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Æthelthryth the Texan

Atlantic article on teacher pay

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I read this article on The Atlantic this morning: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/03/west-virginia-oklahoma-protests-teacher-pay/555434/

 

The guy in the article is making $34,500 a YEAR. Even if he got a 10% raise (which is never going to happen) he's not going to hit 40k. That is not a livable wage and I live in a cheap COL state. This article is reporting teachers needing to panhandle to make it. 

 

Unless you are within spitting distance to retirement and have a spouse making more than you to compensate, what I'm wondering is why they stay? Why not go find a job somewhere else outside of working for a public school that actually makes a living wage? I'm trying to wrap my head around it and struggling. These are not people in a religious order or people volunteering. So why do they put up with self-inflicted poverty? They have degrees. They have work experience that could transfer to other industries. 

 

The "calling" or "I just love it" thing is only going to account for a small percentage of people.  I have a feeling a lot of teachers are like those in many other professions. They just sort of fell into it. But the difference is that they stay and what they put up with. Why? This isn't something you typically see of professions with people who are well trained and have the potential to move into other jobs. Or has teaching become a "trade"? Or maybe it always was and I didn't realize it? Just trying to understand why anyone would put up with needing to panhandle, beg, or work multiple jobs to keep their other job. 

Edited by texasmom33

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I'm furious that we pay teachers as little as we do. In many states pay would need to be doubled to be a fair wage.

 

I think it is symptomatic of misguided and myopic capitalism (not recognizing the economic value of education) coupled with a general devaluing of children and those who nurture them.

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I'm furious that we pay teachers as little as we do. In many states pay would need to be doubled to be a fair wage.

 

I think it is symptomatic of misguided and myopic capitalism (not recognizing the economic value of education) coupled with a general devaluing of children and those who nurture them.

 

I agree, but what I'm asking is WHY do they put up with it? Why not just leave? 

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Average teacher pay in my district is around $77,000.  That's the most recent data I  can find (2014). The disparity is crazy.

Edited by poppy

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It's on par with many of the public service professions, like the military, 911 dispatch operators, etc.

Edited by Kinsa
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Many do leave.  I keep reading about how we're heading for a severe teacher shortage due to working conditions and pay.
 

Evidently my state pays more than the National Mean.   The first column below is NJ, the second is National.   Although we are a very HCOL area so it probably doesn't go as far.   I can't believe special ed teachers on a National level average only $39,000.

 

 

Preschool Teachers Except Special Education $36,970 $31,420 Kindergarten Teachers Except Special Education $60,500 $52,840 Elementary School Teachers Except Special Education $66,600 $56,320 Middle School Teachers Except Special and Career/Technical Education $67,220 $56,630 Secondary School Teachers Except Special and Career/Technical Education $70,870 $58,260 Special Education Teachers Kindergarten and Elementary School $64,990 $56,690 Special Education Teachers Middle School $66,780 $39,370 Special Education Teachers Secondary School $70,260 $39,370

 

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Many teachers I know are either 2 income families, or single parents. I don't know any teachers who are a two parent family with only one spouse working. If the teacher is the second income, many stay because the work hours fit children's schedules better-similar hours and holidays. Many schools will allow teachers to bring their children to work with them on days when students are off but kids aren't.

Some stay because of the insurance benefits. The spouse has a small business but they can't afford insurance as a small business. I knew a paraprofessional who's entire paycheck went to pay for medical insurance for the family. Where I live now, it is common with ranching families that one person has a teaching job (or other job) just for the insurance.

 

I just realized that I do not know any young, first career teachers anymore. That is probably a combination of where I live and where I work. Our local school district (and other very small rural districts) are having difficulty replacing the long time local teachers who are retiring. The district as been forced to outsource several core courses to an online provider and kids spend their day supervised by paraprofessionals or one teacher supervising students in multiple courses at one time.

Edited by City Mouse
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It's not just teachers -- it's college faculty too, especially in the humanities. I have a PhD and had a tenure-track job with a 3/3 teaching load at a wonderful school and made $44,500 in a high COL area (colleagues with tenure were making $55k). I didn't make enough to cover our rent in a small house 45 minutes out of town and daycare expenses for one baby (not to mention gas, food, bills, etc. etc. etc.). I loved the work, the colleagues, and environment, but 60+ hours per week, increasing demands/workload, and no pay increases on the horizon just weren't worth it. I had 3 job offers in different parts of the country and they all paid about the same.

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I do not think it is as easy to get out and transfer to another career as you suggest. My dh taught for a couple of years and then took a temporary pay cut to make a career switch. We both felt it was the kind of thing that if he did not get out when he did it would be more difficult later. He had some older teachers reinforce that thinking when he left.

 

Teachers do not get alot of respect. Those outside education think that teachers are used to getting out of work early and having long vacations and not having to actually produce to keep their jobs. (Not my opinion!) I think it can be tough to make a career switch after 10-15 years as a teacher.

Edited by teachermom2834
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Most of my kids' teachers and my teacher friends are married moms who enjoy teaching and are glad it coincides with their kids' schedules.

 

Many teachers do additional jobs.  My kids' male teacher has a summer gig and a weekend gig.  His kids are grown.  I don't know if his wife works or not.

 

One guy teacher I know is married to a woman who makes a lot more than he makes.  They have 3 kids, one special needs, 2 with special diets, and he is there for the kids so their mom can focus on her work during business hours / busy season.

 

As far as living wage, I think we need to accept that there is no expectation today for every adult to be able to support a family on one income.  It's nice if you can do it, but not something to plan on if you're going into teaching.  The same is true of many other important jobs.

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That pay isn't that bad here, though the working conditions aren't great.  

 

But, I don't think it's really as easy as that to get another job.  Especially once you've invested a certain amount of time and energy.  Certainly with university teachers I know, although it's not quite the same, that is a factor.  They have spent a lot of time and money, and their qualifications aren't necessarily that transferable.

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Starting pay where I live is about $50K. It's closer to $60K where I used to live.

 

My sister is a teacher and, while she would say she makes decent money, she readily admits that the New York State retirement benefits (pension and medical insurance) are prime motivators for staying in the public sector. And, yes, summers off :).

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I just looked up the current salary schedule here. It starts at slightly above $39K and the most you could ever make, with more than 28 years experience, is just under $60K. That's for a 10 month contract, and most teachers are 10 month employees.

 

As for why they don't leave, the calling and loving it IS a big deal. I loved teaching and had every intention of going back but homeschooling happened. Most of my colleagues also loved it. We complained often. We complained about the kids, the parents, the administrators. the bad (ineffective) teachers, the legislators who never stood in front of a class but were making rules for us. We complained about our meager salaries. But we loved teaching. 

 

Edited by Lady Florida.

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That pay isn't that bad here, though the working conditions aren't great.

 

But, I don't think it's really as easy as that to get another job. Especially once you've invested a certain amount of time and energy. Certainly with university teachers I know, although it's not quite the same, that is a factor. They have spent a lot of time and money, and their qualifications aren't necessarily that transferable.

See I think it’s doable if you WANT to change. It’s not like they have golden handcuffs to stop them like a lot of jobs do. They have nowhere to go but up as far as salary. Corporate coaching, HR, IT....... there are so many fields that would hire good instructors and make use of good teaching skills if they tried. I’m not saying all could do it easily. But enough could. My dental hygienist used to be a teacher. I just don’t buy they can’t move if they want to. Sure, it might take some time, but it’s not a can’t. It seems like more a won’t.

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There are districts in NJ where median pay is $105,000. State median is $66,000.

 

Usually, starting pay for someone with a bachelor's degree only is on the low end, but pay increases step by step with each year and with each degree or credits towards a degree. I remember one teacher in our district started at $75,000 because she has MA plus a lot of additional credits. Many long time teachers are above $100,000.

 

I see the job as having a lot of advantages -- job security, summers and school vacations off, medical plans for life, retirement plans. Many districts offer extra compensation for coaching, summer school, etc.

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There are districts in NJ where median pay is $105,000. State median is $66,000.

 

Usually, starting pay for someone with a bachelor's degree only is on the low end, but pay increases step by step with each year and with each degree or credits towards a degree. I remember one teacher in our district started at $75,000 because she has MA plus a lot of additional credits. Many long time teachers are above $100,000.

 

I see the job as having a lot of advantages -- job security, summers and school vacations off, medical plans for life, retirement plans. Many districts offer extra compensation for coaching, summer school, etc.

The pay seems better here too than the article but the teachers in our district at least are on one year contracts so there isn’t long term security really.

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The pay seems better here too than the article but the teachers in our district at least are on one year contracts so there isn’t long term security really.

 

Here you're on annual contract for the first five years. When I started in 1985 it was the first three years. Evaluations are nerve wracking in those years because they're cumulative and can make or break the administration's decision to offer you a continuing contract. 

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What happened after 1989-90? A lot of states paid more then than they do now.

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_211.60.asp

I would venture to say that the breakdown of unions had a lot to do with the fall of teacher pay.

 

Also, there is a major push in some states to privatize education. I live in a right to work state with many charter schools, open enrollment, and a voucher program (and also some of the lowest pay for teachers in the country).

 

As for why teachers stay, well, in my state, they don't. 40% leave within the first 3 years. As for why the others stay? I think it's complicated and depends very much on where they work (in which state and local district.)

 

I left teaching after 4 years. Would I go back? Not a chance in my state. The pay is terrible and the demands are ridiculous. I'll stick to tutoring kids for free.

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I went back to teaching this year.

Preschool special ed- contract basis for a private agency, so no union or public retirement or benefits for me.

Hourly rate, not paid if I don’t see the kids- so snow days, kid absent, etc -I don’t get paid for. Nor do I get paid for my travel from site to site or time spent on work outside of teaching (iep writing, meetings, etc)

But, it’s a professional job, flexible, decent hours...

And I’ll have recent experience if I decide to go back to public school teaching...

where the pay is better (not extravagant though- starts at $43,000 around here, where I’d start back at- and all teachers here must have a masters)- but the benefits and NYS teachers retirement would be nice.

 

Why didn’t I pursue a different field this time around???

Well there are not a lot of other jobs in my location. I didn’t want to go back to college again to switch fields. And the only other field hiring locally is healthcare with very competitive programs to get into.

This pays better than anything else I could get without going back to school and the schedule is much better.

 

And- the big reasons: I love the work and someone has to do it. Do we want all of our early childhood special ed teachers to go into nursing instead???

Same reasons we were foster parents for a decade.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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I have two master's degrees and make $34,000 a year at a fancy private school. My school doesn't pay into any type of pension or retirement plan.

 

Why don't I leave? It's not so easy.  I'm very specialized and I'm not qualified for a lot of other things. My spouse has a job here, so I can't just pick up and get a job in a better paying area (though I'm working on it!). I also love my job... but the lack of pay is so discouraging. I get very frustrated working 10+ hour days and all day on the weekends, thinking that I'm probably making very little per hour. 

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I agree, but what I'm asking is WHY do they put up with it? Why not just leave?

Some do.

 

My state has a teacher shortage.

 

But really there aren't a ton of better jobs out there for folks with teaching credentials.

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It's not just teachers -- it's college faculty too, especially in the humanities. I have a PhD and had a tenure-track job with a 3/3 teaching load at a wonderful school and made $44,500 in a high COL area (colleagues with tenure were making $55k). I didn't make enough to cover our rent in a small house 45 minutes out of town and daycare expenses for one baby (not to mention gas, food, bills, etc. etc. etc.). I loved the work, the colleagues, and environment, but 60+ hours per week, increasing demands/workload, and no pay increases on the horizon just weren't worth it. I had 3 job offers in different parts of the country and they all paid about the same.

 

My husband is in your situation. The 60+ hour work weeks are grueling. Grading and planning for 12 hours each weekend day is, quite frankly, awful. Universities aren't the ideal worlds that many people think they are.

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It's not just teachers -- it's college faculty too, especially in the humanities.

 

Around here adjunct teachers are becoming the norm at colleges. And they're treated badly. 

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My husband is in your situation. The 60+ hour work weeks are grueling. Grading and planning for 12 hours each weekend day is, quite frankly, awful. Universities aren't the ideal worlds that many people think they are.

 

Ditto to this.  My dh is also a college professor.  His work week is easily 60-70 hours.  Sometimes, during breaks he ONLY works 40 hours a week.  He worked in the public sector before becoming a full-time teacher and he could easily be making four times what he makes now, but he loves teaching.  He loves the kids and loves helping them, so he stays.  

 

I have no easy answers to the education crisis we are heading towards.

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Around here adjunct teachers are becoming the norm at colleges. And they're treated badly. 

 

Adjuncts are becoming much more common.  And, I agree, they are treated badly.  But, it's really just a bad idea all around.  The adjuncts don't usually have office hours, so they're not available to the students.  They are paid next to nothing.  Also, they increase the work load for the full time faculty because someone has to do the administrative work and advise students, etc. 

 

But, back to low teacher's pay.....

 

Adjuncts are a way to keep the costs down  -- at least at the college level.  And, the cost of college tuition is astronomical, so any way to keep costs down helps a bit.  But, the long term costs of burning out the full time professors and not being available to students is a vicious circle.  It's the same with all teachers, I suppose.  The demands of the job are becoming greater, and respect for the job and general appreciation for what they do is declining.  Unless there's a seismic shift, it's going to implode. 

 

Like I said, I have no answers. 

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My dh works at a college, but in the IT department. He got a master’s degree so he could teach classes in the college on the side.

 

His mom said, “Oh, are you going to teach full time now?†and was surprised when he said ,â€No way! I can’t afford that!†Depending on the teaching job it would be a 25-50% pay cut for him to move from IT to teaching full time. And his IT pay isn’t top of the line pay. It’s moderate for what he does.

 

It feels like college professors should make a lot of money, but they just don’t. Maybe in the fancier schools they do.

Edited by Garga

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Adjuncts are becoming much more common.  And, I agree, they are treated badly.  But, it's really just a bad idea all around.  The adjuncts don't usually have office hours, so they're not available to the students.  They are paid next to nothing.  Also, they increase the work load for the full time faculty because someone has to do the administrative work and advise students, etc. 

 

But, back to low teacher's pay.....

 

Adjuncts are a way to keep the costs down  -- at least at the college level.  And, the cost of college tuition is astronomical, so any way to keep costs down helps a bit.  But, the long term costs of burning out the full time professors and not being available to students is a vicious circle.  It's the same with all teachers, I suppose.  The demands of the job are becoming greater, and respect for the job and general appreciation for what they do is declining.  Unless there's a seismic shift, it's going to implode. 

 

Like I said, I have no answers. 

I don't think that professor pay hikes are the reason that college tuition is astronomical, though.  I think college tuition is astronomical because it is a high demand provision with a lowish supply.  The demographics may not continue to support that now that the Echo Boom is largely finished with college, though foreign student demand is still increasing.

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The pay seems better here too than the article but the teachers in our district at least are on one year contracts so there isn’t long term security really.

  

Here you're on annual contract for the first five years. When I started in 1985 it was the first three years. Evaluations are nerve wracking in those years because they're cumulative and can make or break the administration's decision to offer you a continuing contract.

 

We have annual contracts here also. I think it may be three years now, while previously it was less.

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I know the wife of a teacher. She says the prevailing attitude in the schools her husband works in is that the wife teaches, and her income is a supplement to her husband's (bigger more important) income. She says the school loses male teachers frequently because they can't support a family on these wages. Her husband is looking for higher paying work right now. She describes all the effort he puts into teaching and all he does for his classes. The school will be losing a good teacher, a teacher who cares and is passionate about teaching.

Edited by Mimm
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I know the wife of a teacher. She says the prevailing attitude in the schools her husband works in is that the wife teaches, and her income is a supplement to her husband's (bigger more important) income. She says the school loses male teachers frequently because they can't support a family on these wages. Her husband is looking for higher paying work right now. She describes all the effort he puts into teaching and all he does for his classes. The school will be losing a good teacher, a teacher who cares and is passionate about teaching.

Male teachers outside of high school are rare here (excluding coaches). My Dd went to three different schools for elementary and not a single one had a male teacher and at the junior high the only one was a coach. Now principals and admins yes, men abound, but it’s seeming to be a female dominated field. Even the principals are majority female in our area.

 

I’m noticing the same trend in non-surgical physician fields. More and more women and less men. The men seem to stick/drift to the higher paid specialties first. I told my Dd to take note. I think that’s one place where women do themselves a disservice. I get that we need family flexibility but if you go into a professions where pay is flat/decreasing you can’t really be surprised when you’re stuck there long term.

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Male teachers outside of high school are rare here (excluding coaches). My Dd went to three different schools for elementary and not a single one had a male teacher and at the junior high the only one was a coach. Now principals and admins yes, men abound, but it’s seeming to be a female dominated field. Even the principals are majority female in our area.

 

I’m noticing the same trend in non-surgical physician fields. More and more women and less men. The men seem to stick/drift to the higher paid specialties first. I told my Dd to take note. I think that’s one place where women do themselves a disservice. I get that we need family flexibility but if you go into a professions where pay is flat/decreasing you can’t really be surprised when you’re stuck there long term.

 

This may also be party a personality difference between men and women.  The more egalitarian a place, the more there seems to be a gendered economy with women choosing careers where they have more human interaction.  It seems to be a major reason many medical fields have  become female dominated.  Surgery though is one area that seems to attract people less interested in interaction with patients.

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Male teachers outside of high school are rare here (excluding coaches). My Dd went to three different schools for elementary and not a single one had a male teacher and at the junior high the only one was a coach. Now principals and admins yes, men abound, but it’s seeming to be a female dominated field. Even the principals are majority female in our area.

 

I’m noticing the same trend in non-surgical physician fields. More and more women and less men. The men seem to stick/drift to the higher paid specialties first. I told my Dd to take note. I think that’s one place where women do themselves a disservice. I get that we need family flexibility but if you go into a professions where pay is flat/decreasing you can’t really be surprised when you’re stuck there long term.

This is a bit OT but I would love to see more job sharing become available. I think we need to push for this, especially in the jobs that pay higher $$ per hour of work--an arrangement that would allow working parents more flexibility and part time work with decent earnings.

 

Divorcing health benefits from employment would help as they are often tied to a full time status.

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This may also be party a personality difference between men and women.  The more egalitarian a place, the more there seems to be a gendered economy with women choosing careers where they have more human interaction.  It seems to be a major reason many medical fields have  become female dominated.  Surgery though is one area that seems to attract people less interested in interaction with patients.

 

That's interesting. I have never thought about it in that light. 

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This is a bit OT but I would love to see more job sharing become available. I think we need to push for this, especially in the jobs that pay higher $$ per hour of work--an arrangement that would allow working parents more flexibility and part time work with decent earnings.

 

Divorcing health benefits from employment would help as they are often tied to a full time status.

I cannot like this enough. Besides your excellent reasons from employees point of view, I like that plan from taxpayers point of view. In our area, schools are about 95% funded from local property taxes. Eighty percent of school operating budgets are salaries and benefits. I won't do the math all the way through, but -- no matter how much I want to see teachers have good benefits -- it irks me that I pay $$$ for their benefits. Their medical plans are 10 x better than mine, that is, my deductible and so on is 10 x more. And I pay medical for teachers spouses and children, because teacher plans are usually better than many in private industry. Oh, and they get these for life. Personally, I would rather pay bigger income taxes and have everyone in the same pool for medical insurance, kwim.

 

Sorry, to take a tangent from your excellent point. I agree with you that the dichotomy between full and part time work is much too great. If benefits were not tied to work, it might also discourage the practice of employers keeping some employees just under the hours required for full time status, in order to avoid paying benefits.

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I left teaching after 5 years high school and 2 years college teaching.  It was really hard to find a new job. I had one interviewer say, "But you've only been a teacher."  I was so fed up, I cut loose.  "I would like to see you try it!"  And I went through all the management, organization, writing, planning, evaluation, teaching, communication, conflict resolution and information-synthesis skills I used on a daily basis.  He was pretty amazed.  But I didn't get the job.  

 

Teaching *can be* a really rewarding profession.  There's nothing else like it....when you get to be a teacher.  But the job has changed so much in the past 40 years...in so many ways.   

 

I could never be a teacher in the schools today.  

 

Regarding pay, I will say this:  there is enormous pay disparity among districts and states, and the COL often accounts for it.  But not always.  Where I taught, and when I taught, I would consider what I earned a living wage.  I lived on it, for Pete's sake, and saved quite a lot of money, too.  And there is something to be said for the compensation of having a couple of summer months, 2 weeks at Christmas and between one and two weeks in the spring...without a daily job each year.  

 

I have asked for the 2 months summer perk in subsequent jobs, with a commensurate cut in pay, and been laughed out of HR.  But it was worth a try.  :0)  (And when I identified "commensurate pay", it was pretty close to what I would have been earning as a teacher at that point.)

 

 

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I left.

 

The reasons I stayed were (1) a true love of teaching - I loved the kids, I loved seeing them LEARN, I loved being involved in an active, successful school that was doing awesome things. The other reason I loved the job was (2) true autonomy - I was given a set of specific goals by my administrator and department head, and within reason, was allowed to achieve those goals any way I saw fit; the choices were thrilling and varied and soul-fulfilling. I could change things up from year to year if I was getting bored, or refine ideas I had tried earlier, or go with an old "tried and true" to save time and energy. I could set annual "rites of passage" for kids, and show them things they'd never dreamed of before. Teachers nowadays (at least in my area of the country, in my school district) are given nowhere near that latitude, that freedom of choice; it may not be a factor for everyone, but for many of us, yes, we were willing to work for lower pay for the soul-satisfaction of truly loving our jobs and knowing we were making a difference.

 

The joys of home schooling have been surprising and deep (I never planned to home school!), but there are definitely days I miss the classroom. The "salt in the wound" is that the classroom I miss is rapidly disappearing (or is already long gone) from the American public school educational scene. 

 

And I'm not even that old.

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Teacher income in my town is $40-50K . . . in a high COL area, commensurate with retail store managers.

 

Ironically (IMO), average per pupil spending in the same district & state is $17K / student. Per year

 

The whole field of education is (obviously) a complex area, with wildly disparate variables on all sides, but sometimes the old saying is true . . . you get what you pay for. And our schools are paying for a lot of things, but not teachers.

 

 

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I left.

 

The reasons I stayed were (1) a true love of teaching - I loved the kids, I loved seeing them LEARN, I loved being involved in an active, successful school that was doing awesome things. The other reason I loved the job was (2) true autonomy - I was given a set of specific goals by my administrator and department head, and within reason, was allowed to achieve those goals any way I saw fit; the choices were thrilling and varied and soul-fulfilling. I could change things up from year to year if I was getting bored, or refine ideas I had tried earlier, or go with an old "tried and true" to save time and energy. I could set annual "rites of passage" for kids, and show them things they'd never dreamed of before. Teachers nowadays (at least in my area of the country, in my school district) are given nowhere near that latitude, that freedom of choice; it may not be a factor for everyone, but for many of us, yes, we were willing to work for lower pay for the soul-satisfaction of truly loving our jobs and knowing we were making a difference.

 

The joys of home schooling have been surprising and deep (I never planned to home school!), but there are definitely days I miss the classroom. The "salt in the wound" is that the classroom I miss is rapidly disappearing (or is already long gone) from the American public school educational scene. 

 

And I'm not even that old.

 

This.  Especially the bolded.  And especially especially the bolded underlined.

 

Part of my graduate school research (post-teaching) was identifying what satisfies people in different professions/jobs.  It was extremely interesting to me to note that the satisfiers for teaching were gradually being stripped away (and they are in large part the autonomy satisfiers).  

 

The other part of the research that interested me was that the satisfiers for school administrators were almost a completely separate set of satisfiers.  What this means is that for the most part, someone who wants to be a principal has to go through the unsatisfying passage of being a teacher, and that a teacher who wants to make more money or do something different for awhile (often by going into administration) has to give up the satisfiers.  

 

To some extent this was brought on by the teacher unions rejecting testing for teacher competency and instead putting the testing onto the students.  That regiments the structure of curriculum, gives power to administration, takes it from teachers.  

 

Rejecting a "bar" also reduces public respect for the profession and makes qualified people less interested.  (It irked me no end that a relative of mine --by marriage!--taught high school English but didn't worry about whether the kids used correct grammar or punctuation (because she didn't know it--she said as much) "as long as I know what they mean."  :::scream:::)  

 

When the satisfiers go away, money takes its place.  

 

In the 70s and 80s, teachers and nurses both made about the same amount of money/day of work.  During that time, teacher unions rejected teacher testing, whereas the nurses said, "Bring it on."  You can see the difference between the pay scales now.  

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I agree, but what I'm asking is WHY do they put up with it? Why not just leave?

Teachers pay is higher here but so is cost of housing.

It is hard to leave though as jobs aren’t aplenty and teaching isn’t seen as a versatile work experience unfortunately. A friend left teaching public high school and went to temp as a community college lecturer while her child was a toddler but went back to teaching at a public high school when her child enters kindergarten for the benefits. My neighbor teach high school English at a private school and can’t find another job other than tutoring, not that she is unhappy where she is but more pay and/or benefits is always nice. Many of my kids former teachers who has worked for ten years or more don’t have any jobs they could switch to even if they want to quit teaching. They are either single or have kids in college so they need a job.

 

Those I know that left has a spouse pulling a relatively stable income and the former teacher became a private math or science tutor.

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Teacher income in my town is $40-50K . . . in a high COL area, commensurate with retail store managers.

 

Ironically (IMO), average per pupil spending in the same district & state is $17K / student. Per year

 

The whole field of education is (obviously) a complex area, with wildly disparate variables on all sides, but sometimes the old saying is true . . . you get what you pay for. And our schools are paying for a lot of things, but not teachers.

 

You would be astonished at how top-heavy school districts are.  

 

I worked in one district that had to make up a budget shortfall.  They could have gotten rid of one (of four) assistant superintendent and his three staff people but instead---they got rid of every single classroom teacher's aide in the district.  

 

The average per-pupil spending number does not include the federal monies spent, either.  

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I read this article on The Atlantic this morning: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/03/west-virginia-oklahoma-protests-teacher-pay/555434/

 

The guy in the article is making $34,500 a YEAR. Even if he got a 10% raise (which is never going to happen) he's not going to hit 40k. That is not a livable wage and I live in a cheap COL state. This article is reporting teachers needing to panhandle to make it.

 

Unless you are within spitting distance to retirement and have a spouse making more than you to compensate, what I'm wondering is why they stay? Why not go find a job somewhere else outside of working for a public school that actually makes a living wage? I'm trying to wrap my head around it and struggling. These are not people in a religious order or people volunteering. So why do they put up with self-inflicted poverty? They have degrees. They have work experience that could transfer to other industries.

 

The "calling" or "I just love it" thing is only going to account for a small percentage of people. I have a feeling a lot of teachers are like those in many other professions. They just sort of fell into it. But the difference is that they stay and what they put up with. Why? This isn't something you typically see of professions with people who are well trained and have the potential to move into other jobs. Or has teaching become a "trade"? Or maybe it always was and I didn't realize it? Just trying to understand why anyone would put up with needing to panhandle, beg, or work multiple jobs to keep their other job.

All the teachers or would be teachers I know do have that sense of calling and a strong desire to do that specific job.

 

Also... lol ... it's kinda funny coming from a homeschool mum ... long hours no pay 😆

 

 

It would be great to see a model where teaching was a high pay harder to enter career though. Although maybe not harder to enter on academic merit because some of the better primary teachers I know aren't academic powerhouses just amazing with kids.

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You would be astonished at how top-heavy school districts are.  

 

I worked in one district that had to make up a budget shortfall.  They could have gotten rid of one (of four) assistant superintendent and his three staff people but instead---they got rid of every single classroom teacher's aide in the district.  

 

The average per-pupil spending number does not include the federal monies spent, either.  

 

Yes, this. Very much so. It's true in my district at both the individual school level and at the superintendent office level. 

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My oldest dd is a teacher in IN. She makes a smidge over $34,000. She was a straight A, graduate college in 3 years, volunteered in kids programs kid. A bright person they should be striving to keep. Instead she has endless meetings after school, no support for the 8 dx kids in her classroom, the school is out of paper and she buys food and shoes for her students. I suspect she, like many teachers, will leave the profession. It's not the money, it will be the burn out. She is psychologically exhausted.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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My dh works at a college, but in the IT department. He got a master’s degree so he could teach classes in the college on the side.

 

His mom said, “Oh, are you going to teach full time now?†and was surprised when he said ,â€No way! I can’t afford that!†Depending on the teaching job it would be a 25-50% pay cut for him to move from IT to teaching full time. And his IT pay isn’t top of the line pay. It’s moderate for what he does.

 

It feels like college professors should make a lot of money, but they just don’t. Maybe in the fancier schools they do.

My husband has the same thing. He is in IT, and he adjunct teaches classes. He would love to teach full-time but there is no way we could afford the pay cut.

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Around here adjunct teachers are becoming the norm at colleges. And they're treated badly. 

 

And some aren't very good.  Maybe it's because of the conditions, but I avoid them when possible.  I've had some good ones.  Not saying none have been good, but they don't have office hours which is quite bizarre.

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