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View Full Version : Misinformed Alex Meyer substitute teacher story/Teachers' pay



Thrylos
12-26-2013, 04:51 PM
We all have read it by now. Alex Meyer is working as a substitute teacher during the off-season and makes $63 a day. That is the story. It was first told by David Woods, and Indy Star reporter. The original story is here (http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2013/12/24/minnesota-twins-alex-meyer-greensburg-baseball/4192003/). Now either Woods or his editor, to make it "more interesting", gave it an interesting title: "Millionaire pitcher Alex Meyer subs for $63/day". Probably "millionaire" refers to his signing bonus when drafted, which was $2 million dollars. No mention to the fact that he might not even make $50,000 a year in baseball and has about $20 food per diem by the team.

The story moved to every news outlet in the US and even crossed the ocean, where an Ashley Collman at the Daily Mail, penned this gem (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2529479/From-slugging-subbing-Meet-23-year-old-baseball-pitcher-spends-seasons-substitute-teaching-old-high-school.html). The first sentence of the article:

Alex Meyer gets paid $2million as a baseball pitcher, but in his off-season from slugging for the Minnesota Twins, the 23-year-old accepts a meager $63 a day substitute teaching in his hometown

And the headline indicates that Meyer is "making $2 million a year".

Got to love the press some times...

Seth Stohs
12-26-2013, 04:57 PM
Also, there's no way he's only making $63 a day subbing... I guarantee it's closer to $150, but that's also not an important detail.

My guess is that Meyer, who is still not 40-man-roster eligible, is making the standard, $1,500-2,000 a month that all minor leaguers make.

But, as Jeremy Nygaard tweeted, having that $2 million (or whatever it is after taxes) in the bank certainly is helpful!

twinsfan34
12-26-2013, 07:45 PM
Substitute teaching pay is lousy. Can make more as a horrible server at a decent bar, I've had both jobs, and I worked them concurrently until I became a full time AP Calculus teacher.

Here's Greensburg Community school pay where Alex Meyer has been working:

http://www.greensburg.k12.in.us/admin/Job%20Opportunities/documents/Sub%20Teachers%20requirements.pdf

A little less formal, but it's at the expected rate.

One of the top 10 richest school districts in the United States, Highland Park in Dallas, TX - also home to Matthew Stafford and Clayton Kershaw among many others is $85/day.


www.hpisd.org/Portals/0/docs/personnel/Sub%20Application.doc‎
The pay for a substitute teacher is $85.00 per day. In some cases substitutes are employed for a fraction of a day at correspondingly lower rates.

twinsfan34
12-26-2013, 07:49 PM
Highland Park, Texas

http://www.city-data.com/city/Highland-Park-Texas.html

Estimated per capita income in 2011: $122,226

Estimated median house or condo value in 2011: $966,745
Texas : $127,700



and yet, that $85/day is the highest in the DFW metroplex.

TheLeviathan
12-26-2013, 07:53 PM
Also, there's no way he's only making $63 a day subbing... I guarantee it's closer to $150, but that's also not an important detail. !

In my district it's $75, so it may not be that far off.

ive always justified not taking days off just so that some poor person doesnt have to endure my kids without me for only $75. That seems cruel.

glunn
12-26-2013, 08:03 PM
Despite the inaccuracies, this makes me want to root for Mayer even more than before I read the story.

USAFChief
12-26-2013, 10:13 PM
To pile on...I sub'd for a year after I retired. I got $75 for elementary and $90 for middle or high school.

For middle school I should have gotten combat pay.

goulik
12-27-2013, 07:30 AM
And now with obamacare, you can only substitute a certain number of times per week or the schools have to give health insurance so they are restricting the sub days

Jeremy Nygaard
12-27-2013, 07:38 AM
And now with obamacare, you can only substitute a certain number of times per week or the schools have to give health insurance so they are restricting the sub days

I haven't heard that. In my district in Wisconsin, sub pay is $85 or $90, and if subs got health insurance they literally would have to pay in, not get paid.

$63 seems terribly low either way. Less than $8/hour?

70charger
12-27-2013, 09:20 AM
I actually read that article on the Daily Mail the other day. I can't remember what I was doing on the Daily Mail website, but I saw a Twins pitcher in a story link, and I thought it had to be interesting to make it onto a British paper. I looked, and in reading the article, you could tell it was written by somebody with no real knowledge of baseball. A "gem" is a good way to describe it.

TheLeviathan
12-27-2013, 11:08 AM
I haven't heard that. In my district in Wisconsin, sub pay is $85 or $90, and if subs got health insurance they literally would have to pay in, not get paid.

$63 seems terribly low either way. Less than $8/hour?

Hence why subs are hard to find all over. So hats off to Alex, that's a thankless job.

SpiritofVodkaDave
12-27-2013, 11:40 AM
It's not really mis-information. It's a pretty cool story regardless, it's pretty obvious he wasn't doing this for the money.

PseudoSABR
12-27-2013, 01:17 PM
He'd make an intimidating classroom presence, given his height....

diehardtwinsfan
12-27-2013, 05:32 PM
I haven't heard that. In my district in Wisconsin, sub pay is $85 or $90, and if subs got health insurance they literally would have to pay in, not get paid.

$63 seems terribly low either way. Less than $8/hour?

I guess it depends on what is expected of them after school or before school. School around here starts at 9 and they are out by 3:30ish. That's a 6.5 hour day assuming they get no lunch break.

Still a neat story.

cmathewson
12-27-2013, 06:09 PM
A lot of misinformation. But a great story however you slice it. He's obviously not doing this for the money. I wouldn't be surprised if he put it in a kettle on his way home from school. But I can't think of a better way to spend your time in the offseason.

Marta Shearing
12-28-2013, 07:59 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.

stringer bell
12-28-2013, 08:35 AM
He'd make an intimidating classroom presence, given his height....I saw Meyer last year in Spring Training. While his height would be intimidating, the fact that he looks about 19 would take a lot of the intimidation factor away.

Riverbrian
12-28-2013, 09:11 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.

I'm not sure how to moderate this comment. It's either a joke or an opinion and both are fine.

If a joke... may I recommend a smiley face to indicate so.

If an opinion... To all TD posters... Do not get personal as you tear Marta Shearing apart. Getting personal is a violation of TD policy.

With that said... I will view from the cheap seats.

USAFChief
12-28-2013, 09:24 AM
I've always viewed moderators as a dime a dozen.

TheLeviathan
12-28-2013, 09:54 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.

It's hard to be insulted by something so patently false. It's more sad this mentality persists - great teachers need more support not minimization.

raindog
12-28-2013, 09:57 AM
Teachers should be held in high-esteem by everyone. What a thankless job.

People who consistently spout hot garbage like that should be banned. Seriously.

TheLeviathan
12-28-2013, 10:07 AM
Teachers should be held in high-esteem by everyone. What a thankless job.

People who consistently spout hot garbage like that should be banned. Seriously.

Pfft, it's just babysitting....

:)

PseudoSABR
12-28-2013, 11:34 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.Well, you get what you pay for. That teachers are a dime a dozen speaks to our cultural cheapness, not the ease of which the job requires.

Brad Swanson
12-28-2013, 11:38 AM
It's hard to be insulted by something so patently false. It's more sad this mentality persists - great teachers need more support not minimization.

I hear the anti-teacher rhetoric all too often and I never understand it. Sure, there are some bad teachers just like there are bad engineers and pilots and doctors and whatnot, but most of the teachers I know and work with are very hard working and dedicated to their students.

Actually, my dad is one of those anti-teacher people and his opinion is that teachers are "lazy" because they get so many days off. It's strange because I would go and work for him during every Summer, Winter, Spring break and random Holiday day-off, so that I could earn a little extra money. I guess he didn't make a connection there. Most of the teachers I know are working a second job and I rarely hear any of them complain about their teaching job.

Anyway, to keep this on the original topic, yes, Alex Meyer is tall.

diehardtwinsfan
12-28-2013, 11:44 AM
Teachers should be held in high-esteem by everyone. What a thankless job.

People who consistently spout hot garbage like that should be banned. Seriously.

I'm going to take off my moderator hat for a second and simply say that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want to believe... no matter how stupid, insane, silly, or offensive it sounds to the rest of us.

diehardtwinsfan
12-28-2013, 11:47 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.

Now I'm going to put my moderation hat back on. At this site, whatever opinion anyone might have needs to be said in a respectful manner. I am really trying to figure out how this post is doing that. I've seen the difference between good teachers and bad teachers personally, and while I think most of us will agree that there are issues with the education system, you can say it in a way that doesn't insult a large portion of the population.

To everyone, please be real careful, this thread is about to go downhill quick. Let's be respectful.

Thanks.

PseudoSABR
12-28-2013, 12:17 PM
his opinion is that teachers are "lazy" because they get so many days off. Additionally, most people don't have to take their work home with them, and when they do, they actually get paid for it. Of course some teachers are lazy, but to do the job right (or even just competently), probably means working more hours than you're paid to work.

TheLeviathan
12-28-2013, 01:44 PM
Additionally, most people don't have to take their work home with them, and when they do, they actually get paid for it. Of course some teachers are lazy, but to do the job right (or even just competently), probably means working more hours than you're paid to work.

My average day is 6:30-4:00 and I don't get a dime of overtime for that 1.5 every day I put in. Plus a couple hours every weekend. I did an estimate for someone that I do a minimum of 400 hours of unpaid overtime every year.

That more than covers my summers. The problem with the lazy teacher belief is that all it takes is one bad teacher to poison the well for the rest of us. It's a hard thing to keep out of a school's culture.

Longdistancetwins
12-28-2013, 03:43 PM
I remember once having a substitute teacher in elementary school who was playing basketball for the old New Jersey Americans (now the Brooklyn Nets). We didn't realize it until most of the day was gone, but we thought it was cool.

Danchat
12-28-2013, 04:36 PM
I think the correct statement is "bad teachers are worth a dime a dozen". I go to one of the smartest schools in the state and there are few good teachers. But I really appreciate a good teacher. And I would love to have Alex Meyer as a sub.

SpiritofVodkaDave
12-28-2013, 06:18 PM
Teachers are like every other profession, some are excellent, some are terrible and the majority are somewhere in between. There are advantages (summers off, job security, flexibility) and there are disadvantages (Pay, dealing with crappy kids) etc just like any job.

It's sorta like cops, all it takes is one bad experience to taint the view, when in reality the majority of cops are just regular people trying to earn a living and protecting the masses while doing so.

Steve Johnson
12-28-2013, 06:23 PM
Innaccuracies in the media? maybe that's why journalists are amongst the least trusted professions. Teachers are amongst the more trusted.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx

Marta Shearing
12-28-2013, 08:31 PM
It's hard to be insulted by something so patently false. It's more sad this mentality persists - great teachers need more support not minimization.
I'd love to explain myself further, but I honestly don't know what's acceptable to say here and what will get me banned. And other than the oversensitivity, I think this is a great site and I don't want to get banned.

TheLeviathan
12-28-2013, 08:52 PM
I'd love to explain myself further, but I honestly don't know what's acceptable to say here and what will get me banned. And other than the oversensitivity, I think this is a great site and I don't want to get banned.

Regardless of your opinion, numerous studies have shown by a large margin that the greatest indicator of chold success is the quality of the teacher.

Willihammer
12-28-2013, 09:11 PM
My average day is 6:30-4:00 and I don't get a dime of overtime for that 1.5 every day I put in. Plus a couple hours every weekend. I did an estimate for someone that I do a minimum of 400 hours of unpaid overtime every year.

That more than covers my summers. The problem with the lazy teacher belief is that all it takes is one bad teacher to poison the well for the rest of us. It's a hard thing to keep out of a school's culture.

An 8 hour workday for many (maybe most) of us is actually 8.5. With a 1/2 hour unpaid lunch and two 15 minute breaks (I believe this is law in MN). Some employers will let you lump together the breaks to take an hour for lunch. All that's to say, that if you start at 6:30 and leave at 4 then you're working 1 hour longer than the rest of us, not 1.5 hours.

So, 1 hour per day per week for what, 40 weeks per year? That's 40 additional hours. An extra work week.

I'm not sure if by "couple" of hours on the weekend you meant two, or more. Let's say 4 hours. That's 4*40 = 160 hours. 4 work weeks.

So that's 45 weeks of work per year. And that's before subtracting holidays that only affect schools like MLK day, the entire week of Christmas, and whatever else there is.

edit: I'm dumb. 1 extra hour per day equates to 5 additional weeks. So if your numbers are accurate or typical then we're talking about a 49 week year which narrows the gap quite a bit (before looking at holidays).

TheLeviathan
12-28-2013, 10:47 PM
Not sure what your point was, but the better number to analyze would be my 400+ hours I put in beyond my contract. For most that's OT pay but there are various standards there.

But I can assure you as someone who has worked in business and a typical 40hour a week job for many years pre teaching, that if you think the summers and holidays means we work less for our money - I invite you to come try and prove that true.

That opinion won't last long. The perks are awesome but holy gods do I earn them with every stupid parent, challenging child, and constant prep.

glunn
12-28-2013, 11:11 PM
An 8 hour workday for many (maybe most) of us is actually 8.5. With a 1/2 hour unpaid lunch and two 15 minute breaks (I believe this is law in MN). Some employers will let you lump together the breaks to take an hour for lunch. All that's to say, that if you start at 6:30 and leave at 4 then you're working 1 hour longer than the rest of us, not 1.5 hours.

So, 1 hour per day per week for what, 40 weeks per year? That's 40 additional hours. An extra work week.

I'm not sure if by "couple" of hours on the weekend you meant two, or more. Let's say 4 hours. That's 4*40 = 160 hours. 4 work weeks.

So that's 45 weeks of work per year. And that's before subtracting holidays that only affect schools like MLK day, the entire week of Christmas, and whatever else there is.

edit: I'm dumb. 1 extra hour per day equates to 5 additional weeks. So if your numbers are accurate or typical then we're talking about a 49 week year which narrows the gap quite a bit (before looking at holidays).

I know English teachers and history teachers who spend closer to 10 hours per week writing and grading tests, and reading/grading papers at home. Also, some teachers stay after school (or come early) to meet with students.

glunn
12-28-2013, 11:23 PM
Not sure what your point was, but the better number to analyze would be my 400+ hours I put in beyond my contract. For most that's OT pay but there are various standards there.

But I can assure you as someone who has worked in business and a typical 40hour a week job for many years pre teaching, that if you think the summers and holidays means we work less for our money - I invite you to come try and prove that true.

That opinion won't last long. The perks are awesome but holy gods do I earn them with every stupid parent, challenging child, and constant prep.

Based on my dealings with teachers (I served on the local school board for four years), I can believe that you put in 400+ extra hours per year, BUT my sense is that most teachers put in much less than this. Would you agree?

I was a proponent of paying more to the better teachers (based on both objective and subjective criteria), but the teachers' union was not open to this.

biggentleben
12-28-2013, 11:48 PM
Additionally, most people don't have to take their work home with them, and when they do, they actually get paid for it. Of course some teachers are lazy, but to do the job right (or even just competently), probably means working more hours than you're paid to work.

Don't I know this one!! My fiance works multiple jobs and still has to come home and do all of her lesson planning, paper correcting, student reports, etc. on her own time.

biggentleben
12-28-2013, 11:51 PM
The problem with the lazy teacher belief is that all it takes is one bad teacher to poison the well for the rest of us. It's a hard thing to keep out of a school's culture.

This is the same mentality that folks have with social workers and those who receive welfare/food stamps/any government benefit. One or two bad apples get lots of publicity/remembrance, and those who are busting their backsides doing the right thing in the right way are assumed in the same group as those who are the bad apples. I had a boss once who theorized that such views of professions like teaching and social work is a predominant excuse for keeping wages in that field extremely subpar.

Willihammer
12-29-2013, 12:37 AM
Not sure what your point was, but the better number to analyze would be my 400+ hours I put in beyond my contract.

But I can assure you as someone who has worked in business and a typical 40hour a week job for many years pre teaching, that if you think the summers and holidays means we work less for our money - I invite you to come try and prove that true.

That opinion won't last long. The perks are awesome but holy gods do I earn them with every stupid parent, challenging child, and constant prep.
That may be true. My question is, what is the pay after normalizing to a typical private sector arrangement, ie. 40 hour week + time and a half overtime, 50 week year, in order to get an apples to apples comparison. Because every time this topic comes up people segment into 2 camps - one that says teachers work 3 days a week for 8 and a half months and the unions who say they work 8 days a week for 62 weeks/year.

Some quick napkin math, you can tell me how far off base I am with my assumptions:

Your typical day is 6:30-4:00. Assume you're a typical teacher. In most jobs that's base 9 hours base pay (1/2 hour unpaid lunch), plus time and a half for the 1 hour overtime. 9.5 hours/day paid.

You work a "couple" hours on the weekend. I'm not sure how literal to read that. I'll assume that means 4 hours on the weekend. All overtime pay, so 6 hours paid for that.

Now to figure out the school year. I don't know where you work, I won't ask. I grew up in the Osseo school district, I think its a typical enough district. Their calendar is here (http://www.district279.org/general/Calendars/13-14_SchoolCalendar-eng.pdf). School year runs Sept 3-June 5. During the summer there are 7 days staff training and 4 days for Open House before the start of school. So before accounting for holidays, the work year is 42 weeks + 1 day.

Holidays in District 279 during the school year (not including staff training days, Labor Day, or Memorial Day):

Christmas: 8 days
Spring break 5 days
MLK, Presidents Day, and other random holidays: 8 days.

Assume that the typical teacher will work half-time during the holidays. Instead of 21 days, 10.5 days of holiday during the year.

So the actual work year then is 40 weeks, 1.5 days, where each week is 53.5 paid hours paid (after overtime) and the 1.5 days equates to 14.25 hours paid (after overtime).

Total paid hours then after including time and a half for overtime is 2154.25 hours / year.

According to this (http://www.educationminnesota.org/en/community/mnschools/schoolstats.aspx), average 1st year k-12 teacher salary in MN was $33,009 for the 2010-2011 year. Average teacher salary in MN was $53,680 for the same year. Assume no COLA increases since that year.

The apples to apples, hourly wage then, works out thusly:

First year teachers: $15.32 / hour
Average teacher: $24.92 / hour

Is that a fair estimation?

TheLeviathan
12-29-2013, 01:08 AM
Based on my dealings with teachers (I served on the local school board for four years), I can believe that you put in 400+ extra hours per year, BUT my sense is that most teachers put in much less than this. Would you agree?

I was a proponent of paying more to the better teachers (based on both objective and subjective criteria), but the teachers' union was not open to this.

Hard to say because part is the age level you teach. the early grades are far more taxing than the upper grades. I would imagine most teachers put in close to that. Some certainly coast though.

And don't get me started on union stuff, I appreciate their efforts on many fronts but on ensuring teacher quality they are far and away the biggest problem. like any union these days they don't protect quality workers, they protect all workers. Even the awful ones with no business influencing kids.

TheLeviathan
12-29-2013, 01:12 AM
Your estimation seems right Hammer and even if I do more than average those rates aren't real inspiring to draw high quality people into the field. Ben was right, we supress salaries in the fields of education and social work because we minimize the jobs importance\difficulty.

Marta Shearing
12-29-2013, 01:14 AM
Regardless of your opinion, numerous studies have shown by a large margin that the greatest indicator of chold success is the quality of the teacher.
The teachers union doesn't care about the kids. If they did, they'd be making sure the good teachers got rewarded. Instead the good teachers get laid off and the lazy ones keep their job. And obviously I'm saying this in general. There are some good tenured teachers, but far more bad ones than there should be.

Willihammer
12-29-2013, 01:35 AM
Your estimation seems right Hammer and even if I do more than average those rates aren't real inspiring to draw high quality people into the field. Ben was right, we supress salaries in the fields of education and social work because we minimize the jobs importance\difficulty.

The wages may be limited and the hours long, but sheesh 11 weeks PTO!

ChiTownTwinsFan
12-29-2013, 06:56 AM
Since this thread is no longer about Alex Meyer and about teachers it's being moved to 'The Sports Bar' for continuing discussion.

TheLeviathan
12-29-2013, 08:23 AM
The wages may be limited and the hours long, but sheesh 11 weeks PTO!

If that was true and such a huge perk, less teachers would quit in the first five years.

Also, most districts allow you to get paid for the nine months instead of 12. Assume a new teacher around 36,000, that teacher would make the equivalent of 45,000 for the school year. Again, not going to acquire many of the best people out there.

If we don't want bad tenured teachers, we should incentivize the job more. Like they do in many of the best educational countries in the world.

ChiTownTwinsFan
12-29-2013, 08:38 AM
If that was true and such a huge perk, less teachers would quit in the first five years.

Also, most districts allow you to get paid for the nine months instead of 12. Assume a new teacher around 36,000, that teacher would make the equivalent of 45,000 for the school year. Again, not going to acquire many of the best people out there.

If we don't want bad tenured teachers, we should incentivize the job more. Like they do in many of the best educational countries in the world.

With my sister it was the opposite ... she was paid for 9 months but she could pro-rate her weekly pay in order to get a check all year round, i.e. the summer months are not paid time off.

twinsfan34
12-29-2013, 10:19 AM
I've always viewed teachers as a dime a dozen.

As a single mid to late 20's AP Calculus/Physics teacher I was inevitably in various circles with 'professionals' and like anyone, would get the question - "so what do you do?"

"I'm a math teacher."

What would typically ensue at this point would be one of three things, 1) their personal horror story of how they began to hate Math, 2) how much they loved their AP Calculus teacher/class, or 3) they'd look for someone else to talk to as I was not going to make enough to warrant the type of lifestyle they wanted to live (Dallas area).

I got where I was pretty good at spotting the 3rd even before it happened and would interject the disclaimer, "hey, those who can't, teach right." :)

I got into teaching because my education - double major in Mathematics & Chemistry, just missed a Physics major as well - accompanied with while working on my parents hog/grain farm and catering business wasn't exactly a combination employers wanted to see when I tried to apply for jobs in industry. There were a lot of similar cases. International publications, Pre-Med students who didn't get into Medical programs, but also, people who were in teaching for the long haul. Some of those had truly mastered the science and were calculated in all they did, truly amazing to behold. I will say, I love watching even a good plumber, or anyone who's really good at their trade. So I will acknowledge that bias if you will.

Then there were those teachers who, by this poster's post, probably experienced. And for that I'm sorry. I had some pretty rough teachers too. And I understand as a youngster (pre-18) those formative years typically have emotion tied to their experience more than a person who encounters a professional of another trade in his mid to late 20's for the first time. There's way more exposure to teachers too, and much like names, it often can take just one bad/poor teacher to ruin the entire profession/experience for a person. If you're a parent, you now get doubly exposed to the possibility of a bad teacher and you will have an emotional response to your child's emotional response.

Some of those teachers are beat down by administrations and regulations that just don't make sense. From shoving kids in AP classes as 'no pass no play' doesn't apply to not holding kids accountable for grades and no child left behind - these all have wildly different affects on how a teacher can do their job, which often includes writing curriculum, grading papers, and also talking to the kids' agents, er parents. Add any of those other things where I have to write up to 5 different versions of an exam because of ridiculous learning modications, and you just took away any hope of a social life for my week. Many in America, often don't look at a teacher with much respect, we are after all what's between them and their kid going to the college they want to go to. Or for more short term, their kid playing in the Friday night football game.

Let me share a story or at least something to shed light on how teachers are looked at in America versus say South America or in the East, like China, Japan, and the like. I love Chinese food, especially buffets. The quality is a little worse, but you get more choices. So Most weekends I'd choose either a Chinese buffet, a coffee shop, or pub with some good local craft brews to do grading and write the quizzes/exams for the coming week. I got to where I found a Chinese buffet I really liked and when I'd come in there they'd see all my books and naturally, the first time, asked what I did. And though their understanding of English wasn't that great, they understood: "Teacher."

You should see the look on their faces anytime I would walk in, the whole front end of the store would often exclaim, "Teacher. Teacher. Welcome! Come! Come! You sit here. Is this alright for you?"

It was if I was some celebrity. Why, well, you see, all the servers at that Chinese buffet were actually from China, they were working here to send money back home. But in China, teacher is perhaps the most respected profession of all or at least up there with doctors, lawyers, and the like. So I don't blame anyone who looks down on a teacher as meager profession, they live in a culture that says that and unless they gain a fuller understanding of their own culture and of the world - that's a view they would probably hold, even if a teacher they had in their formative years was a horrible portrait of a teacher.

As far as the hours compared to industry, of which I am now in, I worked typically from 630AM - 5PM with a 14 min lunch break. I had one planning period which was an hour. I also had to write curriculum at my job, which often consisted of all day Sunday while watching football. Equations editor, browsing 15-20 Calculus texts for problems that won't blow the kids out of the water, yet are at an incremental level of difficulty. I got to watch football this entire time, but still, it was work. I had 140 students, and had to put at least 3 assignments into the grade book each week and no more than a 2 day turn around for minor assignments (non Exams). So I had to grade papers at least 2 days a week during the week and even if I took just 1 minute to look over a quiz it would require 140 minutes. So I had 10.5 HR days plus grading (2.25 HR, 3x week) plus 8 HR on Sunday. Then there's Exam grading which was every 3 weeks, which would typically take me around 10 hours with entering all grades into the gradebook, writing comments, partial credit, etc.

We worked 38 weeks a year at 67 HR a week, plus one exam every 3 weeks. So 12 exams at 10 HR a pop. That's 2676 hours a year. Take that over 50 weeks, it comes out to 53.5 HRs a work week.

I work 48-55 a week now in Marketing Analytics. So it's about equal.

There are exceptions, Phy Ed teachers to Golf coaches, etc - with no lesson planning and no real graduation requirements (Math, Science, English, Social Studies) have it easy provided they aren't coaching either. They also get paid almost the same. For these - life is a dream. But they aren't the norm.

Teaching is tough, I'm glad I did it. But ultimately, as USAFChief said eloquently put it, for me, the combat pay wasn't enough to go through what a teacher has to go through. Teachers put up with a lot - we get annoyed at work when a college educated mid 20's to mid 40's adult acts up - try dealing with people where NO ONE has a college degree and NO ONE is over 18. And try to reason and rationalize with them.

I would say, if anyone has a low view of a profession, they should try it for themselves. The CEO of Waste Management had his eyes opened when he went out on the ground floor. If teachers, or any profession really, could get more people to do this, they probably could get better help from administrators, government officials, parents, and the like - as to do their jobs better. We all could.

"Those who can't, teach." :)

6228

glunn
12-29-2013, 02:21 PM
As a single mid to late 20's AP Calculus/Physics teacher I was inevitably in various circles with 'professionals' and like anyone, would get the question - "so what do you do?"

"I'm a math teacher."

What would typically ensue at this point would be one of three things, 1) their personal horror story of how they began to hate Math, 2) how much they loved their AP Calculus teacher/class, or 3) they'd look for someone else to talk to as I was not going to make enough to warrant the type of lifestyle they wanted to live (Dallas area).

I got where I was pretty good at spotting the 3rd even before it happened and would interject the disclaimer, "hey, those who can't, teach right." :)

I got into teaching because my education - double major in Mathematics & Chemistry, just missed a Physics major as well - accompanied with while working on my parents hog/grain farm and catering business wasn't exactly a combination employers wanted to see when I tried to apply for jobs in industry. There were a lot of similar cases. International publications, Pre-Med students who didn't get into Medical programs, but also, people who were in teaching for the long haul. Some of those had truly mastered the science and were calculated in all they did, truly amazing to behold. I will say, I love watching even a good plumber, or anyone who's really good at their trade. So I will acknowledge that bias if you will.

Then there were those teachers who, by this poster's post, probably experienced. And for that I'm sorry. I had some pretty rough teachers too. And I understand as a youngster (pre-18) those formative years typically have emotion tied to their experience more than a person who encounters a professional of another trade in his mid to late 20's for the first time. There's way more exposure to teachers too, and much like names, it often can take just one bad/poor teacher to ruin the entire profession/experience for a person. If you're a parent, you now get doubly exposed to the possibility of a bad teacher and you will have an emotional response to your child's emotional response.

Some of those teachers are beat down by administrations and regulations that just don't make sense. From shoving kids in AP classes as 'no pass no play' doesn't apply to not holding kids accountable for grades and no child left behind - these all have wildly different affects on how a teacher can do their job, which often includes writing curriculum, grading papers, and also talking to the kids' agents, er parents. Add any of those other things where I have to write up to 5 different versions of an exam because of ridiculous learning modications, and you just took away any hope of a social life for my week. Many in America, often don't look at a teacher with much respect, we are after all what's between them and their kid going to the college they want to go to. Or for more short term, their kid playing in the Friday night football game.

Let me share a story or at least something to shed light on how teachers are looked at in America versus say South America or in the East, like China, Japan, and the like. I love Chinese food, especially buffets. The quality is a little worse, but you get more choices. So Most weekends I'd choose either a Chinese buffet, a coffee shop, or pub with some good local craft brews to do grading and write the quizzes/exams for the coming week. I got to where I found a Chinese buffet I really liked and when I'd come in there they'd see all my books and naturally, the first time, asked what I did. And though their understanding of English wasn't that great, they understood: "Teacher."

You should see the look on their faces anytime I would walk in, the whole front end of the store would often exclaim, "Teacher. Teacher. Welcome! Come! Come! You sit here. Is this alright for you?"

It was if I was some celebrity. Why, well, you see, all the servers at that Chinese buffet were actually from China, they were working here to send money back home. But in China, teacher is perhaps the most respected profession of all or at least up there with doctors, lawyers, and the like. So I don't blame anyone who looks down on a teacher as meager profession, they live in a culture that says that and unless they gain a fuller understanding of their own culture and of the world - that's a view they would probably hold, even if a teacher they had in their formative years was a horrible portrait of a teacher.

As far as the hours compared to industry, of which I am now in, I worked typically from 630AM - 5PM with a 14 min lunch break. I had one planning period which was an hour. I also had to write curriculum at my job, which often consisted of all day Sunday while watching football. Equations editor, browsing 15-20 Calculus texts for problems that won't blow the kids out of the water, yet are at an incremental level of difficulty. I got to watch football this entire time, but still, it was work. I had 140 students, and had to put at least 3 assignments into the grade book each week and no more than a 2 day turn around for minor assignments (non Exams). So I had to grade papers at least 2 days a week during the week and even if I took just 1 minute to look over a quiz it would require 140 minutes. So I had 10.5 HR days plus grading (2.25 HR, 3x week) plus 8 HR on Sunday. Then there's Exam grading which was every 3 weeks, which would typically take me around 10 hours with entering all grades into the gradebook, writing comments, partial credit, etc.

We worked 38 weeks a year at 67 HR a week, plus one exam every 3 weeks. So 12 exams at 10 HR a pop. That's 2676 hours a year. Take that over 50 weeks, it comes out to 53.5 HRs a work week.

I work 48-55 a week now in Marketing Analytics. So it's about equal.

There are exceptions, Phy Ed teachers to Golf coaches, etc - with no lesson planning and no real graduation requirements (Math, Science, English, Social Studies) have it easy provided they aren't coaching either. They also get paid almost the same. For these - life is a dream. But they aren't the norm.

Teaching is tough, I'm glad I did it. But ultimately, as USAFChief said eloquently put it, for me, the combat pay wasn't enough to go through what a teacher has to go through. Teachers put up with a lot - we get annoyed at work when a college educated mid 20's to mid 40's adult acts up - try dealing with people where NO ONE has a college degree and NO ONE is over 18. And try to reason and rationalize with them.

I would say, if anyone has a low view of a profession, they should try it for themselves. The CEO of Waste Management had his eyes opened when he went out on the ground floor. If teachers, or any profession really, could get more people to do this, they probably could get better help from administrators, government officials, parents, and the like - as to do their jobs better. We all could.

"Those who can't, teach." :)

6228

As a former school board member, I love this post. You provided a lot of insight as to the plight of great teachers.

I wonder what you think about the idea of a uniform national math curriculum (with multiple tracks). It seems to me that this would reduce the burden by providing lesson plans for teachers, and it could be paired with online support for students. I also think that math would be the best subject to try this, because there should be less regional variation compared with other subjects.

goulik
12-29-2013, 04:36 PM
People with the greatest talents will gravitate towards the top of their profession. What brings the most prestige, personal benefit, or pay? Top athletes get to pick where they play based on where they can win, get paid and/or be the Man on the team (see marbury). Most teachers get into teaching for the love of kids and a desire to make a difference in young lives (I have not met one that did not say this but I will leave room for error saying most) when we do not respect the profession, pay poorly, and the benefits are gone because they work other jobs in the summers, how do you expect to draw greatness into the profession. Like the Houston Astros, you get what you pay for.

I am a Special Education Teacher. I have been assaulted several times this year and I am told by administration that if I get hit or kicked it is my fault for not moving out of the way. Students cannot be restrained without consequences (hours of paperwork or administrative discipline) even when assaultive due to recent state law changes. Don't put down what others do until you've walked in their shoes. It is a fairly thankless job.

Tomorrow I will be in my office working to get caught up on paperwork. Several teachers are planning this together so we can also have a lunch together. The grass is always greener in the neighbours lawn isn't it?

TheLeviathan
12-29-2013, 06:25 PM
As a former school board member, I love this post. You provided a lot of insight as to the plight of great teachers.

I wonder what you think about the idea of a uniform national math curriculum (with multiple tracks). It seems to me that this would reduce the burden by providing lesson plans for teachers, and it could be paired with online support for students. I also think that math would be the best subject to try this, because there should be less regional variation compared with other subjects.

Common Core, especially for Math, is catching on in most states. Minnesota will likely adopt. The problem is that different curriculum's offer different strengths. But most all of them come with a great deal of lesson planning and companion support.

diehardtwinsfan
12-29-2013, 06:39 PM
Your estimation seems right Hammer and even if I do more than average those rates aren't real inspiring to draw high quality people into the field. Ben was right, we supress salaries in the fields of education and social work because we minimize the jobs importance\difficulty.

Levi, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but I always thought teacher salaries were suppressed due to basic principles of supply and demand. I don't mean this to demean what teachers do, but it seems to me that there's a larger portion of the population that is "qualified" to go into education. Perhaps I don't understand the requirements, but I believe it take a four year degree and/or a teaching certificate in most states. Given that, the fact that salaries are where they are is likely due more to the teachers union... whether we like them or not.

That said, on a separate note, my son has had trouble in school for several years now. We requested and were given a specific teacher in the fourth grade and have watched him go from hating school to enjoying it far more. It is amazing the difference that one person can make. My daughter could do well with just about any teacher in just about any system, but my son is a very high energy little boy who has had a ton of difficulties with school up until this point. One teacher has changed all of that.

TheLeviathan
12-30-2013, 06:51 AM
but it seems to me that there's a larger portion of the population that is "qualified" to go into education.

Only because we've lowered the standard to justify lowering the pay. The union plays a role, but the societal investment we put in education limits the dollars to go around.

But the union is also the biggest stumbling block towards incentive pay for good teachers.

twinsfan34
12-30-2013, 10:14 AM
As a former school board member, I love this post. You provided a lot of insight as to the plight of great teachers.

I wonder what you think about the idea of a uniform national math curriculum (with multiple tracks). It seems to me that this would reduce the burden by providing lesson plans for teachers, and it could be paired with online support for students. I also think that math would be the best subject to try this, because there should be less regional variation compared with other subjects.

A Standardized Mathematics Curriculum

You hit the nail on the head. Mathematics is a universal language. 2 + 2 using whole base 10 positive integers is always 10 whether you're in Japan, Germany, Brazil, or Minnesota. It would be the most logical choice to standardize and there's some leeway in this regard - at least on state levels. It would help for kids transferring districts to states and the like.

The problem is with Mathematics they're trying to re-invent the wheel. Gauss, Newton, Leibnitz, LaPlace, et al - all their math still applies.

School districts have administrators who are basically politicians. They're in a lot of pies. What's a big factor of housing costs? School quality or reputation. The ever so pressing: "You want a good education for your kids, don't you?" "Your kids' education is worth the extra money, aren't they?" They have to differentiate their school as 'innovative' and that means having something different, a better presentation, and 'improved methods' and 'new technologies' than other school districts. So administrators who are into jumping up jobs and getting districts popular and increasing revenue will dump the teachers every time. They can adjust. If they don't, can always find new teachers.


My Experience



In Texas, every kid is now starting at Tier 1 level. It basically means a teacher is now primarily responsible for discerning the inner workings of all 140 of his students. Learning styles (tactile, audible, visual, etc) and we have to write reports on it and have learning accommodations for each students' learning style. Try teaching a single lesson plan to 25-35 teenagers. Now they're stacking the bar and saying you have to teach 25-35 individualized learning plans. Then add the parents who don't want to deal with their kids and get them tested for everything to get accommodations. My kid has autism. Nope. My kid has ADD. Nope. My kid has ED. ED, as in emotional disorder. Ever watch Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs are testing the fences to find a weakness. If they can given a treat each time (positive re-inforncement) to try a weakness, they will continue. School becomes a game. Oh, and any kid with a 'learning disorder' (real or not, not saying some aren't real), I have to write another set of assignments for.

Then, kids can re-take any assignment, quiz, or Exam for a 70. That is, if you get a 35, because you didn't prepare for the exam on Friday because you got drunk or played CS Black Ops (Counter Strike - a video game for those of you watching at home) - well, no worries, because you can just retake it and get a 70 on the exam. By that time you will know the type of questions on the exam and your teacher (me) now has to write another version of the exam and write an exam key. Their irresponsibility led to my weekend getting an extra work load. When I went to school, there no re-takes. You get 1-2 drops a year. Exams only account for about 30-40% of the class, so it's easy to make up a B with even a 70 exam average. If I have any kid who's below a 70 for any quarter, we had a 15 page report we had to fill out outlining all the learning modifications we tried to make sure they passed. We had to document trying to contact the parents, what learning options were discussed, etc. Guess what most teachers do? Would you like to write 15-20 15 page reports (in addition to your 67 hour work week) beginning on Tuesday through the weekend? For $50K?

Each year, teachers become more and more liable legally for a student's success and mental health. We have to report everything, if we don't, we stand a chance of legal stuff. Then you have students who might try to say you cheated them or didn't treat them fairly or they came in for tutoring and you didn't give them enough attention - they actually had to work with the other 12-15 students who come in regularly. They tell their parents, who contacts the principle - and we have a meeting. Another eat in to my evening.

Sure, there's bad teachers who don't care anymore. And they'll sit on good classes, I got lucky to be able to teach AP Calculus. Except, I had to write my own curriculum. Some districts will have a good Special Education dept who can help (project management) with a lot of the learning modifications - but you still have to write the exams. Try writing an exam that isn't over a student's head. It's hard. I know Calculus like breathing, I don't see the difficulty level without some sort of feedback. You find all their deficiencies in Algebra, Geometry, spatial understanding, etc - because teachers passed them beforehand. Guess who has extra work (tutoring, assignments, etc) to make sure these learners pass?

You can't make plans as a teacher. Your evenings are at the disposal or anyone's inability to take any responsibility for their own learning. There's over 5,000,000 videos, webpages, and learning tutorials online on algebra alone. Over half of my kids had smart phones, so they had access to this stuff all the time.

Education should be about learning to solve problems, learning to find a way through the obstacles given to you. Relationships will require this, your future job will require this.

The reason secondary education (k-12) is a joke is because everyone passes. We've said everyone deserves an education, but rather we've given them all diplomas and called it an education. We reduce to the lowest common multiplier. There's a reason 'pop' (or popular) music is so mundane - it has to appear to the largest group and thus has the lowest common multiplier. Everyone has to like something about it.

Same with health insurance, giving everyone health insurance doesn't mean health care. We have a dichotomy here where we're crossing our i's and dotting our t's. One doesn't mean the other. It can.

Obviously, my experience isn't everybody's experience and it shouldn't be taken as such.

But, I was a fun teacher, honestly. Imagine a farm kid (mechanical minded, familiar with livestock processes) with a Physics & Chemistry background teaching your Mathematics and Science courses. You get to design a potato gun and you get to launch a potato at your teacher and if it hits him (or within 3 yards) while he's standing 200 yards away, you make $100. Create your own video games. Explode watermelons and use CO2. Make your own vander graaf generator and make people's hair stand up. Then figure out why. Study Reighley Scattering and refraction of light. Mess with optics.

I was voted Most Inspirational Teacher in just my 2nd year. But I walked away because I had to give up my life to do so. I liked teaching and was looking forward to coaching baseball as well. But, I hadn't even gotten into coaching and I was already no longer be able to live and thus to inspire. I could no longer think or dream with the kids, because I was writing learning modifications or correcting retakes for 70's on every little assignment.

Or meeting with a principal and a parent because their daughter decided instead of trying to do their homework or come to tutorials that they found something online that says students associate 'red' with correction and have lower sense of self esteem when they see red correction marks/ink on their exams as opposed to other colors. (Not peer reviewed) So I'm in this meeting and I know the kid is just trying to not be grounded. So I stand up after a minutes of this discussion of grading in purple or black, walk over to the copier in the room, put the exam in there, hit copy, and bring it back, put the paper in front of the parent and student, "Whatever color I grade in will become associated with it being 'wrong'...here's your paper, it still says a '44', do you feel any better about this exam now that I've put it in black and white?"

The Problem with Bonuses or Teacher Performance

Not all kids are created equal. Look at the problem with the Twins and the Yankees. It's the have's and the have not's. The problem with bonuses for being a 'good teacher' is you'd get teachers changing grades (already do)...so if you do EOY testing, that's based on the students you have. Already see this, teachers trying to get top kids from the previous year. Ultimately, something along the lines of a kid was 'here' and you took them 'here' - you see those stories. But kids are such a dynamic data point. I had a few kids who did horrible on EOY exams as someone told them they don't matter, they can graduate without them. Which is true, but killed my test scores! The other problem is most of the standardized tests are from curriculum from the year before, not the current year. This is a whole other discussion and my post is probably already too long to endure.

twinsfan34
12-30-2013, 10:23 AM
People with the greatest talents will gravitate towards the top of their profession. What brings the most prestige, personal benefit, or pay? Top athletes get to pick where they play based on where they can win, get paid and/or be the Man on the team (see marbury). Most teachers get into teaching for the love of kids and a desire to make a difference in young lives (I have not met one that did not say this but I will leave room for error saying most) when we do not respect the profession, pay poorly, and the benefits are gone because they work other jobs in the summers, how do you expect to draw greatness into the profession. Like the Houston Astros, you get what you pay for.

I am a Special Education Teacher. I have been assaulted several times this year and I am told by administration that if I get hit or kicked it is my fault for not moving out of the way. Students cannot be restrained without consequences (hours of paperwork or administrative discipline) even when assaultive due to recent state law changes. Don't put down what others do until you've walked in their shoes. It is a fairly thankless job.

Tomorrow I will be in my office working to get caught up on paperwork. Several teachers are planning this together so we can also have a lunch together. The grass is always greener in the neighbours lawn isn't it?

Yep. Replacing a teacher is easier than all the paperwork. Lawsuit or fire a teacher. No brainer.

Teachers are disposable, thus back to Marta Shearing's post - "Teachers are a dime a dozen."

That's what administrators, laws, parents, and students have demanded they be. They don't want real teachers, because real teachers practice discipline and accountability. Learning is something to be owned, not given.

Shane Wahl
12-30-2013, 02:33 PM
I subbed for a time in Indiana. I believe I made about $55 a day after taxes.

Shane Wahl
12-30-2013, 02:43 PM
http://www.upworthy.com/5-myths-about-our-schools-that-fall-apart-when-you-look-closer-6?g=3

I recommend this to everyone.

Shane Wahl
12-30-2013, 02:45 PM
Also, the historical connection between teaching originally being a "female profession" and low-pay should probably not be overlooked . . . just sayin'.

twinsfan34
12-30-2013, 05:31 PM
This is the guy who's got Education's ear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

glunn
12-31-2013, 01:53 AM
A Standardized Mathematics Curriculum

You hit the nail on the head. Mathematics is a universal language. 2 + 2 using whole base 10 positive integers is always 10 whether you're in Japan, Germany, Brazil, or Minnesota. It would be the most logical choice to standardize and there's some leeway in this regard - at least on state levels. It would help for kids transferring districts to states and the like.

The problem is with Mathematics they're trying to re-invent the wheel. Gauss, Newton, Leibnitz, LaPlace, et al - all their math still applies.

School districts have administrators who are basically politicians. They're in a lot of pies. What's a big factor of housing costs? School quality or reputation. The ever so pressing: "You want a good education for your kids, don't you?" "Your kids' education is worth the extra money, aren't they?" They have to differentiate their school as 'innovative' and that means having something different, a better presentation, and 'improved methods' and 'new technologies' than other school districts. So administrators who are into jumping up jobs and getting districts popular and increasing revenue will dump the teachers every time. They can adjust. If they don't, can always find new teachers.


My Experience



In Texas, every kid is now starting at Tier 1 level. It basically means a teacher is now primarily responsible for discerning the inner workings of all 140 of his students. Learning styles (tactile, audible, visual, etc) and we have to write reports on it and have learning accommodations for each students' learning style. Try teaching a single lesson plan to 25-35 teenagers. Now they're stacking the bar and saying you have to teach 25-35 individualized learning plans. Then add the parents who don't want to deal with their kids and get them tested for everything to get accommodations. My kid has autism. Nope. My kid has ADD. Nope. My kid has ED. ED, as in emotional disorder. Ever watch Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs are testing the fences to find a weakness. If they can given a treat each time (positive re-inforncement) to try a weakness, they will continue. School becomes a game. Oh, and any kid with a 'learning disorder' (real or not, not saying some aren't real), I have to write another set of assignments for.

Then, kids can re-take any assignment, quiz, or Exam for a 70. That is, if you get a 35, because you didn't prepare for the exam on Friday because you got drunk or played CS Black Ops (Counter Strike - a video game for those of you watching at home) - well, no worries, because you can just retake it and get a 70 on the exam. By that time you will know the type of questions on the exam and your teacher (me) now has to write another version of the exam and write an exam key. Their irresponsibility led to my weekend getting an extra work load. When I went to school, there no re-takes. You get 1-2 drops a year. Exams only account for about 30-40% of the class, so it's easy to make up a B with even a 70 exam average. If I have any kid who's below a 70 for any quarter, we had a 15 page report we had to fill out outlining all the learning modifications we tried to make sure they passed. We had to document trying to contact the parents, what learning options were discussed, etc. Guess what most teachers do? Would you like to write 15-20 15 page reports (in addition to your 67 hour work week) beginning on Tuesday through the weekend? For $50K?

Each year, teachers become more and more liable legally for a student's success and mental health. We have to report everything, if we don't, we stand a chance of legal stuff. Then you have students who might try to say you cheated them or didn't treat them fairly or they came in for tutoring and you didn't give them enough attention - they actually had to work with the other 12-15 students who come in regularly. They tell their parents, who contacts the principle - and we have a meeting. Another eat in to my evening.

Sure, there's bad teachers who don't care anymore. And they'll sit on good classes, I got lucky to be able to teach AP Calculus. Except, I had to write my own curriculum. Some districts will have a good Special Education dept who can help (project management) with a lot of the learning modifications - but you still have to write the exams. Try writing an exam that isn't over a student's head. It's hard. I know Calculus like breathing, I don't see the difficulty level without some sort of feedback. You find all their deficiencies in Algebra, Geometry, spatial understanding, etc - because teachers passed them beforehand. Guess who has extra work (tutoring, assignments, etc) to make sure these learners pass?

You can't make plans as a teacher. Your evenings are at the disposal or anyone's inability to take any responsibility for their own learning. There's over 5,000,000 videos, webpages, and learning tutorials online on algebra alone. Over half of my kids had smart phones, so they had access to this stuff all the time.

Education should be about learning to solve problems, learning to find a way through the obstacles given to you. Relationships will require this, your future job will require this.

The reason secondary education (k-12) is a joke is because everyone passes. We've said everyone deserves an education, but rather we've given them all diplomas and called it an education. We reduce to the lowest common multiplier. There's a reason 'pop' (or popular) music is so mundane - it has to appear to the largest group and thus has the lowest common multiplier. Everyone has to like something about it.

Same with health insurance, giving everyone health insurance doesn't mean health care. We have a dichotomy here where we're crossing our i's and dotting our t's. One doesn't mean the other. It can.

Obviously, my experience isn't everybody's experience and it shouldn't be taken as such.

But, I was a fun teacher, honestly. Imagine a farm kid (mechanical minded, familiar with livestock processes) with a Physics & Chemistry background teaching your Mathematics and Science courses. You get to design a potato gun and you get to launch a potato at your teacher and if it hits him (or within 3 yards) while he's standing 200 yards away, you make $100. Create your own video games. Explode watermelons and use CO2. Make your own vander graaf generator and make people's hair stand up. Then figure out why. Study Reighley Scattering and refraction of light. Mess with optics.

I was voted Most Inspirational Teacher in just my 2nd year. But I walked away because I had to give up my life to do so. I liked teaching and was looking forward to coaching baseball as well. But, I hadn't even gotten into coaching and I was already no longer be able to live and thus to inspire. I could no longer think or dream with the kids, because I was writing learning modifications or correcting retakes for 70's on every little assignment.

Or meeting with a principal and a parent because their daughter decided instead of trying to do their homework or come to tutorials that they found something online that says students associate 'red' with correction and have lower sense of self esteem when they see red correction marks/ink on their exams as opposed to other colors. (Not peer reviewed) So I'm in this meeting and I know the kid is just trying to not be grounded. So I stand up after a minutes of this discussion of grading in purple or black, walk over to the copier in the room, put the exam in there, hit copy, and bring it back, put the paper in front of the parent and student, "Whatever color I grade in will become associated with it being 'wrong'...here's your paper, it still says a '44', do you feel any better about this exam now that I've put it in black and white?"

The Problem with Bonuses or Teacher Performance

Not all kids are created equal. Look at the problem with the Twins and the Yankees. It's the have's and the have not's. The problem with bonuses for being a 'good teacher' is you'd get teachers changing grades (already do)...so if you do EOY testing, that's based on the students you have. Already see this, teachers trying to get top kids from the previous year. Ultimately, something along the lines of a kid was 'here' and you took them 'here' - you see those stories. But kids are such a dynamic data point. I had a few kids who did horrible on EOY exams as someone told them they don't matter, they can graduate without them. Which is true, but killed my test scores! The other problem is most of the standardized tests are from curriculum from the year before, not the current year. This is a whole other discussion and my post is probably already too long to endure.

I read and enjoyed every word of this. It almost makes me want to run for school board again, but then I remember that my wife will divorce me if I do that.

old nurse
12-31-2013, 07:14 AM
Also, the historical connection between teaching originally being a "female profession" and low-pay should probably not be overlooked . . . just sayin'.

Teaching, social work and nursing were all considered female jobs. When there is a sustained shortage of teachers there will be pay increases. Nursing used to be a low wage job in many areas. When the good people had other options with their talents, there was enough of a shortage for wages to soar.
Consider instead the source of income for teachers is the tax dollar. Despite what some people think about the clout of the teacher's union, it still hasn't resulted in higher pay. There are still more than enough warm bodies with certificates to keep the wage level down. Also some new nurses with those certificates stated that they had been found a way by their district to the door with a note not to come back once they had a few years of teaching and would cost the district money. The system in place to keep average wages low is complex.