National survey: Both teacher and principal satisfaction down and stress up

downeyart0726 (Medium)MetLife released its annual survey of teachers and principals. It will be no surprise to readers of this blog that both groups of educators report lower job satisfaction and increased levels of stress.

From MetLife:

As major changes in education loom and cuts in many public school budgets continue, the job of running the nation’s schools has become more complex, challenging, and stressful, the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership (2012) reveals.

School leaders today say that key responsibilities are challenging, particularly those schools alone cannot address. The challenges include balancing budgets — more than half of both teachers (56 percent) and principals (53 percent) report that their school’s budget has decreased in the last 12 months — and addressing the growing needs of diverse learners and their families.

Many principals say their jobs have changed over the last five years (69 percent say the responsibilities are not very similar) and 75 percent say their jobs have become too complex. Principals also report high levels of stress and limited control over key academic functions in their schools. About half of all principals (48 percent) and teachers (51 percent) report that they feel under great stress in their job at least several days a week.

Meanwhile, nine in ten principals (89 percent) say they are accountable for everything that happens to the children in their schools, but fewer principals say they have a great deal of control over key school-based functions, including the curriculum and instruction in their schools (42 percent) and making decisions about removing teachers (43 percent).

The survey — the 29th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive1 — examines the views of teachers and principals on the responsibilities and challenges facing school leaders, including the changing roles of principals and teachers, budget and resources, professional satisfaction, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for college and career readiness.

Teacher Job Satisfaction Continues to Drop to Lowest Level in 25 Years

The report reveals that teacher job satisfaction has continued to drop significantly. Teacher satisfaction has declined 23 percentage points since 2008, from 62 percent to 39 percent very satisfied, including a drop of 5 percentage points in the last 12 months—the lowest level reported since 1987.

The survey was conducted by telephone among 1,000 U.S. K-12 public school teachers and 500 public school principals in October and November, 2012.

Principal job satisfaction is also on the decline, but at not as steep a rate as teacher satisfaction. Fifty-nine percent of principals say they are very satisfied with their jobs, compared to 68 percent in 2008. The decrease, however, marks the lowest point in principal job satisfaction in more than a decade.

“The survey’s findings underscore the responsibilities and challenges educators must address to ensure America’s young people are prepared to compete and collaborate in the global economy,” said Dennis White, vice president of corporate contributions for MetLife. “We hope the findings of this survey will help us all pose and address questions about school leadership that can turn challenges into opportunities for better student achievement.”

Educators Confident about Implementing Common Core but Unsure of Impact

While national experts on teaching, standards, and leadership interviewed for the design of the study have raised significant concerns about the readiness and capacity of schools to implement the Common Core State Standards, a majority of teachers (62 percent) and nearly half of principals (46 percent) report teachers in their schools  already are using the Common Core a great deal in their teaching this year. Most principals (90 percent) and teachers (93 percent) are confident or very confident that teachers in their schools already have the academic abilities and skills needed to implement these new, rigorous standards.

Those confidence levels have limits, however. Teachers and principals are more likely to be very confident that teachers have the ability to implement the Common Core (53 percent of teachers; 38 percent of principals) than they are very confident that the Common Core will improve the achievement of students (17 percent of teachers; 22 percent of principals) or better prepare students for college and the workforce (20 percent of teachers; 24 percent of principals).

Other Key Findings

• Teachers are leaders, too: Even with these significant challenges, teachers are engaging in school leadership and looking for opportunities to serve in other capacities. Half of teachers (51 percent) have a leadership role in their school, such as department chair, instructional resource, teacher mentor, or leadership team member. Fifty-one percent of teachers also say they are at least somewhat interested in teaching in the classroom part-time combined with other roles or responsibilities in their school or district, including 23 percent who are extremely or very interested in this option.

• Factors whose origins are beyond school control represent the most significant challenges: Three quarters of teachers and principals or more say that it is challenging or very challenging for school leadership to manage budgets and resources to meet school needs (86 percent of teachers; 78 percent of principals, address the individual needs of diverse learners (78 percent of teachers; 83 percent of principals), and engage parents and the community in improving the education of students (73 percent of teachers; 72 percent of principals).

• Time for collaboration and professional learning remains limited: More than six in ten teachers say that time to collaborate with other teachers (65 percent) and professional development opportunities (63 percent) have either decreased or stayed the same during the past 12 months. The decreases in professional development have a sizable relationship to a school’s financial condition: Teachers who report that their school’s budget has decreased in the past 12 months are three times as likely as others to report that there have been decreases in time to collaborate with other teachers (35 percent vs. 11 percent) and in professional development opportunities (27 percent vs. 8 percent).

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

81 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2013
9:14 am

Cue the complaints about whining teachers in 3. . .2. . . 1. . .

Mom to Many

February 22nd, 2013
9:28 am

I’d like to know if the teachers on this blog support SB 167 introduced to stop Common Core implementation in Georgia…


February 22nd, 2013
9:28 am

By all means lets give these stressed-out educators guns to carry in the classroom.


February 22nd, 2013
9:34 am


What has been heard on the House Bill that requires retiring teachers to pay 100% of their insurance costs? THAT is where I get an itchy trigger finger!

My goodness...

February 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

Hate to sound like a jerk but…every white collar/professional job is subject to the same thing. Everyone is overloaded and working dawn to dusk, every business is making their workers do more with less, everybody is stressed out.Teacher and principals are absolutely no different.

(the other) Rodney

February 22nd, 2013
9:53 am

@My goodness … agreed – it’s just finally hitting them. The rest of us have had to deal with it for years without having extended (read, greater than 2 weeks) off.

Nobody is saying the job isn’t hard, it isn’t stressful, or they don’t feel well compensated – but we all feel that way, and have for many years.

Google "NEA" and "union"

February 22nd, 2013
9:54 am

And yet there remain far, far more qualified applicants than there are teaching positions.

What those applicants know is that: 1) all jobs come with stress; 2) some in the education community will pretend otherwise as a strategy to ward off reforms; 3) that teachers’ unions especially find such exaggerations useful in protecting nationwide dues revenues.

And that absolutely NO other line of work provides 12 months of pay and generous lifetime benefits in return for just 9 months of labor.

William Casey

February 22nd, 2013
10:11 am

@GOOGLE: “And yet there remain far, far more qualified applicants than there are teaching positions.” This depends on how one defines “QUALIFIED.” I retired in 2006. There was a steep decline inthe quality of teachers hired during my last ten years. And, I taught at the “steller” North Fulton Chattahoochee and Northview high schools. I can only imagine what it is like elsewhere.

@GOOGLE again. “And that absolutely NO other line of work provides 12 months of pay and generous lifetime benefits in return for just 9 months of labor.” This is not only tiresome, it’s silly.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
10:15 am

jobs have become too complex

That rings true. Due to having local bureaucrats piling on make-work duties specified by national communists using political interference to dumb down and disable the populace.

Google "NEA" and "union"

February 22nd, 2013
10:16 am

The average parent also knows from experience that there is no more turnover at the typical neighborhood school than at area businesses.

… Despite empty threats by “teachers” on this blog that they will be resigning in frustration “any day now.”

An overcompensated teacher

February 22nd, 2013
10:17 am

@ Google
I don’t know any teacher that gets paid for 12 months and only works 9 months. I know plenty of teachers who work for 10 months, and their pay is prorated for 12 months. And those “lifetime” benefits don’t exsist. We pay into our retirement system, just like you pay into social security. We continue to pay our own medical insurance as well. Teachers know everyone has stress, but you don’t have the public blaming you for all the ills of society either. Don’t know what I’m talking about…read back though comments on this blog every time an article like this is published.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
10:18 am

Irisheyes, 120 years ago in “America,” there were many not too kind comments regarding the Irish. Perhaps you seek you reawaken the mythology. Do you still believe in spirits running around under the soil?

Rural High School Teacher & Parent

February 22nd, 2013
10:21 am

Public school teachers in Georgia are paid for 10 months of work, maximum. Our pay is divided into 12 equal monthly installments. It is easier for local governments to distribute our pay in this manner. Check this information out with the original QBE Act – teacher salaries were formulated by averaging beginning salaries for all college graduates (except for engineers), converting them to a daily rate of pay, and applying them to the state teacher salary schedule.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
10:24 am

My goodness, It is a little different for teachers though in that there are about 20 intricate “must follow the law” processes going on. Yes, many are suffering long hours, low pay, nowhere to go, and hard times, agreed. And let’s not forget when the stock market dropped 50% circa 2007 (?) and many lost half their wealth. But the difference in “regular jobs,” and I’ve working many of them from retail to phones to cleaning out ship bilge, is that right now teachers are overloaded with intricate attention-needy processes with numbing quantities of rules and requirements that seemingly can not ever be fully met. These come from local districts, the state, and the federal and it seems like no one is managing the overall throughput of requirements. And then the ready-recourse from the lower managers is to threaten teachers, give moderate / crummy work reviews after teacher has performed profound levels of service and dedication and many are spending their own money for supplies to just keep their head above water (aka “not drowning) to get the job done. It is not a “Oh good Lord, everybody works” generalization.


February 22nd, 2013
10:29 am

Actually, Private Citizen, like many of your assumptions on this blog, that is untrue. My internet handle does not bear any resemblance to my ethnic make-up. But, you just keep believing those stereotypes. Did we travel back in time 150 years, and I didn’t realize it?

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
10:33 am

My teacher pay tax return from last year was well under $40k, and that’s with years of service and pretty solid not-basic credentials. After taxes and such, my take home pay was about $600. per week and out of this I spent maybe $2,000. for supply materials during the school year. I routinely left home when it was dark outside (morning) and go home after is was dark outside (evening), being indoors the entire day. I generally worked weekends at home, at least a full days work split between Saturday and Sunday and routinely went to bed early during the week and got up at 4 AM and then 3AM to prepare for my day (usually making materials to use for teaching the students) before arriving at work to a time clock-in at 7 AM. If I was 5 minutes late more than once, I receive reprimand letter that goes in my permanent personnel file. After school attendance / work requirements include: choir performance, team sports game, multiple PTA meetings, parent conferences, trainings and faculty meetings after-school, science fair, open house. Each of these is required attendance and not optional, which is how one ends up arriving home at 8 PM many days of the year. Typically on a regular day, I would be in the building from 7 AM until 5 PM, however my lesson preparation was done at home, usually adding at least 2 hours per day.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
10:35 am

Irish, nice to see you wake up. I was just providing a return-jab to your generalisation to marginalise teacher work, and hell if I know why you do it. Why don’t you go pick on the cashier at the dollar store.

(the other) Rodney

February 22nd, 2013
10:44 am

My own salary is a yearly total averaged out over 12 months. As is every other salaried worker in the world. Only hourly associates would have a pay-for-hours-worked situation.

And I dare you to find one private sector worker with a comparable salary who isn’t inundated with must-follow-the-law practices. I’m in insurance (data analysis, not selling it) and I can assure you I have as many, if not more.

And yet – my employer only allows me vacation at a max of two weeks at a time. One extra day at Thanksgiving, and one day (either before, or after, Christmas), and the standard National Monday off holidays. So you’ll understand why the rest of the world doesn’t buy that it’s so difficult having extended holiday and summer time away from work.

Again – NOBODY says teaching isn’t a difficult, stressful, wear-you-the-heck-out job. I consider my own success to be a product of a few teachers who really impacted me. We just all have the same stress and concerns, without any of the extended benefits.

Disclaimer: my mother was, and my cousin is currently, a teacher so I don’t speak from assumptions or without any experience. And I’ve said to my cousin many times when having this discussion “deal with it. It ain’t what you thought it was going to be, it ain’t going to change, so either deal with it or make a change yourself.”

Dr. Monica Henson

February 22nd, 2013
10:50 am

@GOOGLE again. “And that absolutely NO other line of work provides 12 months of pay and generous lifetime benefits in return for just 9 [actually 10] months of labor.”

“This is not only tiresome, it’s silly.”

Actually, it’s TRUE. And what is tiresome is the constant barrage of complaining from those who continue to work in the system they find so oppressive.

Google "NEA" and "union"

February 22nd, 2013
10:52 am

@Private Citizen: I don’t believe your claims. None of them. And if any real teachers actually read this blog they’re rolling their eyes at your typically silly exaggerations.

And wondering at all the free time you seem to have.

V for Vendetta

February 22nd, 2013
10:54 am

Sheesh. The salary arguments are getting tiresome.

Every job has its ups and downs. I’ve worked in the “real world,” too. I can safely say that I spend far, FAR more time working outside of normal hours as a teacher than I ever did back then. But it’s not about the money. I don’t mind the pay; I think it’s adequate when the breaks are factored in. What bothers me are the parents and students who want to abdicate all personal responsibility for their actions (or inaction) and foist them all on teachers and schools. That’s what bothers me.

Looking for the truth

February 22nd, 2013
11:42 am

For all those who say teachers work 9-10 months but get paid for 12, I say the ten weeks most teachers get in the summer (out of which comes professional/staff development, etc.) is comp time for all the days we work from 7 am to 9 pm with no hope of overtime or comp time within the school year.

People who think summers off are cool have never sat through a week-long staff development of mind-numbing powerpoints. Great way to spend a “vacation”, don’t you think?

Let’s put the jobs of the people who are always write the worst about teachers under a constant media and political spotlight. Then, maybe they will understand.

Dr. Proud Black Man

February 22nd, 2013
12:07 pm

” What bothers me are the parents and students who want to abdicate all personal responsibility for their actions (or inaction) and foist them all on teachers and schools. That’s what bothers me.”

That’s about it.

10:10 am

February 22nd, 2013
12:09 pm

One thing dependable in life is that there will always be those unhappy in their work.

Teaching seems to be somewhat unique in its tolerance of those within its ranks—who complain but refuse to move on to more suitable work. Assuming, of course, that the complainers we so regularly hear from are actually teachers.

And frankly, isn’t it time to cease with the wild exaggerations regarding hours worked, the “cruel” staff meetings and the personal money supposedly spent on school supplies?

The rest of us are tired of rolling our eyes!

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
12:54 pm

My experience is being head numb by time “summer” comes around. It’s a little off-the-feet recovery time. It’s like you have to just do nothing and rest for two weeks before you can even think of anything else. Then slowly… arrives the urge to Read a New book? Or maybe a novel. Let’s not forget when school system change up the calendar and end the year late and start the new year early. Or the real prize, when a school is re-purposed or re-themed and staff has to attend a bunch of training during the summer. Any time you see a news release about a new program, and in particular, recent announcements about “STEM” programs (emphasis on “science, technology, math”) that means the faculty of those schools must do weeks of training during the summer, getting up to speed on official methods of “the new thing.” Means sitting for hours and hours receiving computer presentations with projector, and then off to the computer lab for some disorganised mayhem led by someone who seems to have just learned what they are doing. (Pardon if I sound cynical).

In private schools and private universities, when school is out, people are on their own time up until the minute when school begins again. They can go on vacation or cross the country, or take their bike trip, or go to Spain, or do their thing. Public schools do not have this same sense of crisp boundaries, like when it becomes standard operating procedure every week to get an email on Sunday telling you the things you are expected to be prepared for on Monday, meaning you work on Sunday after noons or evenings. And this just slips into “how things are done” and is made a regular thing. Checking your email is required and is a part of “accountability.”

sneak peak into education

February 22nd, 2013
12:56 pm

@Dr. Monica Henson-so, you are saying that it’s true that teachers get paid for 12 months of work but only actually work for 9? Wow! When I was a teacher I remember only being compensated for the months I worked but it was pro-rated over the 12 months. Does the school you oversee actually pay the teachers for 12 months of work but they only work for 9? Teachers must be lining out the door to work there if that is the case.

I don’t think that teachers are complaining; I think they are stating FACTS about the nature of the work. Most teachers love being in the classroom with their students and will acknowledge that they didn’t go into teaching to get rich. However, the constant attacks from people who don’t know what the daily life of a teacher entails are pretty tiresome. Dr. Henson, you are agreeing/ supporting a blogger who comes onto this blog to do one thing and one thing only – rile teachers by vilifying them with mindless attacks. His/her constant rants about unions is also pretty tiresome because at the end of the day they can’t argue with the fact that the states that do have unionized teachers outperform those states that make being in a union illegal. The constant attack on teachers is tiresome and as an administrator, I would expect you to show support and understanding for the work teachers do, which not only pertains to the child’s learning experience but encompasses that of a psychologist, social worker, data analyst, multi-tasker, peace-keeper, etc… Teaching is hard and often times thankless work but please acknowledge that they do work long, unpaid hours and often times spend hundreds, if not thousands, on their own supplies. All this while, they are furloughed and have not received any wage rise for as least the past 5 years. That is the acknowledgement teacher want to hear from their leaders; not stop whining, be thankful for your lot, shut up and get back to teaching for the test.

I have worked in both private industry and in public schools and can truly say that working as a teacher was the most demanding job I have ever done. When you read these blogs, many teachers who have transferred from the private sector will almost always tell you that teaching is far more difficult than working in the private sector.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
12:57 pm

And in the summer, no one has an extra dime to go anywhere or travel. No extra money, nuthin’. Maybe time to order some brake parts and maintain the car.

Retired Teacher

February 22nd, 2013
1:04 pm

I retired at 25 years last year and now handle claims for an insurance company. While I agree that all jobs do have some type of stress, there is NO comparison to the level of stress I had as a teacher and what I have now. As a teacher, I had about 11 minutes for lunch and a restroom break. Now I have an hour and I can actually leave without having to check out with a secretary. My blood pressure has returned to normal levels and I swear that my hair is not turning grey as fast. I now go home and can enjoy my time with family and friends in the evenings and on weekends. No more grading and no more parent-teacher conferences held on aisle 3 of the local grocery store. It’s nice having a boss that actually respects me as a person and treats me as an adult.

Do I miss teaching? Yes. But truth be told, teaching has changed in the last 10 years. The duties piled on by educrats and politicians have made the process of educating children a secondary duty in the education biz.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
1:04 pm

10:10, You just like to hang around teacher discussions and throw darts and stuff? Why don’t you get involved? With the amount of master teachers leaving the profession, surely there is room for you. Do you have a college degree? (rhetorical question, not requiring answer). Enrol in a university teacher training program and get your first dose of officialdom. With your keen critical sense, you’d sure have something else to say then, once you got dosed with the beginnings of indoctrination, much less enduring years of this power-posing and being told what to do ad-infinitum. Ahhh and then after your schooling, you find out what is in the school house is completely different from what is the jargon in the college. But the college doesn’t want to talk about that and neither does the school system, ahem “Board of Education” and their macabre collection of compensated enactors.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
1:17 pm

I have recently had thoughts that high schoolers who wish to do so should be taught about air compressors and saws and hydraulics and concrete and nail-guns (there’s about 15 different kinds) and how to apply these.

Allow me to post a video I recently discovered from some woodshop super-nerd from Canada. I was completely stunned by his combination of applied physics and use of tools. Everything that he does he backs up with the physics reason why it is occurring, and then using this knowledge as he modifies / changes what the object does. He obviously has received a completely different schooling than what “Race to the Top” specifies. Dude is a friggin’ monster, if you have the patience to watch the video:

Georgia and education not compatible

February 22nd, 2013
1:20 pm

@ Private citizen your 12:54 comment was 100% accurate. This is the real world of an educator. We work for free during the time that we are supposed to be off. When do all of you think teachers got trained on Common Core? During the summer…

How many of you are willing to work for free?

I’ve worked in other occupations therefore, I know the norm. Consequently, I’m equipping myself with new training for a new occupation.

For those that think I’m complaining, I’m not but I am creating an exit strategy.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
1:37 pm

If this guy came to be a teacher in Georgia, he’d be harassed and discarded. Sounds flippant, but it is pretty serious situation, the required mono-culture. As someone has said, the required priorities now are something besides teaching, it’s all about feeding the fire breathing authority dragon.

Georgia and education not compatible, thanks. And as an afterthought, my post is in accord with your posting name. How long until we get snorkels to go with the mode? This treading water to keep head above water, keep from drowning, is tiring. What broke me was delivering the good results and in return getting a harumph and a snarl. My exit strategy was to exit. Simple, that. Like the Nike ad, Just Do It.

long time educator

February 22nd, 2013
2:20 pm

I think it is interesting that all my friends who have retired the last few years are still having to go back to 2008 to get their highest year of pay. Certainly that factors into job satisfaction. I was an administrator for 8 years and was glad to leave the position to retire and work part-time. Educators are public servants and I doubt if any public servants have had it stress free during the last few years. Our whole society is on edge and ready to fight or sue. Everything is somebody else’s fault, including their kids’ behavior and lack of academic progress. Regular folks are losing jobs and homes and are stressed and worried before they ever show up at the school to discuss a problem. I just finally decided there wasn’t enough money to pay me to put in the unbelievably long hours and be forced to listen to the unreasonable demands of some of my parent clients. There were also unreasonable demands coming from the district and state level, with very little of it dealing with what was best for children. I love students, so I am back in a niche where I work with children all day without the stress of a homeroom. I have loved working in education, but I would NOT advise anyone to become a teacher in this climate. There are too many other ways to make a living and still have a life.

Beverly Fraud

February 22nd, 2013
2:25 pm

Ok, let’s see if we understand this: because working conditions in other fields are absolute garbage, we should be totally ok with teaching conditions being absolute garbage?

Maybe the people suggesting teachers take a hike should remember one thing: The teachers can take a hike but the children are hostages and for them you cannot have good learning conditions until you have good teaching conditions.

long time educator

February 22nd, 2013
2:31 pm

One last comment, to teachers who think they want to be administrators: You don’t get paid more because you are in charge. You get paid more because if you figure it up, you actually put in that many more hours. Your hourly rate will still be the same, you will just be working during the summer and weekends. Over Christmas break, I was at the hospital with my husband and received a call from my superintendent about a silly PR problem that could not wait. You are always on call. In my small community, the principal is like a pastor and expected to attend to teachers, students and parents as parishioners: attend funerals, visit in the hospital and act as counselor to adults who just want to talk awhile.

Private Citizen

February 22nd, 2013
2:36 pm

Long Time Educator, It is appropriate to recognise that the national economy was plundered and almost nobody went to jail. One might say, “Economically, did you happen to notice the removal of the middle class?” This is my concern about SACS’ true masters.

Obama and his “everybody goes to college” smooth take is certainly in league with the system of profiting from higher-education loans, currently at 1 trillion dollars debt held by individuals for going to college / university, a situation that is entirely unique to the United States. Somebody said the guy who is head of this for Obama was paid $800k salary at NYU prior to joining the Obama administration to manage delivery of higher-education debt to students. Let me try and find a link.

Here’s the headline: “Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee is accused of steering students to pricey Citigroup loans, and getting kick backs from Citigroup. Lew was paid $800,000 a year at NYU, and got a job with Citigroup right after.”

Here’s a little ditty on the subject:

So who is President Obama working for? Looks like a debt-colony to me. And no country anywhere else is doing this sort of thing to students.


February 22nd, 2013
2:58 pm

To all of you teacher bashers, if you think teaching is so damn easy, why dont you just pipe down, morons!

Mikey D.

February 22nd, 2013
3:57 pm

@Dr. Henson
Could you please clarify what you meant when you said it was TRUE (the all-caps was you, not me) that teachers get paid a 12 month salary for 9 months work?
I actually get a 10-month salary for 10 months of work. I’m confused about what you meant there. Clarification, please?

Mikey D.

February 22nd, 2013
3:58 pm

Actually my suggestion to those who continually complain about teachers has always been, “If you think it’s so easy and wonderful, why not join the profession?” Interestingly, not one of them has ever taken my suggestion. Hmmm…


February 22nd, 2013
4:02 pm

I have never gotten a 12 months salary in the 11 years I have been teaching. I give Common Core another 3 years before it becomes a thing of the past, just like the other curriculum standards have become in the past 20 years.

Ole Guy

February 22nd, 2013
4:29 pm

Goodness, you’re pretty much on the ball…stress, within the general work force, and that within the education camp is all interwoven into the fabric of reality. While there are many ways in which one might handle stress, those within certain fields of endeavour might feel somewhat restricted as to the lengths one might go in order to deal with…and possibly mitigate…stress levels within the work place. At the end of the day, stress is stress…how we handle stress and “continue the mission” is the ever-illusive trick.

At the very real probability of being branded an ole fashioned ogre (somewhat genteel compared to some of the less-flattering nom de guerres I’ve accumulated over the years of a colorful career(s)), people, in general, do not seem all-too willing to step out; to “plant the flag” as it were, making, with absolute and undeniable clarity, their boundries of acceptable conditions…in other words…TAKING COMMAND OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT (my my, I do believe I’ve heard that somewhere…no, wait…that’s what I’ve been professing all along, much to the chagrin of you doubters out there!)

Teachers, principals…and, for that matter, all you “working stiffs” who seem to function daily under the cloud of unfounded fear…TAKE COMMAND OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Are you affraid you might piss someone off; might wind up on someone’s _ hit list? Maybe, in the long run, you just might gain a little respect for it all…respect from your handlers, your subordinates (maybe even your students)…and maybe even the gd parents who, throughout the years of unchallenged meddling, have become too gd emboldened to push you education folks around.

Take a little pride in your work; your “mission”. Teachers, YOU and YOU alone, are in charge of your classroom…Principals, that “little red school house” is YOURS to run, NOT the parents; NOT the politicians…YOURS. Stop being afraid and DO your job as YOU see fit. Have some professional _ alls.


February 22nd, 2013
4:33 pm

That “12 months of pay” is actually a 3 month interest free loan that every teacher in the state makes to the local school district and state. In other words, that pay check at the end of August was pay for work done in May. How many other businesses expect their employees to do this?

V for Vendetta

February 22nd, 2013
5:06 pm

Ole Guy,

Don’t worry; we’re still out there. I was told years ago that I failed too many students. I didn’t change because the grades were well deserved. I was told that I should give less zeros, or provide more open book work to make it easier. I didn’t change.

Sometimes I feel as if I am one of the only ones left who will tell the kids the truth. No one wants the truth anymore: they want a pleasant fantasy in which everyone can achieve, excel, and be special. Reality, however, is a bit different.

Beverly Fraud

February 22nd, 2013
5:07 pm

Forget the conditions that pertain to teachers for a moment; understand and absorb that these conditions have a direct effect on students as well.

And unlike the teachers, the students can’t flee…

Georgia coach

February 22nd, 2013
5:52 pm

Well said Beverly aka mace rep!


February 22nd, 2013
7:08 pm

@ V for Vendetta. So is college.

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

February 22nd, 2013
7:34 pm

For all of you who truly think your job is just as demanding as that of a teacher, I invite you to job shadow a teacher for a week. It will open your eyes. I had one parent constantly opine about “how hard could it really be?” I invited him along on the condition that he must behave as though he were a teacher… so breaks only when I took breaks, etc.

I had him come in an hour early. I tutor some kids in the morning, I told him.

“You get paid extra for that, right?”

No. That would not be allowed. But they need the help

He was tired. He had to get up earlier than he was used to. I advised him not to drink so much coffee.

He didn’t listen.

I told him no, he couldn’t just leave the children unattended for a couple minutes to run to the bathroom. “But I will only be a minute or two.” I gave him the look. Do you know how much trouble a group of 25 children can get into in a “minute or two”? Sorry, said I. Liability issue. You have to hold it. Don’t worry; we get a bathroom break in two hours. Drink less coffee in the morning.

“I can go at recess, right?”

Sorry, no, we have recess duty.

I finally got a passing aide to watch the room so he could legitimately run to the bathroom. I told him you can’t count on that – which is why so many teachers get bladder infections and kidney problems.

I told him, that he really did not have time to “run out” and grab something for lunch, but insisted he would be “right back”. And he was, but “right back” is relative when you are talking teacher lunches. By the time he returned, it was time to pick up the students. “But I need to eat my lunch!” You can eat it, I told him… during your planning break. In another hour.

Oops. Turned out he couldn’t because we had an emergency meeting during planning in the computer lab, and no food in the computer lab. Sorry, I said. I promised him a granola bar after the meeting. “Do these kinds of meeting come up often?” he asked. Only twice this week, I told him. That’s not bad actually….

He knew we had library coming up. “Can’t I eat then?” he asked. I just smiled.

During library, there was no time to eat because I was busy helping my students find books, and check out books and helping shelve books that had been checked in. We no longer have aides in the library, and the media specialist was helping in the computer lab with another class.

He finally got to eat after bus duty. He was lucky. It was one of the two days that week, I did not have an afterschool meeting.

“What now?” he asked.

Now, I said, I get to do all the things I have to do that I can’t do with children in the room. Now I start my second job of the day. I e-mail and call parents. I collect samples for student portfolios. I conference. I grade papers. I input grades into online grading programs. I plan upcoming lessons. I create interactive white board units. I develop differentiated levels of core lessons. I create assessments and rubrics. I come up with Web Quests for units. I film video clips to demonstrate concepts. I lay out hands on math materials and equipment for science experiments the next day. I change bulletin boards. I post new Essential Questions and take down the old ones. I Xerox papers. I collect work samples and write up intervention documentation for my students on individual educational/behavioral plans. I update cumulative student records. I input data into spread sheets, run the data, and make decisions about flexible grouping and differentiation based upon findings. I work on my evaluation unit. I create lists for what students should KNOW, UNDERSTAND, and DO for units. I create content maps. I collaborate with colleagues. I work on district level committees. I work on school level committees. I attend meetings with grade level teams, school teams, district teams. In short, I do whatever needs to be done and jump through all the hoops that are now necessary on top of teaching a full day’s classes.

How late will you stay? he asked.

It varies, I told him. But I can usually count on between one to three hours past the time I am supposed to leave. The only thing I am sure of is that it will be by 6:00 PM. The district has had to make a rule that we all have to be out by 6:00 because so many teachers were staying late and it gets dark after 6:00. A teacher got mugged in the parking lot because there are no lights out there, so now we have to leave by 6:00.

“That’s a 12 hour day!” he said.

I smiled. Yes, it is, I said. And then I will go home read professional journals, and work on my professional learning requirements through online courses.

Then I let him go home.

He never had anything but positive things to say after that.

I am sure this is true of many jobs… however, I know when I am out and about, it seems to me that in most of the “private businesses” I visit, the workers are not “on” in the same way teachers are… you literally cannot have a conversation with a colleague, or go to the bathroom, or step out for a smoke, or run to the snack machine, or check your facebook, or make a phone call, or run to the water fountain… I think people do not really understand that and how tiring that is!


February 22nd, 2013
7:38 pm

@ Catlady, Feb. 22, 9:36 am. You asked for any news about House Bill 263, that will require teachers to pay their full healthcare premium after retirement. After the Wed. meeting of the House Retirement committee to consider this (no vote), they at least seem to have cleared up the question many had as to whether those “currently eligible” under the new law would only be new hires, or also those who retire after July 1, 2013. For in today’s latest version, there’s a newly added section that seems to suggest that this law will apply to both categories.

“(3) ‘Currently eligible person’ means a person who, on July 1, 2013, is eligible to participate in a health benefit plan pursuant to this part and any person who, on July 1, 2013, has an inchoate [initial, incipient] eligibility based on a future event, including, without limitation, retirement.”


February 22nd, 2013
7:56 pm

I do everything I love teaching does but have the added responsibility of teaching special education which requires more paperwork, more data collection and more meetings. I work over 70 hours per week but I’m paid for 40. My husband and my children are fed up but we need the health insurance since my husband’s employer doesn’t provide healthcare. Private Citizen didn’t exaggerate, part of my employee evaluation is how much time I volunteer for after school activites. I wonder how many people in the “private” sector are evaluated on their after work activities?


February 22nd, 2013
9:31 pm

Mike D. I agree with you, I spent 10 years in the Army and Air Force defending this country, now i teach those who will someday make this country great. So again I say, if you have never stepped foot in the classroom to teach, shut your mouth. You have no idea what you’re talking about! We don’t get paid for 12 months, we get paid for 10 months of work, and that pay is spread out over 12 months. Dont EVER think we get paidfor time we dont work. Many teachers work other jobs in the Summer.