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A Teacher’s Reply

Today I will use a great perogative of a blog owner…I will vent.  I will also introduce my husband’s first forray into the world of blogging.  :-)

I came across a post at My Journey to Millions,Why Teachers Anger Me!.  The whole post was 5 reasons “Teachers Piss me Off”.  Needless to say, as a teacher’s wife, I was…ummm…let’s just say, I wrote this post about it, lol.

The reasons Evan decided to write his post were:

1. Tenure
2. Guaranteed Raises
3. Pensions
4. The Hours
5. Perceived Stress

My Initial Reply

You are misinformed.

Tenure
Regular teachers DO NOT have tenure. My husband was put on the excess list when his school was forced to cut 20% of their employees due to their budget. They let people go based on seniority with each specific school, so even though he had 4 years teaching experience but only 1 year with his specific school, he was told goodbye.

Guaranteed Raises
Again, not guaranteed. My husband started at $41,800 in 2006 and was cut making $42,400 4 years later…he had one $600 raise in 4 years…that’s not even a cost-of-living adjustment.

Pensions
Yes, they have pensions. So does my dad who worked at DOW Chemical Company and my grandfather who taught in the prison system. I will say that pensions are one benefit that teachers actually stay for…

The Hours
Yep, this makes me jealous too, but not during the school year when he has to put up with ignorant parents (“my kid turned in his homework but you lost it” even though the kids have to sign a sheet when something is turned in and that kid obviously didn’t…), gangster kids that actually brought a gun to HIS classroom, and “special ed” kids that have no mental disabilities but “behaviorial problems” like peeing into trash cans and hitting random people like my husband because they were raised wrong.

Perceived Stress
It is the most stressful job I have ever witnessed. My mom is a strong lady, but she taught for 6 months before having a small breakdown. My husband literally was forced to tears twice in his first year and he doesn’t cry. Imagine having kids that refuse to listen, literally threaten you on a daily basis, parents that argue that those kids problems are due to blah, blah, blah and you have no right to write them up for those threats, principals that hold it against you if you send those same kids to the office because they don’t want to deal with them either, and coworkers that shirk their responsibilities so you end up planning the majority of all the lessons by yourself with hardly any experience and no one to back you up (plus those lessons have to teach a standardized test instead of actually teaching a real life lesson since the test scores are how you are judged). That is the life of a teacher.

Unless you have experienced the bureaucratic horror that is teaching, please keep your misplaced jealousy to yourself.

Evan’s Reply to Me

“It is the most stressful job I have ever witnessed”
- Seriously? How about almost any doctor? how about some lawyers (absolutely not most)? How about my FDNY brother running into burning buildings in NYC? Whether some random 4th grader understands fractions and that you may or may not get yelled at by a parent does not make it beyond stressful.

Regardless, to call me misinformed when everything I said accurately describes teaching on Long Island, where I live, is simply rude.

At this point I’m questioning his understanding of the word “misinformed”.  I’m also home from work and told my hubby about what was going on…

The Response from My Husband and Me

You titled the list “Why Teachers Piss Me Off”. How were we all supposed to know that you were referring to Long Island teachers specifically?!

Also, making a whole post about why you’re pissed at teachers but only meaning a specific place’s teachers (without telling anyone) is like me writing a whole post on why firefighters suck when I’m only referring to the bad apples in the bunch. It’s offensive.

How did you expect teachers and those of us related to teachers to take it?

My Husband’s Response

I will grant you that teaching is not as dangerous as the job of a firefighter or a police officer (except on days where the students bring guns to school) and that the stress level is not really created by an outside influence (say a burning building). Teaching is stressful because the teachers care about what happens to their students. A doctor’s job is not stressful if the doctor does not care about what happens to their patients. It is only because they truly want to help their patients that the job is stressful. The same is true for teachers. Teachers only have a limited amount of time to pass on everything a child needs to know about a particular subject. They know that if they are not fully prepared for the next grade level, they will not be successful. If the teachers did not care about what heppened to the students then, no, the job is not stressful – it’s babysitting.

My Husband’s Other Reply

My sweet, laid-back hubby was hurt and pretty mad himself.  He also responded to another comment thread about this video with this research project of an answer:

First a disclaimer: I am an 8th grade science teacher in Texas, not New York, so my opinions and facts while valid may not apply to areas you live in, and I watched the Stossel program referenced in the above post.

I believe that most private and charter schools (in Texas some of our school district have “Magnet” programs) have entry requirements. I do not think that a private or charter school will take every child who applies, put their name in a hat, and draw 100 lucky winners. I believe that they eliminate a large percentage of applicants before reaching the lottery phase (if the lottery is truly random at all). Think of it as an all-star team.

Imagine the NBA (32 teams?) creating 3 new teams (now 35). The three new teams would be able to select any players they wanted for their team regardless of where they were playing or any contracts that player may have. In essence you have created 3 all-star teams and left everybody else. I believe that this is similar to private/charter schools and their selection process.

The school that I teach at in a northwest Houston school district has 72% of its students classified as economically disadvantaged (this means that their parents income levels qualify them for free or reduced lunch prices). 16% are listed as having Limited English Proficiency, and 11% are Special Education students. I believe this to be vastly different than the makeup of most private or charter schools. Combine that with the difference in resources (see below), and I believe that we are trying to compare apples and oranges. You can visit this website for a host of state accountability documents: http://www.cfisd.net/dept2/campusimprove/200809/dean0809.htm

Average Private School Tuition: 2007-08

                                   All Levels     Elementary     Secondary      K-12 Schools
All Schools                $ 8,549        $ 6,733                   $10,549          $10,045
Catholic                    $ 6,018        $ 4,944                   $ 7,826            $ 9,066
Other Religious         $ 7,117        $ 6,576                   $10,493          $ 7,073
Non-Sectarian          $17,316       $15,945                   $27,302          $16,247

Source: Table 59, Digest of Education Statistics 2009, National Center for Education Statistics.

According to the video referenced in the above comment, the US spends about $11,000 per child per year in public school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, non-religious private school cost almost $16,000 for elementary and almost $28,000 for secondary. The money we spend for public school (at least in Texas) pays for transportation (most, if not all, private schools do not provide transportation), books, teacher salaries, after school programs, before and after school classes and tutorials, electricity for the building, technology, and much more.

Is the public school system perfect? NO.
Is the public school system broken? MAYBE.
Are private schools a bad idea? NO.
Are there bad teachers? YES.

But they do not take away from the thousands of teachers across the country who work to try to give students the best possible education – teachers who spend dozens of hours each summer in professional development classes trying to better themselves for the sake of their students. Most teachers don’t work in education because they want summers off – they work teaching children because they have a passion for it, because they care about each little person who enters their classroom, and because they want to see their students succeed.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m absolutely head-over-heels in love with my husband?  Yep, totally lost in love, that’s me.  :-)

What’s your take on the matter?

PS  Just in case you were thinking of sending hate mail to Evan at My Journey to Millions, please be sure to read the whole post and comment section first to draw your own conclusions.  Evan wrote his post with Long Island teachers and teacher unions in mind.  He didn’t know that teachers like my husband aren’t in unions and don’t get all of the benefits he complained about.

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47 comments to A Teacher’s Reply

  • Rob

    His reasons all have some merit, but I think a lot of that has to do with the unions, which of course is why you and Mr. BFS were so upset!

    My mom was a teacher at a private Christian school and she didn’t have any of those benefits (pension, raises, etc.) with the exception of the summer off. But during the school year she worked her butt off. Although the amount of stress she had was mostly a result of her personality and the fact that she is a perfectionist.

  • Julie

    Teachers where I live now actually got a 2% pay cut, even with a union. I never complain about teachers because it’s one of the most underpaid jobs.

    I totally understand why you would be upset. There are many useless professions out there, but teaching is not one of them.

  • Holly

    Teaching is like waitressing…you have NO idea how difficult it can be (IS!) until you have done it yourself. This is not an opinion…it is a FACT! I taught for one year at a private Catholic elementary school (Art to grades Pre-K thru 8), and I lost about 15 lbs. without trying from the stress.

    Pay is low, hours were awful (had to leave 90 min. early due to suburban sprawl…always drove to work in the dark) and had to stay until 4 p.m. before I could leave (classes ended at 2:50), which left me driving home in the worst traffic! Not to mention that I could never leave at 4 p.m. anyway due to supply clean-up, entering grades, and lesson prep; I worked almost as much on my days off just preparing lessons.

    I haven’t mentioned all of the $ I spent out-of-pocket to make sure every child had the necessary art supplies given the project…I was teaching Art, which meant charcoal, pastels, acrylics, yarn, glue, glitter, watercolors, clay, papier-maiche, etc., etc. w/30 kids in a class.

    This guy needs to get a clue. I agree that unions are demanding too much, but don’t ever, EVER think that teachers have it easy! They don’t.

  • Holly

    Yes, Crystal, you are right: perfectionism tendencies can cause stress! And KUDOS to DH for his spot-on response!

  • BFS

    Rob, yes, perfectionism and teaching do not go well together. Half of Mr. BFS’s stress is caused by himself…

    Mr. BFS and I came to the same conclusion, Evan was upset about union power abuse, not teaching specifically.

  • BFS

    Thanks Julie, I was hoping we weren’t overreacting.

  • BFS

    Holly, ah, a person who has experienced the awe of teaching. I’m not sure if I mentioned it above, but Mr. BFS regularly spent $200-$300 of our money to buy supplies for the science experiments and basic supplies for the kids who never brought them. It’s also usually a thankless job, so he never got credit for his personal contributions either. Like you said, people just don’t know if they haven’t done it themselves (or live with a teacher).

    PS I fixed the typos and edited your second comment to take that into account. :-) I’ll be sure to pass on your kudos! Mr. BFS will appreciate it.

  • Teachers in non-unionized states really get shafted. IIRC, teachers in the unionized upper Midwest make about 2x the amount that teachers in the non-unionized South do, despite there not being 2x the difference in cost of living.

  • BFS

    Nicole, I agree teachers here get shafted, but at least we’re better off financially than the poor teachers in California right now…

  • We live in an area where teachers enjoy all kinds of great benefits and get paid a lot, too. When you live in an area like that you have three options if you think these privileges are not right. (1) Rant about it and touch nerves – kind of act like Glen Beck. (2) Move to an area where teachers don’t get such largesses. (3) Become a teacher yourself and enjoy the same privileges. Fortunately for me I don’t have to choose any one of these options. Some of our teachers are way overpaid, but we live in a very good school district. A few overpaid teachers can’t get a rise out of me especially if I think about all the other benefits I enjoy by living in the town where I live. – Thanks for including your husband’s comments! A teacher like that makes me feel good and hopeful for our children.

  • AJ

    I can include another reason why people get mad at teacher unions: Health Care. In our state, teachers were willing to threaten to strike if the district made them pay FIVE dollar co-pays! With the cost of health care the rest of us bare, it is quit difficult to see our tax dollars funding extremely expensive health plans. Teachers often can keep these lucrative plansin retirement with extremely low out-of-pocket costs.

    Also, private pensions are not paid for with tax dollars. Those companies had the prerogative to take on the risk of paying those pensions for their employees. As tax-payers we are taking on a big risk by guaranteeing pensions for unknown numbers of years. Most private companies have moved to 401k plans rather than guaranteed pension plans, as these are less risky. The public sector should do the same.

    ANOTHER perk for teachers is the ability to retire with full benefits around age 55 or younger, while private sector folks often work much longer without any hope of making a salary for not working.

    The reality is that once teachers have a couple years of experience their jobs are typically more secure than private sector jobs. Also, MOST of us have out of pocket costs related to our jobs.

    I know teaching isn’t easy (I taught overseas), but teachers also get a lot of benefits.

    Mostly, I think teachers unions give teachers a bad name. Most folks feel that teachers unions care much more about the union than the kids they are supposedly serving. We also feel that they should be willing to sacrifice along with the rest of the country during these economic times, and if that means FIVE dollar co-pays for doctor visits, than they are still doing well compared to a lot of people.

  • BFS– You’re really not! CA teachers may be making up to 20% less than they were 2 years ago, but they’re making a LOT more than TX teachers, even with Prop 13 keeping salaries lower. There is some variance in teacher’s salaries in CA– like most places the inner city doesn’t pay as well as the suburbs. It does cost more to live in CA, but still…

    My back-up plan (if this whole professor thing doesn’t work out) is to teach high school math. So I check online salary scales from time to time whenever I get stressed. You know, to see what I’m missing.

  • Nicole, my wife is a tenured university professor and she makes less money than quite a few teachers in our elementary school. The principal of that school makes almost twice as much money as she does. C-r-a-z-y!!!

  • BFS

    Nicole, wow, I knew they made more but I hadn’t looked at how much more. Well, I’ll still pity them for the cost of living in that state and earthquakes, lol. Give me a hurricane, but don’t shake up my whole world, hahaha.

    Money Obedience, that would depress me as a professor if that happened in our area…elementary school teachers start at around $40k and professors start at around $55k. BTW, I’m passing on your kind comment for my husband…that will make his day! The teachers in your area sound spoiled comparably, but I can’t help but wish that hubby received just a smidgeon of that support…unions may go too far, but without them, a teacher definitely gets taken advantage of…

  • BFS

    AJ…wow, $5 copays, really? My husband has a worst plan than I do right now.

    He has a choice between a high-deductible plan for $30 a paycheck that will cover the first $750 a year but we cover absolutely everything else for the next $2500 I think (it may be $2250…I can’t remember off the top of my head), and then it splits it 75/25 for the next $1000, and then it covers the rest. Out of pocket max of $3500.

    His other option is a co-pay plan that would be $65 a paycheck that would give him $20 copays for regular visits and splits all major expenses 85/15 up to a max out of pocket of $2500 I think.

    Well, technically he has one more option, but it’s $100 a paycheck. It has no deductible and $20 copays I think…I didn’t look into it too much since $100 a paycheck seemed like a lot. That comment is going to get me yelled at I’m sure, but you’re talking to a woman who works a mediocre job for used-to-be free healthcare and we were paying $40 a paycheck for hubby’s medical last year.

    Anyway, I also didn’t know most people have out-of-pocket expenses for their jobs. Well, other than gas and business clothes (which teachers have too). My job and my parents jobs reimburse us for expenses…

    Yes, teachers can possibly retire young. In our district, your age and years of service have to add up to 85 to get full retirement with at least 5 or 10 years of that being teaching (I can’t remember if it’s 5 or 10 because it’s moot for Mr. BFS…he started at 23 and was grandfathered into the old plan where age plus years of service had to add up to 80…so he does get to retire at 52). I figure it’s the only real benefit that keeps any teachers in the schools…

  • Money O– Yeah, my mom (also a professor) was in a pretty similar situation growing up. She made 10s of thousands less than the high school teachers teaching in the same field. She made less than the starting salary of many high school teachers that she trained!

    If I were credentialed (and employed) I would only be taking a small paycut teaching high school math in some wealthy districts, but the cost of living would also generally be going up dramatically, except in some Midwestern districts where it is hard to find employment. My uncle (former military) is trained to teach science near Milwaukee and hasn’t been able to get a position.

    BFS– What gets me about TX is the combination of tornadoes and lack of basements.

  • I thought I would get ripped into more on this site than on mine, but everyone has been nice here.

    I will say it again, I said it on my blog…I don’t think teachers have it easy. I DO think that teachers have ZERO clue how how hard real life is (I probably should limit that to Unionized teachers).

    Like unionized teachers, I can fired at any time, I don’t have guaranteed raises, I work way too many hours (well may not way but I love my job), BUT I DON’T have a state pension, I don’t have summers off, etc.

    Again, before I get attacked by BFS’ hubby I get it, teaching is hard but so is every other profession, and I feel like all I do is hear teachers bitching about how tough it is.

    If it is too tough, and you are underpaid, then leave it! Become a private tutor, help build up this awesome blog and live off of it, if you hate your job leave it, otherwise just understand everyone has it tough.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have responded but I’ll be damned if I am called clueless by someone who has the audacity to assume their job is the hardest thing ever and they are teaching kids how to draw within the lines (not bfs’ husband).

  • Try to ignore a few of those mistakes lol when responding in anger back at me

  • AJ

    BFS, $100 a paycheck for insurance with $20 copays and NO deductible is FANTASTIC if that includes coverage for his spouse. If not, then it is still pretty good. Try buying a plan out on the open market. We paid 325 a month for a 1500 deductible plan with $25 co-pays. My parents pay $1400 a month for a high deductible plan!! These are the types of things that I don’t think some teachers (or teachers unions) realize that private sector folks deal with- paying 17,000 a year in insurance premiums, etc.

  • Holly

    To everyone who is concerned that teachers make too much money:

    If the job and benefits are so great, then why not become a teacher yourself? Then you can decide for yourself if teachers are ‘worth it’.

  • BFS

    Nicole, thankfully we don’t live around the tornado area of Texas. That would freak me out. Every once in a while, Houston has a tornado warning, but it’s always on the west side of town…about 45 minutes away from me. :-)

  • BFS

    AJ, the $100 a paycheck just covers him. I have my own insurance which I am getting for free until January…then they’re making us pay. I’m doing a post about it as soon as I know the costs so you all can help me pick a plan. I’m doing a post about hubby’s plan choices the week after next to help him pick a plan. We hate the ins and outs of insurance plans…it’s too hard to choose.

    Oh, I know how much buying my own insurance would cost. I wouldn’t stay at this mediocre job if it didn’t have great (well, used to be great) benefits. :-)

  • BFS

    Evan, teachers, at least my teacher, knows how hard life is. What do you think teachers did before becoming teachers? Mr. BFS was a bill auditor. Teaching is way more stressful.

    As for your job compared to teaching, don’t you make a lot more? Isn’t that how you save for retirement? Mr. BFS gets a pension, yes, but he also was making $43,400 a year. Now that he’s becoming a school librarian, it will be somewhere around $47,000 unless he gets an 11 month contract approved for $52,000 and works June. Don’t you make more than even the unionized teachers?

    We have teacher friends and non-teacher friends, and we ALL complain about our jobs. The teachers don’t bitch any more than the accountant, telephone company worker, bus driver, or the web designer from home. We all bitch. It’s therapeutic. :-)

    We can’t just quit. Yes, if we were serious about our gripes, we should probably start looking for other jobs – which is why Mr. BFS spent the last 13 months getting the masters he needed to become a librarian. The rest of us only bitch because all jobs are annoying.

    I don’t think I called you clueless, but I don’t know any teacher that just teaches “kids how to draw within the lines”. The job is more than that. Do they get mad at you for complaining about your job? Isn’t that what friends are for – to laugh with, to vent with, to go through the crap with, etc?

  • BFS

    Holly, good point. :-)

  • Holly

    Evan:

    Just having a little fun w/you…

    We all think our jobs are hard. My husband is a patrolman. He was 21 when he entered the Academy. He’s 19 years in. He does know about ‘real life’. He sees the worst. Even he says that teachers and nurses have some of the the most difficult jobs. He discourages me from teaching public school, esp. high school. (we do not live in a great district)

    I was an art director prior to teaching. Deadlines, budgets, panicked clients, technical difficulties, etc. Teaching was harder and the pay was much lower. Even so, I enjoyed the job. I had decided to leave to help my mother who had been diagnosed w/stage 3 colon cancer.

    Thank you for the dialogue. And I don’t totally disagree w. your perspective.

  • ODWO

    …. and last, if you can read this post OR anything else in this Blog or any blog anywhere … THANK A TEACHER! ;^)

  • IMHO, a person cannot be “overpaid” to teach. We pay teachers peanuts (around here, the highest figure a K-12 teacher can earn, period, is $50,000) and then we bellyache that our kids are poorly educated.

    Teaching IS a dangerous job. A friend of mine, a strapping fellow who could take care of himself, was jumped in the hallway of a high school by a couple of students who beat him to within an inch of his life. He quit teaching; after a stint running a small business, he went back to teaching delinquent kids for VisionQuest, one of those private outward-bound type programs that tries to rescue incorrigibles. In that job he felt and was a great deal safer than in the public high school where the above incident happened.

    Another friend quit teaching and went back to graduate school to learn another trade after students followed her into the parking lot, threatened her life, and revealed that they knew where she lived and where her daughter went to school.

    Her husband is a fireman. I can tell you for certain that neither of them regard his job as more stressful than what she went through. Most of the time, he sits around the firehouse, where his shifts last for several days. He loves what he does; he has spent time as a helicopter EMT, which he really loved. He gets paid in the six figures. He earned enough to send their daughter through Texas A&M, launching her, with no debt, into a job that earns even more than he makes. He is a very laid-back man.

    Those work hours that inspire so much envy are not what they appear. When I was teaching at Arizona State University, I worked 12- to 16-hour days, six and seven days a week. Meeting classes is only part of the job. You have to prepare for those classes, and then you have to grade mountains of papers. Consider: 30 students who write one assignment of 10 pages dump 300 pages of drivel on you to read. Now multiply that times 5 classes. When did you last read 1,500 pages that you ENJOYED reading, much less 1,500 pages of slopped-together, illiterate trash that you have to assess and comment upon intelligently? That’s only ONE assignment. You will be required to assign several of those during the course of the semester.

    Summer vacation? Dream on! Teachers spend their summers doing unpaid work: preparing the next year’s classes and taking required teacher training, often coursework that they have to pay for out of pocket. If there’s any time around those, most people take temp jobs over the summer to help make ends meet.

    And Evan, good old Evan, why do you think teachers don’t know anything about real life? Is dealing with your troubled kids–the ones who are into dope and booze because you divorced and left them home with no adults to watch them, the ones whose parents are in jail, the ones who can’t read because no one in the house can pull himself away from the television to work with the kids at home, the ones whose lawyer and doctor parents are too busy to pay any attention to them and so don’t even KNOW about the dope in the bedroom, the ones whose autistic brothers and sisters demand so much attention that they don’t get their fair share of parenting–is dealing with those kids not real life? Is trying to get by on 50 grand a year not real life? Is holding three jobs to make ends meet not real life?

    If not, why not? What IS this real life we’re talking about?

    People teach for only one reason: because they love teaching. The money and the hours, believe me, are not what calls anyone into teaching.

  • BFS

    Funny about Money, AMEN SISTER!!! Seriously, you hit the nail on the head for everything I wanted to say. My mom didn’t get beaten, but gangster high schoolers did threaten her several times on the way to her car. She actually had a panic attack one day because of several things the same kids were saying in class…she walked out and never went back. She is ashamed of that moment, but when your whole body is shouting “RUN!!!”, I don’t know how you get control. I wouldn’t last a day…

    The few times hubby has mentioned kids with mental disabilities trying to hit him or other students, and perfectly healthy kids starting fights over lunch snacks, I freak out in my head. My husband is not as safe as I want him to be. My husband may not be walking the thin line between life and death everyday, but he is not NEARLY as safe as I want him to be.

  • Mark

    The critical poster seems to be under the misapprehension that danger and crisis correspond to stress, and hence that emergency workers have a stressful life. Most stress is caused by feelings of lack of control.

    Firefighters have very small bursts of stress in otherwise rather ordinary days. And then they have time to unwind before the next event.

    Teachers have the continual stress of having no control over their workplace. The kids are unpredictable, the parents are unpredictable, and the “system” usually blames the teachers for everything. If teachers could fire a few (say 10%) of their students, I bet they would feel much better.

    I also wonder why he thought a doctor’s job was stressful. Doctor’s know that some pateients will do better than others, just as teachers know some students will do better than others. If you tried to save them all, or tried to make every student an A-performer, you would be stressed. If you simply do the best you can for each case presented to you, this is not a source of stress.

    Doctor’s often have complete control over their life. Most of what they do is qiute repetitive. On the few occasions when a complicated case shows up, they ask some questions, do some research, and make a diagnosis.

    Emergency cases may be stressful, but actually they are really more about being busy and rushed than stressed. In an emergency room, someone else prioritizes the cases, and the doctor deals with them as they are presented to him.

    Doctors deal with one case at a time, while surrounded by a support system – nurses, assistants, etc., etc. Teachers deal with 30 cases simultaneously with zero support network.

  • BFS

    Mark, I take it that you are a teacher or know a teacher closely? I completely agree…it’s pure stress.

  • Wow… I’m not related or married to a teacher but even I’m pissed off at My Journey to Millions. I want to check out this post but don’t want to give him the satisfaction of my page count. Sure, I’ve had teachers that checked out YEARS ago and were just killing time (and wasting mine) until they could retire. But, most of the teachers I’ve had have been life changing.

    Granted, I don’t know any fire fighters but I have known a few EMTs. Yes, they’re under a lot of stress but it’s like an adrenaline stress, which is very different from the kind of constant stress that teachers go through every minute of every day. And the whole hour thing? How many teachers actually leave their work behind when school’s over? Most of my teachers were grading papers way into the night, at home, just so that they can get it back to us in time to keep the curriculum going.

    Congratulations on being married to a man who chose to sacrifice much to change the world because really, that’s what teachers do, they change the world.

  • BFS

    Thanks Jin. I am lucky. I’ll be passing on this comment to Mr. BFS tomorrow morning and I’m sure you will have made his day. Thank you. :-)

  • I love this exchange between you two. So passionate, so ferocious!

    That said, unless E-Dog was a teacher, is a teacher, has close immediate family who has been wronged by a teacher then…………………………. I side with BFS!

    This post has been included in my wrap.

  • BFS

    @Financial Samurai, I do think it’s just a matter of personal experience as well. Thanks!

  • As of a few years ago the average teacher salary for a teacher with a master’s degree was $75,000 in our six school HS district. As the parent of three (our youngest will be a HS senior) our kids have had the benefit of an excellent education in a top-notch high school. I feel that good teachers are worth the money. My only beef with our district and many in IL is that seniority is the basis in layoffs and similar situations vs. some system to rate and reward teachers based on their abilities. Tenure is very much an issue in our district. Our kids have had the good fortune to have had many great teachers who are dedicated and put in far more time than they are compensated for. Unfortunately there are others who are seemingly there for other reasons. Just like any other profession there needs to be a merit-based system for the evaluation of teachers including compensation and retention.

  • BFS

    @Roger, I am pro merit-based as long as it’s not just based on tests. Your school system seems to be operated way better than the ones around us. I’m glad you know and are thankful…maybe it will entice other schools to be a little more generous to get good teachers to stay.

  • Indeed teaching is a very stressful job. I’m not a teacher but I tried tutoring sometime. I only did it for 2 hours but I extended my time so often just to have him understand all his lessons. And yes it is a thankless job. Even if I extended my time so often I didn’t get a bonus or a thank you after. I also had a very hard time with his perfectionist mother who couldn’t understand basic concepts herself. She shouts at her son when he couldn’t comprehend something and I feel really hurt and end up blaming myself. She gets so disappointed when her kid doesn’t get good grades. I’m really glad my contract their has finished! The very last thing I want to experience right now is to tutor another wealthy kid and try to keep up with his mothers demands. It’s a tough job but it still good when the kids love you.

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