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No, All Teachers Don't Deserve a Raise

Josie

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.
 

Crovax

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

My fiance is a teacher and they start at $45k in her district and it's not a very good one BTW
 

Beaudreaux

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

Magic School Bus / Sideway Stories from Wayside School

Just so you know, both of my son's are at home this weekend, and your post above has caused a major thing. We're all laughing, Yes Ma'am the most, but we all are laughing. Yes Ma'am first said (and it may not translate through text) that she remembered a particular book that was "under our boy's bathroom" which I think means under the sink, not under the actual bathroom because that would be gross, that had a teacher in a red dress with a straw hat that took her class to the zoo to see a monkey - to whit my oldest son (26 y/o) said, Curious George? Which made us all laugh even harder.

Both my kids got the Mrs. Frizzle reference immediately, and it took me a few minutes. My youngest is like Alex Trebek so when I first said, "the school bus teacher" he said... "What school bus?" Then I got it.

They're all three upstairs looking for the book with the teacher with the red dress, straw hat, at the zoo, with a monkey - turned out to be none of those things, and she was thinking about Junie B Jones.

Anyway, thanks for making our evening.

Also, I agree completely with what you said in your post. I disagree with tenure, with unions that treat everyone equally regardless of capability or quality of work product, and I don't think that "equal pay for equal work" is what the Democrats are actually wanting, since they want equal pay regardless.
 

Josie

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And, naturally, the teacher in me re-read my post and found errors. Grrrrrrr.
 

Bodhisattva

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

This describes me a lot. I do nothing regarding teaching over summer or holidays. I set up before holidays what i will do upon return. I know what i will do to start off a year. The only thing i do is come in for a couple hours once to throw away old stuff and student work. Re-arrange the desks. Then I bolt.

I never spend my own money on supplies ever. EVER. I don't stay after school to plan. I don't show up early either. I show up for as few meetings as I can and make sure i coach the soccer team during staff meeting times and do school duty (cross walk) during department meetings. I generally do my PD during any other meetings I attend by reading articles and taking notes to show evidence.

All that said I am a really good teacher. I have high student expectations. My students average some of the highest grades in our district. I teach the AP class for a reason. Students love me because I am very funny.

I agree with you Josie. Not all teachers are underpaid. Many flat out suck. Many make too much! I would also add that teachers get three paid months off a year too... and even then I make over $80,000 a year. Teachers are some of the biggest whiners I ever worked with. The complaining! OMG! So stressed and they teach 4 out of 5 classes in a day. Oh no! A day with no no contact periods! The horror.

Anyway...
 

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That's cool that you're a teacher. I think I see where you're going with this. The more senior the teacher, the more chance that teacher will advance in pay grade, according to how many years they worked at that school. But some new teachers have all the energy and spunk. If there was a standard to assess teachers which couldn't be subverted, we would be able to assign a metric to teachers based on how good they are at teaching.

My Abstract Algebra professor in undergrad mentioned in passing to another faculty member that he had never failed a student - all of his students achieved passing grades. I assume that means some dropped the course, if they were failing. Early childhood education and mandatory public education often do not allow students to drop a class, or a teacher.

Some of these schools have great teachers, but not enough resources, which is why I considered applying to the TEACH grant. It was a rather long application, and when I reached the references section at the end, I abandoned it immediately.
 

Bodhisattva

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And, naturally, the teacher in me re-read my post and found errors. Grrrrrrr.

You need to purchase some of my "I dont give a crap" pills...
 

Josie

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I agree with you Josie. Not all teachers are underpaid. Many flat out suck. Many make too much! I would also add that teachers get three paid months off a year too... and even then I make over $80,000 a year. Teachers are some of the biggest whiners I ever worked with. The complaining! OMG! So stressed and they teach 4 out of 5 classes in a day. Oh no! A day with no no contact periods! The horror.

Anyway...

Haha. I work with many complainers. There might be one day out of the school year when we don't get our planning period and people lose their ever-lovin' minds. There are teachers at my school who actually whine when someone mentions that students should have time to read independently during the day. They don't "have the time". Don't have the time to read? No wonder our scores are crap. What do you DO all day in your classroom exactly? My favorite are the teachers who complain about not having the time to do things when they're the ones who come in 10 minutes late everyday and/or spend their planning periods hopping from one classroom to another to talk with their friends.

I would disagree with you on the paid 3 months. Teachers get paid for 9 months work -- some just choose to spread out their payments over 12 months in order to have some money in the summer.
 

Bodhisattva

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Haha. I work with many complainers. There might be one day out of the school year when we don't get our planning period and people lose their ever-lovin' minds. There are teachers at my school who actually whine when someone mentions that students should have time to read independently during the day. They don't "have the time". Don't have the time to read? No wonder our scores are crap. What do you DO all day in your classroom exactly? My favorite are the teachers who complain about not having the time to do things when they're the ones who come in 10 minutes late everyday and/or spend their planning periods hopping from one classroom to another to talk with their friends.

I would disagree with you on the paid 3 months. Teachers get paid for 9 months work -- some just choose to spread out their payments over 12 months in order to have some money in the summer.

Tbats what i did... spread it out.

We have teachers who refuse to do internal cover (subbing) for an hour because they maintain tbey are so busy and have no time. I wonder what they do all day. They always look so busy. Working on their computer... scribbling away in a planner. Jeesh. It aint that difficult.
 

Josie

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Tbats what i did... spread it out.

We have teachers who refuse to do internal cover (subbing) for an hour because they maintain tbey are so busy and have no time. I wonder what they do all day. They always look so busy. Working on their computer... scribbling away in a planner. Jeesh. It aint that difficult.

I've been known to complain about having to do after school duty for a couple weeks..... when the Mrs. Frizzle of the school volunteers to do after school duty every single day of the year. I want to be like her when I grow up.
 

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Public school teachers are considered government workers, and like all other government employees get paid using a pay grade. Basically that means you start at the lowest pay and work up a scale until you reach the ceiling (whatever the step since it varies). Some of the districts here will only grant a step raise if the performance of the teacher is met. That makes more sense than merit pay which basically means people would only see such a raise when money is available and money is never available in schools, so it really seems more like a smoke screen to lower teacher salaries.
 

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I've been known to complain about having to do after school duty for a couple weeks..... when the Mrs. Frizzle of the school volunteers to do after school duty every single day of the year. I want to be like her when I grow up.

I don't complain. I think of ways to mess with tbem back.
 

Glen Contrarian

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.
...
So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

Y'know, I could make all the same arguments - every single one of them - concerning military service...and like you, I can talk - I did my twenty in the Navy. Most earn their pay, some are worth much more than they get paid, and some aren't worth the time of day. But we've also got a truly nice retirement.

And my opinion is that yes, the teachers - like almost every other profession - need a good, strong union to speak up for the teachers. That doesn't mean the union is always right - just like the police unions, teachers unions are usually right, but - because they're comprised solely of humans, sometimes they're wrong. Sometimes really good, and sometimes flat-out evil. The military doesn't have a union, and we really don't need one - we've got more than enough public support. But when it comes to teachers, there's a whole lot of people out there (many of whom share your political lean) who want to slice-and-dice your paychecks, using the old - and easily disproven - saw that we're spending far too much money per student for poorer results. They bring these claims up never realizing that the mandated free transportation of all students within the district, the hot meals provided by the cafeteria for many (and sometimes most) kids for lunch, and all the mandated transportation and provisions (including specialized teachers and caregivers and facilities in addition to the school nurse) for special-needs kids (like the medically-fragile kids I've had since 1999) all add up to a heck of a lot of money...

...and it's that "heck of a lot of money" that's added in to the cost-per-student that results in our costs being among the highest on the planet. It's not that we're just throwing money at kids - we're doing quite a bit more for the kids than most other nations do.

And that's what leads to my beef with you. YES, there are teachers that don't earn their keep - such is true of all professions, bar none. But your post about how well teachers are being paid already is doing nothing more than proverbially shooting yourselves - and our kids - in the foot. Why? Because by your own words, you've edified the conservatives - and your fellow libertarians - in their all-too-common belief that public schools are money pits that eat our children's brains to the sound of Pink Floyd's, "Another Brick in the Wall". YES, most teachers are not poor - no one with a Master's degree should be poor - but when the district starts looking at the bottom line and the voters deny even a small tax increase (due in some small part to testimonies just like your own), the school district is forced to find places to cut...and whatever they choose to cut, it's almost always to the detriment of our children.

I figure you'll look at what I've said above and say that since I'm not a teacher, I wouldn't really have a clue as to what I'm writing about here...and you'd be both right and wrong - right in that I'm not a teacher (although I've always wanted to be), but wrong in that government bureaucracies are government bureaucracies are government bureaucracies. The jobs and the paperwork may be wildly different...but the budgeting pressures and internal politics are not so different after all.

Next time, please consider the pressures that are faced by schools on a macro scale before you start handing more ammunition to those who want to slice-dice-and-Julienne-fry our schools' budgets.
 

FluffyNinja

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Great post Josie. I agree wholeheartedly. I am a teacher and have been for 22 years. The teaching profession is like any other, there are many in the profession that go above and beyond their job requirements because they truly care more about the kids they teach and their responsibility to them than they do about high pay. The profession is also full of slackers and dead weight. I've worked with many on both ends of the spectrum.

On a side note, after getting advanced degrees as you have and with moonlighting by teaching some college classes on the side plus a coaching supplement, I too have been able to earn a decent living.....in spite of living and working in one of the poorest states in the union.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

Honestly, it sounds to me like you go above and beyond... and see that as an acceptable normal.

No one should EVER have to spend their own money for something that is meant to be funded by other reliable sources.
No one should EVER be expected to work without pay before or after established business hours.

In most businesses the ONLY people who are expected to go above and beyond are those who are management or above in status. That's because they're hte core backbone of the business itself. That goes with their position.

Which means the board of directors, the principle and the other higher-ups in the school system. NOT the teachers.

These teachers who put their foot down and limit their school working hours TO actual school working hours which they're paid for are in the right, in my view, as they would be if they were in any other business.

If you go consistently above and beyond without expecting compensation or extra pay for extra duty - the school system is taking ADVANTAGE of you.
 

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No one should EVER have to spend their own money for something that is meant to be funded by other reliable sources.

That's why education is publicly funded. :shrug:

"other reliable sources" is just vague in terms of how teachers get raises, but what's even more vague is "something that is meant to be funded."

This is why charter schools still exist. They are privately funded and widely attended. Don't pretend the free market doesn't exist!
 

Josie

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Honestly, it sounds to me like you go above and beyond... and see that as an acceptable normal.

No one should EVER have to spend their own money for something that is meant to be funded by other reliable sources.
No one should EVER be expected to work without pay before or after established business hours.

In most businesses the ONLY people who are expected to go above and beyond are those who are management or above in status. That's because they're hte core backbone of the business itself. That goes with their position.

Which means the board of directors, the principle and the other higher-ups in the school system. NOT the teachers.

These teachers who put their foot down and limit their school working hours TO actual school working hours which they're paid for are in the right, in my view, as they would be if they were in any other business.

If you go consistently above and beyond without expecting compensation or extra pay for extra duty - the school system is taking ADVANTAGE of you.

If teachers DON'T go above and beyond, the kids suffer.
 

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

Some good points.

One thing to note which I'm sure most of you have heard before... the average teacher makes about $12k per year above the national average annual wage.
I know teachers put in a lot of extra hours. grandmother and mother were both teachers. study shows that teachers are at school about 53 hours a week on average. minus lunch time and on how many weeks they work the put in about 2000 hours a year.
However the average full time worker puts in about 2200 hours a year.

Teachers 'should' be paid well imo. we should also apply a real world measure and promote and keep the good ones and weed out the bad ones. teachers make a huge difference in a kids life quite often.
I think the NEA and like organizations have ... instituted the worst aspects of unionization in some ways though.. we often keep the bad teachers and too often don't promote the good ones.
 

radcen

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.
Excellent post.

Sounds like pretty much every other position in the world... some are great, some are bad, most are 'meh'.
 

Phys251

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I know what you're thinking --- isn't she a teacher?? Yes, I am. I have my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in K-12 Reading Education and a Reading Specialist endorsement. This coming year will be year #12 for me.

I have heard throughout my life that teachers make next-to-nothing and deserve a raise. This is usually a blanket statement whereas it's implied that all teachers make less than they should and all deserve a raise. I'm here to tell you --- they don't all make less than they should and they don't all deserve a raise.

Here me out.

The Opinion -- Teachers make less than they should and they deserve a raise.

The most glaring part of this opinion is that it lumps all teachers together. Not all teachers are Mrs. Frizzle (10 points if you get that reference). In my experience, MOST teachers aren't Mrs. Frizzle. Just like in any career, there are people who are super awesome at their job, pretty good, just okay and awful. Just because their job is "teacher" doesn't mean they are good at it. Why should a Mrs. Frizzle be put in the same category as a Mrs. Gorf (10 more points...)? Doesn't Mrs. Frizzle deserve a higher paycheck than Mrs. Gorf? Why should they be considered "equals" simply because they have both been teaching 20 years?

No, not all teachers work their asses off during the summer to get ready for the new year. No, not all teachers spend countless extra hours at school without getting paid. No, not all teachers spend their own money on things for their classroom. Those are the Mrs. Frizzles of the education world --- and it's not the norm. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who refuse to come in to school unless they're paid for it. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who do absolutely nothing during the summer pertaining to their students or education. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who slide in the door at the exact time they're supposed to be there and are out the door the second we're allowed to leave. Why should a raise be given to teachers who do the bare minimum? How can you even compare the bare minimum teacher with the one who goes above and beyond?

Now, salaries...I can only speak for my district, but I know of teachers in other districts that have similar stories.

I work in a low-income district. Most families make somewhere in the $20K to $30K range. The average salary in my district is $45,000. We have almost-retired teachers making $70K and up. Now, I don't know about other districts, but that's pretty darn good for that area.

My brother (who makes about $30K) was bragging the other day that he probably makes more money than I do. I looked at him like he was nuts. He has absolutely no clue that I make almost twice what he makes. It's just been ingrained in his head that teachers are poor.

So, no. Not all teachers make less than they should. Most teachers aren't poor. And not all teachers deserve a raise.

Why are you advocating against the economic interests of yourself and others?

By the way, "All teachers don't deserve a raise" is not logically equivalent to "Not all teachers deserve a raise." As a teacher, you should know why.
 

Aunt Spiker

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If teachers DON'T go above and beyond, the kids suffer.

I think people only expect it because teachers have been taken advantage of for so long. It shouldn't be seen as above and beyond - it should be seen as work or a need which is adequately funded from the same source that pays the teacher.

In my experience, schools are ridiculously bad at managing money and the teachers are the ones who consistently take a hit.
 

Josie

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I think people only expect it because teachers have been taken advantage of for so long. It shouldn't be seen as above and beyond - it should be seen as work or a need which is adequately funded from the same source that pays the teacher.

In my experience, schools are ridiculously bad at managing money and the teachers are the ones who consistently take a hit.

If teachers don't go above and beyond, the state isn't going to magically come down and give us more money for things like books and office supplies. And if you know anything about grants or money from the state, it has to be spent on specific things. For example, I used to be in charge of spending the money for summer school every year. It was tens of thousands of dollars. I wasn't allowed to purchase one post-it note, paper clip, staple, pencils, pens --- no office supplies allowed. In almost no cases are schools allowed to take money from grants or the state and just give it to teachers to spend on what they actually need.
 

Josie

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Why are you advocating against the economic interests of yourself and others?

I'm advocating for good teachers and our children getting a good education.
 

fmw

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As an individual who left teaching to go into business for a better income I can tell you this. There are some excellent teachers who do what they do for the love of it. But they are in a minority. The majority of teachers are people who don't have the motivation or belly fire to do something that earns more money. I believe that teachers are underpaid and I believe that better incomes for teachers coupled with real accountability would improve education in the U.S. But government management and the teachers unions aren't headed in that direction. The problems with education in America can be traced directly to those who run it. It is curious, isn't it, that we as a society value the work of professional athletes and movie actors above the work of those who educate our children.
 

Slyfox696

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And not all teachers deserve a raise.
2 things:

1) For many teachers, and I'm sure you know this, it's not that we feel underpaid as much as we feel underappreciated. I just watched Alex Rodriguez go to bat 4 times and was only successful once. For that effort, he was paid $345,679. We can get into all the reasons why, but all the reasons essentially come down to the idea society values sports entertainment more than education. It's not so much that we're underpaid, it's that we're not paid nearly as much as we're worth.

Also, for what it's worth, I think a good percentage of teachers are paid enough to be comfortable. Using myself as an example, I don't have an extravagant or luxurious lifestyle, but I am comfortable. But watching Alex Rodriguez get paid twice as much for one plate appearance as I make in a whole year does tend to make me question society's values.

2) If not all teachers deserve a raise, how do you determine which ones do, especially given the fact education is dependent on many variables, including major variables outside the control of the teacher?
The problems with education in America can be traced directly to those who run it.
I very strongly disagree. The problem with education in America, as you note in your very next sentence, is not with those who run schools, but with the attitude about education amongst parents and communities. As you yourself said, Americans seem to place a much higher value on entertainment than education. THAT'S the problem with education in America.
It is curious, isn't it, that we as a society value the work of professional athletes and movie actors above the work of those who educate our children.
I'd use the word "sad", not curious.
 
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