# 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

JDM

February 23rd, 2011
11:41 am

lacking vomits … “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”

Again, WECOME to the real World. The recession is finally knocking teachers over the head. Unfortunately, they are so much better than us and don’t have to play by the same ruules as the rest of society. Keep up the temper tantrums, the rest of us hard working Americans are watching in amusement!

irisheyes

February 23rd, 2011
11:48 am

I_Teach:

I’m in GCPS. IE2 says that I don’t have a duty free lunch anymore in elementary. Nice, isn’t it?

Bruce Kendall

February 23rd, 2011
11:51 am

@ all those that continue to bring up unions as an excuse. Unions do not have an impact on teacher salaries in Georgia. Georgia is a right to work state, there is no collective bargaining. It would help if you got this one fact straight.

cgregister

February 23rd, 2011
12:03 pm

As I have stated before, PARENTS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR STUDENTS (CHILDREN). Until the educational system starts holding the parent accountable and making them be responsible adults for their childrent, NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.
Vouchers should not be allowed until public schools have the same rights as private schools to pick and choose who they wish to attend.
Too many of our children (students) are having to raise themselves because they have lazy, no good parents. In fact, we had a mother come in with her mother and her grandmother and the student , and the great-grandmother of the student is getting custody of the child because the mom and grandmom are drug addicts and the great-grand has a deadly illness. Tell me what is wrong with this picture? That is what is happening in a lot of our society today. Parents are abdicating their roles and handing the child off like an unforgotten package or worse. This has got to stop. I don’t know how to make it happen, but until it does, it will only get worse.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
12:08 pm

Common Cents: Again, join Dr. NO in enrolling in your local college of education and earn your teaching degree. After a few months of classroom teaching, let’s sit down for coffee and discuss the role of teacher and fair compensation.

Every job has its perks. For some, pay is the perk. For others it’s the ability to work from home or have a nice office. Still others enjoy discounts, contacts, or a flexible schedule. Members of the military enjoy tax-free shopping and a tax-free salary when they are deployed. For teachers, it’s time off throughout the year. I don’t deny or discredit other professions for the perks they receive. It’s all part of the package.

Most people work hard at whatever job they have chosen. I am tired of being run down as a teacher by people like you who have no clue about what classroom teaching really entails. It is an up at dawn, work late into the night job. If you don’t believe me, give it a try. I’m not complaining about this. I enjoy my work and could probably find a higher paying job elsewhere if I really wanted one. A good teacher has many qualities employers are looking for, including excellent communication skills, management, public relations, creativity, and planning.

Depsite the MANY challenges, the difference teachers make cannot be found in any other job. It is very much like climbing a mountain and reaching the top to look around see what has been accomplished. You must endure the struggles to experience the sweetness. And for the record, we also contribute to our retirement and pay for benefits. They are not “free” as you would suggest.

So, perhaps it’s time for you to leave the bitterness of your job behind and join the teaching ranks. Only a bitter person points out what others have in comparison to their own work. All my best to you as well.

Anon teacher

February 23rd, 2011
12:15 pm

Irisheyes – In my county, we do not have duty free lunch either. Instead, we get to leave 15 minutes earlier each day. 3:30 instead of 3:45. However, how many of us really leave as soon as our contract allows? None.

Miss Priss!

February 23rd, 2011
12:16 pm

Hi, JDM! What do you do for a living, tough guy? Tell us how you change lives for the better. Give us your finest example.

lacking common cents

February 23rd, 2011
12:17 pm

JDM: There are too many illogical fallacies and inaccurate statements within both of your comments that I refuse to address them. However, I must admit that your ignorant attitude towards teachers and education policy is one reason I’m looking to take my Ivy-league degree elsewhere and transition to another field within the education realm.

Wait, now you’re going to say that because I attended an Ivy league university I must be a raving, “entitled,” liberal- right, and that simply justifies why I value public education? Ha.

Bruce Kendall

February 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

@ Commoncents: Teachers are paid for a 190 days of work. It is their pay that is dispersed over a 12 month period. Please check you facts, and as for common cents – please get some, as you embarrass those that do.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
12:32 pm

JDM: Let’s talk about that “real world” you mention above. Have you ever had to work with child protective services after discovering abuse of a student? What about pay for a lunch for a child who hasn’t had money on his account in weeks? Arrange a dental visit for child with rotting teeth? Listen helplessly at a parent-teacher conference as a divorced couple argues about their child? Carry a child who is kicking, screaming, and biting down the hall? I have. This is the side of teaching the public doesn’t see and is rarely discussed in teacher education classes. Yes, it is the “real world” indeed. Teachers handle cases like this frequently, and they are in addition to the teaching. Why do you think so many students slip up during the day and call me “mom”? I’m proud of my work and rest assured…teachers work VERY hard. All my best to yet another misinformed, arrogant person who is probably making no difference in the world whatsoever.

Top School

February 23rd, 2011
12:40 pm

There is no reason to deal with the bottom …WHEN YOU HAVEN’T FIXED THE TOP.
The Blind EYE is the leadership…

THE SCHOOL HOUSE FIRE…The ROOF is on Fire!

The Atlanta Public School House caught FIRE…It started with a spark…the foundation smoldered and we watched it go up in flames. We called 911, they referred us to the APS Detectives, the APS OIR, Georgia Professional Standards, the APS Board of Education, and NOBODY came.

The school house burned to the ground with several teacher’s injured, and children suffocating under the rubble. No alarms sounded …extinguishers were found empty…Nobody came to help put the fire out.

Now, the Governor’s team of investigators are stepping in. The GBI is trying to determine the original cause of the fire.

Step Up Parents, not affected by the damage, are willing to continue to put their children in the hands of the current APS Leadership in exchange for the SACS document that survived the flames.

Should the APS Fire Chief, Firemen and Georgia State Education Officials that failed to answer the initial call remain in positions of authority?

http://www.TopPublicSchoolCorruptionAtlanta.com

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
12:53 pm

Teachers: I know how we can cure Clueless Public Syndrome that afflicts so many in our community. Let’s declare a day “Public School Teacher for a Day” and invite people to do our jobs…just for one school day! Heck, I’ll even pay them my daily rate and plan all of the lessons, gather all the materials, run all the copies (assuming I can find a working copier…if I can’t they will be on their own), and make sure all the technology is up and running for the day (they will be responsible for fixing it when it breaks down in the middle of a lesson). When the day is over, we can all meet at Starbucks to discuss issues of hard work, compensation, and respect.

Sign me up!

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
12:57 pm

Forget the Starbucks idea above. They will probably need a bar and we can provide the drinks.

Miss Priss!

February 23rd, 2011
1:00 pm

Great idea, Cobb Teacher 2!

And might somebody rub my back that I twisted when I had to break up a fistfight between two huge eighteen year old boys. Me, a teacher, breaking up fistfights during my real world job! Go figure! I think I hurt it, JDM, when I tried to use a little martial arts technique I learned when I attempted to counter his weight pulling him from behind real hard in hopes of trapping him against the cinder block wall of our lovely cafeteria. Plus, my efforts as a schoolteacher messed my hairdo up.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
1:19 pm

Don’t forget, Miss Priss, to leave all of your RTI paperwork for our counterparts to do when the students leave. Since we are so lazy, perhaps they can shed some light on that nighmare of a process. Be sure to leave them a note about all the probes they need to be doing with the students. Don’t bother explaining what a probe is. It was never fully explained to me, either. They are smarter for sure and will do a much better getting all of our children correctly placed in the educational programs best suited for them.

JDM's secretary

February 23rd, 2011
4:16 pm

Seems like someone is lacking an ivy league degree, therefore they feel compelled to anonymously brag about it on several occassions in one post. When you can only be believed and heard through a blog, bless your heart!

Archie@Arkham Asylum

February 23rd, 2011
4:43 pm

@Bruce Kendall: You’re quite right there, paison! Teachers in Georgia have never had collective bargaining and the union doesn’t scare anybody in this state. Besides, when was the last time we saw Georgia teachers going on strike?

Refreshing

February 23rd, 2011
4:48 pm

Cobb Teacher, refreshing comments. I really like the ones about RTI and probes…too funny and true!

love the teachers

February 23rd, 2011
5:36 pm

Let me first start by stating father is a retired public school teacher, and I come from a family of public school workers in various forms, from guidance counselors to speech therapists, coaches, and even a bus driver. I support public school teachers wholeheartedly and believe that they seriously are not paid near their worth, to educate our children. But they are part of a broken system at this point. In addition, this argument wouldn’t hold water in a court of law, because if it did, women would be paid for housework and the like. In addition, there is a mandate that all children in America go to school, so a public school teacher’s job is part of a funded mandate (however measly it is). And I also resent the presented idea that as a parent, I’m sending my child to a public school because I need a “Babysitter”. I’m sorry, but get real!! I’d homeschool my child if I didn’t have to work, or if I were rich I’d send my child to the best teachers in the country. Public school teachers need to love what they’re doing because they were called to do this profession. And if they don’t like teaching, or if they are burned out- then they need to find another type of job. Period.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
5:43 pm

Love the Teachers: I do love my job, and I am called to it. However, I also must make a living, and one that reflects my years of schooling and experience. We are trashed unmercifully on this blog every day. While you may view our work as valuable, many, MANY others do not. Scroll up and read the comments of these posters: Dr. No, Common Cents, and JDM. All of their idiotic comments justify this blog post, which actually started out as a joke. It wasn’t an argument at all.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 23rd, 2011
5:53 pm

And I’m not even asking for more money. I feel fairly compensated, for the most part. But when people try to say that a teacher with nine years of experience and a master’s degree doesn’t deserve a salary of \$50,000 is crazy. It’s not that much money.

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

February 23rd, 2011
5:55 pm

For most of my 20 plus years as a public school teacher, I have listened to an ongoing parade of self-absorbed private sector employees snicker at my choice of employment, and go on and on about how, “Those who can DO! And those who can’t TEACH!” They’ve bragged about their big paychecks and bonuses, and comp time and overtime pay. They’ve flaunted their big houses and fancy cars and European vacations, while sniggering about my “pitiful paycheck.”

Even friends have asked, “Why would a smart girl like you stay in a dead end public sector job! You could make so much more money in the private sector!” They have admonished me over and over, telling me I was “wasting my talent” and should go out and get a job that would “pay me what I am worth.” “Sister-girl” they say, “You have a graduate degree and you are driving a clunker and living in an apartment!”

But I love what I do, and feel I am making a real difference in children’s lives. That has always been more important to me than that big paycheck. I will never be rich, but I have been making do. I have even managed to save enough to buy a modest fixer-upper and an actual “new” car.

And now that the private sector is suffering? Now that those big houses are going into foreclosure? Now that those European vacations are a thing of the past? Suddenly, my public sector job is akin to “sucking on the teat of the government and ripping off the tax payers!” (Odd… I kind of thought I was a “tax payer” too – guess I can tell the IRS to shove it this year!)

Where before I was “stupid” for staying in the public sector, now I am money grubbing elitist parasite, living off the sweaty brow of all those hard working private sector folks.

It doesn’t seem to matter that many teachers have not had a raise in the past few years. That furloughs days have cut paychecks by thousands. That across the nation, thousands of teachers have lost their jobs, and thousands more are at risk. That many of us have had yearly increased in our health care payments coupled with benefit reductions for the last several years. That we are now paying more into our retirements while our districts pay less. In other words, that WE HAVE been feeling the pressure just like the private sector workers.

No. None of that seems to matter to some folks. The economy has imploded, and my little paychecks and steady income are now desirable. Apparently, I must now be punished for choosing lower pay and good benefits over the high incomes much of the private sector enjoyed before the boom went bust.

Most teachers are more than willing to do their part to help get the economy back on track – but stop acting like we’ve been living the high life all along – and that all the private sector workers have long been bemoaning our “gravy train” at the taxpayers’ expense, because they haven’t! Many of them didn’t want to touch a public sector job with a ten foot pole before this!

Furthermore, I hear over and over how “cushy” and “easy” my job is, but I don’t see a whole lot of those private sector workers beating down the doors to do what I do…. and I doubt many of them would last if they did.

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

February 23rd, 2011
5:59 pm

For most of my 20 plus years as a public school teacher, I have listened to an ongoing parade of self-absorbed private sector employees snicker at my choice of employment, and go on and on about how, “Those who can DO! And those who can’t TEACH!” They’ve bragged about their big paychecks and bonuses, and comp time and overtime pay. They’ve flaunted their big houses and fancy cars and European vacations, while sniggering about my “pitiful paycheck.”

Even friends have asked, “Why would a smart girl like you stay in a dead end public sector job! You could make so much more money in the private sector!” They have admonished me over and over, telling me I was “wasting my talent” and should go out and get a job that would “pay me what I am worth.” “Sister-girl” they say, “You have a graduate degree and you are driving a clunker and living in an apartment!”

But I love what I do, and feel I am making a real difference in children’s lives. That has always been more important to me than that big paycheck. I will never be rich, but I have been making do. I have even managed to save enough to buy a modest fixer-upper and an actual “new” car.

And now that the private sector is suffering? Now that those big houses are going into foreclosure? Now that those European vacations are a thing of the past? Suddenly, my public sector job is akin to “sucking on the teat of the government and ripping off the tax payers!” (Odd… I kind of thought I was a “tax payer” too – guess I can tell the IRS to shove it this year!)

Where before I was “stupid” for staying in the public sector, now I am money grubbing elitist parasite, living off the sweaty brow of all those hard working private sector folks.

It doesn’t seem to matter that many teachers have not had a raise in the past few years. That furloughs days have cut paychecks by thousands. That many of us have had yearly increased in our health care payments coupled with benefit reductions for the last several years. That we are now paying more into our retirements while our districts pay less. In other words, that WE HAVE been feeling the pressure just like the private sector workers.

No. None of that seems to matter to some folks. The economy has imploded, and my little paychecks and steady income are now desirable. Apparently, I must now be punished for choosing lower pay and good benefits over the high incomes much of the private sector enjoyed before the boom went bust.

Most teachers are more than willing to do their part to help get the economy back on track – but stop acting like we’ve been living the high life all along – and that all the private sector workers have long been bemoaning our “gravy train” at the taxpayers’ expense, because they haven’t! Many of them didn’t want to touch a public sector job with a ten foot pole before this!

Furthermore, I hear over and over how “cushy” and “easy” my job is, but I don’t see a whole lot of those private sector workers beating down the doors to do what I do…. and I doubt many of them would last if they did.

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

February 23rd, 2011
6:05 pm

For most of my 20 plus years as a public school teacher, I have listened to an ongoing parade of self-absorbed private sector employees snicker at my choice of employment, and go on and on about how, “Those who can DO! And those who can’t TEACH!” They’ve bragged about their big paychecks and bonuses, and comp time and overtime pay. They’ve flaunted their big houses and fancy cars and European vacations, while sniggering about my “tiny paycheck.”

Even friends have asked, “Why would a smart girl like you stay in a dead end public sector job! You could make so much more money in the private sector!” They have admonished me over and over, telling me I was “wasting my talent” and should go out and get a job that would “pay me what I am worth.” “Sister-girl” they say, “You have a graduate degree and you are driving a clunker and living in an apartment!”

But I love what I do, and feel I am making a real difference in children’s lives. That has always been more important to me than that big paycheck. I will never be rich, but I have been making do. I have even managed to save enough to buy a modest fixer-upper and an actual “new” car.

And now that the private sector is suffering? Now that those big houses are going into foreclosure? Now that those European vacations are a thing of the past? Suddenly, my public sector job is akin to “living off the government and ripping off the tax payers!” (Odd… I kind of thought I was a “tax payer” too – guess I can tell the IRS to shove it this year!)

Where before I was unintelligent for staying in the public sector, now I am money grubbing elitist parasite, living off the sweaty brow of all those hard working private sector folks.

It doesn’t seem to matter that many teachers have not had a raise in the past few years. That furloughs days have cut paychecks by thousands. That many of us have had yearly increased in our health care payments coupled with benefit reductions for the last several years. That we are now paying more into our retirements while our districts pay less. In other words, that WE HAVE been feeling the pressure just like the private sector workers.

No. None of that seems to matter to some folks. The economy has imploded, and my little paychecks and steady income are now desirable. Apparently, I must now be punished for choosing lower pay and good benefits over the high incomes much of the private sector enjoyed before the boom went bust.

Most teachers are more than willing to do their part to help get the economy back on track – but stop acting like we’ve been living the high life all along – and that all the private sector workers have long been bemoaning our “gravy train” at the taxpayers’ expense, because they haven’t! Many of them didn’t want to touch a public sector job with a ten foot pole before this!

Furthermore, I hear over and over how “cushy” and “easy” my job is, but I don’t see a whole lot of those private sector workers beating down the doors to do what I do…. and I doubt many of them would last if they did.

P.S. Feeling “called” to do a job, doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay your bills just like everyone else.

lacking common cents

February 23rd, 2011
6:21 pm

JDM’s secretary: You’re missing the point.. but I guess you wouldn’t understand anyway.. right?

Most teachers and posters, at least on this blog, write anonymously as they refuse to risk their careers for voicing their views publicly; however, that’s a different point– not what I referenced in my original post.

Out of curiosity, is your real name, JDM’s secretary? Oh, it’s not? Where’s that pot and kettle when I need it…

Dedicated to Students

February 23rd, 2011
9:20 pm

I think all of you are insulting teachers, and some of you are making comments without ever stepping in the shoes of a teacher. Most need to sit back and realize who made you what you are today. You would be nothing if it weren’t for some dedicated teacher out there.

love the teachers

February 23rd, 2011
9:58 pm

I’m still waiting for NCLB to be revamped. It did establish a sort of baseline to work from, but now is the time to take the next step at the federal level and help make education in America more robust. Stress on kids, stress on teachers, and yes– stress on parents,within the public school system is not ideal. Neither is having inefficient school boards. The state also has to step in and be more involved in the local control or else the local control will become too inbred which is what has been happening in this area. When a board is allowed to govern itself, that’s when the problems begin.. The argument might be made that the parents don’t care, but parents check out because realistically there isn’t anything they can do, except be seen in a negative light. Who needs that? I see the system being shook up and maybe that’s what is needed. We are on the midst of change, due to emerging technology, a bad economy, and a broken system where the cracks and age are starting to really show. The “ME” era is gone. There will always be members of society who unfortunately have had children that really should not have.. such as the ones mentioned above, and this fact only reinforces what needs to be done in the public schools to support the teachers. Health and community connections need to be a part of the school, because you can’t teach children who are hungry, abused, or neglected. Perhaps the PTAs could really be working to support teachers, schools, and communities in this way instead of wasting time planning the next social bingo night or giftwrap sale. Do we really need another trinket sold to us by a student?? Times have changed!! Make the school a place where parents want to come and feel that they are a part of in a positive way because as it stands, teachers don’t really want the parents there because they either feel that the expectation is that they either have to entertain them (ie. a parent night) or that they’ll have to deal with complaints. One of the issues is that the community spirit is nonexistent in some areas. Do the kids know the folks in the local nursing homes? They should. Rather than spending time visiting another museum on a field trip, the students should be helping out the community– maybe serve people at a local soup kitchen. Plant a garden at the school. Kids hardly even go outside!! Do the local dentists, doctors, fireman, policeman, etc come and visit the schools? Do the local businesses volunteer at the schools? Are there sports directly connected with the elementary schools and not just high schools? In some places there are sports that actually happen right on the elementary school grounds. Believe me, there is nothing like sports to draw parents to the school. What about students acting as peers to lower grades. The bottom line is that we can’t just sit back and blame and gripe. This is the time to get creative and do something about the problem because if no one does then we all suffer.

Jordan Kohanim

February 23rd, 2011
9:59 pm

JDM– what is your real name? Come clean. If you believe enough in what you say, stop hiding behind anonymity.

lacking common cents

February 24th, 2011
6:43 am

I respect you, Jordan. You rock.

commoncents

February 24th, 2011
1:02 pm

It looks like someone (or many people) have not seen the point I was trying to make. I love teachers. Both of my parents are teachers, 3 of my in-laws are teachers, and many friends of mine are teachers. Teachers deserve good pay and benefits.

Teachers should also know what their job is: To show up to school everyday and teach. Sometimes, they’re going to have to deal with real life and babysit brats or breakup fistfights or call they kid’s parents in for a conference. I’m sure when you all were getting your degrees (even an Ivy league degree!) and student-teaching, someone pointed out to you that it’s not always a perfect job with perfect students and that sometimes you would have to go above and beyond. You should have expected this.

My original arguement, in case anyone forgot, was about the few that think they should get paid 105K a year to do the job many people have done for decades for even less. The problems all started around the time when the teacher’s parking lot became filled up with new BMWs and expensive SUVs

*If anyone is going to make fun of my name, quote it correctly. No space

Cobb Teacher 2- I love my job. I’m an accountant.

Booklover

February 24th, 2011
2:13 pm

Dear taxpayers and the government, particularly “common cents”–

I finish working June 2, but you all don’t finish paying me until August 30. You’re welcome for the nearly 3-month loan of my paychecks so that you can accrue interest. Look at the cummulative effect of that loan that teachers give the government. You’re welcome. Have a nice day!

commoncents

February 24th, 2011
2:35 pm

booklover-
I’m sure that if enough of you teachers complained, then you could be paid biweekly during the nine months you work. I’m also sure there are teachers who enjoy steady, yearly paychecks so that they can budget their lives more easily. I would have no problem giving you money as it is earned. Monthly paychecks were not created so “the man” can collect interest. Then again, your paychecks come from taxes paid year-round, not a magical fund that has the all the money up front and doles it out monthly.

And if by “finish” you mean retire, then congrats on a long (and hopefully successful) career changing kid’s life for presumably the better.

Jim from Indiana

February 24th, 2011
3:18 pm

Our state is currently going through a similar divisive process as Wisconsin with teachers, public workers and a tyrannical governor, a state superintendent of public instruction whose more concerned about his wife’s charter school business than anything else and a majority in both the state senate and congress who are only concerned about appearing to create a fiscally stable state government. These “public servants” want to eliminate collective bargaining, eliminate salary components such as master’s degrees and hours above a masters (in a state that has required that teachers must participate in continuing education) and implement a process where the state superintendent of public instruction may revoke a teacher’s license at will, WITH NO APPEALS PROCESS amongst many other unbelievable “reforms” to numerous to mention (see Ind. SB 575, Ind. SB 001, Ind. HB 1002, Ind. HB 1260, et al…). Hope you’re wearing your Depends when you read these proposals (if you by chance give a hoot about public education).

And a question to JDM’s Secretary….who wears the fire suit in YOUR office?

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

February 24th, 2011
5:21 pm

commoncents “The problems all started around the time when the teacher’s parking lot became filled up with new BMWs and expensive SUVs

Did you consider that those “new BMWs and expensive SUVs” could be purchased with the income from teachers’ spouses who might make a much larger salary? I am a single teacher, and believe me, I don’t drive anything that comes anywhere near the cost of a “new BMW or an expensive SUV.”

blackbird13

February 24th, 2011
6:32 pm

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

And then there are the conservatives who complain about all the liberals in education but don’t want to go in it themselves because they care more about money.

Cobb History Teacher

February 25th, 2011
8:44 am

@Cobb Teacher 2
“I’ll even pay them my daily rate and plan all of the lessons, gather all the materials, run all the copies (assuming I can find a working copier…if I can’t they will be on their own)…..”

Evidently this is a theme that runs rampant in education. Why do they work so well in the business world?

Cobb History Teacher

February 25th, 2011
8:48 am

@commoncents

“My original arguement, in case anyone forgot, was about the few that think they should get paid 105K a year to do the job many people have done for decades for even less. The problems all started around the time when the teacher’s parking lot became filled up with new BMWs and expensive SUVs”

Uh, those are the student’s cars. You must not have looked in the staff lot.
All kidding aside do teachers not deserve nice things or are we supposed to live off the crumbs of those we helped achieve such wealth. Don’t tell me for a minute the millionaires of the world did it all on their own even those with the drive needed a teacher to lead them or keep them in line.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 25th, 2011
10:42 am

@Blackbird: I’m assuming you are asking about copiers. Our copiers are extremely old and run down. They get tons of use from teachers, administrators, and volunteers. In my ten years in Cobb County, I have never seen one replaced or a new copier brought in. I can, however, fix one with the best of them. On any given day, 80+ people have their hands on them. The county views other forms of technology more important when it comes to spending money, and that’s fine. I love my SMART board and have learned to fix that on the spot as well. Still, copies are needed and it can be quite an obstacle at times. I call it the “Tour de Copier”. All my best.

Cobb Teacher 2

February 25th, 2011
12:14 pm

All I can say at this point is that people feel the way they do about teachers because of our time off. It is eating them alive. Perhaps it’s time to realize that time is worth more than money. The truth is I don’t drive a luxury car (in fact, I drive a 2004 Toyota Corolla), I have a modest home, and the only vacation I’ve taken in the past few years was to a beach house that is owned by relatives. What I do have, however, is time at home with my children while earning a decent salary. I make a difference with my work, and not many get to say that. Want to trade? Eat your heart out.

ATeacherLikeMe

February 25th, 2011
8:30 pm

Some of you who talk about “the real world,” and “sometimes you may have to do xyz…” are truly clueless about public education. There have been and will continue to be disagreements between children that result in fisticuffs. However, there is a problem when these antics occur in the same children repeatedly. Instead of being able to oust unruly students, we are told that we can’t because the state says too many children are being suspended without due process. Funny how children can have the right to appeals while teachers can be summarily fired.
Moreover, a lot of people want accountability from the teachers. That would be fine if our jobs were not impacted by the home life of students. How dare you sit in judgement of what is not accomplished in the classroom, but have not come to volunteer one time! I regularly work (and by work I mean see students) from 8-12:00, have lunch during which I make phone calls, or something else that is required, then I do it again from 12:30 until 2:30. After that I’m after school grading papers, writing lessons, tutoring students (why because some parents cannot actually afford to have students tutored and it’s clear that the normal hours are not meeting students needs). Personally I leave work between 5 and 6 most days and oh, let’s not forget about the ever present paperwork that some administrator must have by the next day and told me about the day before! And when can this be accomplished? Not during instructional time, so of course that is on my own time. But we as teachers don’t get comp time or overtime.
Oh, and let’s not forget our current emphasis on testing. So can I actually have meaningful and effective instruction if for two straight weeks I was required to administer system wide and school wide tests?

GA taxpayer

February 26th, 2011
6:45 am

As I read these blogs, I wonder if some people are using these blogs to bash teachers.

I know of a middle school teacher who has been having trouble with one class who just this week found out that almost half of the class has probation officers. No one told this teacher anything about these students past run ins with the law. Yet this teacher is responsible for trying to teach and keep discipline at the same time. Good luck!

February 26th, 2011
11:59 am

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dirty south

February 26th, 2011
12:31 pm

I may sound like a snob but don’t care. Georgia is just plain ole dumb. Education is not important to many here unlike the north.

Tena

February 27th, 2011
5:05 pm

Depending upon the state and municipality, most teachers seem to be paid fairly, if lower than I might personally wish. Because the connection between general education in public schools (or anywhere) is implicit rather than explicit, the non-teaching public seems not to understand the vastly important effect of teachers on future generations. One commenter who mentioned a day where the public can come teach for a day has the right idea. This might change things for the better…eventually. But to a media-saturated populace that thinks of only the present, it will not. And in a dog-eat-dog economic environment, the negativity towards “guaranteed” jobs at ANY salary will continue. Again, this is sad, but understandable. Venting spleen on blogs or boards doesn’t really solve much. Participation in local and regional activism to improve education for individual schools and systems is a good goal. Not all education is equal and never will be, but we work towards that goal. Parents and teachers and administrators can do this. It is not out of the question if we all care. Demoralization, however, derails this goal as the economy worsens and we take our frustrations out on one another.

For full disclosure…I am a certified public teacher, but CHOSE not to teach in public schools because of the vast amount of ridiculous duties heaped upon professional educators. I chose not to monitor behaviors like a prison guard or to censor my course content because one loud parent couldn’t stomach the sexuality and/or racism extant in _The Color Purple_. I maintain my certification after 17 years because I sometimes fantasize about the great impact I could have on 16 year olds if I was allowed to teach rather than babysit. So, instead of fighting the good fight, I got my Master’s and then my Ph.D., and I have been teaching as a professor for \$47,000/year. At the university level, we also deal with mainstreamed students who struggle with physical and psychological issues. We also struggle to meet “assessment goals” (although not in the same way as secondary school educators). We have very stringent expectations in terms of scholarship, of teaching, and of service (within and outside the university). We have time “off” in the summers and over breaks, but those weeks are full of the research we have to squeeze in just to keep our jobs. We have to pay for travel to conferences we must attend, again, just to keep our jobs. And the list goes on. Our challenges are different than secondary school educators, but at least as under-appreciated. After all, we only teach 6-8 classes a year! But the intensification of our labor in other arenas (and the number of students in our classes) increases daily, just as it has for most Americans in varied occupations.

Even so, I feel lucky to have a job with a flexible schedule, one where I can teach without too much censorship and truly impact my students’ lives for the better. I work at least 60 hours a week, and I get paid crap considering the level of education and experience I have, but I CHOSE this. I knew the opportunity cost. And I can leave at any time.

Unions, vouchers, charter schools, parent involvement, etc….these may or may not be solutions for individual communities. They–and other things–are probably PART of the solutions for increasing student, parent, and teacher satisfaction with public education. Sniping at one another solves nothing.

spaceap

July 12th, 2012
6:29 pm

Do people who complain about public schools are just reliving their experiences? Our schools are fine, some are really bad, some are really good. Most teachers are good, some are excellent, some are bad. Most of us who went to public school in the US feel like we turned out pretty good, and fell the same about our kids who attend public schools. usually good students come from good parents, good homes, and have a clue about raising kids. If you have a major problem with public schools, chances are you probably have a major problem child. Teachers earn their pay as a lawyer or cashier does. It’s a pretty distinguished job and if they are in a union – so be it, who cares? Quit whining and invest into you schools and communities. Stop being a problem and sqawking about everything.