# 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!

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.