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

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

  1. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I'm not making generalizations. I am using statistics to say the average teachers makes x, works y hours, and gets z benefits. You are one who is using your unique experience to say your experience is reflective of most teachers. Math is truth, not opinion.
     
  2. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    NEA provides legal representation and other supports, as well. I'm a member of NEA, and, if I needed a rep to join me at a meeting, I'd have one. If I needed legal advice or a lawyer for something work-related, I'd have one. My local NEA negotiates with our district admin and board of education on contract agreements.

    NEA functions almost exactly like a union and is colloquially known as "the union" where I work. Our state banned teachers from striking, but NEA is like a union in every other way.
     
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I would compare only apples to apples. I don't know what the education is of "average worker", but I know minimum education of teachers. You can't assume we all get our health insurance for free, because it's not true. You can't assume we all get great pensions, because that's not true. You can't assume we work contracted hours, because that's not true either. If you put in a minimum of 10 extra hours a week times the 40+ weeks of work, and many put in much more than that, we have simply paid it forward to be "off" in the summer. We get pay raises for education which is mandated, for all intents and purposes. In many states we are mandated to acquire our PD to keep our certificates, at our own expense. Many have college loans to pay off, and sad to say, not all districts offer tuition reimbursement, nor does available tuition reimbursement cover all education expenses, as some cap it, others say first come, first served, so some get financial help, while others do not. I can also state, as a parent, that many teachers did not pay for their own education, thanks to the bank of mom and dad, and my son's masters was a gift from the institution of mom and dad. If the average worker doesn't have the same education, the same requirements to maintain the job, or the expected, but unpaid work during non-contracted hours, it is NOT comparing apples to apples. My salary may seem like a fortune to someone working for minimum wage, but I invested a ton of time and money to get to my salary. I can't be responsible for the difference in salaries nor can I motivate some people to use their innate talents to succeed instead of just getting by. I have family members with the same talents and intelligence I have, who had almost identical opportunities, yet they are content to just get by making far less money for far harder work. That doesn't mean that statistically we are equals, IMHO.

    Until you show me only comparable stats, I'm with bella84 (don't ever try to text on your cell phone when you are just coming out of a migraine headache).
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I get what you're doing with statistics... You're using them to make generalizations. The problem with using statistics is that is doesn't give a clear picture of the issue in all locales. You're using nationwide averages without acknowledging that really high salaries in states like CA and cities like Chicago and NYC can bring up the average, while many in other states or rural towns just aren't making anything like that.

    You've also thrown in a lot of personal anecdote, claiming that, if you can get by on $55,000, you don't see why others can't. You also shared that you make thousands upon thousands tutoring, which certainly helps with your getting by. The average teacher around the country isn't making an additional $25,000 per year in tutoring income.

    I appreciate your use of statistics, but it just doesn't make the case here, as this is a very different issue from state to state and locale to locale. It's not something about which a conclusion can be drawn nationally, as nationally just really doesn't matter.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I'm not assuming anything. I have included several articles and studies from the Census Bureau, IRS, Forbes, Motley Fool, other news organizations, and various school districts. It is you and others that continue to use anecdote to back up your arguments. Personal anecdote is the lowest form of evidence and scientifically worthless. Yes, I did give my personal perspective as *background information* but I ALSO included substantiated sources, too.
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You misquoted me. I said that if I can make $55,000 in the second highest cost of living state, then someone making about that in the 23rd highest cost of living state (Arizona) should be able to cope.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Ok, I apologize for the misquote, but it doesn't change the point of what I said.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

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    Again, I mentioned very early on that I am discounting the tutoring income. Please read more carefully. I only used the $55,000 figure in my subsequent posts.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Thank you.

    The logic of my post still stands.
     
  10. futuremathsprof

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    Also, in statistics we use the median (a type of average) to try and avoid skewing the data. People like Bills Gates would increase the mean income a lot, which is why the average household income is reported as the "median" household income and not the mean.

    The mean is affected by outliers because outliers can dramatically increase the numerator in the average formula. The median is rarely affected by outliers because the median is the middle data item and in the center of the distribution (all household incomes in this case).
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I doubt you'd be getting by so well in your state if you had a family to support and/or had to do without that tutoring income (I know, I know... You're discounting the tutoring income... So, you've said. But, for real, do you really think that you'd have the same standard of living without it?). You're also quite young. I'm gonna guess you have or have had some family help to get where you are right now, if you're doing so well in such an expensive state. I'm not judging. I get family help, too. But I cannot fathom how I could be making only $6,000 less than you and struggling so much more than you, given that I live in a state and city with a relatively low cost of living.

    Again, good job with the statistics. But they're worthless when you try to make the claim that they apply to every locale in the country.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I know how statistics work.

    I'm only quoting you. You didn't say the "median" household income. You said "average".
     
  13. futuremathsprof

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    I'm not saying this at all. Show me the quotation where I stated this. I provided an example of the differences in purchasing power between the two states in terms of housing.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    All of my tutoring income goes into savings. I don't spend any of it because I rent currently and am saving up to buy a home outright.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

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    You are misinformed then. The median is an average. The mean is NOT the only average.

    "An arithmetic mean is calculated by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by the number of quantities. For our example, we need to add the nine quiz scores together and then divide the sum by nine. So, the rounded average, or mean, score is 74. The median is another form of an average."

    blog.dictionary.com/mean-median-mode/
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Fair enough. You win that one. You're so much smarter than everyone here. You can go ahead and pat yourself on the back for that one.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

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    That is not what I am saying at all. Your interpretation is not correct...

    That is not how statistics work. They speak to the majority or plurality in some cases. In statistics, we say, "in general" or "it seems/appears that." I am saying *most* teachers do x, y, and z, not all.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    And you don't see how that helps to raise your standard of living? Clearly the tutoring income can't be discounted.

    Let me guess... No student loans? Your parents paid for school? No car payment? You're still driving the one your parents bought you? Just wait for life to catch up with you.
     
  19. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Futuremathprof, you seem determined to be "right" here. Unfortunately, this discussion has no "right" answer. Statistics are great, but they never show the whole picture. I hope you can learn to listen to other viewpoints and respect other viewpoints without discrediting personal experience that doesn't align mathematically with your statistics.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

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    Actually, I came form humble beginnings, so nice try. I graduated with a 4.75 GPA from high school, got 2180 on my SAT, had junior standing because I took 16 AP classes and received credit for all of them, and completed by math degree from UC Davis in 2014. And the only reason I was able to go to that school was because I received over $96,000 in merit-based scholarships, which I applied to all of my junior and senior years. I did have to take out $17,150 in student loans though. However, I paid off those within ten months of graduating in 2014. I did all this myself. My parents could not afford to help me at all.

    I self-financed my Masters degree and teaching credential program entirely.

    And I thought I was the one that was claimed to be making generalizations.
     
  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Good for you.
     
  22. futuremathsprof

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    Do you know why I said math is truth and not opinion? Mathematicians seek to objectively explain the natural world using numbers and symbols. The definition of truth is "that which is in accordance with reality." Opinions are not fact based and can be wrong. Objective truth is the best way we have of explaining reality, not feelings and personal experiences.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If my "anecdote" is fact as I have experienced requirements, I resent you attacking me. Honestly, at this point, all I asked for is comparison of apples to apples. If that is not explicit enough, show me comparison statistics from equal or comparable SES groups, of similar age and education. Statistics that attempt to use the same factors across populations that fail to share the same conditions are worthless.
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Interesting conversation. I guess my point of view is that(as others have stated) statistics don't tell the whole truth. Your statistics about salaries are probably based upon contracted hours that teachers are required to work. I wonder how statistics would report the number of extra hours that teachers work over and above their contracted hours during the school year and vacations? I think the picture would be painted differently if the salary was reported as an hourly income based upon actual hours worked?
    And, here is a personal anecdote. In my area, teachers top out after 25 years around $50,000. They aren't paid for extra education and they aren't given yearly raises if their students don't score well enough on state exams. So, statistically, I guess my area would score way down by the bottom?
     
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  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Insurance for a family is over a thousand a month in my district. An aide I know has to pay the district for insurance because her check does not cover the premium. She doesn't receive a check. My insurance (which is horrible) is almost three hundred a month.

    My mom just retired and she will get about 80% of her salary but she met the rule of 107 instead of 80 so I think she deserved more since she put in more than she had to. She also worked enough quarters before teaching to receive social security but won't get but about fifty dollars since her annuity is considered a windfall.

    I've taught over two decades and barely make over 50k so I won't ever make six figures.

    I'm in a right to work state and do not have unions. I'd lose my job should I try to strike. However, even though Texas is a right to work state, many citizens of this state spout hatred toward teacher unions and Common Core and we don't even have CC. I've read on many sites that people think teachers are all socialists and are trying to brainwash students while earning huge paychecks with our forty hour a week, ten month contracts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    So you don't belong in the norm with the minimum wage earners without post secondary education, in reality, do you? I worked to put myself through college - all of it, but that would not be my point. I acquired multiple degrees, and that puts me in a different category from many of "the norm".
     
  27. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  28. futuremathsprof

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    I think that is just wrong. Right to work states tend to bash teachers and I have no idea why. Teachers form the backbone of this nation. Without us, the USA would not be a superpower for much longer.
     
  29. futuremathsprof

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    When I say average, I am not speaking about unskilled workers without advanced degrees. Average workers can mean a lot of things. For example, say at Company ABC the average worker makes $60,000 a year. That says nothing about their training, education level, or skill set. I did not mean to offend and was not calling your credentials into question. Hopefully, that clarifies a few things.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  30. futuremathsprof

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    Wow, that is crazy. You are a seasoned educator and only make 50k?! You should be making more than that. Have you considered switching districts? There are school districts in Texas (I'm assuming you work in Texas based on your username) that pay more than that.

    I just looked up four Texas school districts at random and found several cases where teachers make more than 50k. 50k seems to be the starting salary. I am confused. How the heck are you making 50k after twenty years of service?!

    http://www.katyisd.org/dept/hr/Documents/Teacher Salary Schedule.pdf

    http://www.nctq.org/docs/Houston_2016-2017_Teacher_Salary_Schedules.pdf

    https://www.austinisd.org/sites/default/files/dept/hr/docs/P7A_Sal_Scale_2016-2017.pdf

    http://www.nctq.org/docs/Fort_Bend_2016-17_Teacher_Scale.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    .
    My point is that we MUST have the credentials and education to teach. I can work at some companies and make similar salaries, but my education isn't mandated. My mother made as much as me as a beautician, with only four months of instruction before going out on her own. I wouldn't consider comparisons between the two of us valid, because I couldn't teach without the BS as a minimum, or the AR classes, or the MEd., and the list goes on. That is what I was saying about comparing apples to apples. As far as insurance, I pay $650/month for my husband and I, and my pension is puny. I do admit that I have been lucky to use tuition reimbursement for a lot of my extended education, but that doesn't give me my time back for classes and work, does it? My personal opinion is that many in the public domain believe our lot is better than it is. That is something to consider when using statistics to "prove" a point.
     
  32. futuremathsprof

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    I answered this in a previous post. Click on the link and go to page 2. (BLS stands for Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    "1. Teachers were less likely to work during the summer months than at other times of the year, 2003–06"

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

    Here is additional information on the matter. This is a comprehensive study from MIT:

    "Researchers have good data on teachers’ annual salaries but a hazy understanding of teachers’ hours of work. This makes it difficult to calculate an accurate hourly wage and leads policy makers to default to anecdote rather than fact when debating teacher pay. Using data from the American Time Use Survey, I find that teachers work an average of 34.5 hours per week on an annual basis (38.0 hours per week during the school year and 21.5 hours per week during the summer months). I find that when hours per week are accurately accounted for high school teachers earn in the range of 7–14 percent less than demographically similar workers in other occupations. However, elementary, middle, and special education teachers earn higher wages than demographically similar workers in other occupations.

    http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/EDFP_a_00133
     
  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Can you as least see that your experience doesn't speak or account for the majority? Let us assume for the sake of argument, that 7 out of every 10 people have brown eyes. (Again, this is obviously not true, but it is just an example.) Then, it is safe to say that the *majority* of people have brown eyes. According to you, you would take those 3 out of 10 people and say, "Wait a minute. These three people don't have brown eyes so your statistics are wrong." No, I am saying that the majority of people have brown eyes. In this case, my argument is irrefutable because a majority, by definition, is a number greater than half the total. Exceptions don't negate the majority.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sometimes, dear friend, the best we can do is agree to disagree. I could care less about eye color, I want to know how many have perfect vision, who wears glasses, and how many are blind. :cool:
     
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  35. futuremathsprof

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    It is okay to agree to disagree. However, I will say that your rebuttal was quite clever and the use of that emoticon was just perfect. LOL
     
  36. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    We can find statistics, studies, and other forms of evidence to back up most all sides of this issue, if we try hard enough to find them.
     
  37. futuremathsprof

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    If you are willing to show me, then I am willing to read them. However, I will only accept reputable sources. For example, online surveys are fraught with error and, as such, I will not consider those.

    If you can find sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IRS, Census Bureau, news organizations, and academic institutions then I am willing to hear what you have to say. All of my sources that I have listed are highly reputable and most if not all are peer reviewed.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    So, if the statistics aren't accurate, why are you using them as the basis for your argument?
     
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  39. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I wasn't suggesting anything less than reputable sources. I'm unwilling to take the time to seek them out right now, though.

    Your evidence may have come from reputable sources, but it wasn't the most recent research nor was it widespread enough to prove your point, at least as far as I'm concerned.

    So far, all you've proved to me is that you know the difference between a reputable and non-reputable source, you're somewhat knowledgeable in the area of research and statistics, and you have magic skills when it comes to budgeting your own money (If you really paid $17,000+ in loans back within 10 months of graduating college, I'd love to take a class on money management from you - no joke.).
     
  40. futuremathsprof

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    The data that I provided came from 2003 through 2015. Most are very recent. A few are over a decade old, but that does not disregard their veracity.

    Concerning my student loan payoff plan, it is actually quite simple. I was fresh out of college, got a job as an academic coordinator paying $30 an hour (I later left that job because I wanted to go into teaching), and rented a room out of someone's home. I found the room on Craigslist and they only charged me $450 a month plus utilities. Basically, I made $1,000 a week after taxes and put well over 50% of my income towards student loans every month. My day consisted of working, sleeping, eating, showering, and seeing the occasional movie. That was it.

    Here's proof:

    http://imgur.com/Uh9DwiI

    http://imgur.com/kzYliHy

    http://imgur.com/lqDI5uz

    http://imgur.com/mMmxvaK

    I don't believe in just paying the minimum payment on anything. Case in point, I paid off my 7-year car loan in 1.5 years doing the same thing.

    Yes, I didn't get to do much within those two years. However, I am debt free and have tons of spending money each month. That was worth it to me to give up a few short years of minimal existence to be debt free and have disposable income every month.

    Edit: I am going to do the same thing with my house. I am going to buy it outright with my savings from tutoring. Once I do that, my life is pretty much set because I can devote the remainder of my tutoring money for retirement and use my teaching money for fun stuff and regular bills! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017

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