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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.


CafeMom Tickers

by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Replies (41-50):
DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM


Quoting JCB911:

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. 


Does that include admin and supervisors salaries or just teachers? 

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:41 PM


*smiles*  I love those words! 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

Bless you and thank you for all that you do.

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.


jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:43 PM
7 moms liked this

What is the average debt a college student looking to get a teaching certificate accumulates?

What can that person expect to make, annually, for the first say, 5 years of their career?

How much of their personal time and money is spent on work and supplies?

I'll tell you this much - my college grad thought about it, met a bunch of new teachers (I think there were something like 5 of them sharing a 3 bedroom apartment and eating a lot of Ramen noodles) before she quickly ditched that idea and is applying to grad school this spring.

Teachers may be "public employees" and our taxes pay for their salaries and benefits...  But holy fuck, people.  They aren't collecting the garbage or dealing with jerk faces at the DMV.  They are entrusted with the futures of children.

(and that's with apologies to sanitation and DMV workers everywhere).

Teaching used to be a noble profession.  Now we wonder why they want a living wage and retirement for dedicating nine months of their lives to herding our children around.

elzingah36
by Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM
1 mom liked this
Oooo...is it girl scout cookie selling time already?! Damn I wish we had GS in our area :(

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 Currently helping my daughter sell GS cookies so I got Thin Mints coming out of my ears! Got us covered.


Quoting LauraKW:


 Bring cookies.


Quoting TruthSeeker.:


 


Quoting LauraKW:


 I'm just going to watch this one.


  I'll sit on your bench. I'm a little disgruntled with my daughters teacher right now, so I don't have many nice things to say about teachers.


 


 

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jean_marie1987
by Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM
I teach at a private school for emotionally disabled kids. I teach both middle school and high school (6th-12th grade) almost all subjects (not history). None of my current students are on the same level or in the same class (save electives).

I definitely have my work cut out for me, and generally can't reuse lesson plans since our students are so different from one another.

I don't get paid even half of what that WI teacher gets, and the only benefits I get are holidays and a few weeks in the summer (since summer school is required and not voluntary). I work from 7:30-4, and often spend extra time learning new ways to reach my students. I'm also not including the required, but often unpaid, continuing education courses I need to renew my teaching license and keep my job.

It's not easy, monetarily beneficial, or a thrill all the time, but I feel so much joy when my students click with what I'm teaching and enjoy the lesson. Most of their parents don't care if they succeed or fail, but I do. Many teachers care more the parents at home and get little to no recognition from it. So how bad is it to well-pay the people that teach, care for, and share the joys of success with your kids? Really? Are kids that unimportant now that their life instructors now should be neglected?


Quoting JCB911:

I'm impressed by the number of replies in just a short time.

I don't think teachers have an easy job, but I also don't think it's the hardest job out there.  I wouldn't want to be a teacher - I like my kids and a few of my friends' kids but mostly I find other kids annoying (I'm honest).  I think 43k in salary a year is decent, I'd say pay could be a bit more.  I'd think for her having worked there about 4-5 years I'd think 50k.  But THIRTY THOUSAND for benefits - how is that possible.  I'd think 10k, maybe.  I think pensions are ridiculous, and shoudl have been done away with by now. 

Kids educaiton is important but that doesn't mean it needs to cost what it does.  I attended the school board meeting this past summer - 14k per student is what the district gets.  How in the world do they make it cost that much.  Figure a class of 20 is costing the taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars - for what?  So 25% can drop out. We have a really expensive private school that costs 12-13k,  and it's an AMAZING school. Amazing!. Our public schools, get more, and do WAY less.

We homeschool, (for lots of reasons).  This is our first year doing it. I think it'll be tough to teach when I have both kids doing school b/c I'm teaching two different kids on two very different levels.  Teachers are at least teaching the same material, not all in the grade are at the same level.  And after the first few years, don't most teachers re-use their lesson plans from the previous year (My honest teacher friends admit to it). So while the first couple years can be a LOT of work, after that it's not that bad (heard from others, and makes sense).

I don't see a teacher being compensatied 75k, as reasonable, certainly not one with just a few years in.  50-60k maybe.  For 75k, maybe i'll start tolerating other people's kids more.

I just like to dream what I could do with 14k per student. I'll have 2 (maybe 3) students. 

Also wish kids/parents just had more options than public,private, homeschool - but I suppose most parents just want to be rid of their kids for the day, or need to be.

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jean_marie1987
by Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Wow. Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking? I'm in northern Virginia and make $20k/year.

Quoting desertlvn:


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.


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desertlvn
by Silver Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM

AZ

Quoting jean_marie1987:

Wow. Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking? I'm in northern Virginia and make $20k/year.

Quoting desertlvn:


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.



talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Do you work in a private school?   Because the state sats teachers get a lot more than you are claiming.

Quoting desertlvn:

AZ

Quoting jean_marie1987:

Wow. Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking? I'm in northern Virginia and make $20k/year.

Quoting desertlvn:


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.




invisibleme
by Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:04 PM
Geniuses out of jailbirds...smh.


Quoting Sagely:

I'm a teacher.



I don't complain about my salary, but if anyone is offering me a raise...I'll take it.



Honestly, I wonder about those who are so bitter about what teachers make. It's not a secret. If someone really thought teaching was a "sweet deal," then why didn't they go for teaching??



Sometimes though, after having a rough day and needing to vent, not finding an ear of sympathy can contribute to burn out. Similarly, unrealistic expectations for us to produce geniuses out of jail birds with no resources can lead to burn out.



I don't judge anyone for their careers or for any efforts they might make to try to gain a higher salary or a better schedule. More power to you. I chose teaching because I wanted to. Not because I couldn't find anything else.

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TCgirlatheart
by TC on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:05 PM
As a former lead teacher, I thank you, so much, for sharing this.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I've never been a public school teacher, but I did homeschool my own three children for two years. My own children. Who I love, adore, and would throw myself in front if a speeding train for. Three. Not 23. Not 33. Three. It was an unbelievable amout of work preparing lesson plans, getting materials together, correcting work, figuring out different ways to teach concepts they were struggling with...I could go on. For every hour I spent actually teaching, I easily spent an hour and a half preparing. I didn't even have to deal much with discipline problem children. I didn't have to deal with obnoxious parents. I can't imagine being a public school teacher and having people who really have no clue what it takes to be a teacher looking at my middle class income and being told its too much. I can't tell you how enraged I would be.



It also occurs to me that we all like to say that our children are the most important things. How their educations should be our top priority. And then bitch about putting our money where our mouth is. Face it. Our kids really aren't that important. If they were, we wouldn't be complaining about paying our teachers a living wage.
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