# If teachers are mere babysitters, pay them accordingly

This babysitter piece and the blueberry story are favorites of teachers who often send me copies. This wonderful essay is typically attributed to a New Hampshire paper, but I could not verify the source in a database search of U.S. newspapers going back six years. The essay has been making the rounds for a few years but two readers sent it to me this week, so I thought that was a sign to run it.

So, here it is, author unknown:

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year. It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit.  We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them \$3 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be \$19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay \$19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s \$19.50 x 30 = \$585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year. I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET’S SEE…That’s \$585 X 180= \$105,300 per year. (Hold on. My calculator needs new batteries.)

What about those special education teachers and the ones with master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage (\$7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to \$8.00 an hour. That would be \$8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = \$280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here. There sure is.

The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is \$50,000. \$50,000/180 days = \$277.77/per day/30 students=\$9.25/6.5 hours = \$1.42 per hour per student– a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

WHAT A DEAL!

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

Charles

February 23rd, 2011
5:45 am

OK – so who is paying for the room and heat the babysitter uses or the bus to get the kid to the babysitter or the health insurance, retirement, etc that the babysitter gets or the PE, music and art teacher the babysitter uses. The babysitter also has a media specialist, principal, luchroom manager and custodian that help her support her babysitting… Let’s add up those bills too here…

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

February 23rd, 2011
6:10 am

No – that would be who would pay for the busses that the PARENTS use to get their children to the babysitter. Who would pay for the PE, music and art teacher and media specialist that the PARENTS use to provide a well rounded education to their child. The lunchroom and food that the PARENTS require to feed their children. etc. So if you add those bills, add them to the PARENTS contribution – not the teachers. (And many schools across the country no longer have those specialist teachers anyway, due to cuts.)

Health and retirement should come from the teacher’s pay – but there rest are services that directly benefit the PARENTS and their child – not the teacher.

Bob

February 23rd, 2011
6:21 am

Amen to that Maureen!

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
6:25 am

I think that we need to acknowledge the custodial nature of public schools. When I assert that certain so-called students need to be removed from the regular classroom environment (and perhaps even be expelled from the public schools), some educrats go into fits of apoplexy: “Well, who’s going to take care of the children? Are you just going let them walk the streets?” My response: “That’s not my problem. Schools are supposed to be learning institutions, not baby-sitting institutions. Do you think that the U. S. Army worries about this when a recalcitrant enlistee is dishonorably discharged? No. The U. S. Army knows its mission, and it is not going to allow one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. Likewise, we cannot allow the defiant and disruptive behavior of one or more students to materially and substantially disrupt the learning processes of those students who actually want to learn. But this is what we do when we insist on teachers babysitting — or, guard-watching — those miscreant thugs in their charge.”

This is what has happened in public education. Teachers are made to act like prison guards. Not baby sitters, Maureen, but prison guards. These defiant and disruptive so-called students are more akin to thugs than babies, mind you. This is why teachers are so disenchanted, discouraged, and disheartened. They want to teach. This is their mission. This is what they value. They don’t want to be prison guards. They didn’t major in Criminal Justice. They get excited when a kid’s eyes light up when he or she learns something. They love the teacher-student relationship, not the guard-prisoner relationship. The miscreants are not “babies,” as so many superintendents (especially the female superintendents) like to intone. No, we’re talking about real thugs.

By the way, I love the Blueberry Story!

Another by the way: I advocate the school systems establishing Non-learning Centers (NLCs). The NLC is purely custodial in nature, and the teachers don’t go through the charade of sending over lessons to the students. In fact, there are no teachers or instructors at the NLC. Horrors, you may think! No lessons? You can’t be serious? Yep, and you heard it heard it here first. Just like we would been completely shocked just 30 years ago to see police officers roaming the halls of our schools, in the future we will not be shocked at non-learning centers (whatever they are called). Now some of our large high schools have three to five (or more) real police officers or other security personnel roaming the halls. This no longer shocks us. Well, in the future, the NLCs will not shock us. The juveniles (can’t really call them students) are sent there and are watched by police officers or deputized school security forces. It is important that these officers have arrest powers. Now, if a juvenile demonstrates that he or she has learned his or her lesson and realizes that schools are about orderly learning and not playing cops and robbers with teachers, then the juvenile is allowed to re-matriculate to the regular school environment – but on probationary status. It is important that the juveniles can have NO FUN AT ALL at the Non-learning Centers and no social interaction. You have to make the NLCs so boring that the students will shudder at being sent there, not to mention the extreme stigma of being sent to a “non-learning” anything. © MACE, February 23, 2011.

February 23rd, 2011
6:32 am

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by J∅∀∆N D. MILΣ∫, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: If teachers are mere babysitters, pay them accordingly http://bit.ly/fyLhLt [...]

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
6:47 am

When I acknowledge the custodial nature of today’s schools, I am not saying that this is how it should be, but just acknowledging a reality of how it is today. This is the problem. This is the big rub. Society has decided that it wants to keep the thugs off the street. Therefore, Society has decided that the public schools are the ideal place to keep these non-learners. We first have to acknowledge that this is the status of public education today. Now if these same non-learning thugs were sent to Westminster, Marist, or Lovett, I can assure you that the test scores will go down precipitously, the disciplinary problems will skyrocket, and the teachers at these private schools will be clamoring for a return to the earlier status. So, what do we do with the thugs? Treat them like thugs. Put them in a very controlled and guarded environment (the Non-learning Centers). When they realize (and many are truly brilliant) that this is no fun, then gradually they will return to the regular school environment ready to participate in the learning processes. © MACE, February 23, 2011.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
6:51 am

By the way, am I the only one who gets up before the Crow pees?

Cindy Lutenbacher

February 23rd, 2011
6:58 am

Great little piece, Maureen (and anonymous author). Really had me fooled for a sec. But even as I was fooled that hot minute, I was thinking: Yep, that’s exactly what NCLB and Race to the Top and all their wretched spawns, such as Reading First, WANT teachers to be…babysitters reading scripted “lessons,” counting minutes for each “lesson” and so on. The authors of these authoritarian programs (along with their partners in crime, the makers of standardized tests) call it accountability, but I call it the nightmare destruction of children, teachers, and the hope of public education.

February 23rd, 2011
7:03 am

Actually those figures sound low. My daughter pays her sitter 200 per week (she is worth every penny)

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
7:04 am

From reading Ms. Lutenbacher’s nice response, it reminds me that I was focusing mainly on adolescents. Cindy, you are so right. The scripted curriculum (like Direct Instruction) is an insult to teachers and a very bad disservice to children.

PappyHappy

February 23rd, 2011
7:12 am

In all seriousness, we have some marvelous teachers who are enduring a lot of barbs these days for the simple fact that districts and states cannot get rid of bad apples — both teachers and administrators. Just look within the Atlanta Metro area!

Vouchers may be the only answer to public education – specifically, competition in the market place!

Until such time as parents and guardians have an option, we are not going to see real change in public schools. Our school boards appear to be totally impotent; some our teachers seem to be incapable of standing up to intimidation by school administrators, their unions/associations, — or parents in some cases; nationally, our scores continue to drop compared to our global competitors (i.e., Korea and China); our schools of education appear weak in academic rigor (compared to global competitors); and, increasingly, our kids do not feel safe in our classrooms or buses in larger parts of the Country, with our school administrators seemingly void of leadership!

Education has become a JOBS PROGRAM, as evidenced by what has happened in Madison, Wisconsin this past week, and those it attracts leaves a lot to be desired (sad examples of lying, fraud and deceit — and don’t forget, we have a superintendent in the Metro area under indictment!). The recent sophomoric brouhaha in Madison will strongly suggest the NEED for FREEDOM AND CHOICE to parents becoming responsible for their kids education!

Vouchers will force competition!

*Year round school will evolve.

*Will draw GOOD teachers to the good and innovative schools — they get a choice also!

*New and innovative delivery methods will evolve (busing kids at 6 – 6:30AM may even cease!)

*What goes in a child’s stomach will become the business of a parent, not an unknown lunch person.

*Distance learning will emerge.

*Education costs will DROP (reduced costs in physical plants; maintenance costs; bus transportation; and sheer COMPETITION for academic EXCELLENCE).

*Math and science will be taught by certified math and science teachers with a passion for the subjects and academic rigor.

*And, in time, US kids will become MORE COMPETITIVE GLOBALLY!

If parents want to leave their kids in current public schools, then fine — that is their choice.

If choice is such a wonderful thing for abortion, then why can it not be a wonderful thing for parents to choose for their child’s education?

February 23rd, 2011
7:15 am

Dr. Trotter, I agree with you. Start the “holding pens” at an early age (maybe 3-4 grade). By that time the kids have shown their pattern of disrupting others (and years of effort have been put into saving them), and they have been well inculculated in the “thuggery” for 10 years. Tax credits removed from the parents (no one should benefit by raising a menace to others.)

I predict their classmates will benefit, not just by having them out of the class, but also because they then see that they DON”T want to follow the path the thugs have followed–at least not at school.

When can this be started?

Total, isolated, military boot style complete with the haircuts and plain, shapeless clothes. No TV, no books, just sitting in cubicles 8 hours a day, under monitoring by video.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
7:25 am

Catlady: You are right. It has to start in elementary school. I have seen some elementary thugs that would just shock the daylights out of the average citizen.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
7:29 am

Please forgive the typos in the 6:25 AM post. Going to fast!

February 23rd, 2011
7:29 am

Dr Trotter: Your blogs are extremely well written and too the point. I endorse your ideas and offer a caveat. When these “thugs” get to a certain age, they go into the Army, or at least a boot camp setting with classes! A little discipline is the medecine needed to make them become worthwhile citizens while they find themselves!

Catlady: You have paralleled my idea of loss of revenue for the parents who can’t/ won’t discipline their children, and work and nuture their development. Remove all their tax breaks to pay for the “coddling” they’ll get in boot camps. Then the parents will have a choice and couldn’t just be lazy or uncaring. Unfortunately, in todays world, you must hit someone in their wallet to get their attention!

JW

February 23rd, 2011
7:40 am

PappyHappy,
You are not making some good points about the need to weed out bad administrators, school board member, and teachers. However, some of the education “crisis” talking points are simply wrong…

“Two of the three major international tests—the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the Trends in International Math and Science Study—break down student scores according to the poverty rate in each school. The tests are given every five years. The most recent results (2006) showed the following: students in U.S. schools where the poverty rate was less than 10 percent ranked first in reading, first in science, and third in math. When the poverty rate was 10 percent to 25 percent, U.S. students still ranked first in reading and science. But as the poverty rate rose still higher, students ranked lower and lower. Twenty percent of all U.S. schools have poverty rates over 75 percent. The average ranking of American students reflects this. The problem is not public schools; it is poverty.”

So, it may not be the public schools, the unions (which do not exist in GA), the lack of vouchers, or the teachers after all. It is poverty. Until the U.S. does something about it’s poverty rate, expect no miracles (i.e. 100% pass rates required by NCLB in 2014).

Cobb History Teacher

February 23rd, 2011
7:41 am

I’ve said for years I’d switch to this pay scale. I have on average 28 students per class. The going rate for baby sitters in my area is 7.00, so 7.00 x 28 = 196.00 per period it currently teach four classes a day so that would be 196.00 x 4 = 784.00 and right know I have students for 175 days a year so that’s 175 x 784.00 = 137,200.00. Not too bad. I’ll take it.

JW

February 23rd, 2011
7:42 am

Oops…it should by “You ARE making some good points about…” My mistake, sorry.

Dr NO

February 23rd, 2011
7:42 am

Teachers are overpaid as it is. A salary cut is in order.

Teacher

February 23rd, 2011
7:54 am

TennesseeDawg

February 23rd, 2011
8:03 am

Pay ‘em the \$105,000 per year with no benefits, no pensions, 12 months of work, no collective bargaining, etc. Taxpayers will come out cheaper.

irisheyes

February 23rd, 2011
8:03 am

30 minute lunch period? Where do I go to get one of those? I get the joy of eating with my kids everyday.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
8:06 am

Heading back to the States soon. I love Brazil, but oh how I love the United States of America! If we could just straighten out our public schools, it would be great. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational programs are the envy of the world. Our private elementary and secondary schools have it together. But, our policy wonks and educrats will not acknowledge that you cannot combine custodial duties with teaching duties. They think that you can put both of these responsibilities onto the backs of public school teachers, and everything will work out just fine. Droga! (Slang for “Damn!” in Portuguese.) They just won’t learn or acknowledge their bad theories. You cannot combine the two. Teaching and being a prison guard do not go hand-in-hand. They are like oil and water. They do not mix. If you have to be a prison guard, then you cannot be nurturing. You have to be stoic…or be intimidated by the thugs/prisoners…because you know that the Warden (Principal) is their advocate. © MACE, February 23, 2011.

Phillip Thompson

February 23rd, 2011
8:12 am

Awesome story Maureen. I wished some of these people who have no concept of teaching would try it for a day. They would run out the door.

I_teach!

February 23rd, 2011
8:13 am

Irish Eyes:

If you are an elementary teacher, your admins are breaking the law.

Elementary teachers “won” the right of a duty free lunch…

If you’re in middle or high…you’re out of luck.

Vouchers won’t solve anything…there was a recent study–and I must go dig for it-that recently stated that taking children who are performing poorly and putting them in a higher performing school-are NOT faring any better.

Of course, NO ONE wants to really say what’s going on in that scenario, do they?

Vouchers won’t pay for quality schools. If anyone thinks that a \$4000 or even \$5000 voucher will pay for a quality private school (Think: Woodward, Westminster, GAC…NOT ELCA, or the other lower-standard schools), you’re mistaken. It’s not even CLOSE.

Vince

February 23rd, 2011
8:28 am

@ Dr. Trotter….

Well of course the principal is the students’ advocate! The students, their education and their welfare are the reason we exist. The teachers are also the students’ advocates. I have worked in two very different situations: One in which the students’ behavior was so poor it made it difficult to teach and one in which supportive parents send the kids to school ready to learn. Thankfully, I have been in the latter one for the last several years.

Dr. Trotter, you often portray all administrators and public schools in less than glowing terms. I am sure there are some poor administrators, but there are also some very poor teachers. In many places, it is just one or two classrooms where there is a lack of discipline and classroom management…and it isn’t the students’ fault. I’m sure you saw that in your short stint as an administrator.

On another (intended to be humorous) note, do you have MACE members in Libya? On a national news website this morning I saw a group of women in Tripoli holding up a poster that said, “The world must know, Ghadafy has TO GO!”

Bust the Union Now!

February 23rd, 2011
8:29 am

Teachers salaries are fairly in line with the marketplace. Perhaps they are slightly high thanks to the good old teachers union. It’s the “pass the trash” teachers that are the problem. You teachers know what I’m talking about. They are the teachers that so severely under perform, they get passed from school to school because they can’t be fired. Thanks of course to your great and powerful Union. My other issue is with the all the excess fat at the school boards. Cut 70% of the non teaching salaries, and you’ve made a good start.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

February 23rd, 2011
8:32 am

Dr, Trotter:

Why do you think so many administrators and school boards acquiesce in the disruptive and disrespectful behaviors of a small minority of students and parents?

Craig

February 23rd, 2011
8:35 am

In every grade … kindergarten through 12 … just like math and science and social studies and P.E. and all the rest, require that students take a class in manners and social skills and citizenship. Make it a requirement. And make it fun and interesting. Who cares if a student is smart in biology if they have no manners or respect for other people?

Inman Park Boy

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

Well, you know, you do get what you pay for. As a teacher, I have never favored unions because I really see the enterprise of teaching as a “profession” and I believe that teachers and administrators (along with supportive parents) can work together (as opposed to being in an adversarial position) to provide a good education for children. That said, you will NOT atrract bright young people to teaching if you pay them like you pay other non-professional entry level positions. Should teachers be paid on a par with lawyers and doctors? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. But you must pay a good wage to get good people. It really is as simple as that. Young people today don’t look at a \$30,000.00 starting salary as any great shakes. Nor should they.

commoncents

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

If teachers want to be paid like a babysitter, then act like one! You can go to the house of your one student and watch the child and give them undivided attention all day until the parent gets home. The parent may be running late, but that shouldn’t matter to you as you will still get paid the same hourly rate all day long. You may or may not need to come work the weekend or on a date night of the parents during the week. I pay good, so I’ll give you \$8/hour for an approx. 45 hour week (\$360/week, but don’t forget to pay your taxes!) I’ll even let you work summers, seeing as I have to.

Now, if you want to watch 30 kids a day in a classroom, I’ll have to pay you an adjusted rate. I’m not going to pay you a primo rate to share my kid’s time with 29 other kids. If you decide to hand them over to a gym teacher or music teacher or another classroom, I’ll need to take away some of what I was going to give to cover their cost as well. Also, please feed the children while you have them. After all the misc expenses such as using a classroom and paying for electricity and food are covered, you’re now down to \$1.42 per hour per student. That’s pretty good, as I only wanted to pay you \$1.25.

redhousecat

February 23rd, 2011
8:59 am

looks like teachers should switch to private “homeschooling”. I know I would.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
9:08 am

Real quickly…I am packng (not a gun but suitcases)…Vince, you misread what I said. I said nothing about principals being advocates for the children; I talked about principals being advocates for the thugs. Craig of Augusta: You are right. The not-so-silent minority of irresponsible parents and disruptive students cower many (not all, mind you, Vince) administrators into submission. Gotta run, friends! America, here I come!

Local girl

February 23rd, 2011
9:12 am

@Tennessee Dawg: Seeing as I already work far more than my 190 salaried days, I’d be happy to work 12 months a year and actually get paid for it. Please try to get the school calendar changed to reflect this immediately! Also, I’ll be happy to continue contributing to my pension and benefits in the same way almost all working folks do if you’ll pay me \$105,000 a year (although you’ll have to raise that if you want me working 12 months, as that figure was based on 9 months a year…) =)

@ Bust the Union Now! – Not sure how many times it has to be said, but there are no teachers unions or collective bargaining in GA. However, I agree that there probably is a lot of excess at the top, particularly in some counties.

really

February 23rd, 2011
9:15 am

dr. john trotter, will you marry me?

i agree with 100% of what you write, 100% of the time!! i have even shared some of your posts with colleagues. keep on fighting the good fight.

Cobb Teacher

February 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

Ah Dr. Trotter..if only that could happen immediately. I am already counting the days and hours till I get back to my “hell.” I have 20 years of classroom experience..have been trained fully in classroom management skills. I’m tired of hearing about “management skills.” If you don’t have the support to remove the disruptive kids, then they just keep doing the same thing. I am definitely a babysitter in one of my classes of 31 14/15 year-olds. Some of them are definite “thugs.” They come to school for the entertainment value. They treat me and administrators with absolutely no respect. I am embarrassed for those that are in my class to learn. As a matter of fact, I am all in favor of immediately dividing up our classes and pulling out the disrupters and placing them in a room for the remainder of the semester. They can have worksheets. I want to TEACH. Why Maureen can you not delve into why there isn’t a solution? Cobb County got rid of their alternative school: big mistake: those kids now roam the halls. In any given day, I see at least 30 kids who are not in class. If a student tells me to “f” off, they may get a consequence a few days down the road..oh, but first the admin. says, “did you call the parents?” I don’t have enough time in a day to call so many parents, and many have disconnected numbers. This is not a whining vent..this is serious and after 20 years, I see the public school system that I am in failing in a miserable way. All anyone worries about is the graduation rate and screw the teacher in the classroom. My current students in one class will definitely not graduate on time because I can’t get a word in edge wise over the “thugs” that disrupt. I have no power and it is SO depressing. Not everyone is going to a four year college. Let’s start training these kids to have jobs rather than continue to babysit them so that they can, for the most part, get lunch and hang out with friends and deal drugs, plan fights, etc. I have many friends who did not go to college and are successful in their lives and happy. Many make more than me and have no clue how to do Algebra. Let’s be real or soon the schools are going to lose valued teachers. I’m not talking about the Honors/AP teachers…I’m talking about the regular ed teachers.

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
9:40 am

@ really and Cobb Teacher: Really, Chelly would be upset if I marry you since she is already my woman! But, thanks so much for the thoughts! Ha! Cobb Teacher: I certainly feel your pain. It is a mess, isn’t it?!

Dr. John Trotter

February 23rd, 2011
9:46 am

Vince: No members in Libya yet! Ha!

Future Springdale Park Charter School Parent

February 23rd, 2011
9:52 am

This is why all of you should support parent trigger laws. The mediocre, mail-order-degreed bureaucrats y’all serve under now–how’s that working out for you?

They bury you with useless paperwork; they stifle your creativity by forcing you to hew to a rote, unimaginative curriculum; you’re one too-honest comment away from being exiled to the ghetto by a power-trippin’ principal (one of our best teachers at SPARK met exactly that fate)….

In our future SPARK conversion charter school (I believe it’s a question of when, not if), we will remove the paperwork burden. We will create a curriculum that allows teacher creativity and fight any effort by government entities to force-feed our children the same old pablum. We will give you the planning time you need and not micromanage how you use it. We will never let you be bullied by a power-trippin’ principal or headmaster.

Of course, you’ll have to be very, very good at your job to get and keep a position at our school. You’ll have to agree to be trained the way we need you to be trained (for example, you’ll need to become proficient with all the high-tech stuff we’ll use). But in our future school, teachers will be celebrated and everyone else will be there to support the teachers.

And if you have a problem with an undisciplined child, we will bring the parents in and read them the school policy on discipline, which will have been written by John Trotter. : )

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

February 23rd, 2011
10:19 am

Dr. Trotter,

What can we teachers- present and former- do to motivate cowardly administrators and boards to stand up to the not-so-silent minority of irresponsible parents and disruptive students?

Cobb Teacher,

We teachers, current and former, have been slow to appreciate that power is taken. We have operated under the fallacious assumption that administrators, boards and parents would give us power. Friends, we’ve got to empower ourselves to help many of our kids save their futures.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
10:21 am

Dr. No: What, may I ask, do you think a fair salary for teachers would be? I don’t feel that my \$49,000 with a master’s degree and nine years of experience is too much to ask. Don’t talk to me about the breaks. I’ve spent nearly the entire break working on lessons, grading, and preparing an RTI meeting I have for a student when I return. I am also planning to go up to the school tomorrow to clean, organize, and get guided reading books together for next week’s reading groups. There is a reason that people who get into teaching for the breaks don’t last long. That reason is clear: there is a tremendous amount of work outside of the classroom that is required to do the job well. You will also need to spend a significant amount of your own money to do the job.

My experience with people like you, who are constatly pointing out how easy the job is and how overpaid we are, is that you are jealous. Plain and simple. Get your teaching degree, join the ranks, and then we can talk. Until then, shut your trap. All my best.

jrk

February 23rd, 2011
10:41 am

“Dr” Trotter, while I agree that there are some students that disrupt the learning envrionment, I have to say that we are not the military and we should not follow their policies for one simple reason – they have adults, we have kids. Who is to say when a kid will mature and develop into a mature adult. Obviously, by 18 we expect them to know right from wrong. But, we don’t have just 18 year olds. We have 12, 13,14, and 15 year olds and they are all crazy (speaking of teenagers here). Unfortuantely, there is no predictor for which apple is going to be bad. We nurture the apples as best we can, and some do turn out to be rotten. Some bad apples turn out to be good apples as well.

The problem that you are speaking of, is in fact, a poverty issue. The lower the poverty, the lower the academic and behavior achievement (in many cases, but not always obviously). However, we can not just throw money at those people and expect them to become good parents. I have always believed that you have to get those parents and those students to change their behaviors to improve their lives. The only way that we (society) could do that is to hold them accountable. How? Good question. My only answer is to fine them when their kid does not do their part in the educational setting. If they receive money from the government, then they should be docked money when their child misses school (excessive tardies and absences), behavior problems (again, excessive) dock them money. This could apply to homework, staying for after school programs, etc… This policy could apply to everyone, rich or poor. I just believe that 99% of those in poverty will be the ones that it has the most impact on. It would have to be a well thought out plan/policy which would require tons of research, however, it has to be on the table. Other than putting parents in jail, what else will hold them accountable.

Is it fair? No. But, it’s not fair when 27 students in a classroom can not learn because 1 student constantly interrupts the classroom. Should we throw him/her to the streets? No. This student may turn out to be an outstanding adult one day. However, that will only happen when the school and the parents are held accountable. Schools are being held accountable, but parents are not.

commoncents

February 23rd, 2011
10:42 am

local girl, I believe you have it wrong. Last I checked, you get paid year round. That means you are getting paid for 12 months, not just the 9 months you are in class. Those times you work more than 8 hours a day, consider it accruing PTO for the 3 months a year you don’t go into the office. And if you want to, you can work summer jobs (I know MANY teachers who do) for additional income. As for most of all the other jobs, we’re not allowed such generous time off or the ability to work a secondary job. ( we also contribute to retirement etc, and we typically don’t make \$105K a year!)

If you got into teaching for the money, then you probably aren’t bright enough to teach

lacking comment cents

February 23rd, 2011
10:58 am

We have a 10 month contract; however, the county agrees to disperse our paychecks over 12 months. Most teachers work additional jobs to supplement our furloughed incomes and lack of COLA and STEP increases we haven’t seen over the past three years.

lacking common cents

February 23rd, 2011
10:59 am

What's best for kids?

February 23rd, 2011
11:13 am

Common cents, I really hope that your kids are in private school because your apparent attitude toward the people who educate our children is appallhing.

Over the Hill

February 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

@Catlady…Your daughter must not be a teacher in Georgia if she can afford \$200 a week for a babysitter!

What's best for kids?

February 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

appalling…

Nicely Done

February 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

1) Collective bargining is not allowed in Georgia so there are NO teacher’s unions here- NONE. 2) There is a huge difference in being paid for 12 months of work versus being paid over 12 months for 10 months of work.

JDM

February 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

lacking spews … “We have a 10 month contract; however, the county agrees to disperse our paychecks over 12 months.”

Sounds like a personal problem. Are you not financially savvy enough to figure out how to make your paycheck work for you. This is nothing new, live within your means just like the rest of the real World has to do. Yes, YOU most definitely lack common sense!

Entitlement is a disease. Looks like many educators have caught it!