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What's the deal about teachers?

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Please explain what I'm missing here. I know I'm missing something, but I just can't seem to grasp it.

I'm in WI.  We just has an overhaul of our public workers' unions, including the teachers. Teachers now have to pay a small percent for their health insurance, and a small percent for their pension.  (less than 10% for both I think it's 6% of the premiums for insurance, and 8% for pensions, but not 100% sure).  And collective bargaining has ended, meaning teachers CAN be represented by a union, however the union doesn't have much say for anything other than salary raises up to a few percent per year.

So my middle-of-the-road-friend and I were talking about another "friend", we all went to school together.  My friend mentions our other friend, who is a teacher, is looking into quitting and going into another line of work b/c of the politics, b/c so much was taken away. My middle-of-the-road friend didn't elaborate, she doesn't like politics talk.

So I come home and look up other friend, public employees salaries are all accessible online.  She makes 43k and gets 31k in benefits - so while she makes 43k, she costs us 74k.  Pension, healthcare, sick days (I think WI teachers get like 12 or something crazy like that), vacation days,  I'm not sure how all of that addes up to 31k!   As a taxpayer I think that's crazy.  She gets paid a decent amount, nothing huge, not too low.  Certainly livable and then some - plus she doesn't have to save much for retirement since that nice cushy pension will be waiting for her.   I get that teacher is a job, some teachers have it harder than others, but almost all have about 3 months off during the year.  I get that while school is in session they might work more than 40 hr/wk, but I doubt they work so much more that it averages to 40hr/wk for 50 wks. (I doubt it's 2000 hrs, like a regular job).

I just hear so many teachers complain about their job and go on and on how hard it is to be a teacher. but I can't think it's much harder than any other job. And other jobs don't have summers off, and end with a cushy pension. 

What am I missing?  They lost a little in the union stuff that happened, but they used to not pay anything for their health and pension.  Don't they see that they had a ridiculousy sweet deal before and now they have just a sweet deal.  Don't they see they were taking advantage of the tax payers and now, well they still have a good job, with good ay and awesome benefits.

I was a TA while in grad school, I got my tution for free and got paid, like 5k - that was a sweet deal for the amount of work I did (very little).  I wouldn't have fussed if they cut my pay b/c I shouldn't have made that much to begin with.


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by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Replies (31-40):
DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Being a TA for a bunch of grad students is nothing at all like teaching a class full of grade school kids.  The same word should not even be used for both of them.  If you really don't know why, you should volunteer to help out in one of the local schools.  Teachers are expected to be in charge of a large group of kids for several hours a day.  On a given day there may be several kids who are overtired, cranky, tearful, acting out, or ill.  Teachers are expected to cover all the material for the standardized tests while keeping the kids engaged and entertained and often teaching things like hygiene and manners that are rightfully the jobs of the parents but the parents somehow expect the teachers should cover them now.

That's just on an average day.  In our area the kids had a couple of months of school, then a huge "superstorm" that resulted in so many days off that it was almost like starting over again.  Then on the heels of getting over that comes the Sandy Hook shooting which had the parents in a complete uproar and was very disruptive to the teachers' jobs, not to mention highly emotionally taxing for them. 

Many of the teachers in my kids' schools also volunteer several hours of their day to supervise before or after school activities.  They don't get any pay or benefits for doing so - they just want to provide extras for the kids. 

Yes, they get paid well, but it's a freaking hard job. 

Carmel63
by Bronze Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM

The salary is low, but if someone values the time off it may be acceptable.  Many of my daughter's teachers make that just in salary.  I can assure you my benefits cost the company far more than 31,000.  I do not think a compensation plan of $74,000 is much for someone with a master's degree.   

jean_marie1987
by Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM
I agree with everything you have said.

I also disagree with standardized testing.

I am a teacher, and I wish I made even half of what that WI teacher was making. But teaching isn't all about the money (even though money is necessary to live)- it's about the kids.

(I do have to say that it's disappointing to know how little I make compared to other teachers, though.)


Quoting desertlvn:

Part 3-

1) I have to hold the attention span of children all day long. I have to be interesting enough, exciting enough, energetic enough, creative enough, and inspiring enough to keep children on task and learning. It is EXHAUSTING!

2) Not only do I have to teach well, parent well, and be interesting, I also have to manage well. I need to prevent and intervene accidents, behavior problems, interpersonal problems, and keep the class safe from themselves and each other. 

3) I often do things I do not philosophically agree with. Example: I think testing hurts kids, community, and education.

4) I am shut in a box with no one to interact with but children. I happen to have a gift for teaching and love, love, LOVE it.... but it does get grating. 

5) It is very rare to get a "good job", a "thank you SO much for everything that you do", a "my daughter LOVED that lesson you did yesterday.... 

6) I am expected to powerful enough to overcome children's life hardships. Poverty, abuse, family deaths, CPS involved, learning disabilities, bad attitudes, family negativity towards education, phobias, physical handicaps, in-utero damage, parental mental illness, child mental illness, etc. Difficult and exhausting beyong belief.

I could go on. But I'm probably boring you. My point is, this job is WAY harder than people can imagine. It almost seems pointless to try to prove it, since there is such a big culture of disrespect toward teachers this day and age.

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JCB911
by Bronze Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

I'm NOT comparing TAing to teaching.  I was NOT a teacher -

What I was saying is that I got a crazy good deal, I was over-compensated, and I knew I was over-compensated.  So if rules were changed the following year I think I'd have no place to bitch since I shouldn't have been getting that much in the first place.

That's what I'd think teachers in my state would think.  "Aww man, we got away with have FREE insurance for so long, well ok, we have to pay a LITTLE for it now. no big deal."  or " Ha ha taxpayers I still have a pension, I now have to pay a LITTLE into it, but still my retirement is set!" 

Quoting DivingDiva:

Being a TA for a bunch of grad students is nothing at all like teaching a class full of grade school kids.  The same word should not even be used for both of them.  If you really don't know why, you should volunteer to help out in one of the local schools.  Teachers are expected to be in charge of a large group of kids for several hours a day.  On a given day there may be several kids who are overtired, cranky, tearful, acting out, or ill.  Teachers are expected to cover all the material for the standardized tests while keeping the kids engaged and entertained and often teaching things like hygiene and manners that are rightfully the jobs of the parents but the parents somehow expect the teachers should cover them now.

That's just on an average day.  In our area the kids had a couple of months of school, then a huge "superstorm" that resulted in so many days off that it was almost like starting over again.  Then on the heels of getting over that comes the Sandy Hook shooting which had the parents in a complete uproar and was very disruptive to the teachers' jobs, not to mention highly emotionally taxing for them. 

Many of the teachers in my kids' schools also volunteer several hours of their day to supervise before or after school activities.  They don't get any pay or benefits for doing so - they just want to provide extras for the kids. 

Yes, they get paid well, but it's a freaking hard job. 


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DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I agree that we generally aren't getting a good value for our money at public schools but I think they could cut a lot of things to make it cheaper without having to take away from the teachers.  For example, some of our schools have a principal and an assistant principal whose jobs seem pretty redundant and who both get paid salaries that are much higher than a teachers' salary.  I don't see any benefit in that. 

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM


I hear you. With my Masters and 7 yrs on the job I get $30,000 and my benefits are laughable.

Quoting jean_marie1987:

I agree with everything you have said.

I also disagree with standardized testing.

I am a teacher, and I wish I made even half of what that WI teacher was making. But teaching isn't all about the money (even though money is necessary to live)- it's about the kids.

(I do have to say that it's disappointing to know how little I make compared to other teachers, though.)


Quoting desertlvn:

Part 3-

1) I have to hold the attention span of children all day long. I have to be interesting enough, exciting enough, energetic enough, creative enough, and inspiring enough to keep children on task and learning. It is EXHAUSTING!

2) Not only do I have to teach well, parent well, and be interesting, I also have to manage well. I need to prevent and intervene accidents, behavior problems, interpersonal problems, and keep the class safe from themselves and each other. 

3) I often do things I do not philosophically agree with. Example: I think testing hurts kids, community, and education.

4) I am shut in a box with no one to interact with but children. I happen to have a gift for teaching and love, love, LOVE it.... but it does get grating. 

5) It is very rare to get a "good job", a "thank you SO much for everything that you do", a "my daughter LOVED that lesson you did yesterday.... 

6) I am expected to powerful enough to overcome children's life hardships. Poverty, abuse, family deaths, CPS involved, learning disabilities, bad attitudes, family negativity towards education, phobias, physical handicaps, in-utero damage, parental mental illness, child mental illness, etc. Difficult and exhausting beyong belief.

I could go on. But I'm probably boring you. My point is, this job is WAY harder than people can imagine. It almost seems pointless to try to prove it, since there is such a big culture of disrespect toward teachers this day and age.


JCB911
by Bronze Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM

I was thinking of looking into visiting a public school.  I want my DS to come with so maybe when his attitude starts gettting the best of him during homeschool activities he'd know how good he has it. 

Volunteering, maybe if my kids were older and could come with, or if my DH had a regular schedule type of job. Something to think about for in the future.

JCB911
by Bronze Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I believe salaries and benefits are 80% of our schools' costs.

Quoting DivingDiva:

I agree that we generally aren't getting a good value for our money at public schools but I think they could cut a lot of things to make it cheaper without having to take away from the teachers.  For example, some of our schools have a principal and an assistant principal whose jobs seem pretty redundant and who both get paid salaries that are much higher than a teachers' salary.  I don't see any benefit in that. 


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DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM


Quoting JCB911:

I'm NOT comparing TAing to teaching.  I was NOT a teacher -

What I was saying is that I got a crazy good deal, I was over-compensated, and I knew I was over-compensated.  So if rules were changed the following year I think I'd have no place to bitch since I shouldn't have been getting that much in the first place.

That's what I'd think teachers in my state would think.  "Aww man, we got away with have FREE insurance for so long, well ok, we have to pay a LITTLE for it now. no big deal."  or " Ha ha taxpayers I still have a pension, I now have to pay a LITTLE into it, but still my retirement is set!" 

Quoting DivingDiva:

Being a TA for a bunch of grad students is nothing at all like teaching a class full of grade school kids.  The same word should not even be used for both of them.  If you really don't know why, you should volunteer to help out in one of the local schools.  Teachers are expected to be in charge of a large group of kids for several hours a day.  On a given day there may be several kids who are overtired, cranky, tearful, acting out, or ill.  Teachers are expected to cover all the material for the standardized tests while keeping the kids engaged and entertained and often teaching things like hygiene and manners that are rightfully the jobs of the parents but the parents somehow expect the teachers should cover them now.

That's just on an average day.  In our area the kids had a couple of months of school, then a huge "superstorm" that resulted in so many days off that it was almost like starting over again.  Then on the heels of getting over that comes the Sandy Hook shooting which had the parents in a complete uproar and was very disruptive to the teachers' jobs, not to mention highly emotionally taxing for them. 

Many of the teachers in my kids' schools also volunteer several hours of their day to supervise before or after school activities.  They don't get any pay or benefits for doing so - they just want to provide extras for the kids. 

Yes, they get paid well, but it's a freaking hard job. 


I agree they get great benefits compared to someone who works in a non-union job, like me.  I don't think that means they don't get to vent about the frustrations of their job or try to keep the benefits they have.  Overall they have a hard job and deserve their perks. 

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting desertlvn:

1) People are always complaining about teachers. 

2)The responsibility is outrageous. It is incredibly stressful. I am TEACHING children everyday for an entire school year. I am constantly aware of how every word and action impact EVERY child in the class. 

3)Every parent loves their child. Our children are the most important things in our lives. So the "customer service" that is involved with the job is completely overpowering. We don't have enough homework, we give too much, we are too strict, we aren't strict enough, we don't help enough, we do too much hand-holding..... The negativity that parents bring into the classroom far outweighs the positives, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone.

4)The media is constantly portraying teachers in a bad light.

5) The standards constantly change. Meaning we have to revamp our resources and lessons frequently.

6) I plan every minute that I teach. Not easy.

7) Jobs have been cut every year since I have been teaching. In my city 12 entire schools in one district are closing down. Job security my ass.

Part 1- I'll come back and post part 2 soon when I have some time.

 I appreciate you. I was majoring in Education in college until I observed Student Teaching and I just KNEW I didn't have the guts to teach. SO I changed my major to Business and Finance.:-) It takes a special kind of person to teach.

Teaching is a tough job and people who don't value education or teaching can be unbelievably arrogant and unfair.

 

Ahh.... thank you! 

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