I also treat a great many patients for free every year (thousands of dollars.) The difference is that I went to school way longer than a teacher, have way more liability, owe way more in student loans, and have to finance my own retirement and benefits. I am a big fan of teachers, but the current system is not fair and there is absolutely no way you can get a mediocre or even bad teacher out of a school once they achieve tenure. This is un-American. Your union is to blame, not you.
Re: Doctor and Dad
"Most teachers do not go to classes all summer long as you describe." True
"It is a cush job with a tremendous amount of time off and very good reimbursement and benefits (in NY)." Don't be so obtuse. Maybe your wife has a cush teaching job and there are some. Maybe she works at one of the best schools in the city/state? But stating that teaching is a cush job is being very ignorant. You know better.
"The difference is that I went to school way longer than a teacher have way more liability, owe way more in student loans, and have to finance my own retirement and benefits. " Awww someone wish they were a teacher. Here's a tip. Stop complaining about other jobs and be a teacher since it's so "cush" and overpaid and fun.
"I am a big fan of teachers, but the current system is not fair" Again, awww. Life isn't fair. boo hoo. Change careers.
"and there is absolutely no way you can get a mediocre or even bad teacher out of a school once they achieve tenure. This is un-American. Your union is to blame, not you." HERE IT IS. His conservative AGENDA. He heard Sean Hannity blaming the unions and doesn't know how many there are, how they protect people, or anything about them except that they're EVIL!!!!!! Because there is NO WAY to get a bad teacher out. Heck, I've worked with teachers who have killed people and kept their jobs. And thanks for the PATRIOTISM, because it is UN-AMERICAN.
Sounds like Doctor and Dad forgot how to run his own business if he is making less than a teacher and needs to spend his time getting more clients and less time complaining on the internet. FAIL.
My daughter is a teacher and I know that you speak truth, you are a great spokesperson for teachers!
The same people calling for longer days/more days will be the same ones complaining when their taxes will have to go up to pay for it.
US schools have many problems, but the most fixable one is having kids in calss who don't want to learn and disrupt the classes. Do what all Europeans do – mandatory education is 8 onlyyears. At 14 -15 y.o. kids who don't plan to go to college, are not intrested in learning go to trade schools to learn a profession. The rest, who are college bound work really hard for next 2-4 years because finally teachers can concentrate on those who want to learn. It is win-win for everyone.
Also, don't promote students who cannot make a grade. Europeans have no problem with having a kid repeat the same year 2-3 times if he/ she cannot pass it. If the kid still cannot pass it, then it is probably a learning disability issue that should be dealt with separately.
And stop blaming the teachers, for God's sake. They deal with hundreds of kids every day. They are heroes. I doubt I could handle even 10.
I am at work before 8 and I leave after 6. I work at home most nights and weekends. I've worked all night from time to time, showering in the morning before heading off to school. I have no vacation time (none, nada, zip) during the academic year. During the summer, I work on improving my classes. I was in my office every day except 2 weeks this summer. My salary is LESS than it was 4 years ago. LESS.
Yea, I love my job, but the yapping about teachers being slackers sucking the public teat has gotten old. You want to see slackers ... look at congress.
I have to agree
Reading these posts and hearing opinions from people is always entertaining. As a teacher, I can't help but wonder where people get their facts to build the foundation for their opinions. It's so baseless and unfounded when poelple are ranting on and on about how good teachers have it. I'm not saying it's all bad but no one has any idea what teachers are doing until you walk in those shoes. Nurses, factory workers, whatever other job you want to compare us too, go ahead but until you work as a teacher, shut your mouth.
Great post Mike. Now, as a teacher, please shut your mouth about what politicians do, what anybody in the military does, what the milk man does, etc., etc. since you don't work their job. Does that make sense to you? How about this; taxpayers pay your salary so is it so far-fetched that they want to have some say in the product they are paying for?
Not counting weekends, I get 16 paid days off a year (this includes holidays, vacation, and sick time). How many days do you get paid when not at work for a full 8+ hours during a 12-month period of time?
Answer. None. Teachers opt to have part of their monthly salary during the time that they do work set aside so that they can have money during the summer. They aren't getting paid to do nothing. They just spread out what they already earned. Believe it or not most summers are actually financially harder for teachers.
Have you people met your children? The fact that the teachers don't euthanize some of the trash is a testament to their goodness.
@matt - best comment of the entire list that I've read!
"you can't help but wonder?" It's called Fox News. And it doesn't have anything to do with teaching. It has everything to do with the fact that the majority of teachers don't vote Republican.
If you are a salesmen, are you only working when you're in front of a prospective customer?
If you're a lawyer, are you only working when you're in court?
If you're an engineer, are you only working when you're in front of your client?
If your a cab driver, are you only working when you've got a ride?
I'm an engineer. I'm married to a teaching professional (college professor.) She works 60 hours a week for nine months of the year but in only in front of the students for five hours a week. If you really want to find out how "easy" a teaching job is, I recommend you volunteer in the class room or shadow a teacher for a week.
I think they need to be there with a teacher for an entire month – from the time she or he starts in the morning until they finish grading papers and writing lesson plans at night.
I have taught. I've volunteered.
It's actually not that bad. Get over it.
What shorter summer vacation? Are you all from Alaska? Or do you think all children are attending Sweet Valley High or some other Hollywood soap opera schools? Air conditioner is a rare sight in the most of New York City classrooms and auditoriums, especially in elementary schools. Even in May, June, and September kids are suffocating in those 'gas wagen' enclosures. And Great Educator, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, who personally manages education in the city from his opulent office, teaches us how to eat and drink healthy instead of really taking care both of students and teachers.
Time spent "preparing for lessons for each subject they teach and grading" should be minimal especially after your first year or two of teaching. Tests can be multiple choice and sometimes assistants can grade them. Preparing lessons....how many times do you have to prepare to teach the same thing?
I always get tired of hearing teachers are underpaid. They get longer breaks than any other profession (not just summer but winter and spring breaks too).
Cathy, you have no idea what you are talking about. Every year I threw away my lesson plans and started all over to meet the needs of my students. Every year I started over. Multiple choice tests cannot be used again and again. In my "spare" time I read constantly so I could help my kids with new discoveries and new ideas. This is only the tip of the iceberg known as teaching and you have no idea what it's all about. Shadow a teacher some day and I guarantee you will not be writing what you are writing.
I never teach the same lesson twice. Every child has different needs and abilities and the lessons I teach are differentiated to reflect those needs. Within one class I may have four to eight different activities planned in order to teach and assess one concept to kids with many different ability levels and learning styles. We do spend a lot of time assessing our instruction and the kids, adjusting our instruction and then assessing some more. The planning and instruction process is more fluid and flexible than it used to be, but it is still work.
I have worked with professionals from other fields who decided to give teaching a chance because it looked like "fun". On the whole, what I hear the most often from them is that they had no idea how hard it would be. It is hard, but I wouldn't trade it.
If you're so convinced teaching is such a great deal why haven't you tried it out yet? Great pay, great benefits, lots of time off, why aren't you applying now. Why aren't you buying what you're selling? If you're not a teacher already, I don't think you have even convinced yourself!
unfortunatey, Chris, many teaching jobs are political. There are so many people with teaching certifications who would be excellent teachers, but didn't "know" somebody. I am not saying ALL the teaching jobs are that way, but many are. Also, there is no cleansing of the ineffective teachers because of the unions and tenure. Because of this, there are very few jobs available to people who could be good teachers. I am sure you are aware how impossible it is to fire a teacher. This is also what makes most people UNIHAPPY and has everyone thinking ..."better than everyone else has got it" It really is a great career and it really has more benefits than the rest of the working world.
I'm a math teacher going into my 7th year. Although I spend less time planning lessons as compared to my first years, I still spend a substantial amount of time modifying lessons to make them better. The time that I gain from less planning is then utilized in other areas, parent contact, extra help for students, and of course, keeping up with the never-ending bureaucracy that has become education. If you are trying to make the argument that there are teachers who do not spend every minute working, congratulations, you're right. But don't assume we're all lounging the school day away. Many of us work every minute of the school day.
Have you heard about No Child Left Behind and the REAMS of nonsense paperwork that teachers are required to use?
I work as a teacher in Brevard County, Florida. My salary is $37,948. Brevard County school teachers have not had a raise since the 2007-2008 school year (5 years without a raise). In fact, our salaries were frozen as result of the poor economy while our insurance premiums drastically increased. I have taught just about every math class offered, sponsored clubs, chaperoned events, mentored other teachers, attended weeks of training without pay at a cost to myself, and I rarely take a sick day. I have always received exemplary performance reviews and in return for my dedication, I receive a heavier workload without compensation. I am also responsible for getting my students to perform well on standardized math tests. Unfortunately, I work for a school in a low socio economic area, meaning students are more concerned with their daily life struggles (survival) than mastering math concepts. It also means, they don't have the same advantages as students in high socio economic areas. For example, many of my students don't have access to computers, or for that matter, electricity so I understand why math isn't a priority for these students, but I'm still accountable for their learning. Because of this, I'm continually planning, grading, and finding ways to help my students. I've sat at my kitchen table countless nights and weekends grading paper after paper, stopping only on occasion to glance out the window to watch my husband playing in the pool with my 2 year old son. I love their laughter. I miss them. I wonder how long they will continue to love me. I know they don't think I'm fun anymore. But hey, there's all that vacation time, right? I can make it up to them later. Luckily during the summer, I teach at Brevard Community College so that I can pay my half of the mortgage and bills. In fact, I only have time to write this now because my students are currently taking a test on quadratic equations. (My son is in the college nursery having a good time without me). Thursday the college students will have their final exam and the summer semester will be over...thank goodness, but Wednesday (tomorrow) I have to start back at the high shool, which unfortunately, means I'll have to use two sick days to finish the summer semester here at the college.
And we admire your dedication. "Your half of the mortgage," which appears to include a home with a pool? Hmmmmm. In any event, you chose your profession, so either work hard, do something else, or retire.
You aren't living in a home with a pool on YOUR salary, so clearly you are living well because your husband CHOSE some other profession.
That said, the school YEAR needs to be lengthened to a standard 5 day work week, EVERY week, less say a month of vacation in aggregate (a week with each quarter, perhaps). This would provide roughly 240 days of instruction; students would forget MUCH less over the summer; and teachers would be paid on the same basis as everyone else (excepting very senior leaders in business or college professors, etc.).
Adding to the school day itself is not practical – for the children – given the importance of extracurricular activities, etc. to the learning and growth process.
Of course, with a longer school year, the curriculum could be advanced to what it USED to be some 40 years ago – children actually learning enough over the 12 years or so to write a check; buy a car; work at a trade; or actually begin attending college without the first year (!!) being wasted just bringing them up to the level of poorly educated chimps.
Burt, I chose my profession without knowing my salary...poor judgment on my part, but what does a salary mean to someone just out of high school? Almost any salary sounds good to a teenager. My students must think I'm rich. They ask me for money all the time. Anyway, I had noone to advise me when I made my college decisions. I went to college and majored in mathematics because I liked it, and I thought I could help others understand it, and I enjoy helping other people. However, like most people, I do not care for being criticized (overpaid) or being told I'm not a hard worker when clearly I am a dedicated worker. From time to time, I consider leaving the profession, but unfortunately, because I majored in Mathematics Education and not an area such as engineering or business or even pure mathematics, I have not been able to find another job. On the contrary, my husband never went to college and he now sells turbidity curtains and yes, you're right, he does make more than I do. However, houses are fairly cheap in our area since we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S (www.brevardmls.com) and we were lucky to buy (a short sale) at the right time. A pool in Florida doesn't significantly increase the worth of a home so this point is moot.
I am not in opposition to a longer school year. I think this would benefit the students greatly and I believe we should be preparing them for the 'real' world, which most likely does not include two months of summer vacation for them.
However, since we're suggesting changes, I would also suggest other things as well. I would like to have books for my students. My Assistant Principal told me there was no money in the budget for books last year. I emailed other schools throughout the county, and finally I was able to find some books at the opposite end of the county. I picked them up, used them for the year, and then I drove them back on the last day of school. I would love to have books this year.
Maybe they have one of those small inflatable pools that cost $20. Sorry, I was just considering all possibilities like an intelligent person might. But I guess you were going for 'the kill' and threw intelligence out the window to do so.
Oh yeah, a longer school year would better for students, and I'm in favor of the idea (I'm a 7th grade math teacher). But I'll give you some time to think about why this will only happen at great cost (economic) to the public, and very slowly if at all. Then think about if people will actually go for the idea. Use intelligence! It will help. Careful, it might hurt the first time.
Hmmm... sounds like you have spent a lot of time in a classroom.
I think it's hilarious that so many people keep referring to WHAT teachers are teaching kids nowadays....Here's a little newsflash for those of you who aren't in education: TEACHERS DO NOT DECIDE WHAT THEY TEACH!!!!! That is decided at an administrative level, either by the principal or the school district, or maybe both. It is really, really, really rare for a teacher to have total say in what content is presented. State, local, or national standards dictate the content. Not the teacher. All a teacher can do, in most PUBLIC SCHOOL cases, is determine the technique she/he will use to present the content. SO, since things like balancing a checkbook; filling out a job application; or creating a monthly budget; are not on the Standardized Tests that everyone loves, then they are deemed unnecessary fluff and eliminated.
Sandra, Thank you for sharing your story! You are a true hero IMO. I teach in a wealthy school district... Very blessed with the students and parents' support... To be honest, you make much better difference in those kids' life than myself, and I admire you for that. So, hang in there and make sure to devote some time to your family... Have a great new school year!
Thank you Lana. I do not normally get caught up in debates such as these, but it is difficult for me to listen to public criticism of teachers when many of my coworkers (friends) are hardworking dedicated individuals who at the very least deserve respect (if not higher pay).
Thank you again for your kind words. It really brightened my day.
Wow, in the private sector many have not had a raise since the 90s and good number have been laid off or had their benefits cut. The big problem we have is debt. Debt is eating profits, govt capabilites and personal wealth. Pay off the debt, if not for yourself then for future generations.
@ Sandra Martin – Seriously, I'm sick of people like you complaining and moaning about how hard your job is. YOU chose your career. No one forced you to select teaching as your profession. The thing that bugs everyone about teachers is that people like you want to whine and cry about how hard your job is and how little you make and how you think you work harder than all other professions. I actually had a teacher once tell me that it was unfair that I made my salary and received 15 vacation days a year. She completely discounted the fact that I chose my profession, after careful consideration about what I wanted in life. I went to school for 5.5 years to obtain a bachelors and a masters degree in my field, and worked my butt off to get the job I wanted. I worked for 5 years before obtaining that 3rd week of vacation. Sometimes I work 70 to 80 hour weeks, and because I am salary, I am only paid for 40. I work nights and weekends, in addition to the 9 or so hours I put in at the office. However, you won't hear me complain. I CHOSE this career, just as you chose yours. I respect your profession and what you contribute to society, but I don't think your profession is any more important, or any more difficult, than all of the others out there.
Kimberly, I'm not sure what your deal is. I don't even know what you do for a job, but your entire post sounds like a complaint about it "I work 70 to 80 hours a week, nights and weekends. I worked for 5 years before obtaining that 3rd week of vacation" Stop complaining about your job. I don't care about your job. I am simply defending myself to others who claim teachers are not hardworkers. This shouldn't even have to occur. I don't tell you that you're not a hard worker...or say that I don't like people like you. But you are right, I chose my profession. I was 18 when I went college...shame on me for not knowing better. I never have claimed to work harder than anyone else, but I don't understand why you feel the right to attack me. I managed Blockbuster Video for 6 years and I never took one day off for vacation. I was also salaried, the same as I am now. What does that have to do with anything? Somebody posted that we make about $60,000, and we should stop complaining becasue we get so much free time. For me, that is not the case. You can google my salary. Brevard County Schools, Florida teacher salary. You can come see me. I'm here at Palm Bay High right now (on my day off), wasting precious time responding to you.
@ Sandra Martin – Seriously, I'm sick of people like you complaining and moaning about how hard your job is. YOU chose your career. No one forced you to select teaching as your profession. The thing that bugs everyone about teachers is that people like you want to whine and cry about how hard your job is and how little you make and how you think you work harder than all other professions. I actually had a teacher once tell me that it was unfair that I made my salary and received 15 vacation days a year. She completely discounted the fact that I chose my profession, after careful consideration about what I wanted in life. I went to school for 5.5 years to obtain a bachelors and a masters degree in my field, and worked my butt off to get the job I wanted. I worked for 5 years before obtaining that 3rd week of vacation. Sometimes I work 70 to 80 hour weeks, and because I am salary, I am only paid for 40. I work nights and weekends, in addition to the 9 or so hours I put in at the office. However, you won't hear me complain. I CHOSE this career, just as you chose yours. I respect your profession and what you contribute to society, but I don't think your profession is any more important, or any more difficult, than all of the others out there.
If you don't have anything nice to say about others, don't say anything at all.
Why aren't you grading papers/planning while your students are taking their test instead of being on the internet reading comments on a CNN article?? Then you'd have time to play in the pool.
That is a good question, but I have taught everything for the semester. Their final exam is the day after tomorrow. I have nothing left to prepare or grade today (I wrote this in the previous comments somewhere).
This is a topic that everyone loves to look at in pieces. Lets look at the whole picture.
The "normal" worker in an educated field, lets say an electronics tech., works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. That is 2000 hours of required worktime. In addition, he/she spends and average of 6 weeks (240) additional hours a year in verious forms of training to stay current with technology and maintain their job. That is a total of 2240 hours worked a year. These people are critical to society (I sure like electricity, water, etc to work)
Teachers (another critical to society possition) work an average of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year. In addition, they on average spend an additional 380 hours a year on lession plans and personal education. That is a total of 1460 hours a year worked.
The average electronics tech makes 37K a year, with crap for benefits
The average teacher makes 53K a year with benefits that make the rest of the world cry.
Teachers have no leg to stand on.
Are you a teacher?
Yes, I have been – though at the post-secondary level – PhD's and all that. I moved to private industry when the pay and benefits no longer matched my talents (and I am posting during the biz day now as I am on sick leave following a transplant).
So electronic techs work 50 weeks a year then do an additional 6 weeks training during the same year???? Amazing!!
uphill both ways
The tech only has a job thanks to the teacher...
Teachers don't work 6 hours a day during the school year, they probably work something like 10. 10/6*1460=2433. Get over your innumeracy.
Until you provide some citations for the numbers you are using, your argument is worthless. I doubt the "electronics tech" even went to college.
As a math teacher I admire your calculations. Teachers have no leg to stand on? What is our argument? Please tell me what I was complaining about? I don't know... Was I responding to criticism, or was I just crying out for help. Nope, I wasn't doing that. What is my argument? Please tell me. I want to know why I have one less leg.
I love my job, and it is the most difficult, soul-crushing job I've ever had. It isn't THE most difficult job, and it isn't THE most soul-crushing job, but it's tough. Have you tried it, or do you just know because you know?
Please tell me where you are, so I can apply for a teaching position there and make over 50K...IDK how it is where you live, but here in FL, pay is based on years of experience, and the average teacher with less than 10 years in will make around 40K. Yes, that is still good, but why don't YOU try working with teenagers who don't want to learn and have no motivation to learn, and then we'll talk about how overpaid teachers are. Thank-you.
re: Frank Keller
"This is a topic that everyone loves to look at in pieces. Lets look at the whole picture." Yes. The WHOLE picture says that if it was an easy job and teacher are overpaid then everyone would do it and there would be tens of millions of unemployed teachers.
"The "normal" worker in an educated field, lets say an electronics tech., works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. That is 2000 hours of required worktime. In addition, he/she spends and average of 6 weeks (240) additional hours a year in verious forms of training to stay current with technology and maintain their job. That is a total of 2240 hours worked a year. These people are critical to society (I sure like electricity, water, etc to work)."
Critical, possibly, but not necessary. The GOVERNMENT PROVIDES/SUBSIDIZES electricity and water. It isn't critical that someone repair my TV or Stereo. Plus supply and demand will dictate that this will be taken care of in the private sector.
"Teachers (another critical to society possition) work an average of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year." Again, you are obviously BIASED and have an agenda or maybe you are just plain ignorant. I worked in a district with 5,000 teachers and they were contracted from 7:15 – 2:45 (7.5 hours). And UNLIKE THE TECH, they DON'T leave their jobs at the end of the day. If the TECH takes a computer home to repair – he CHARGES THE CLIENT for the TIME. 90+% of teachers work after school hours. PLUS they all worked 40 weeks a year and were only paid for the time they worked.
"The average electronics tech makes 37K a year, with crap for benefits" No its 40K and COMPUTER TECHS ONLY NEED A HS DIPLOMA. Your comparison is either a poor choice or very ignorant.
"The average teacher makes 53K a year with benefits that make the rest of the world cry." 50K per year with a 4 year college degree and since you have shown so much ignorance already, I will not even go into detail about how uniformed you are about the benefits.
You don't want to now the truth. You have an agenda and are blind to real facts. Instead, you compare a job that requires NO COLLEGE to a job that requires a MINIMUM of a 4-year degree where most teachers have Masters? And it's only a $14K difference for a job that has an average of 6+ years of college education THAT THEY HAD TO PAY FOR.
reading these posts is like flipping a coin – heads vs. tails
check it out & then you'll know.
Bobinton- Come on and get a teaching job. You know why you won't? because you wouldn't last one day in a classroom. Those kids would eat you alive.
But someone like you who doesn't give a damn can last up to twenty years and retire at full pay?
You are everything thats wrong with America rolled up onto one package. The american union teacher. Protected from the requrement to be a productive employee by your union contract.
For those of you who think that teachers have a such a cushy job with summers off and nice vacations, ask yourself why aren't there hoards of people seeking these jobs? Why aren't you a teacher? It doesn't pay enough? Hmm, then why should anyone do this job? Now ask yourself the question, what kind of person do you want teaching your kids? Some of the smartest individuals with a gift for imparting knowledge? Or the dregs of society?....you get what you pay for....
Henry - I don't know what State you are in but in NY there are plenty of unemployed people and/or recent college graduates with their teaching degrees and license that are just waiting for a teaching job to open up. Also, this is the case in the suburbs not in NYC which is a whole different ball game – they get paid less to deal with worse teaching conditions. NYS teachers union is one of the strongest unions in our Country and our school taxes are getting out of control. All I ask is that teachers contribute more (a fair amount) to their pensions and health benefits.
Why are there not tons of teachers leaving those jobs if those jobs are soooo bad. Let's see, could it be the great pay for 8 months per year and the outrageous benefits. There is a solution if you aren't happy as a teacher – QUIT ! But I'll bet you won't !
Everyone claims their life/job/lack of job is tough. Some ARE tougher than others, so consider them before you put yourself on a cross.
Mine, well now I'm out of the military life isn't any easier since if my relief doesn't arrive, I have to stay another shift, or two. Clients die in front of me on a regular basis, some assault me to the point where I have permanent injury, I also have constant back pain from bending over beds and lifting dead weight. I often dig feces out of butts, dried urine frequently makes my shoes stick to the floor. I usually work with a bunch of catty women, all trying to make themselves out to be a perfect nurse, and others a "bad nurse" because the job market is tough, even for horrible jobs like mine. For no real reason, I can suddenly lose my license and I will no longer have a career to complain about. So I usually suck it up and dream of retirement, 30 years away.
Of course, there are many other careers which are much tougher than mine. I'm not claiming teachers have it cushy, but of all people to complain.. well, it seems frivolous!