Are school budget cuts leaving teachers “overstressed, overburdened and overwhelmed”?

The AJC has a good story on shrinking school budgets. The question is how these deep cuts will affect the classroom and student learning.

According to the AJC story:

In their budgets for the 2013 fiscal year, which began Sunday, many of the biggest school districts cut their teaching staff, which will drive up the number of students in each classroom. Most also imposed furlough days, meaning teachers will lose time for planning lessons or hold class fewer days.

Among metro Atlanta’s biggest school systems, only Fulton County escaped significant cuts. That’s because Fulton curbed spending in prior years, shaving about $200 million since 2009. The rest of metro Atlanta’s big school districts — Atlanta and the systems in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties — slashed around $150 million collectively, cutting at least 2,000 teaching positions.

The loudest uproar was in DeKalb, where about 500 teaching positions and 600 support positions were eliminated as part of $78.6 million in cuts. Class sizes will rise by two students on average. Even with the cuts, the school board raised taxes by one mill, or about 4 percent.

Dori Kleber, a Dunwoody parent, volunteered often at Kingsley Charter Elementary School, where she has two children. The two dozen students in her daughter’s kindergarten class had to squeeze tight to fit on a rug they shared for activities like counting in turn by fives.

Kleber, who graduated from the DeKalb school system, recalls when there were 18 children in a kindergarten classroom. She wonders how big classrooms will be allowed to grow. “It just seems like it’s starting to be impossible,” she said. “My children have had some excellent teachers, but I see those teachers overstressed, overburdened and overwhelmed.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

146 comments Add your comment

d

July 3rd, 2012
5:23 am

Let’s see, more students, common core with less than adequate training, new evaluation instrument most of us haven’t seen or been trained on, even less time to prepare, another salary decrease despite higher cost of living, the whole reform movement. Maureen, I think you have understated things here.

mountain man

July 3rd, 2012
6:23 am

yes i am worried

July 3rd, 2012
6:28 am

Yes. As a parent, I am greatly concerned about what both the cuts and the inherent inefficiencies are doing to teachers. I am equally concerned that the message that we are sending to current k-12 students is that we don’t value teachers and therefore, we will continue to see a decline in the quality of the students who are willing to be educators.

The Mid-South Philosopher

July 3rd, 2012
6:40 am

At the risk of being hailed as a “conspiracy theorist”, aren’t an “ignorant populace” and an “uninformed electorate” the prime ingredients for the “stew of tyranny”?

Cherokee Parent

July 3rd, 2012
6:45 am

What is really maddening is that the legislators won’t even own up to what they’ve done on the state funding side of the equation. They prance around bragging about how they’ve “cut spending” and “shrunk government” on all their campaign literature, but when pressed about the $1 Billion they have cut from schools, they refuse to take responsibility. The Cherokee delegation members actually have the gall to stand in front of parents and teachers and say these “weren’t really cuts” because we should not be counting on QBE money (that is earned per student under THE LAW). Huh?

yes i am worried

July 3rd, 2012
6:46 am

I hope Rogers losing in Cherokee. His replacement alone would go along way to restoring sanity to the discussion about public education

NWGA Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
6:49 am

Many of the teachers I know would like to leave the profession. Working conditions are ridiculous.

NWGA Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
6:50 am

Clicked “send” too quickly . . . fewer teachers are willing to put in the 12-hour days under these conditions.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

July 3rd, 2012
6:54 am

Are budget cuts targeting teachers and instruction?

Let’s bring in disinterested, out-of-state auditors to scrutinize the budgets of our state’s numerous K-12 public educational entities to insure that educRATS’ aren’t protecting their cheese at the expense of our kids’ futures.

Junk Monkey

July 3rd, 2012
7:04 am

Well the coffee is brewing and no one has smelled or even looked in the cup.. Yes teachers are distressed and worry about jobs. And, they have a right to be. In the last decade, how many times have you seen teaches in nay system band together to correct a wrong. Teacxhers did this all the time before 2000. What happened. They would be at the capital demanding money for the schools.
Well, their so called Professional Organizations are no 100% for them any more. They have riddled them selves with lettting administrators join therefore weaking their power base. You see, in any organization where all administrators are allowed to join, the organzation wi going to represent the administrators cause. It is sickening.
Now let us look at this financial picture. How many superintendents took a cut in pay since the money began to crumble? You need to ask that question. How many top employees such as curiiculm directors, financial directors, etc,., have taken a cut? I bet in the State of Geortgia you can county them on one hand. The AJC needs to print all superintendent’’s salary in Georgia. Printi not just their base pay but all the Perks they are getting.. You need to Print the County’s name, a list of the top 20 employees from each system. Where they Cut? Probably not. Why? It is the good ole employees versus the employees in the trenches each day. IIf everyone employed in these office positions would give 100 percent of their time to their jobs, we could elimate some of those positions.
And, I know their are those who give 100$ but there are others who probably don not. For example, the one who always plans the parties, brings baked goods, etc. they need to concentrrate on doing more on their jobs they being a party planner.
I really wold like to know these salaries and if hey have been cut. Let be honbet and printt every penny not just what state auditors record.

Mirva

July 3rd, 2012
7:06 am

I close me ears when some over inflated windbag of an administrator or central office idtiot proclaims, this year we will do more with less. The reality is, NOBODY does more with less. You get less with less. I, along with thousands of teachers in this state do the best we can with what we have. Give us less time, money, support, we do the best we can. Give us more students, duties, mandates, furloughs, paperwork, we do the best we can.
The school board says they are adding 2 students to call sizes, which doesn’t sound all that terrible until you remember that this has been going on for the past 8 years. Each year 2-3 students have been added to my rolls for the past 8 years. You can do the math and see how my class sizes have been affected. Every year, those kids get a little best less of me. You don’t get more for less.

Junk Monkey

July 3rd, 2012
7:07 am

Sorry for nay left out letters in the commemt before… The font is so small I an having to guess at some llettes. Guess I need to change the font some how.
GOD BLESS OUR TEACHERS AND CHILDREN FOR THE COMING DAYS AHEAD.

Sam the Sham

July 3rd, 2012
7:19 am

Things are tough all over! I respect quality teachers, but they have three months paid vacation right now to catch their breath.

Courtney

July 3rd, 2012
7:21 am

R B

July 3rd, 2012
7:28 am

The 3 weeks vacation is a common misconception. My wife is a teacher – it doesn’t work that way. Teachers are only paid for the academic year, not the summer. That’s why many teachers have to work extra jobs in the summer.

hssped

July 3rd, 2012
7:30 am

When I was in school I had 33 in my class (grad-1980). Kindergarten was less, but it was only 1/2 a day, so we were split (the teacher taught all day). I learned with 33 in my class just fine and we did NOT have a/c in my school either (or a cafeteria, or a gym). It is not the class size; it is the behavior of the kids. But, whatever, there is nothing that can be done about that. Kids and parents rule; teachers drool.

This summer I am looking into nursing degrees. I’ve got 10 more years until I can retire (at 60 with 28 years) and I am going to hang in there, but I will need something when it is over because I am afraid I will have to work until I die. My investments have dwindled (starting with 9-11). The sad part is that I really, really like what I do but I have to work p/t jobs year after year just to take the edge off and I’m getting tired. I’m very tired and each year I make less.

My attitude has soured over the past three years. I can’t help it. Even those with a strong work ethic and strong desire to teach are going to burn-out at some point. The people in charge are just accelerating the process. Oh well…I guess we should have picked a different career path. It is our own fault, no?

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
7:30 am

NWGA Teacher – Teachers have it made in the shade, a week vacation in Fall Break, a week at Thanksgiving, 3 weeks at Christmas, a week vacation for Spring Break, then 3 months vacation for Summer break. And do not dare to give me that sob story about not being paid for Summer break, you compare your “9 month” salary to our 12 month salary, so I say you ARE being paid for Summer break!

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
7:31 am

Plus their regular earned vacation time…..what is that, 3 or 4 weeks a year?

crankee-yankee

July 3rd, 2012
7:37 am

GwinnettGuy

July 3rd, 2012
7:39 am

Solutions,

Teachers don’t get vacation time. They get a contract that pays them for “x” number of days… 190 in my county… or 188 due to furloughs. They work those 188 days at a “daily rate” regardless of the amount of hours worked. They can earn supplements for things such as coaching.

I have a lot of respect for teachers and I’m very grateful that I don’t have to do their job. Thank you teachers for what you do.

Quit Watching Faux News

July 3rd, 2012
7:40 am

Can we dispense with the obvious: First their are no teachers unions in Georgia. Secondly teachers are only paid for the length of their contract (payments are spread over 12 months). no one gets the summer off with pay. Please try to be informed.

John Konop

July 3rd, 2012
7:42 am

We are in a tough economy and all sides need to compromise without hurting the quality of education. I would suggest the following:

Replace gym class requirements for students who play at sport at school

Require all administrators to teach one class. Not only would this save money, it would make them better at their job.

Create a homeschool/public school option with teachers providing help. Also allow the kids to fully participate in extra curricular activities. The same concept of a home school/charter school

Create waivers for some end of year test which would lower administrative overhead and increase class time. The best education systems in the world test way less than us.

Promote the use of joint enrollment education opportunities for all students not just 4 year college bound. Vocational kids would be job ready, increasing tax revanue while lowering drop out rate, and 4 year college bound would move through the system quicker costing us less money

crankee-yankee

July 3rd, 2012
7:42 am

Solutions
July 3rd, 2012
7:30 am

Where do you get your data?
Some radio talk show?

kjds

July 3rd, 2012
7:49 am

gee, sounds like the real world work place, but with more days off.

broke and overworked

July 3rd, 2012
7:49 am

I just wish they would greatly reduce central office jobs and administrative staff before cutting what the students actually need. Aren’t we supposed to be educating children? I looked at one of our local shool system’s 2012-2013 budget, and I was appalled when I realized they’re willing to spend more on custodial services/building maintenance than educating children.
I become even more disheartened when I realized board members make as much as I, the educator. Lastly, my heart broke when I realized I won’t be able to purchase all the extra things I used to for the classroom because my furlough days have numbered. I pray for my students and those making decisions.

Wake Up GA!

July 3rd, 2012
7:54 am

Based on my experience, it is out of utter ignorance and some envy that some folks think teachers are paid over the summer. Teachers, as well as college professors, are not paid for the summer. This is why when teachers/professors teach summer school they get paid. This is also why so many of teachers/professors normally get jobs during the summer to make ends meet.

If Georgians wish to have a chance at an economic recovery and prosperity, Georgians need to recognize and value an educated populace with post-secondry education opportunities. Look at the states that are doing better than Georgia, you will find that they have a better educated populace and better paid educators. So long as Georgians de-value education, and educators, so long will Georgia continue to be an economic bottom feeder among the rest of the states.

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
7:57 am

You can spin it anyway you want, but teachers still compare their 188 day contract salary with what the rest of us make working 250 days (subtracting two weeks for paid vacation). Gee, most professional workers put in extra non paid hours, so why should grading a few papers at home be a big deal? Oh, union rules you wish you had? Teacher just luv to compare apples to oranges when it benefits them!

broke and overworked

July 3rd, 2012
8:09 am

My furlough days have doubled. To those who think our careers are on hold during “breaks”
, come and plan the next year with me. Where r u when I teach to an average of 135 children each year? Where r u when im grading papers, tutoring after school, attending parent conferenc es/pta meetings, reevaluating lessons, counseling kids, writing recommendations, calling /emailing parents after working 8-12 hours, and still facilitating plays, proms, sga, blood drives, community service, and countless other activities? I love each and every one of the preceding, but I become livid when people make comments which insult a profession I have dedicated my life. Yes, I have not had to report to the office since the friday before memorial day, but I’ve read countless articles about new standards and redesigned lessons, created ideas for more student activities, and had pow wows with co-workers about how to better service our students. What do you on your “vacations”?

MA

July 3rd, 2012
8:16 am

Solutions: Teachers don’t get 3 weeks at Christmas – 2 weeks at the most. And, 3 months during summer? I wish….try 8 weeks. Last time I checked that is 2 months. Most of those teachers have to take extra p/t jobs to make ends meet. Some teachers even take classes during the summer to keep their certifications. Exaggerate all you want, teachers work hard for a lot less than some people think.

Over it

July 3rd, 2012
8:20 am

Especially stressed are the teachers in DeKalb, for example ALL the teachers at Fernbank Science Center, who have been told their positions have been eliminated. They are invited to apply for new positions but currently there are no teaching jobs posted.

teacher&mom

July 3rd, 2012
8:21 am

The furlough days are disheartening…but when I look around me, I realize many professions are hurting. I can deal with the furlough days.

What frustrates me is how this effects the students. Do not be deceived. Students in GA are paying the price for a legislature that eagerly approved austerity cuts and mandates to destroy public education….while funding a foolish “Go Fish” project.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

Our legislature would rather listen to ALEC or Michelle Rhee than listen to its own teachers…..and that is why GA teachers are disheartened.

No one at the district or state level will listen to our concerns.

carlosgvv

July 3rd, 2012
8:22 am

Teachers have been saying,for many years now, that they’re “overstressed, overburdeded” and overwhelmed”.

In my many years of working for corporations, the same applied to me.

Mr_B

July 3rd, 2012
8:28 am

Solutions: Average salary for a Ga teacher is about 50K if you have a Masters degree. In the private sector that Masters would earn you about 80K annually.

Fall break? Finalize grading and read and grade research papers.
Winter break? Finalize grading and read and grade research papers.
Spring break? Finalize and ……………..

If you think this job is so great (and yeah, it IS a great job; it just doesn’t pay very well,and it can be very tiring and stressful) you’re welcome to join us. There’s a lot of kids out here that need all the help they can get. But be prepared to be criticized and sometime envied by people who have mindless bought into the “public schools are soooooo awful” fallacy.

Entitlement Society

July 3rd, 2012
8:33 am

People, listen to all these teachers! Why in the world would you EVER want to send your children into their classrooms? Bitter, bitter, bitter. I’m sure they TRY to put on a happy face for the students, but this repressed hostility towards administration can only be hidden so much… I can’t imagine ever letting my children be subject to this mess. Listen to all of the teachers telling us how it affects (or “effects” as some of the teachers like to spell it – I won’t even go there) the students. You are doing your children a disservice if allow them to suffer through this public education disaster.

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
8:36 am

A Masters in Education is not going to cut it in the private sector, where MBA’s are a dime a dozen, and newly minted lawyers are waiting on tables as the only job available to them in this ugly economy. I hear the whines and cries of teachers, and they make me realize our schools are failing for a reason, teachers who think they know it all and are gods gift to the private sector. Wrong, you have reached your level of incompetence in your current jobs! Otherwise the private sector would be beating a path to your door with lucrative offers of employment, which they are not! Stop your whining and get to work! Remember, you are living off my tax dollars!

bad for future generations

July 3rd, 2012
8:38 am

@carlos gv Yes, there are a great many people who feel stressed, burdened and overwhelmed by the financial downturn. But, how many of them are responsible for the educational outcomes for future generations. Stress in the work place that impacts about 5-20 people perhaps compared to stress in the work place that impacts 5-20 adults and 175-180 impressionable young people. Stress that could have been reduced.
Couple that with the stress of knowing that poorly applied test scores will be the evaluation method du jour for the job, there is many layers of stress that are not currently applicable for most of corporations.

Mr_B

July 3rd, 2012
8:40 am

OK; Solutions. Are you willing to take a job teaching? Honestly?

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
8:45 am

I taught at the college level while earning my Masters Degree in Engineering, in return the program waived all tuition and fees. Since I already had a full time professional job, I didn’t need a stipend, just the tuition and fee waiver. Some of my students did not speak much English, as they were from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but they were smart and could keep up by reading and sharing notes with each other.

Tired

July 3rd, 2012
8:49 am

I’m certain they are. Just like the public health nurses, social workers, and everyone else who is overworked and underpaid but who don’t get the attention that teachers do.

carlosgvv

July 3rd, 2012
8:50 am

bad – 8:38

For every one teacher there are at least 30 or more stressed corporate office workers. Since most of these people, like myself, have children who are directly affected by a stressed out parent, it more than evens out.

Mr_B

July 3rd, 2012
8:55 am

Not the question, Solutions. Would you today drop the engineering work and take a job as a TSA instructor at one of your local high schools? For around 45K a year, 10-12 hour days for 80% of the year, fair benefits and the possibility of make a real difference in a 17-year old’s life, either for better or worse?

I assume that you are now in the engineering field. How many teachers helped you get there, or are you completely self-taught?

Would you walk the walk, or do you just want to talk the talk?

Richard

July 3rd, 2012
8:57 am

The problem is that teachers are being dictated their job by people who don’t know anything about education. Fix that first, then we can talk about the money.

ga teacher

July 3rd, 2012
8:58 am

Isn’t it bad everywhere? OK 2,000 jobs SLASHED….ok what is overall unemployment in same period of time? I am a teacher as well, there are two kinds of people 1. people who make excuses and complain and 2. everyone else.

OK, so there are teachers out of work…wow, there are plenty of people w/o jobs right now.

OK, so we have more kids in our classroom, have better management and effect positive change for more kids.

OK, so you got a pay cut, be thankful you still have a job and again STOP COMPLAINING…

Good teachers will find a way, the other teachers will use this as a white flag and make some more excuses…get real, you did this job for the public good, so when the pulic needs to make cuts b/c it does not have the money to support how things were b/c of foreclosures and all other economic issues, you give in and quit or stop doing your JOB…grow up

Jaggar

July 3rd, 2012
8:59 am

To SOLUTIONS and other business oriented commentors: I worked for Coca-Cola Foods and decided I would like to serve children and my community. Please stop commenting on issues of which you have no experience. Teaching is an extremely rewarding profession but defintiely more involved than the business world. The pay is not nearly as equivelant due to extremely small increments in education compared to larger salary increases in business. We get paid for the days we work and have rallied to work a longer school year but the politicians and parents are against a longer school year. You need to be more informed or join us in the ranks of teaching before spewing your ignorant comments.

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
9:03 am

Mr_B – Reverse your question, are you capable of doing engineering work? Most likely not. I on the other had am capable of doing so, so I have options, I could teach math, physics or chemistry in high school, a job for which I am vastly overqualified, for your 50K a year, or I could practice engineering for 150K a year. You, on the other hand, do not have such an option. You choose the easy path of an education degree, and your options are limited to education.

wanttohaveinput

July 3rd, 2012
9:04 am

I find it amusing(sarcastically speaking) when I read about systems having 2, 3, 4, or 5 furlough days. Whitfield County teachers have endured 10 furlough days for the last 3 years! We have lost so many awesome teachers that have fled to systems with 2, 3, 4, or 5 furlough days.

Former Educator

July 3rd, 2012
9:06 am

Teachers and other adults should take an economics course (or two) immediately. The idea of “government service” (which teachers are) is that one trades present dollars for future benefits. The retirement benefits for teachers is a much better guarantee than what 90% of the private sector has. When I worked in education, I only had to contribute 5% of my salary toward my retirement benefits. Now, if I do not contribute to my retirement, I will not be able to retire. Private sector employees make more money than teachers because all earnings are in the present, without the promise of future benefits. Also, when I was working in education the premiums I paid for my health insurance were far less than what I pay now.

Teachers do compare their salaries for 188 days to the salaries of employees working 250+ days. Many companies offer employees 10 personal days–sick and vacation–for the entire year. Private sector employees often have to coordinate holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas when the office requires coverage and everyone wants to take time off to be with their families. As far as furlough days, employees at Georgia State University who earned $25k a year were asked to take 8 furlough days because of budgets. Any teacher complaining of furlough days and earns more than $25k can take comfort that he/she is not the most affected person by furloughs.

For both sides, the grass looks greener on the other side.

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
9:06 am

Yet another day of whining by those who either shouldn’t be in teaching in the first place—or only pretend to be, on behalf of the teachers’ unions.

Those of us in what teachers themselves refer to as the real world can only marvel that anyone takes such whining seriously. First on all, there are always FAR MORE applicants for K-12 teaching jobs then there are positions available.

So who do the whiners think they’re fooling?

In real world jobs there are likewise those who prefer to grouse. But most of them eventually move on to jobs which suit them. Education blogs give the impression that somehow this process is short-circuited, at least in the public sector.

RCB

July 3rd, 2012
9:13 am

Do you CHOOSE to teach, or has someone forced you? The entire public has had decades to witness the deterioration of our oublic school system. Some people choose other careers, some choose teaching. You know what you’re getting into. The private sector is no bed of roses as so many of you think and have had to take FAR more benefit/pay cuts than teachers.

MiltonMan

July 3rd, 2012
9:15 am

Fulton “survived” because of the republicans reps from North Fulton. If it were left up in the hands of idiots like Eaves, Pitts, Darnell, etc. on the Fulton County Comission, we would be like DeKalb.

edugator

July 3rd, 2012
9:16 am

Stressed? Sure, but once I’m in front of my class it’s showtime, and for most teachers that will not change.

What’s most distressing to me is the growing loss of faith in public education. The US has fared pretty well for the past 150 years, and the broad support of public schools deserves a lot of credit for that success. Now, we have these self-proclaimed saviors out there advocating all manner of actions to undermine public education in favor of…what? A patchwork of home schools and private education driven by fringe groups of every political stripe? A handful of kids getting quality educations, while the rest are stuffed into underfunded, overcrowded classrooms, which are then proclaimed to be “failing?” Welcome to the balkanization of America.

Stressed? No, not me. But it might be heartening to see administrators in classrooms, county office hotshots taking serious pay cuts (and a dramatically reduced staff as well), and a state legislature committed to public schools for all. I know the public schools have been their own worst enemy for the last couple of decades, but they can and must be saved.

Now I’ll stop ranting and go back to my summer reading that will make me a better educated teacher in August, assuming I’m not furloughed.

carlosgvv

July 3rd, 2012
9:18 am

Solutions – 9:03

Earning a college degree in math, physics or chemistry requires an apptitude that most do not have. People “choose” a libeal arts degree because this is where their talents lie. Making fun of those who don’t have scientific apptitude says a number of things about you, none of them good.

MiltonMan

July 3rd, 2012
9:24 am

“Solutions: Average salary for a Ga teacher is about 50K if you have a Masters degree. In the private sector that Masters would earn you about 80K annually.”

God God here we go again. Obtaining an education degree is perhaps the easiest degree to obtain. Also, the teachers on this board conveniently failed to mention that they are entitled to a pension and 401K type plan. Good luck on finding both of those in a fortune 500 company these days.

Gatchr

July 3rd, 2012
9:25 am

What is funny (really sad) if that some of the comments on this are assuming that because you are an intelligent person with a degree and college level teaching experience that you can teach in public high schools. Yes, you may have the knowledge of the subject you are teaching, but can you control a class room? Can you handle dealing with people? From some of the comments I have read, I would seriously doubt you would last very long without some serious conflicts with co-workers and parents. I’m positive you wouldn’t make it a week in middle school.

MiltonMan

July 3rd, 2012
9:28 am

“Look at the states that are doing better than Georgia, you will find that they have a better educated populace and better paid educators.”

Please do tell us all educated one, which states are doing “better” than Georgia.

Also, your analysis of better paid educators = better educated populace is laughable. Brush up and cause and effect.

All GAE members are union

July 3rd, 2012
9:29 am

@Faux; Yes, the teachers’ unions ARE in Georgia. But as a Right to Work state we wisely prevent them from causing the mayhem they do in some states.

@teacher&mom: The reason teacher unions have no influence in conservative states such as Georgia is because union bosses are joined at the hip with the Democrat Party. And with far-left causes. Any readers unaware of where that extra $168 in mandatory yearly NEA dues ends up are invited to Google “NEA” and “donations” or just reference the following:

ref: http://www.nea.org/home/18469.htm
ref: http://goo.gl/rtJIZ
ref: http://goo.gl/bNdPt

God Bless the Teacher!

July 3rd, 2012
9:30 am

I just finished 20 years in public education, serving in both teaching and administrative capacities at different times. I hope to retire after 10 more years. No, I don’t have a lot of extra spending money like many in the private sector on this blog say they earn because they apparently walk on water. But I love my job. Sure, I work 10-12+ hour days during the school year and I usually go in to work one day each weekend to try and get caught up with everything. But, I get summers off! The pay I earn during the year is spread over 12 months, so I don’t feel like I’m unemployed during summer. Absolutely, some of my students get on my last nerve but (bless their hearts) even those are less annoying than adults who bash public education and who think they could do my job without formal training. I’m paid enough to live alone, pay my mortgage, put a little into savings to help supplement my teacher retirement I’ll receive, and I don’t have to worry about how I will put food on my table or pay my utilities each month. Granted, I don’t go on fancy trips all the time, buy new clothes every month, nor give lavish gifts to everyone I know. I’m frugal without being stingy. I love my job. I’m proud to be a public school teacher. My students make my day enjoyable much more often than they ruin it. I have supportive administrators, my district has NO furlough days at least for next year, and I have a traffic free commute to work (7 miles, 10 minutes, 2 stop signs and a traffic light). I love my job and I feel sorry for anyone who, regardless of his/her job, can’t find happiness in it.

Jordan Kohanim

July 3rd, 2012
9:37 am

This strikes at the heart of the teacher myth– that is that teachers should be martyrs. After all, if they were “truly in it for the kids” they would not only do more, they would do it for less money. A real teacher lives off the well wishes of his students–not money.

For those of you who are continuously harboring on the stereotype of the lazy teacher, with his 180 day salary and summers off, I ask you this: what is your point? The question is whether or not mass amount of fiscal and policy-inflicted stress affects kids’ education, not whether or not teachers are evil.

Fine- a concession. Let’s try it your way. Pay teachers less. Give them more and more to do with less time to do it. Continue to watch the effect it has on schools. You can scream “quit whining” all you want, but the fact is that you will drive away teachers and will be left with a few hunger artists (forgive the Kafka reference) and a few people who have no place else to go. Is that what you want?

No. I don’t think so. I think you Teacher-BeMoaners are a small, vocal minority who simply want to tell teachers that because you are being hit in the face with a cinderblock (your job is hard) that teachers should be happy to hit themselves in the face with a cinderblock too (teaching is hard). That’s not the point. Most parents who actually have a child in the classroom want their teachers to be able to give 100% to that student. They don’t want classes of 40 or people who are miserable at their job. They want educators to model professionalism and dedication to their pursuit of academia. They understand, ultimately, you get what you pay for.

The Teacher-BeMoaners just want to do what they like best–BeMoan teaching. If it troubles you so much that teachers get all these perks and all they can do is complain, why not write an article (with your actual name on it, you fraidy-cat) and explain why you think teachers should get paid less, do more, and not complain about it. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

Wake Up GA!

July 3rd, 2012
9:42 am

Georgia is a “right to work” state. There is no public unions with collective bargaining power. Most states with teacher/faculty unions with collective barging power do better in national ranking & educational achivements than those without.

claytondawg

July 3rd, 2012
9:46 am

@Entitlement Society and Solutions…I taught for 34 years in the Secondary classroom while teaching for 32 years part time at the local college. I’m not a fan of Mass Education and never have been (especially my last 15 years). Some teachers are at fault for the decrease of educational standards; however, looking at the society as a whole, my blame is solely on society itself. As I have stated so many times, “Schools can’t cure the ills of society, but education can certainly help.” Look at the teachers who are illiterate, can’t write a coherent sentence/paragraph, and (uh oh, here comes the flack) can’t speak proper English nor use correct grammar. These teachers were products of the school system that catered to the philosophy of “don’t hurt the students’ feelings.” So, now, the teachers embody that very same, asinine mentality. The public sees what’s happening now…but, I see what’s been happening far too long. Entitlement and Solutions, you have a point to a certain extent. But, remember, there may not be great teachers as a whole, but there are individual teachers working diligently to improve the ignorant status quo.

robert

July 3rd, 2012
9:55 am

Oh Yeah, for those who say teachers have 3 months to breathe and take a break. Why dont you wake up and smell the coffee. That is exactly the ignorance that suggests those who are not in education know ABSOLUTELY nothing about the profession. We do n ot get paid for days we dont work. Why dont you pay our bills so we dont have to work in the Summer. Stop being a moron and become informed.

Howard Finkelstein

July 3rd, 2012
9:58 am

“overstressed, overburdened and overwhelmed”

Well who isnt. Its part of being an adult.

Cheryl

July 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

My husband is a teacher and I graduated with my teaching degree two years ago. I can’t find a teaching job, so I work as a substitute teacher and make what amounts to minimum wage while being expected to pay my student loans. This summer I am staying home to take care of our children while my husband works the summer program at his school to make extra money.

As class sizes are getting larger, my husband grows more overworked and stressed from the amount of paperwork that he has to complete. I don’t enjoy substitute teaching as much because discipline is growing more difficult as class sizes increase. We spent ten years or more improving our school systems and with the recent blows to education we are destroying everything we have built.

mathematics4fun

July 3rd, 2012
10:09 am

True, in the good old days there were 33 students in elementary classes, but that was a homogenous student body: kids with 2 married parents, most with SAHM, 8pm bedtimes after playing outside, not videogames. Teachers did not have the ESOL, or Inclusion students requiring different lessons to be instructed at the same time. I have subbed & student-taught in classes for the past 5 years. I know Plato was correct when he wrote that the optimal class size is 19.
May I suggest: Equal furloughs for all! How many furlough days are mandated for the Governor? Our students are deserving of good stewardship across the board. They will be in power or in prison when we are in nursing homes.

educator & scientist

July 3rd, 2012
10:10 am

To Solutions and other critics:

You are also comparing apples to oranges trying to benefit yourself in this conversation.
You mentioned that you were a graduate teaching assistant for a most likely small class of foreign folks who PAID and WANTED to be in your class. You even said it, “they were smart.” What about the students in public school that are on the lowest level? Would you know what to do with those? It doesn’t compare.

You apparently like to generalize so I will state that yes, I HAVE had other offers from the private sector for jobs using my science and math degree. Yes, I have turned them down because I want to teach. NO, I am no incompetent at my job, quite the contrary, I am a state award winner.

Like you, I earned my bachelor’s degree from a prestigious engineering school. I was also a graduate TA with tuition waived. That did not EVEN come close to experiences I’ve had in my 10 years of public K-12 teaching. I chose to take my science credentials and make a difference in the lives of other students who would otherwise hate science/math/engineering and turn them on to our fascinating world. I hope that after you retire that you consider doing the same. Your experiences would be very valuable to the classroom.

I come from a family of engineers and while they, as well as all of my college friends, are out working as engineers they watch and listen to my everyday work life and immediately have respect for what I do and admit that they couldn’t do what I do.

I love how education seems to be one of the few careers that every non-educator has an opinion on simply because they went through the education system. You were funneled through the educational system and now you have an opinion. Would you do the same to doctors (have an opinion because you simply went to the doctor once in your life), lawyers, engineers, or scientists? No, you trust what they have to say. You trust in their experiences and credentials. Could you please offer educators the same respect until you live in our shoes? I respect what you do because I could be doing what you do but choose not to.

The truth is, I love being a teacher. I teach a subject I love, I lead others as a department chair and I found fascinating ways to share my experiences with other teachers and students around the state. I have had a 190-day contract that paid me for 8 hour days/40 hour weeks. Our “contract time” was from 7:45-3:45 every day, which really means nothing. My typical day was to arrive at school early and to leave school late (probably later than most engineers would leave work) to help students, plan labs and lessons or to sponsor after school activities. Not to mention my 10 minute lunch time (literally). I would get home, eat dinner and then get busy on planning my lessons or grading papers until about 11:00 PM when I would literally fall asleep on the couch from exhaustion. I don’t need your sympathy or your comments, it is a choice and I am simply pointing out the misconception that teachers get out at 3:00 everyday.

On my “breaks” which are unpaid time, I would often still work 40+ hour weeks or attend mandatory trainings. Those trainings were either unpaid time or they were paid for out of my OWN pocket just to keep my credentials and my job. Over the summers I teach in another prestigious state program because I love teaching and I also need to make ends meet. So, breaks? What’s that? Vacation? Can’t tell you the last time I was able to take one. Teaching is really not a job, its a vocation.

Teaching is a tough career. Everyone has moments of “tough” in their careers, including you engineers. I see my dad have to work 80 hour weeks prepare for project reviews and be on conference calls to China in the evenings. I get that. You obviously don’t get what teachers go through. It’s more than the hours that are put in, it’s about the unsupportive atmosphere, and having to be held accountable for things out of your control. It’s about your job evaluations being partly based on 130 moody teenagers or the lack of help from parents. It is about people in the community, like you, who are against instead of for – because “it takes a village…” There are many external factors that contribute to the “tough” part of our jobs. We are responsible for more than just ourselves or what we ourselves can control.

I am not complaining. I don’t need pity. I don’t even need your response. I am thankful for a way to earn a living. You, however, need to think. You need to consider and see past the end of your nose. You need to stop being the exact problem and start helping. Do you know how many STEM classes could use a guest speaker to show them how cool engineering can be? Do you know how many engineering teams need mentors? Obviously not. As an engineer, you are taught to get all the data and to find the solutions, not to make the problem worse.

Proud Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

If you think teaching is a “cushy” job, then you obviously have not spent any time in charge of a classroom of children. I love teaching and I love the subject area I teach. What I do not love is the ridiculous mandates, numbers driven administrators, and illogical criticisms of the most precious commodity our country has – our chilren and their future! What is wrong with you people? Teachers are not fair game for a punching bag for society’s ills. Be reasonable. I

I have no desire to be a martyr. My desire is to teach and have a better educated adult population than those who constantly criticize teachers and education. I want my students to be able to think, communicate effectively, and make better decisions than the nay-sayers of public education.

SEE

July 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

Solutions,
Let me explain that I went to college on a full scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English. I then got my MA in TESOL. I taught ESL to adults, a lovely job that I enjoyed, but I wanted to teach in the public schools. I got my MAT in secondary English education. The master program was much more rigorous than the TESOL due to state mandated curriculum guidelines for teacher programs. I still graduated with a 4.0 because I demand a lot myself.

My first teaching job was two years ago in middle school Language Arts. I had 35 students packed so tightly into the room that there were problems just navigating around all the desks. Administrative support for disciplining disruptive students was non-existent. If you had a student problem, you had to stop class to deal with that individual student. Furthermore, If a student did not turn in his or her work, we were to give him/her until the end of the semester to turn in work. You can guess how much student work I had to grade at the end of the semester!!! I had a couple of students who refused to take the CRCT. That refusal, of course, reflected on my students’ testing scores and, hence, my evaluation. Are you evaluated by another’s refusal to do his/her work? However, it was not classroom management that drove me from the classroom.

I had to come in an hour before work every morning and leave an hour later because all my “planning time” was taken up with meetings. Not to mention PTA and curriculum meetings beginning at 6 and lasting until 8 which were mandatory. My husband clocked my hours one week. I worked 55 hours…with NO DOWN TIME! I capped the last phrase because I have worked in an office before. You may be there for 10 hours, but you get coffee breaks, shooting the breeze with co-workers, etc. In teaching, your time is taken up with work every minute you are there. However, it was not the long hours that drove me from the classroom.

In order to give my students a full learning experience, I had to spend buy supplies. I spent about $10 a week just on copy paper, since what we were provided was insufficent. I also had to purchase pencils and paper for my students as well. The students who never had pencil and paper were the same students who were disruptive. I wasn’t about to give them the excuse that “I don’t have a pencil” for disrupting the class. Anything that made learning fun, such as buying beads so students could “create” meter such as iambic pentameter to help them visualize the concept, I had to purchase out of my own money. I spent about $60 a month on supplies and I only made $41,000 a year.

No, it wasn’t even the lack of pay that drove me from the classroom. It was the combination of all three that simply made my working conditions miserable. Frankly, there were plenty of people willing to take my place when I left. The person who replaced me did not spend any money on supplies and, apparently, didn’t spend any time on lesson plans, either. The students who were in my class and went to my church told me about how unruly the class had become. The teacher gave them busy work from the book to do (or not do) while she sat at her desk. The teacher who replaced me seemingly made her working conditions less taxing by reducing her working hours and class disruptions by limiting her actual teaching. Sure, learning suffered, but I guess you get what you pay for.

TimeOut

July 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

Solutions and others are disillusioned with the performance of public school teachers. Is it possible that public school teaching is nothing more than a pink-collar ghetto overseen by losers masquerading as administrators? What other professions are funded almost entirely by tax dollars and staffed disproportionately by women? This may be the source of most of the extreme disregard for this line of work; the deterioration of the profession and its reputation coincides with the decrease in the number of males who occupy teaching positions and the establishment (by whom?) of a pay scale that is based on number of adults supervised, level of degree earned, and number of years of experience. Those who enter the profession with the desire to rise to the top of the pay scale must anticipate leaving the classroom as soon as possible to do the bidding of elected officials most interested in perpetuating their own posts and perks. Who created the scaffolding on which this system hangs, both literally and figuratively? Why is teaching both a coveted and respected professional choice in Finland but not here? Is it their more homogenous population? Is it differences in the ’scaffolding’? When I first started teaching, my pay was not divided into 12 monthly payments. I was paid at the end of each teaching month and had to save a portion to cover the 6 to 8 week summer breaks. I am uncertain as to why systems made the change in payment structure, but I wonder if it allowed them to earn interest on the money they received but did not disburse until much later. I do know that most of the younger, unmarried teachers with whom I worked did as I and worked at another job during the summer, and throughout the year on the weekends. Other young professionals in other fields often did the same thing, but it did not seem as pervasive among them. The positions of administrators are often used to protect the positions of those above them. They don’t really perform many useful functions on behalf of students or teachers. A great deal of their work could be discarded and learning would continue. So, if Solutions and others are dissatisfied with the teaching profession, with our academic institutions, then perhaps we should start holding accountable those with the real power: the legislators, the business people with the contracts for the products and services, the developers and brokers and all the others who make considerably more money than the teachers and who benefit so much more than most students. This system is as it is because those who have the power to change it do not wish to do so. Most teachers with whom I’ve worked are competent, capable, and have value systems that include trying to do the best possible for their students whether they receive good or bad press. We have bad apples. –So do all of the other professions. One’s choice of profession does not explain one’s character. I do wonder about legislators, though. It seems to be almost impossible to perform this service and maintain one’s ethics. I greatly admire anyone in public office who does not climb forever onward by stepping on the rights of others. I admit that I have few ideas on how to succeed in the restructing of our public education system. We have an underclass, not always poor, that values daily disruption of our schools. We have so many self-serving individuals with incredible power to manipulate hte system for personal benefit. I would love to see our schools and the teaching profession surpass those of other first-world nations. They could and they should. Today, I am stymied as to how to promote effectively such a change.

Proud Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
10:52 am

See, you just described classrooms all over Georgia. I wonder how many of these bloggers who complain about teachers would like to have their children sit in these classrooms of bedlam?

Solutions

July 3rd, 2012
10:57 am

carlosgvv – Better get us to the cognitive elite moving both physically and intellectually away from the average. If your IQ is not at least two standard deviation units above average, then your future in America is strictly limited. This is not the world I created, it is the way our world has naturally evolved, where the cognitive elite are the prized recruits, and everyone else is just so much baggage. The last refuge on the merely average is government employment, and that includes public school teachers. Jobs formerly performed by labor are now performed by robots and automated systems, and that trend is accelerating. Charles Murray believes the real danger is when the cognitive elite decide that the rest of the population is more trouble than it is worth, and takes steps to solve that problem. Think that is unlikely? Look at the weather lately, it seems to confirm a massive shift in climate similar to what global warming simulations predict. If that is the case, the solution is to reduce the earth’s human population from approximately 7 Billion to maybe 100 Million, and to do so swiftly and without warning.

I_teach!!

July 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

This IS a rhetorical question, right?

With the new higher class sizes, and greater demand on teachers to create PLPs and ensure that differentiated teaching/individualized teaching-with less planning time?

Recipe for disaster. Burnout. Exhaustion. We are already doing as much as we can while at school, and taking home plenty of work.

I am teaching nearly 20 years. I can’t recall a time when teachers felt more downtrodden and under fire than we feel right now. Because of cut backs on “specials,” there’s less planning time…maybe 2 days. Meetings, and “training” for the new Common Core Curriculum will be mandatory (and no stipend for the extra training required).

It is no wonder that the attrition rate for teachers is about 4 years..and I personally know so many veteran teachers who have thrown in the towel.

I love teaching; I hate what has become of the profession.

Love Education

July 3rd, 2012
11:00 am

If one cannot handle the rigors of teaching, then don’t even think about working in the corporate world. It’s not for the fane of heart.

Shell

July 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

@See, I understand your sentiments and those of other teachers.

I finished my student teaching this spring and I came away with a feeling of exhaustion. I experience the exact same thing. My daughters were suprised how many nights I stayed up until 11pm doing the exact same thing. I spent hours each day trying to figure out unique and interesting lesson plans. No ‘real’ teacher leaves school at 4pm. It’s impossible. Even as a student teacher I found myself spending my own money on supplies.

As a career changer, I come from both sides of the teacher/non-teacher angle. I realized as a corporate worker I never knew how lucky I had it. I didn’t have to wait to go to the bathroom, yes some days I took a long lunch, and on my vacations I didn’t bring home work. I only had one boss, not 120 (that’s the number of parents you have to deal with each year). People really don’t know how hard it is to be a ‘good’ teacher.

NTLB

July 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

@MIltonMan—Fulton “survived” due its school board anti teacher policies:

-by not giving any of their teachers a step or cost of living increase raise in the past 5 years
- by furloughing it’s employees for 3 years.
–by decreasing the salaries of counselors and administrators
–by increasing class sizes

Yep—all Republican moves. Failure to invest in public education.

I_teach!!

July 3rd, 2012
11:06 am

Two years ago, we spent an insane amount of time being trained on the new teaching assessment-CLASS Keys. All of our planned professional learning was thrown aside in order to do this. After a full year of training sessions-about two hours, minimum, a month, we find out that it would only be used for this year, and this coming school year, we will be using a NEW “Teacher Keys.”

All that wasted time could have been put to much better use, but the State DOE mandated this intensive “training.”

What. A. Waste. Of. Precious. Time.

Another Math Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Solutions is coming close to taking the Get Trolled title from Good Mother.

I_teach!!

July 3rd, 2012
11:08 am

NTLB…

So did our county (south metro)…step raise? What’s that? Art/Music, cut in half…furlough days (which even impacted student contact days)…

I adore people who do NOT do this job, yet think they know what’s best…

mumm

July 3rd, 2012
11:15 am

People like to say bad behavior begins in the home. Given the comments of the adults here, is there any wonder that so many students have little respect for their teachers?

concerned for the future

July 3rd, 2012
11:35 am

solutions I am a former engineer and scientist who took a job to teach precisely for the reason that it had impact on so many lives, it was and still is rewarding. Please the chest thumping over who could do which job is ridiculous. Nurses jobs are hard and stressed- does it help them to be better nurses when there are bad work conditions, constantly in flux schedules and hard to manage work loads. No same for teachers, any many other in the public sector.
Could many of us save people from a burning building, go into a crime infested area to investigate potential crime, can most of us manage 35-40 young adults in teaching them how to be adults while also teaching them that will help them in their future careers. There are many ways to spin this- could you? It isn’t whether you could or not, it is about what do you value/ Do you value firemen and police and nurses and teachers and a myriad others having respectful work conditions or do you not value that because your job is ‘more valuable’ your qualifications are more ‘important’? The smartest person I knew was a fry cook raising 6 grandchildren on his own and one of the most brilliant scientist I have ever worked with, Nobel prize winner, was one of the most blindly ignorant person I ever had the pleasure of meeting/working with.
It all comes down to what you value and if your value is more than another than that speaks volumes.

Amy Rice

July 3rd, 2012
11:44 am

MD- to answer your original question: Yes.

Which is one of the main reasons why my children are in private school, and will be for as long as we can afford it. And trust me there are problems with some private schools. The main reason being that in this economy, most schools will accept anyone who can write a check. Including the checks from parents whose children were kicked out of public school.

But I find that our private school problems are FAR less damaging than the garbage the GADOE is handing out. Which system one attends in metro Atlanta does not matter. Bottom line: all of the metro county school systems are overcrowded and teach to the test.

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

July 3rd, 2012
11:47 am

@Solutions A little full of yourself, aren’t you?

“If your IQ is not at least two standard deviation units above average, then your future in America is strictly limited.”

Gee, I think I’ve heard that kind of talk before…someone named Hitler, wasn’t it?

“Charles Murray believes the real danger is when the cognitive elite decide that the rest of the population is more trouble than it is worth, and takes steps to solve that problem.”

And that would be assuming the “cognitive elite” actually have the power to do so – however, judging from our politicians, the ones with the power are hardly “two standard deviations above the mean.”

Oh, by the way, I am those precious “two standard deviations above the mean” you seem to value so much – and a public school teacher.

3schoolkids

July 3rd, 2012
11:48 am

Fulton is surviving due to their Republican representation? Wonder if he’ll still feel this way after the private schools are done siphoning off talent? This is not just Fulton, do a comparison of private school growth to drop in test scores and graduation rates at the public schools in those neighborhoods. I’m not opposed to private schools, just PUBLIC funding of them. Take a look at the decline in graduation rate at Roswell and Centennial High Schools in the time that Blessed Trinity and Fellowship Christian have grown. Call it “brain and brawn” drain and as our legislature helps to make it more affordable for parents to send their kids to private school it will have a major impact on public schools. All those parents screaming about being redistricted out of Roswell High in order to keep the football program intact and in the end, sport scholarships from neighborhood private schools will have the biggest impact there. Maybe they should have been demanding answers as to why their graduation rate was taking a dive? The Republican delegation? Their answer is if you don’t like it then get on their voucher bandwagon.

living in an outdated ed system

July 3rd, 2012
11:58 am

This is what happens when you work in an anachronistic system. It’s unfortunate for the teachers, but the system is broken. What did you expect to happen? Did you expect the teachers to be jumping up for joy and happy about seeing their colleagues get terminated? This is regrettably the natural side effects from failing to fix a broken system.

Digger

July 3rd, 2012
12:02 pm

I get scared every time a teacher spouts how high their IQ is. Take them out of the equation, and the average IQ gets even lower for teachers. Scary.

high school teacher

July 3rd, 2012
12:04 pm

Oh for Pete’s sake, let’s get the facts right:

1) We get two months of summer vacation, not three.
2) We don’t have a 401(k); we have a 403(b).

Now, continue to bash away; just get your facts straight first. Thanks.

William Casey

July 3rd, 2012
12:32 pm

@SOLUTIONS: There you go again….. “The last refuge on the merely average is government employment, and that includes public school teachers.” Upon what basis do you make this generalization? Do you have statistics comparing the IQ’s of teachers and let’s say, real estate professionals? However, given the current lack of public support for education, what you merely assert as historical fact may indeed come to pass. I, too, am a member of the “two standard deviations +” club. (I copied/pasted the quote. The “on” mistake was in the original and I realize that it’s a mere typo. I make them, myself.)

William Casey

July 3rd, 2012
12:40 pm

@JORDAN: I love the phrase “Teacher BeMoaners.” It’s perfectly descriptive.

Jordan Kohanim

July 3rd, 2012
12:47 pm

William Casey– TBM’s for short. ;)

Irisheyes

July 3rd, 2012
12:53 pm

What’s the point of posting this? All we’re going to get when teachers post about how things have changed for the worse in the last decade is that we’re whining, and we should see how tough it is “out in the real world”. Of course, how many of you “out in the real world” have to spend close to $200 of your own money to ensure that you have the materials you need to do your job? How many of you “out in the real world” have to buy your own printer paper, staples, stapler, tape, scissors, etc?

Just asking.

living in an outdated ed system

July 3rd, 2012
12:56 pm

This is how bad Georgia’s public education system is. @Maureen, you chastised me last week for feeling like Georgia did better than Delaware because it got $300M more in Race to the Top funds; however, Georgia is now at risk of losing $33 million of its award, if you saw today’s Education Week article. Georgia has a broken system, period. When we all recognize it’s not about funding but how the $ are used, maybe we can get all stakeholders rowing in the same direction!

high school teacher

July 3rd, 2012
1:19 pm

William Casey, I am two standard deviations above the normal IQ too, and I am a public school teacher as well! Wow! We must be the exception :)

NTLB

July 3rd, 2012
1:36 pm

@MiltonMan–States with REAL teacher unions (not associations) that outrank Georgia’s overall performance: Massachussetts, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut….. to name a few.

Just Sayin'

July 3rd, 2012
1:40 pm

The funny thing is, Solutions and his ilk undermine their own point!
If the teaching profession is full of “mediocre” individuals and ne’er-do-wells who teach because it’s the only thing they can get, then it would seem that Solutions’ tactic of disparaging the profession and demanding they all stop whining and enjoy the cruddy pay and cruddy conditions that worsen each year only reinforces that.
Why would anyone “good” want to go into that sort of profession that Solutions and others seem to portray? How is taking money, prestige, and sanity away from the job, bit by bit, piece by piece, supposed to attract anyone worthwhile to the job? There are a few bad cops out there– lets defund the police department. There are roads that need repaving every six months– lets force the DOT employees to work double-shifts during the summer heat, and chastise them if they complain. You want to know why it’s so hard to find and retain talented teachers? It’s simple, unless they’ve committed to altruism and martyrdom, why should someone talented go into that profession?

Tired

July 3rd, 2012
1:46 pm

Irisheyes, MANY state and local government workers purchase supplies out of their own budget. Social workers end up buying meals for underfed kids and diapers for neglected elderly individuals. Clinic staff and public health nurses end up buying supplies. From what I’ve heard, DFCS case workers are not reimbursed for mileage on their own cars for home visitations. None of these people get gift cards at Christmas. Most clergy are out of pocket. Shall I go on?

I’m not saying teaching is a cushy gig. It’s absolutely not, and it requires significant training and special talent. It’s not compensated well, either. But that doesn’t make it different from many other service professions.

Prof

July 3rd, 2012
2:08 pm

@ Former Educator, July 3, 9:06 am: “As far as furlough days, employees at Georgia State University who earned $25k a year were asked to take 8 furlough days because of budgets.”

Not true. That was in 2008–for one year only–and employees making less than $40K a year were exempt. Higher administration took 12 furlough days, as an “example.”

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
2:08 pm

@Irisheyes: If teaching is no longer worth it for you … GO FIND A NEW JOB.</b) It's what the rest of us do when we're unhappy. Why do you continue avoiding it?

Yes, you'll have to work 12 months per year rather than just 9 and no, private sector jobs don't come with taxpayer-subsidized pension and healthcare benefits for life.

But you'd apparently be happier without all that and there are hundreds of qualified graduates out there willing to replace you.

NTLB

July 3rd, 2012
2:12 pm

Can someone tell which job/profession–besides medical— provides teaching, counseling, and mentoring services to an average of 150-200 individuals multiplied by their parents daily… in addition to receving no pay increase or “annual bonuses” or extra perks?????

As teachers we are still under contract and “on call” even during the 8 weeks of summer, with no time and a half pay either.

Beverly Fraud

July 3rd, 2012
2:23 pm

What the “teachers have it easy” crowd would be wise to consider. Teaching conditions are DIRECTLY related to LEARNING conditions.

If your child’s teacher’s teaching conditions are garbage, what do you think YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING conditions are like? Roses?

Entitlement Society

July 3rd, 2012
2:23 pm

From all of the chatter seen on this blog, it would appear that these teachers DEFINITELY have the spare time to go out and find a part time job. Doesn’t really seem to fit the mold of summers are too busy planning, training, grading, etc. They claim not to have summers off and not a minute to spare, but it sure looks as if they’ve got plenty of time to chat it up on blogs while they’re “on call” as one teacher states. That IS news to me, I didn’t realize that public school teachers were on call during the 8 week summer break. I, too, would complain, if my job required me to be on call for an 8-week vacation. Being on call for a 1-week vacation is bad enough.

Entitlement Society

July 3rd, 2012
2:27 pm

Hey Bev – that’s why we have to fork out the $’s to send them to private school. We realize conditions are horrible and nothing is going to change while our kids are still students, so the only alternative is to eat Ramen noodles and run far far away from the mess that GA has created in its public schools. Unfortunate, but true.

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
2:44 pm

@irisheyes: If you’re unhappy with your teaching job WHY DON’T YOU QUIT AND FIND A NEW LINE OF WORK?

It’s the obvious question that never gets answered on this blog!

In fact, you owe it to parents and the HUNDREDS of qualified graduates out there eager to take your place and enjoy your pay and taxpayer-subsidized benefits. True, you’d have to work 12 months per year in a private sector job rather than just 9 months.

But wouldn’t you be happier? Or is whining to an audience too emotionally rewarding?

Fred in DeKalb

July 3rd, 2012
3:23 pm

Has Fred been banned from the DSW blog simply because he has a different point of view? If so, it says a lot about the objectives of those running that blog. They obviously don’t appreciate differing opinions during a discussion. Facts will always trump speculation.

Sandy Springs Parent

July 3rd, 2012
3:26 pm

Perhaps the reason Fulton county hasn’t made such drastic cuts is because there tax accessors office is not following Chip’s tax bill that says they must use sale prices of all sales for the last year. I bought my house last year for $345,750 from the Estate of a 90 year old. They are trying to say the house is worth $565,000. They have the land cost of my .6 acre lot at $307,000. The lot that abuts my lot from the rear is 2.4 acres and is an area of $1.5 million dollar houses the lot is only valued at $294K. So my lot should only be $75K. The lot next to that one is 3 acres and has a much newer than my 47 year old unrenovated house, which is triple the size the house is valued at $1.4 M and the 3 acres estate lot at $347K.

While looking up what they did on following the law at putting the houses to their actual sale value. I looked up the other houses I looked at and bid on in the Sandy Springs, Ridgeview and Riverwood School Districts. They had only bothered to set one house at the lowered value it had actually sold for. Some of the things the County Tax Accessors office has done is out and out fraud. The house around the corner had been owned by the original owner since 1961, he sold it in a regular sale, he is still living ( I believe he moved to a Retirement Community) for $262K). Several sales around $300K could not get financing for a loan, because the house did not appraise. The house was bought by someone willing to do the cosmetics and the new roof a $7-10K project but a reguirement for an FHA loan as well as a running pool that the old man was not willing to do. The buyer listed the house ownership in an LLC. Fulton County lists the house as the same owner changed his name to an LLC and not a valid transfer, thereby excluding the sale. I spoke to the Agent, my Agent had spoken to the Agent between the numerous offers on this house, it was a regular sale.

A house at the end of the street that is over 3,300 sf was a bank foreclosure. The sale is clearly recorded. It was not on the courthouse steps. It sold in the $250K’s. These are all in the Heards Ferry Elementary. Then Further down in the High Point Elementary. They have a Short sale that is 18 years old correct at $345K sales price. But they have the house next door which was a Freddy Mac Foreclosue listed as though is has a $12K + pool, there is no room in the back yard for a pool. Then they have the price listed as the same as the prior year assesment, ignoring this years sale which was 16K or so lower. Since, then this April, a house at the end of the street with more square footage sold for only $320k.

Even former Real House wife of Atlanta Sheree Whitfield and her mother are being overcharged. They did not lower the price they paid for the lot and house they bought as a Foreclosure. They Paid about $307K for the house and 1 acre. The lot was on the books for around $200K with the house around $417K. The house was torn down by Dec. 30, 2011. Yet Fulton County, didn’t even bother to lower the taxes to what they paid $307, let alone properly to just the land value $200K, since no house existed then. It is well documented on the RHOA shows. It was torn down and an empty lot at that time. It is still just a prartially framed house, maybe 25% done. There seems to be some engineering issues with the roof rafters over the entry foyer.

The only sales they seem to have gotten right are about 20 new homes that have 10+ ceilings and 4,000 sq ft. High End features, that were build on West Belle Isle in 2007 -2010. They were originally priced in the $800K’s. They failed to sell, then they were lowered in price to the $550K price range. They are beautiful luxury homes. If I had $550K I would have bought one. Instead I bought a 47 year old unrenovated old house with 8′ ceilings, pink and green bathrooms, since I only had in the mid $300’s to spend. Yet Fulton County wants to tax $215K over what I paid and violate the law.

My realtor tells me, that many in Sandy Springs and North Fulton County are appealing their taxes. Fulton didn’t follow the rules as to sales. They excluded sales for determining fair market value. Fulton maybe in deep dodo when they have to roll back the assessments in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and the rest of North Fulton. Lets put is this way how can a house you paid $345K for and had big problems even getting it to appraise for that have over $7,400 in Property taxes.

First Fulton, tried to tell me the law expired last year. it did not.

Beverly Fraud

July 3rd, 2012
3:31 pm

@GwinnettParentz,

What you’re not getting is the as the teacher’s TEACHING conditions go, so the child’s LEARNING conditions go.

If there OVERWHELMING SENTIMENT of teaching conditions now is as expressed on this blog (and trust me it IS) what do you think that portends for the child’s LEARNING conditions?

Now if you want to use that as justification to dismantle the public school apparatus, FINE. (Running it through the Large Hadron Collider would be a good place to start)

But even IF you can find “qualified graduates” do you really think they will STAY for this nonsense?

Beverly Fraud

July 3rd, 2012
3:35 pm

If THE overwhelming sentiment that is…

NTLB

July 3rd, 2012
3:38 pm

@GwinnetParentz–No entitled “qualified graduate” wants to put in the extra hours, energy, and work without reaping any entitlement benefits.

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
3:49 pm

@Beverly: It’s not rocket science. If the overabundance of qualified applicants out there are willing to work 9 months per year for 12 months of pay and exceptional benefits—and produce at least as good test results—then let’s do taxpayers, parents and YOU a favor and make the switch.

You can then wait tables and have something REAL to whine about!

CCMST

July 3rd, 2012
4:01 pm

@GwinnettParentz – do you read this blog? You asked about going elsewhere for work and then stated, “It’s the obvious question that never gets answered on this blog!”

I guess you missed the essay Maureen posted from Jordan – you know, the one where she outlined why she was leaving the teaching profession? The one that had over 300 responses?

I guess you miss Fled’s numerous nuggets of advice telling Georgia teachers to “Give up. Throw in the towel. Flee” – and the responses indicating that lots of teachers are doing just that!

You’re missing the important point of what Beverly Fraud and Dr. Trotter regularly remind readers of: You can’t have good LEARNING conditions until you have good TEACHING conditions. You bemoan (wink to Jordan) the quality of the teaching force, and yet act as though anyone wanting a good, safe, professional environment is an ungrateful whiner. Who’s going to sign up for that? Who’s going to stay??

Teachers are leaving – many are the one’s with so-called “real” degrees. They are leaving to work in the so-called “real” world – and seeing pay raises, equivalent or better benefits, and professional work environments. And they are competing with everyone else looking for jobs…that ought to help the economy.

CCMST

July 3rd, 2012
4:02 pm

*ones, not one’s – oops.

Beverly Fraud

July 3rd, 2012
4:10 pm

Yes Gwinnett the teachers can leave; they ARE leaving. But the CHILDREN have to stay. THEY have to remain in the cesspool that has been creating NOT by the teachers, but by the teaching CONDITIONS

What do you say to them?

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
4:17 pm

@CCMST: You stubbornly avoid addressing the facts. There are FAR MORE qualified applicants for teaching jobs than there are positions at this point. So why don’t the whiners just LEAVE and make room for new blood and new ideas?

Why must we put up with their constant whining?

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

July 3rd, 2012
4:26 pm

@ Entitlement Society

From all of the chatter seen on this blog, it would appear that these private sector workers DEFINITELY have the spare time to go out and find a part time job on top of their full time job….it sure looks as if they’ve got plenty of time to chat it up on blogs while they’re “at work.”

BTW, have you looked into finding a “part time summer job” for two months time in this economy? I didn’t take a summer job this year because I figured there were other people out there who needed the income more than I do right now.

@GwinnettParentz “Why must we put up with their constant whining?”

You know, I wonder the same thing, why on an Eudcation Blog, we teachers have to put up with the constant “whining” from folks who have no idea what we do, but just think they do.

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

July 3rd, 2012
4:27 pm

Yes. I mis-typed. Lo siento

Good Mother

July 3rd, 2012
4:42 pm

This is a universal problem, not just a school system problem. The economhy is in the dumps. People lost their jobs and the rest of us holding the remaining jobs are doing twice the work or more and are overstressed and overworked.
When I am sick, there is no substitute employee to fill in for me.It just piles up on top of all the extra work I have to do because others were also laid off permanently.
Dollars for education comes from taxes. When people don’t have jobs, they don’t pay taxes.
So get in line and start complaining to the heads of all those American companies who hire cheap labor overseas. That is the downfall of our economy.

CCMST

July 3rd, 2012
5:11 pm

@GwinnettParentz – you don’t have to put up with the constant “whining” – it’s a free country and you are free to read something else.

It’s funny though. what so many of the be-moaners call “whining” appear to me to be attempts to clarifying the gross misconceptions out there about this job. There are a lot of half-truths flying around out there. I believe you mentioned “healthcare for life.” Pleased elaborate and cite your source, because as far as I knew, teachers were supposed to get Medicare at 65, just like everyone else.

As to your question, “There are FAR MORE qualified applicants for teaching jobs than there are positions at this point. So why don’t the whiners just LEAVE and make room for new blood and new ideas?” my answer is that they ARE leaving – and it’s the more qualified ones that are able to go – the ones with degrees in their subject matter, or the experienced, talented veterans that can take their skills and apply them in new environments. Many who are looking are either inexperienced or were let go for a reason – do you really consider them to be “FAR MORE” qualified? Many also have degrees in over-saturated fields while there are still openings in math, science, foreign language, and special ed, so your assertion rings somewhat false.

GwinnettParentz

July 3rd, 2012
5:17 pm

@CCMST: Goodbye and good riddance. And good luck to them in the real world where salaries only match productivity.

NTLB

July 3rd, 2012
5:47 pm

@GwinnetParentz–WHERE are the qualified teacher that you are talking about candidates AT?

Teacher2

July 3rd, 2012
5:52 pm

GwinnettParentz + Solutions + Good Mother = Blog Troll

Former Educator

July 3rd, 2012
6:25 pm

@Prof 2:08pm: GSU’s own website notes in November 2009: “Therefore, the board approved six mandatory furlough days for faculty and staff. This will affect all 40,000 USG employees, except the lowest paid (annual salary of $23,660 or lower), and is the equivalent of up to a three percent pay cut. These six furlough days will be implemented over the remainder of the FY10 fiscal year, but will, according to Davis, not affect classes or employee retirement plans.”

history teacher

July 3rd, 2012
6:30 pm

@Sam,,,,,,, We are paid for 10 months and they take that and spread it over a 12 month period. I love teaching and I am very fortunate to be in a good system that is fiscally sound(never had a furlough day) in middle Georgia. However it annoys me when I hear the comments about paid summer breaks. Even though I am only paid for ten months I have no free summer vacation. In the two months that I am not being paid for I have being working with students who did not pass the GHSGT, I have completed three days of department chair workshops. In the next month I will revise lesson plans, go to the school and get my room organized because we will be in meetings during preplanning. I also need to go to school and work in the book room (than has no air conditioning) before school starts. I have also responded to about 25 emails and that many phone calls from students with questions over their summer assignments. I also have conferences with parents every time I go to town to any store in our county. Because I am a twenty five year veteran, I have not had a step raise or a cost of living raise in 6 years, my insurance has almost doubled and the State of Georgia decided to no longer their contract with me for my National Board certification. My check is $750 dollars less than it was 6 years ago and I have started working as an adjunct at a local college to make up for the lost wages. I love teaching and I am very fortunate to have a job in a great county, However I really resent people making comments about what teachers do when they have no clue. Come spend some time with us and then no one will talk about those overpaid teachers with paid summer break.

Beverly Fraud

July 3rd, 2012
6:56 pm

Why must we put up with their constant whining?

Easy. Because it’s NOT the “we” who is important. It is the STUDENTS who have to put up with the bad LEARNING conditions, brought about not merely by bad teaching, but mainly by bad teaching CONDITIONS.

If you think the free market is the solution, FINE. Who can blame you? But if that’s the case, blame the SYSTEM not the individual teacher.

It’s not about the teachers; it’s about the STUDENTS.

CCMST

July 3rd, 2012
7:31 pm

@GoodMother – While I appreciate your comments about many places “doing more with less,” please tell me that your statement, “When I am sick, there is no substitute employee to fill in for me” is stating a situation that most people have, and NOT a snide comment alluding to teachers’ needing subs when they are out.

It is NOT easy to prepare for a sub – like many in and out of education, I will go to work if I am slightly under the weather (and not contagious). Luckily for me, I am rarely sick. More often my infrequent absences are planned in advance. I typically arrange for a sub that I know (nothing worse than leaving your room in unknown hands). I leave very detailed plans that fit with our unit, and everything I leave counts and is graded. It’s a lot of work.

Now, please realize – the sub isn’t there for me – the sub is there for the students. And if there should happen to be no sub (which happens pretty frequently at a school like mine), then one of two things happen. One option is to have other teachers take students into their classroom. The other is to have other teachers give up their planning to cover the class (for no extra pay, although in a lot of unionized systems, the teachers are compensated for the extra work). This is an absolute worst-case scenario because no one wants to feel like they’ve put their colleagues in a bad position.

@GwinnetParentz – the above is not a whine – it’s describing a very real situation that occurs in schools. I am letting Good Mother know that just because we can get a sub, it doesn’t mean our work load is lessened…kind of like the real world. And, BTW, when I was in college, I worked at a temp agency over the summer. My most most frequent assignments? Covering for receptionists and secretaries while they were on vacation…sounds kind of like subbing, eh? When I was in high school, and I worked at McDonald’s (my very first job and one I was proud of), I would take extra shifts covering for people who were sicks…kind of like…SUBBING! My point? While it doesn’t work for every job, it’s not unheard of in the “real” world. Unheard of in teaching? Lunch hours, flex time, telecommuting, and going to the bathroom when you want, lol.

Lastly @GwinettParentz – “Goodbye and good riddance.” ?? I’m sure those that are leaving would like to say the same to some of their “parentz.”

And “And good luck to them in the real world where salaries only match productivity.” Most will likely thrive, seeing as how their productivity will be based on their performance, and not that of a whimsical 6 year old or hormonal 14 year old.

Lee

July 3rd, 2012
7:55 pm

“Are school budget cuts leaving teachers overstressed, overburdened, and overwhelmed?”

Probably. Just like shutting down factories and moving them overseas, outsourcing jobs to India, and downsizing everything else has the American worker overstressed, overburdened, and overwhelmed.

It’s tough all over.
—————————-

58 years ago, the government decided to use public schools to enact social policy. They didn’t care about the children who had to ride the bus for hours or attend schools in a hostile environment. They didn’t care about the wishes of the parents or taxpayers.

The government didn’t care in the 70s when they decided to move the mentally disabled student into the same classroom with the regular ed students – costs be damned.

They didn’t care about the taxpayers and law abiding citizens when they decided it would be great fun to educate millions of illegal aliens.

That said, do you think they really care if a teacher misses a few days pay because of furloughs or that they have a few more students in class?

Nope, I didn’t think so either….

crankee-yankee

July 3rd, 2012
8:00 pm

Just Sayin’
July 3rd, 2012
1:40 pm

You have to forgive SOLUTIONS. Engineers have been trained in a field that requires stringent adherence to the parameters they work within. They are a rare breed, I know, I was so trained at RPI. With as many restrictions as they have to operate under it is easy to understand the mindset that there is a best way to do something, and in many cases, that is true, when is comes to inanimate or non-thinking machines/structures. What they can have a hard time dealing with is the human factor, which is what education is all about.

Prof

July 3rd, 2012
9:19 pm

@ Former Educator. Both of us are right, and both of us are wrong about GSU furlough days in 2010.

You are right about the exemption of employees with salaries under $23K a year. But I am right about the number of furlough days. GSU had 8 in 2010, not 6 as the Regents decreed.

As GSU’s website stated on Nov. 2009: “Eight is a larger number of furlough days than the Regents mandated. Why do GSU employees have to take two additional furlough days? The University decided to take additional furlough days to help meet its targeted budget reduction in order to minimize the impact of services to students and to minimize the number of reductions in force.”

More plainly, President Becker decided to give everyone more furlough days (and himself and the other higher administration even more than eight) because he didn’t want to fire any staff members… 155 is the number I remember.

I’m going into all this to point out that the administrators ALSO took furlough days (12!), unlike the public K-12 schools. It did wonders for GSU morale.

bootney farnsworth

July 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

stop feeding the damn troll!

Anonmom

July 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

Where are the forensic audits looking to see what has happened to all the money? Who is looking at hte money being wasted in administratve costs? The worst thing that has recently happened to GA education is the doing away with Gov. Barnes’ size caps — that forced dollars into the clasrooms and out of administration. The bloat and corruption is still there — the systems are taking it out on the teachers and the classroom becuse they don’t have a loud enough, and strong enough voice — I really believe that the money is in the bloat and the money that has “walked” trough corruption (at least in DCSS) and the lack of any checks and balances is to blame. Who wants a child in a classroom with teachers who are being so crunched? I really don’t blame the teachers. I’m a professional. I get to go to the doctor and the bathroom and lunch whenever I want … they don’t. They have no control over the kids who land in their class and then are told that their careers hinge on the “outcomes” they achieve by year end — even though they can’t boot the kid out if there are behaviour problems or if they are 3 or 4 years behind when they start and then to make it all worse — they have no budget for supplies or training; no control over curriculum and classe stuffed to the max. The best teachers in the world are going to have trouble under these conditions.

Anonmom

July 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

and just to reiterate — I think we are going to really pay as a society as these kids, who are not able to learn and who do not gain any skills with which to find employment ultimately wind up on the streets and in jail — aren’t they allowing Imans and such in the jails to work with them (okay not politically correct but I believe true) — and on welfare — take a look at France and at Scandanavia — what happens when tens of thousands of these kids become all grown up and have no place to go but jail and welfare. Now, add to that a component of conversions ala some of the countries in Europe and the Middle East…. What have we then? Wouldn’t it make so much more sense to change this failing system altogether and get these kids skills and an education so they come out employable — either at 15 or 22 depending on skills and interest and ability.

Anonmom

July 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

Think about these comments in light of July 4th — We are a nation that was founded with liberty and justice for all and the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. States rights. It was not about a strong federal government. Liberty. Freddom. Independence. Where, exactly, are we going to be in 20 years? We’ve surrendered so much over the past 15 years and much more of our liberty is on the chopping block. Take a look at life under the Soviet Union. Listen to the guy’s story who just fled China. Talk to someone whose family fled Cuba or Nazi Germany — they are alive and around today. Life as an American is something awesome and worth protecting. It’s special here. At least it has been.

bootney farnsworth

July 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

@ Anonmom

I’m still waiting for somebody somewhere (cue AJC, cue GBI) to do the math and figure out what we all know. the whole system is broken- statewide. the odds against almost every system in the state being in trouble at one time is incredible.

Fred in DeKalb

July 3rd, 2012
9:53 pm

Amen Anonmom! I tried pointing our similar concerns on DSW and was told that point of view was not welcome. We should focus more on workable solutions rather than merely whining and making accusations, especially when one does not understand the many complicated laws behind education.

Tax Payer and Teacher

July 3rd, 2012
10:22 pm

@Solutions and GwinnettParentz-Many of us came from corporate (The Real World) to make a difference. Well now that we’ve made a difference and haven’t received compensation, we’re going back to corporate so that we can make a difference by paying our mortgages on time. What you don’t understand is that we have degrees in technology, engineering and business as well. Although we enjoy teaching, with my degrees and skill set I can easily transition to the real world as a corporate trainer. I have knowledge and experience in the following areas and software: (Adobe Suite) Visio, MS Project, Microsoft Office Suite along with Business Analysis, Presentation Preparation and Delivery, Charting and Documenting Web Architecture, Database Building, Proposal Writing and Technical Writing. So, don’t get it twisted, I can find another job. Teaching is a career and I intend to continue to teach but at the rate these cuts are going, I think it’s time I put my resume out on Career Builder and Computerjobs. com. And to further emphasize the point, many of my colleagues are either looking or have found other jobs and will not be returning next school year. So, there will be plenty of openings for your new teacher employees. They won’t last a semester. By the time those off the wall urban dwellers get through calling them everything but a child of God, they will be out of the door, running and never looking back. I have heard stories of subs so distraught they left the class in the middle of the day. Oh, but that’s a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door Solutions! You can be the parent on call and substitute when all of the GREAT teachers have returned to Corporate America!

Good Mother

July 4th, 2012
7:36 am

Nwga says “Many of the teachers I know would like to leave the profession. Working conditions are ridiculous.”
Seriously, then WHY are they still in the profession?
My educated guess is that because they can find no other job that pays them as much and offers them as much benefits and time off work.
Many teachers think private schools are so much better becuse the quality of the student is better …but…
over and again it is proven that private school teachers make less salary and have less benefits, even at expensive private schools.
Teachers vote with their feet.
If their feet stay in the public school, it is because they CHOSE to stay. No one is forcing a teacher to stay a teacher.
If you don’t like teaching — leave. It’s best for everyone, especially the kids.

Good Mother

July 4th, 2012
7:40 am

Anonmom says “I get to go to the doctor and the bathroom and lunch whenever I want … they don’t.”
Uh. I don’t.
I don’t know what kind of dream job you have but at my office I get to take my unpaid vacation whenever the client allows me to — it’s up to his schedule, not my choice and I don’t have all Summer, two weeks at XMAS, a week of t-giVING AND other times off work to schedule appointments — and I’m AWORKING on a holiday today, the fourth of july.

Teacher2

July 4th, 2012
7:41 am

@Tax Payer and Teacher

Solutions has no intentions of ever being informed on the educational issues by entering a actual classroom. He probably believes that becoming a teacher would be beneath him. It also seems that he would prefer for GREAT teachers to leave the classroom, likely to prove his warped ideology and the “failings” of public schools.

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

July 4th, 2012
5:46 pm

@GM “Seriously, then WHY are they still in the profession?
My educated guess is that because they can find no other job that pays them as much and offers them as much benefits and time off work.”

Actually, the good ones can quite easily find jobs that pay them much more – but for teacher with young children, the hours are very helpful, so you may be right about some teachers, but you are completely wrong about why I stay, and why many of the teachers I work with stay…. we stay because the reasons we chose this field as just as valid now as when we started. In fact, thanks to the ever increasing focus on testing and data, those reasons have become even MORE important. We chose teaching as a profession because we wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of children. We wanted to nurture the future. We believe in making the world a better place for every child and helping them reach their full potential.

The problem is, that positive change in the lives of our students is starting to take a back seat to all the other crap we are having to do which is eating up more and more of our time. And it won’t matter if we leave – any teacher who replaces us is going to have the same difficulties. It is not that we don’t like “teaching” – we LOVE teaching – but these days, the majority of what I do has nothing to do with true “teaching” and everything to do with jumping through meaningless, ever more burdensome hoops in order to appease some paper pusher, profiteer, bean counter or snake oil salesman!

I stay for the children. I also stay because I have invested years learning my craft, and I am dang good at it. Seems a shame to throw that away…but it gets more tempting every year.

Archie

July 4th, 2012
8:03 pm

@The Midsouth Philosopher: Interesting observation! Here’s one by a science fiction writer who made his transition from this earthly plane, recently. It goes like this: “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them.” -Ray Bradbury

bilbo799

July 4th, 2012
9:19 pm

Some of these comments have gotten a little bit off topic. The blog post asks whether teachers are overstressed, overburdened, and overwhelmed. The question is framed in relativist terms — to be overstressed, for example, a teacher must be stressed beyond the norm.
My thought is that teachers are no more stressed, burdened, or overwhelmed than any other profession. There are plenty of more and less demanding jobs. There are also plenty of other professions that offer fair and unfair compensation. I find absolutely nothing remarkable about how stressed, burdened, or overwhelmed teachers are relative to other people. Prove me wrong.

Jordan Kohanim

July 5th, 2012
9:05 am

How exactly does one “prove” or “disprove” against a relativist term? I think the question is meant to evoke response, which it has gotten. One can not “prove” such theories and subjectivity.

One can, however, measure the impact. The impact in this scenario as that teacher morale is at the lowest it has been in decades, the economic crisis has hit teachers harder than any other level of educational occupation, and that students’ learning environments are thus impacted. I guess the questions that needs to be answered (not “proved,” ) is what is the lasting impact of all of the reforms? Forcing classrooms to become the place a panicked budget-cuts and mind-numbing data-gathering will affect the students.

another aps teacher

July 7th, 2012
11:07 am

Solutions: Such hate and nastiness! Who peed in your soup, for you to have such a poor attitude about teachers? Most career teachers are called to teach. We do it because it is who we are. Notice I didn’t say career educators, I said career teachers. Some of us actually enjoy being in the school building with the children. Yes, it is a difficult job, even when you have lovely working conditions like a building that doesn’t leak, has the same indoor climate controlled temperature throughout, enough toilet tissue for the students and the teachers, an on site clinic for the on site nurse, and a budget that allows for essential classroom supplies like board paper, dry erase markers, and bulletin board bordette. Oh, I forgot: enough computers for your class load, ink cartridges, copy and printer paper, file folders for student portfolios, desks and chairs, overhead transparencies, and vis a vis markers. When budgets are cut and we get more students we generally don’t have enough supplies to meet the needs of all of our students. And believe me, our k-12 students are not like your college students, especially your immigrant college students. Your students are much more motivated, much more grateful for their opportunities, and much more prepared. That’s okay, we signed up for our clientele and we should be prepared for them when they arrive even if they are three-four grades below level, were born addicted to crack, are the children of active addicts, have MAJOR health, behavior and psychological issues (and sometimes psychiatric) and their parents will not take them to get evaluated or will not keep their prescriptions filled, and they don’t have winter coats. If you work on the southern end of APS you get to deal with this, in addition to having a building that leaks, has mold, an antiquated HVAC system, runs out of toilet tissue on the regular, has no supplies, AND the state cuts your budget to the point where your class load goes from 22 to 30 of these babies. That’s 32 additional children with no additional resources. I think any one who wants to do a good job would be concerned about having to educate children under these conditions.

Another point or two: I have a Master’s from Georgia Tech. And if I worked 250 days instead of 191 my salary would be $21,000+ higher.

Lovestoteach

July 8th, 2012
6:38 am

Everyone’s hurting these days. I’m a teacher and I’m not going to complain. What good will it do? The fact is that I feel fortunate compared to what my students and their families are facing.

Hey, don’t pick on teachers — pick on whiners, whatever their profession!

Good Mother

July 8th, 2012
11:48 am

Best COmment all year goes to Lovestoteach “Hey, don’t pick on teachers — pick on whiners, whatever their profession!”
AMEN!

MB

July 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

Keep an eye on the State Education Finance Study Commission to see how education funding will be moving in Georgia (The DOE site isn’t updated, but gives some insight into the process.) http://www.gadoe.org/Finance-and-Business-Operations/Financial-Review/Pages/State-Education-Finance-Study-Commission.aspx

Their subcommittee meetings are public; try to attend at least one – and prepare to be amazed!

N. GA Teacher

July 9th, 2012
12:39 am

I never cease to be amazed at the non-teacher bloggers who have no sympathy or even hostility towards teachers. I am a teacher and if I were to read a blog about accountants, engineers, doctors, or corporate managers I would take the experienced word of the workers. One of the great opportunities nonteachers have is to spend time as substitute teachers, parent volunteers or just observers in classrooms. I would hope that the other professions would welcome us into their boardrooms, clinics or client meetings (but I doubt it) so we can understand how tough THEIR days are. One aspect of teaching, I think, that is not mirrored by the other professions, is that working conditions have very much changed since the baby boomers were in K-12, as mentioned by another blogger on this page. I think most other professions will say that working conditions/situations have improved for them, but talk with almost any teacher with over 20 years experience and you will find tht is not usually the case for teachers.

Fed Up Teacher

July 9th, 2012
10:47 am

Here is the biggest problem I see. Instead of working together as members of a state that needs to fix it’s education system, we are sitting here, sniping at each other, not coming up with solutions, demanding that more is done by our local and state leaders, etc. Most of the identified teachers on this blog are trying to make a difference by telling you what the issues are. What about the rest of you? The ones who call us whiners. Instead of talking crap, come and help us do something about it. Teachers who look like they are just complaining. Have you asked more of GAE, PAGE, and the like? I am sure you have. It would be stupid not to.

I am a teacher, a proud one at that, who has been laid off twice due to budget cuts, suffered severe health issues due to working conditions, been ridiculed, but has also come to love their students, see positive changes in the few that I have been able to teach, and has 12, count them, 12 certifications and a Master’s degree.

My main subject is Social Studies, and I have taught my students to make a difference when they see injustice, not to just sit there and complain. I have tried to do that, and it has cost me my job. We need to work together, teachers and non-teachers, to help our children in this state. I am proud to come from the public school system of Georgia. My school system did not have a lot of money. I had wonderful teachers who tried and still are trying, who influenced some of my classmates to return to those schools as teachers, who have helped make me who I am. I cannot give up on a system that I was a product of. I can try to fix it so that all students have good experience and get a fair shot.

Quit the negative rhetoric. Quit the hate speech. We should be marching on the Capitol. We should demand more. Enough!!!

Fed Up Teacher

July 9th, 2012
10:49 am

P.S. I am a fed up teacher because I am fed up with the teachers and students are being undermined, cheated, abused, etc. by lawmakers and other leaders in this state. I will not abandon this ship though. I have been called to be a teacher, and I will not let go of that call.