Good Day! - posted on 08/19/2010 ( 57 moms have responded )
Okay, Mae and Dana! I'm ready! I apologize in advance if this OP is a bit one-sided. I have a hard time seeing the opposite side. But that's what debate is for, right? =)
I hear all the time that teachers need to stop complaining about their pay, because they don't really work that much. Or do they? Sure, the school day (when students are in school) is roughly 7 hours. And teachers get summers off and weekends, fall, winter, and spring break. Or do they?
First of all, compared to other careers that require a college degree, teachers are at the very bottom of the pay scale.
Not terrible, you may say, considering all the breaks. But take into consideration how many extra hours a teacher must work just to get the job done. For teachers, the school day does not end when the bell rings and students leave. Before and after school and on weekends and even holidays you'll find teachers spending hours tweaking lesson plans, grading papers, setting up for class projects, filling out paperwork for students to be evaluated, averaging grades, and the list goes on. If you add all the EXTRA hours a teacher works, then essentially all the breaks do not exist.
But it doesn't end there. Teachers are at the bottom of the pay scale for the education they have and they work at least as much, and in most cases more, than people of other professions. On top of that, most teachers must spend hundreds of dollars of their own money in order to provide quality education. Sure, the IRS allows teachers to claim up to $250. But most teachers spend in excess of that. Why? Because students come to school without the proper supplies needed. Because their districts are suffering budget cuts and can't afford necessary items like novels for an English class, or even worse, copy paper and ink. Because those cute little posters showing punctuation marks on the walls don't magically appear.
I did an informal survey on facebook (I know a lot of teachers). The three teachers that replied said this:
Janee: $300-400 a year... And at least 10 hours a week. Don't get me wrong- I could do my job without the extra work or spending any of my own money, but I do what I do because I WANT to for my kids... And I say that the hours are "unpaid".... But making it "worth it" to my students is great payment!
Amy: I'd say a couple hundred $200 - $300 and about 10-12 hours/week. (What she didn't say is that she is spending time trying to raise money to buy novels for her classroom. She's raised about $300, but needs a couple hundred more)
Courtney: i probably spend a couple hundred dollars a year on stuff for my students and projects, and I'm at school from about 6:35 to 4:00 everyday plus I probably work 8 hours a week at home. That's roughly 55 hours a week at work!
I do not like tha...t I have to supply so much for my job. How many other jobs do people have to buy their own computer equipment, markers, paper clips, calculators, etc?
All that extra time and money is what it takes to be a good teacher, so that's what I do.
I know this is SOOOO long! But I wanted to get my point across. Most teachers I know love their job and their students. They work all the extra hours and spend their own money because it is what is best for the students. Sure, they could do the minimum....go home when the bell rings, never grace the halls of the school during break, and not get anything for their classrooms. But where would that leave the students? So that is where we're at. Thoughts?
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