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View Full Version : Teachers....it's a long read



sanfran22
11-01-2011, 03:32 PM
I know there are a few teachers on the board, so I wondered their take on this study that just came out.
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/10/Assessing-the-Compensation-of-Public-School-Teachers#_ftn3

andrewhoya
11-01-2011, 05:37 PM
I tried reading it, but the words began to blend together in the 54th paragraph.

DunkingDurant35
11-01-2011, 06:01 PM
I'm pre-service, but here's what I think about the profession:

* The salaries themselves are fair.

* The benefits are quite generous, but so are many high-paying private sector jobs where insurance can be easily obtained and cover up to 80% and 90% of most costs. Some people, like type 1 diabetics whose diabetes occurs through no health faults of their own (unlike type 2, which is lifestyle related in approximately 80% of the cases), need these kinds of health benefits just to stay alive and maintain the costs for staying alive.

* Teaching is a job where the workers have to, in a sense, work overtime by necessity: there is not enough time in a teaching day to grade and prepare lesson plans, so that work must be done on the teacher's own personal time outside of the job hours. To add to this, there is the stress of dealing with whining parents and kids who call at many hours of the day to air their grievances. Most 9 to 5 jobs, on the other hand, allow people to party afterward, not worry about much of anything that happens between 6 PM and 8 AM, and can basically do whatever they want once working hours for the day are completed.

With all that considered, I'd say the teaching profession has realistic compensation that is neither ridiculously under-deserved or over-deserved.

mrveggieman
11-02-2011, 10:13 AM
I'm pre-service, but here's what I think about the profession:

* The salaries themselves are fair.

* The benefits are quite generous, but so are many high-paying private sector jobs where insurance can be easily obtained and cover up to 80% and 90% of most costs. Some people, like type 1 diabetics whose diabetes occurs through no health faults of their own (unlike type 2, which is lifestyle related in approximately 80% of the cases), need these kinds of health benefits just to stay alive and maintain the costs for staying alive.

* Teaching is a job where the workers have to, in a sense, work overtime by necessity: there is not enough time in a teaching day to grade and prepare lesson plans, so that work must be done on the teacher's own personal time outside of the job hours. To add to this, there is the stress of dealing with whining parents and kids who call at many hours of the day to air their grievances. Most 9 to 5 jobs, on the other hand, allow people to party afterward, not worry about much of anything that happens between 6 PM and 8 AM, and can basically do whatever they want once working hours for the day are completed.

With all that considered, I'd say the teaching profession has realistic compensation that is neither ridiculously under-deserved or over-deserved.


I agree wholeheartedly. Teaching is one of if not the world's most noble profession. Without teachers there would be no business owners, politicians, preachers, ball players, police officers, coachers, doctors, lawyers, soldiers or any other type of profession. I take my hate off to all teachers out there and would like to personally thank all of my teachers that helped me out along the way. We all should stop for a minute and thank a teacher for their service.

sanfran22
11-02-2011, 11:04 AM
The truth is, teaching used to be service. On the comment of the extra hours teachers work, They work 181 days a year up here, so those extra hours don't add up to my regular hours let alone my extra hours.
I'm not concerned as much about what they make as I am the deals the unions and the legislators have made. They are too strong and should not be allowed to dictate what taxpayers have to do.

pghin08
11-02-2011, 11:32 AM
My GF is a student teacher right now and is positively petrified of joining that union.

shortking98
11-02-2011, 11:54 AM
Most 9 to 5 jobs, on the other hand, allow people to party afterward, not worry about much of anything that happens between 6 PM and 8 AM, and can basically do whatever they want once working hours for the day are

I'd like to start by saying I have a lot of respect for teachers and do not think they are overcompensated. However, as a professional I strongly disagree with the above quoted section of your post. I know in my situation I can't just party all night every day after 5 as my employer still expects me to behave in a way that puts them in a positive light. My evenings are also often spent in professional development or networking. I can't speak for everyone but I don't think most people with a 9 to 5 can just go home at 5:01 and party all night with no concerns every night.

duane1969
11-02-2011, 12:42 PM
I couldn't read the whole article either (started getting sleepy LOL). I do have some insight (as a teacher) so I will give my 2 pennies (like always).

Salaries: Teacher salaries tend to be pretty decent. However, when you compare a teacher's salary to that of most other 4-year degree salaries, there is a gap. I know that here in WV, with 25 years of experience and a doctorate degree you max out at around $70k. Now $70k is decent money but many professions requiring a 4-year degree start out at or near $70k. This is why many people with teaching degrees have other jobs. Money talks.

Benefits: Here is where teachers get a bit of a leg up on non-government employees. Nearly all teacher insurance pays somewhere between 80% and 100%. However, that is not exclusive to teachers (at least in my state). Here is WV all state employees get the same health care and retirement benefits. So my benefits are no better than the guy holding the SLOW/STOP sign at a road work site or the security guard at the court house. If they can get the same benefits as I get without a degree then am I really coming out that far ahead?

Summers Off: I am addressing this specifically because sanfran22 brought it up.

There is a common misconception that teachers get paid to be off in the summer. For me that is not true and I assume it is mostly this way everywhere. I get a 200 day contract that pays me X dollars per day. My contract is a 10 month contract (20 paychecks) and I do not get paid in the summer. However, I choose the option to have my 10 month salary divided up over 12 months (24 paychecks) so that I still get paychecks in the summer.

So my base salary is divided by 24 instead of 20 to get my bi-weekly check amount. In the summer I am not drawing a salary, I am drawing what I already earned during my 10 month contract. In essence it is a form of savings that I draw out during the time that I am not working.

Do I work lots of overtime for free? You betcha!!! I do not get paid extra to come in early or stay late for bus duty. I do not get any form of compensation for doing lunch duty thru my lunch break. I get paid nothing extra for sitting up late nights grading papers or building lesson plans. I earn no overtime for staying til 9PM on PTA night to meet the parents. I get paid no stipend to chaperone dances, football games or field trips that extend beyond the normal school day hours. I do not get compensated when I spend an hour on the phone at home with a parent discussing little Bobby's behavioral issues.

What is my point? Simple. IF I was getting paid to be off in the summer (which I do not) I more than make up for it with my many evenings, nights and weekends committed to my profession.

pghin08
11-02-2011, 12:45 PM
I couldn't read the whole article either (started getting sleepy LOL). I do have some insight (as a teacher) so I will give my 2 pennies (like always).

Salaries: Teacher salaries tend to be pretty decent. However, when you compare a teacher's salary to that of most other 4-year degree salaries, there is a gap. I know that here in WV, with 25 years of experience and a doctorate degree you max out at around $70k. Now $70k is decent money but many professions requiring a 4-year degree start out at or near $70k. This is why many people with teaching degrees have other jobs. Money talks.

Benefits: Here is where teachers get a bit of a leg up on non-government employees. Nearly all teacher insurance pays somewhere between 80% and 100%. However, that is not exclusive to teachers (at least in my state). Here is WV all state employees get the same health care and retirement benefits. So my benefits are no better than the guy holding the SLOW/STOP sign at a road work site or the security guard at the court house. If they can get the same benefits as I get without a degree then am I really coming out that far ahead?

Summers Off: I am addressing this specifically because sanfran22 brought it up.

There is a common misconception that teachers get paid to be off in the summer. For me that is not true and I assume it is mostly this way everywhere. I get a 200 day contract that pays me X dollars per day. My contract is a 10 month contract (20 paychecks) and I do not get paid in the summer. However, I choose the option to have my 10 month salary divided up over 12 months (24 paychecks) so that I still get paychecks in the summer.

So my base salary is divided by 24 instead of 20 to get my bi-weekly check amount. In the summer I am not drawing a salary, I am drawing what I already earned during my 10 month contract. In essence it is a form of savings that I draw out during the time that I am not working.

Do I work lots of overtime for free? You betcha!!! I do not get paid extra to come in early or stay late for bus duty. I do not get any form of compensation for doing lunch duty thru my lunch break. I get paid nothing extra for sitting up late nights grading papers or building lesson plans. I earn no overtime for staying til 9PM on PTA night to meet the parents. I get paid no stipend to chaperone dances, football games or field trips that extend beyond the normal school day hours. I do not get compensated when I spend an hour on the phone at home with a parent discussing little Bobby's behavioral issues.

What is my point? Simple. IF I was getting paid to be off in the summer (which I do not) I more than make up for it with my many evenings, nights and weekends committed to my profession.

Seriously, just stop. I'm not sure when we started agreeing with each other all the time, but it's scaring the crap out of me.

mrveggieman
11-02-2011, 12:49 PM
I couldn't read the whole article either (started getting sleepy LOL). I do have some insight (as a teacher) so I will give my 2 pennies (like always).

Salaries: Teacher salaries tend to be pretty decent. However, when you compare a teacher's salary to that of most other 4-year degree salaries, there is a gap. I know that here in WV, with 25 years of experience and a doctorate degree you max out at around $70k. Now $70k is decent money but many professions requiring a 4-year degree start out at or near $70k. This is why many people with teaching degrees have other jobs. Money talks.

Benefits: Here is where teachers get a bit of a leg up on non-government employees. Nearly all teacher insurance pays somewhere between 80% and 100%. However, that is not exclusive to teachers (at least in my state). Here is WV all state employees get the same health care and retirement benefits. So my benefits are no better than the guy holding the SLOW/STOP sign at a road work site or the security guard at the court house. If they can get the same benefits as I get without a degree then am I really coming out that far ahead?

Summers Off: I am addressing this specifically because sanfran22 brought it up.

There is a common misconception that teachers get paid to be off in the summer. For me that is not true and I assume it is mostly this way everywhere. I get a 200 day contract that pays me X dollars per day. My contract is a 10 month contract (20 paychecks) and I do not get paid in the summer. However, I choose the option to have my 10 month salary divided up over 12 months (24 paychecks) so that I still get paychecks in the summer.

So my base salary is divided by 24 instead of 20 to get my bi-weekly check amount. In the summer I am not drawing a salary, I am drawing what I already earned during my 10 month contract. In essence it is a form of savings that I draw out during the time that I am not working.

Do I work lots of overtime for free? You betcha!!! I do not get paid extra to come in early or stay late for bus duty. I do not get any form of compensation for doing lunch duty thru my lunch break. I get paid nothing extra for sitting up late nights grading papers or building lesson plans. I earn no overtime for staying til 9PM on PTA night to meet the parents. I get paid no stipend to chaperone dances, football games or field trips that extend beyond the normal school day hours. I do not get compensated when I spend an hour on the phone at home with a parent discussing little Bobby's behavioral issues.

What is my point? Simple. IF I was getting paid to be off in the summer (which I do not) I more than make up for it with my many evenings, nights and weekends committed to my profession.


Church!!:cheer2:

duane1969
11-02-2011, 12:50 PM
I'd like to start by saying I have a lot of respect for teachers and do not think they are overcompensated. However, as a professional I strongly disagree with the above quoted section of your post. I know in my situation I can't just party all night every day after 5 as my employer still expects me to behave in a way that puts them in a positive light. My evenings are also often spent in professional development or networking. I can't speak for everyone but I don't think most people with a 9 to 5 can just go home at 5:01 and party all night with no concerns every night.

I might be wrong but I think she was speaking more so about the social aspect. A typical 9-5er can have a reputation of being a weekend party animal with little to no negative results. A teacher with that reputation can face disciplinary action.

There is a thread somewhere here in the P&R section where a teacher lost her job because she posted a pic on Facebook of her holding an alcoholic drink while on vacation in Europe. Would your boss tell you that you have to resign because there is a pic on Facebook of you holding a beer?

Here in my area just a few months ago the high school head basketball coach was at a bar and got into a fight. He was dismissed as the basketball coach and written up as a teacher because he set a bad example. Would you face that type of discipline at your job if you got into a drunken bar fight?

Don't even get me started on what happens to a female teacher that gets pregnant but isn't married...

sanfran22
11-02-2011, 12:52 PM
I couldn't read the whole article either (started getting sleepy LOL). I do have some insight (as a teacher) so I will give my 2 pennies (like always).

Salaries: Teacher salaries tend to be pretty decent. However, when you compare a teacher's salary to that of most other 4-year degree salaries, there is a gap. I know that here in WV, with 25 years of experience and a doctorate degree you max out at around $70k. Now $70k is decent money but many professions requiring a 4-year degree start out at or near $70k. This is why many people with teaching degrees have other jobs. Money talks.

Benefits: Here is where teachers get a bit of a leg up on non-government employees. Nearly all teacher insurance pays somewhere between 80% and 100%. However, that is not exclusive to teachers (at least in my state). Here is WV all state employees get the same health care and retirement benefits. So my benefits are no better than the guy holding the SLOW/STOP sign at a road work site or the security guard at the court house. If they can get the same benefits as I get without a degree then am I really coming out that far ahead?

Summers Off: I am addressing this specifically because sanfran22 brought it up.

There is a common misconception that teachers get paid to be off in the summer. For me that is not true and I assume it is mostly this way everywhere. I get a 200 day contract that pays me X dollars per day. My contract is a 10 month contract (20 paychecks) and I do not get paid in the summer. However, I choose the option to have my 10 month salary divided up over 12 months (24 paychecks) so that I still get paychecks in the summer.

So my base salary is divided by 24 instead of 20 to get my bi-weekly check amount. In the summer I am not drawing a salary, I am drawing what I already earned during my 10 month contract. In essence it is a form of savings that I draw out during the time that I am not working.

Do I work lots of overtime for free? You betcha!!! I do not get paid extra to come in early or stay late for bus duty. I do not get any form of compensation for doing lunch duty thru my lunch break. I get paid nothing extra for sitting up late nights grading papers or building lesson plans. I earn no overtime for staying til 9PM on PTA night to meet the parents. I get paid no stipend to chaperone dances, football games or field trips that extend beyond the normal school day hours. I do not get compensated when I spend an hour on the phone at home with a parent discussing little Bobby's behavioral issues.

What is my point? Simple. IF I was getting paid to be off in the summer (which I do not) I more than make up for it with my many evenings, nights and weekends committed to my profession.
I didn't say you get summers off, but if you are like the teaches up here, you work 180 days a year max. You really aren't any different than a salaried job (myself included) as we all stay late, weekends and work through lunches for free if needed.
As far as 4 year degrees, Most probably don't come close to that 70k a year top out. Only the specialized ones probably do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm for you getting paid what the state can afford. I have a problem primarily with your unions and the legislators that are in their back pockets.

duane1969
11-02-2011, 01:00 PM
I didn't say you get summers off, but if you are like the teaches up here, you work 180 days a year max. You really aren't any different than a salaried job (myself included) as we all stay late, weekends and work through lunches for free if needed.
As far as 4 year degrees, Most probably don't come close to that 70k a year top out. Only the specialized ones probably do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm for you getting paid what the state can afford. I have a problem primarily with your unions and the legislators that are in their back pockets.

Yeah I wasn't saying you said we get summers off, just your comment about the 181 days sparked that little ditty in my head. If I had a nickle for every person who brings up me getting paid to be off summers...:frusty:

Take note that the $70k max includes a doctorate degree. Most people with a doctorate earn way more than $70k a year. The salary for a 25 year teacher with just a 4-year degree tops out around $56-$58k.

I don't like the unions either and am not a member of one (in spite of repeated attempts to get me to join).

sanfran22
11-02-2011, 01:06 PM
Yeah I wasn't saying you said we get summers off, just your comment about the 181 days sparked that little ditty in my head. If I had a nickle for every person who brings up me getting paid to be off summers...:frusty:

Take note that the $70k max includes a doctorate degree. Most people with a doctorate earn way more than $70k a year. The salary for a 25 year teacher with just a 4-year degree tops out around $56-$58k.

I don't like the unions either and am not a member of one (in spite of repeated attempts to get me to join).

My sis tops at 65k with a masters I believe. But her benefits are roughly calculated at 26kish per year. Not bad for teaching 5th graders IMO.
I just wonder when it changed from being a teacher because you loved to do it, to we need to have sweetheart, ironclad deals. I guess the unions helped that with that.
Kinda on topic, I'm afraid what's going to happen when Ohio doesn't pass thier issue 2 for collective bargaining. The unions have run such a scare campaign that it's gonna fail. The forget to mention that if it fails, watch all the layoffs that occur. Mark my words, the unions are no good the way they are set up.

duane1969
11-02-2011, 01:16 PM
My sis tops at 65k with a masters I believe. But her benefits are roughly calculated at 26kish per year. Not bad for teaching 5th graders IMO.
I just wonder when it changed from being a teacher because you loved to do it, to we need to have sweetheart, ironclad deals. I guess the unions helped that with that.
Kinda on topic, I'm afraid what's going to happen when Ohio doesn't pass thier issue 2 for collective bargaining. The unions have run such a scare campaign that it's gonna fail. The forget to mention that if it fails, watch all the layoffs that occur. Mark my words, the unions are no good the way they are set up.

It happened around the same time that everyone else started getting employment rights.

The simple reality is that most teachers teach because they need a job, not because they love it. Many teachers have a degree in something else but can't get a job in that field so they take extra classes to get a teaching certification and become teachers.

DunkingDurant35
11-02-2011, 03:42 PM
duane1969 covered just about everything I was going to before I saw his posts, heh.

Anyway, to add just a little more: teaching has one of the highest rates of burnout of any profession. I learned in micro that more than half the people who enter into the profession leave it within five years. The notion that it's easy because of summers off or fewer hours or whatever is a highly erroneous one that is bandied about too often. I can understand concerns over unions, tenure, and even benefits to an extent, but not that other stuff.