A small rant about the weirdness of people's perspective of teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    So this morning I was reading a local article. My state (Utah) had a rather serious teacher shortage as of late and one of the natural responses was a "wage war" amongst the districts. This morning's article was talking about how nicely this seemed to have worked (and mentioning a few districts that still have openings, so if any of you job searchers want to come to sunny St. George or maybe move into the tech boom vicinity...).

    Anywho, this website allows comments. Many comments were in the lines of "yay teachers!" and "hey, offering more money, whodathunk?" But there were still those comments whining over how the average Utah teacher gets paid more than the average Utah worker (whatever that means) and how Mr. Me works 18-hour days 7 days a week and has to buy his own insurance and blah blah blah... basically, all boiling down to a bunch of comments saying teachers should beg for lower wages and continue to teach.

    I'm sorry, but how does stomping your foot and whining and yelling at teachers make them go "You're absolutely right! I'm wrong for liking a higher paycheck."?
     
    AmyMyNamey and futuremathsprof like this.
  2.  
  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Backroads likes this.
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    I pay loans with children's souls...

    Teaching in Utah? It's pretty good. Myself and my fellow teachers seem to like it, anyway. Whenever I see the national rating scales, we also seem to score quite respectably. The state itself is gorgeous (we got desert, mountains, cities, whatever you prefer) and the people tend to be scarily nice. The crime rate is relatively low.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Backroads, I agree with a lot of what you said, but let me try to explain why some non-teachers feel this way. (BTW, I am a teacher myself.)

    1) According to the IRS Statistics of Income, 2014, the average American household income for single tax filers was $34,940 and the median household income was $53,719.

    I am 25, a fourth-year teacher, and make $55,000 just from my teaching salary, not including tutoring. If I were to add in tutoring then I would make about $80k, give or take. Discounting my tutoring revenue, that is still higher than the median household income.

    https://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/10/30/heres-the-average-american-household-income-how-do.aspx

    2) Teachers get summers off as well as ALL federal holidays off. Most private sector workers only get 1-2 weeks vacation tops and they work year round.

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/archive/program-perspectives-on-paid-leave-benefits.pdf

    3) Most teachers don't work during the summers.

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/03/art4full.pdf

    4) Teachers only have to work 9-10 months and they still get paid a FULL year's salary.

    5) Teachers get REALLY good benefits. For example, my health care is 100% covered by my employer and I receive full dental insurance for only $28.28/month. Plus, I get 2 personal days and 6 sick days.

    6) Teachers have REALLY good pension plans. In the private sector you typically get like a small percentage of the average of the last years (best paid) worked. Teachers get almost all of their salary or more in retirement.

    [​IMG]


    Source: CalSTRS’ 2013 Comprehensivealifornia Annual Financial Report

    "Looking at the low and high ends of the pension spectrum, we see that there are indeed outliers with only 132 retirees receiving a $3000 pension and 271 retirees who received a $110,000 pension. The most frequently occurring pension amount was $68,400 with 2,150 retiring teachers, or 18 percent of all teachers who retired in 2013."

    https://www.teacherpensions.org/blog/what-“average”-teacher-pension-example-california

    According to Forbes, in 2013-2014, teachers "from age 23 to age 65 – received an average annual benefit of $110,364, equal to 105% of the employee’s final salary."

    7) When I clear my credential I am due for yet another salary advancement (already got two raises for completing my Masters and getting my preliminary teaching credential). Then, I get more money if I get additional certifications and credits/semester hours. Most jobs don't do this, neither do they give you COLA increases each year like teachers get. For example, the average teacher in my home town makes $62,000 a year and gets 3-4% (or $2,000-$3,000) raises each year. In fact, their salary schedule tops out at $92k after 28+ years. However, they start making $70k at year 12.

    Hopefully, you can see why the "average worker" does not think that teachers should get paid more.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,676
    Likes Received:
    1,575

    Aug 20, 2017

    It really boils down to people knowing between salary, benefits, and time off teachers do better than the average worker. So when they hear complaints about poor salary and working conditions, many won't feel any pity. I don't see it as people asking you to beg for less.
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Actually, no. Most of the data collected is from the Census Bureau, IRS, or other government think tanks.

    http://www.teachingdegree.org/arizona/salary/

    Try again.

    Edit: Though I will admit, the average Arizona teacher salary is lower than other states.
     
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    Sure, but none of this changes the fact that my state had a problem with teachers going into other fields with different benefits that were equivalent or better. I see where they're coming from, but none of them are offering a different solution to attract teachers. I suppose I don't see why complain about a tactic that worked.
     
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Yes, teachers may leave the field but so do many other workers from different professions. Do you realize how many private sector workers leave their jobs to go into teaching? That doesn't negate what I have said previously about all the pros of teaching. Sure, there are cons but the pros outweigh the cons.

    I, myself, am happy with what I make because I know I will steadily approach six figures in the coming years. Case in point, the California legislature recently passed SB 807, which will eliminate state income tax for teachers who meet certain criteria, as well as offer generous tax credits for teachers getting their clear credentials (yay me!).

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB807
     
    Backroads likes this.
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    I'm just going to say that it's completely dependent on the state and district in which you work. Many schools have a much lower starting salary than yours. I suspect you work in trendy state or city with a high cost of living if you are starting that high. How can we compare starting salaries in specific locales with nationwide average figures when cost of living varies so drastically across the country? Just because you're starting salary appears high when compared to that national average doesn't mean the starting salary of a teacher in some rural town in the middle of a fly-over state appears as fair when compared to the same national average. Also, some states and cities don't have pensions that are all that great or stable for the future.

    Frankly, I don't think teachers should be compared to the average worker. We're not the average worker. We're highly educated professionals, which cannot always be said for the "average worker".

    I could argue many of your other points, as well, but it seems fruitless. I'm just going to end with this: I don't think teachers are all that bad off in general, but I certainly don't think we're compensated well for the service we provided.
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    443

    Aug 20, 2017

    It's really hard to do salary comparisons for any field and the "average" worker. Any job that requires a college degree will pay more than one that doesn't. There's always arguments that teachers are either under or overpaid, and it really does depend on where you live and cost of living. I am a 14th year teacher with a Masters plus 12 hours of grad credit, and I will make $55,000 this year--the same as a 4th year teacher in California. Additionally, once I top out on the salary schedule, I will make $63,000 a year. Nowhere even close to six figures. That said, I do not think it is wrong to advocate for a salary that reflects your education. In my area, other fields that require a Masters or other advanced degree do pay more than teaching.
     
    2ndTimeAround, Backroads and bella84 like this.
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    See... Many of us across the country will never make six figures, even if we reach the top of the pay scale. You're lucky to be in district where that is possible, but don't make generalizations about all teachers being so well off, just because you are.
     
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    I don't agree with what futuremathsprof is saying, but I don't agree with this either. I don't think it's an issue of union or nonunion. Within a single state, teachers at some districts are doing just fine while teachers at other districts are struggling, regardless of whether or not the the state is a RTW state. I think it's more of a district-by-district thing, as opposed to the state... Just based on my experience and research.
     
    Backroads and futuremathsprof like this.
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Here are two other salary schedules:

    http://www.mpsaz.org/compensation/files/mea_salary_schedules.pdf

    https://www.cusd80.com/cms/lib/AZ01001175/Centricity/domain/7880/salary schedules/Certified_Teacher_Salary_Schedule_2017-2018.pdf

    These salaries are enough to support a family. The median household income is in the mid-fifty thousand dollar range. That means that half of all Americans make that or less. In addition, in 2015, the middle 50% of all Americans made $50,000. If they can raise a family on that, then teachers should be able to, as well.

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/household-income-quintiles
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    Okay... but... What makes you an expert on the cost of living in Arizona (or any other state)? How do know what is enough to get by on in every part of every state in the country?

    Aside from that, why shouldn't teachers be compensated more than average? We have to be educated more than average, so why shouldn't our compensation be on par?

    Edit: I don't mean my questions as a personal attack on you... I'm just attempting to further point out that we can't compare national averages to specific locales without more information.
     
    2ndTimeAround and Backroads like this.
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    I agree, teachers in your state should be paid better!
     
    a2z likes this.
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,676
    Likes Received:
    1,575

    Aug 20, 2017

    That is false. A social worker will make much less than many electricians. A person in sales csn make a bundle. A restaurant owner can make a mint.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,676
    Likes Received:
    1,575

    Aug 20, 2017

    If they make the same money for 190 contract days they are making more than the average worker who works more days per year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Go to slide 29/51. Arizona is ranked as the 23th most expensive state to live in the United States. I live in California, which is the second most expensive state to live in (Hawaii is the most expensive). If I can live in California just fine, then should be able to cope with living in Arizona.

    For example, the median home price in the city where I live is $350,000. With that you could buy a small mansion in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Try again.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/per...e-scores-for-living-costs/ss-AAlEaoG#image=29
     
  24. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    True, but that's not really what I was getting at. I wasn't suggesting that we compare annual salaries. I've actually sat down and done the math to compare my daily salary to those who work year round. I factored in the number of weekend days, holidays, paid vacation and personal days, etc.

    I'm not coming out ahead.
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    I dislike the comparison of average worker. It means nothing. Too many nuances in fields and markets.

    I will never make anywhere neat 6 figures in my state.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  26. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    443

    Aug 20, 2017

    For example, the median home price in the city where I live is $350,000. With that you could buy a small mansion in Phoenix, Arizona.


    Depends on the neighborhood. My dad lives in Phoenix, $350,000 will not get you a small mansion. Again, the cost of living varies greatly, even in one metropolitan area. I think you are oversimplifying the issue because you are well paid.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    No, I am just using statistical data to form my opinion, not anecdote.
     
  28. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    bella84 likes this.
  29. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    I'd also say average wages mean nothing to the employee who isn't earning them.

    Stop telling me to earn the average salary I'm not earning.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    You do realize that is how statistics works, right? You use measures of central tendency (i.e. mean, median, and mode) to make inferences about the population from the sample(s). It makes total sense to compare yourself to the average worker because that is the frame of reference to make comparisons from.
     
  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    1,558

    Aug 20, 2017

    But you're also telling us to buy houses and support families with incomes we don't have that happen to be statistical.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Yes, teachers in red states should unionize and have protections for teachers. Totally agree with you.
     
  33. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    I appreciate the invitation to try again, but I'm going to pass, simply because this is an argument that neither side will ever win. It's a shame to have it between teachers rather than against non-teachers, but it is what it is.

    If there was a spectrum for where one's personal opinion falls on this matter, then I'd be somewhere in the middle. As I mentioned in a previous post, after all of my research and calculations, factoring in unpaid days off of work, I do agree that, in general, we teachers aren't doing too bad. But, I don't think that, even if we were to increase our days worked so that you could compare it to other professions where professionals work year-round, we'd be getting paid what we're worth. With all of the education and training we're required to have, and with the stress and responsibilities that come with the job, we shouldn't be struggling like many of us are.

    I'm happy for you that you're doing well for yourself. Personally, I've got family who helps me when I can't make ends meet, so I'm not doing so bad for myself either. But, if I didn't have family to rely on, I wouldn't be getting by so easily. There would be many months that I couldn't make this bill or that... and I don't have any children or a spouse to support.

    I think it's unwise of you to paint all teachers across the country from all walks of life with such a broad brush, particularly at your young, inexperienced age. I hope your quality of life remains as high for you as the years go on.
     
    agdamity likes this.
  34. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  35. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    We can agree to disagree. Not all teachers feel the same way, meaning not all teachers think they have it bad and make chronically low wages. That may be the case in some instances, but the common spread (i.e. statistics) say otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  36. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  37. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    Yes, NEA is more an association. Teachers unions serve as your legal advocates. They will represent you in a legal proceeding and work with school districts to increase your wages. Collectively, they all strive how to improve the profession as a whole for teachers and faculty alike.

    I really think you should consider moving to California. It is way better here and you could make much more money!
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  38. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Aug 20, 2017

    You must be misinterpreting what I said... I don't think that all teachers have it bad. I don't even think that I have it bad. I make a lot more than many people do, and I don't have to use my money to support anyone but myself. My financial challenges could be a lot worse than they are.

    I do, however, stand by my opinion that I'm not paid what I'm worth and that I shouldn't be struggling as much as I am.
     
  39. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Likes Received:
    1,076

    Aug 20, 2017

    I did not know that you sub. You will most likely never make a decent living just by subbing alone. I thought you had your own classroom.
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  40. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  41. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Aug 20, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. robbyfine,
  2. ally06,
  3. RainStorm,
  4. mrsf70
Total: 173 (members: 5, guests: 148, robots: 20)
test