Am I missing something? (Salary)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderWonder, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    I have been looking into becoming a teacher and I am currently a freshman in college. I decided to be a Nurse because of the pay, not because I wanted to be a Nurse. Now I have decided that I want to have a job that I will love, but still bring home the bacon. Money is not a huge factor to me anymore, but I still want to survive. I know everyone says that teachers don't make a lot of money, but I don't really see it.

    The county that I would be working in has a salary of $37,300 (for a bachelors degree and 0-1 years of experience), working 196 days a year and 7.33 hours a day. I realize that teachers do spend more than 7.33 hours a day working (doing lesson plans on weekends and such), however, there are a lot of careers that have people working on their time off and they are not getting paid for it.

    So, if one would make $37,300 for working 196 days 7.33 hours a day. That would mean they would make $25.96/hour. Therefore, if they worked 7.33 hours a day five days a week, in a week they would make $951.43. If they made $951.43 a week then in a month they would make $3,805.74 (of course this is without taxes being removed).

    Still I'm not sure why teachers feel they do not get paid enough, to me this is plenty to live on for a month. Is it because teachers are out of a job over the summer? Am I wrong in the way they get paid? What am I missing?

    Thanks in advance to any help I receive. I am not trying to be rude, I am just trying to understand.:)
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    You know, I always felt comfortable with the amount that I was being paid. In one district, I got paid (I won't say the exact amount) but it was in the 40,000 and that was as a new teacher. Being a teacher is extremely demanding and you really need to love working with kids and you really need patience, need to be firm, and consistent. And you are right, in some districts, your last payment for the school year is JUne and yo won't get another one until the end of August. So, for the months you aren't paid, you will be living off of your savings. I know my credit union, which mainly has members from the school system, has a account where they take out like $50 for each month you are paid and deposits into a summer account.

    Anyways, I was able to save up a ton of money in the four years that I taught and go on two vacations and put a very nice down payment on a house. But, I am also one who doesn't spend a whole lot of money on a day to day basis too. So, I don't really know. I'm rambling now. :)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  5. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Our district prorates our salaries so we get paid over the summer. Of course there are taxes, union dues, and health insurance (which come out of every check). Oh and don't forget continuing education (about $1100 per class to get a Masters degree) which is required but the district does not pay for, so it must come out of my pocket as well.

    I'm not complaining, mind you. Just trying to give you a clearer picture. Good thing my husband has a well paying job.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    One thing to consider is that teachers often have to continue to take graduate courses and/or earn a Masters degree. In other fields where people have a comparable amount of education (5-10+ years beyond undergrad), people make significantly more money.

    Another thing is that while starting salaries might sound reasonable, they don't increase a whole heck of a lot in many districts. I was looking at a salary schedule for a friend's district just this morning, and the difference between a first-year teacher and a 30+ year veteran teacher was approximately $15k. If I'm looking at that the right way, I think that means that the average annual raise is $500.

    With that having been said, I feel that I am paid mostly reasonably. I'd like a little more money, especially considering that I live in a big city where money doesn't go as far as I'd like, but overall I'm pretty happy with my paycheck.
     
  7. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    I agree with you. Many of the teachers in my building are making between $80,000-$100,000 per year. We have a very nice salary scale, BUT during the first 7 or 8 years of teaching, it is not enough to live in the area where I teach. The options are either pay $$$$ to live close by or commute from a cheaper residential area (which would be a minimum of an hour each way).

    However, where I used to teach several states away, the starting salary was about $27,000 and the pay scale maxed out at about $40,000 (after 30 years of teaching). I don't care how cheap the houses are, that's not really enough to live a comfortable life and still have room for extras.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I can not make it on my teaching salary alone, I have to keep a PT job to survive.
    Of course, I teach in a low-paying state. That makes a differnence.
    I bring home less than $1800 a month (this is my 3rd year) and my mortgage and car payment alone come out to be nearly $1300. That leaves $500 for heat, gas, water, electricity, cable, food, student loans and credit cards. When I rented, I paid the same as my mortgage, but did not owe anything on a credit card (homeownership gifted me about $9K in debt). I didn't not *have* to have a PT job. But, the credit card bills put me over the edge.
    I need to win the lotto or find a rich husband *sigh* I would be perfectly fine if I made $37K a year. But, I don't. Not even close, really.
     
  9. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I do make enough to live comfortably. And when we moved here and I started teaching, I started out making about $10,000 more a year than I would have teaching in my home state, so I really didn't complain.

    However, we don't make nearly enough money for the job that we do. Many other professionals make 3 figure salaries. The hours we put in outside of the regular school day are typically long. It's Sunday and I just got onto the computer to take a break and type up my Monday newsletter, but my kitchen table is covered in lesson planning materials and assessment materials (since grade cards are due in 5 days).

    Teachers work very, very hard. It is exhausting and demanding work. Just last night I said that sometimes I dream of a 9-5 job that I leave at work and don't bring so much home with me (mentally and paperwork-wise).
     
  10. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    I guess I am looking at this as, being married, my husband would be bringing home some money too. I talked with my mom and our average monthly bills come out to be around 3,500. So with the additional income from my husband, it should be enough. I also know that we are waiting to have kids until we can afford them, expensive little buggers...
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My husband is also a teacher, also in a Catholic school.
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think it has to do with what a comparable professional would make with 4+ years of college and training. Also, starting out doesn't sound so bad, but as others have mentioned, it doesn't go up compared to other professions.
     
  13. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I make a pretty good salary, but I'm always working way past my contracted time. I think I deserve more. I live comfortable.
     
  14. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Another thing to consider here, is how many careers out there do people put money back into their jobs. I realize that certain districts provide all necessary supplies, but that isn't the majority. See how many people on this site are posting over the summer about penny deals for supplies. Nurses don't but their own needles, secretaries are provided with pens, construction workers aren't hurting for nails.

    Take into consideration that people expect you to work miracles, and sometimes you are providing services to clients who don't want what you are offering. LOL. Not that you should be payed more for that, it just can be a thankless job.

    That being said, I have no complaints about how much I make. It's not enough to live alone with my kids if I had to, but I don't have to. If I did, we would have to sacrifice a lot!!!
     
  15. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    That is another thing, what other carreer are you expected to be married and living on 2 incomes in order to make it. Being a single parent is the norm now and few teachers can make it on one salary and raise thier kids comfortably compared to other jobs that require 4 years and certification.
     
  16. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    My beef is that teachers are paid on a set scale, as opposed to being paid on performance. And before you start yelling at me, I think that "performance" is a multifaceted term. If it were up to me, teacher pay would be evaluated by yearly performance, which would be determined by administrator evaluations, student evaluations, performance with extra duties (clubs, department head, coaching, etc), and test scores. If appropriate, other factors could be included. Not everyone is going to lead a club, and that's fine, but those who are heading several should get some credit. In my little fantasy, there would be enough factors that one low score doesn't effect the teacher negatively. However, those who do well in all areas would get rewarded for their hard work.

    I don't think it's fair for all teachers to get paid the same way. Some people work harder and do a better job, and they should be paid accordingly.
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My husband and I are both teachers, and we do just fine financially. We comfortably pay our bills (mortgage, loan payments, car payments, etc.) and have cable tv, cell phones, etc. We even have season tickets for an NFL team, and travel maybe once a year. We don't have kids, but we have four pets. We eat out when we want to, and we even save some money each month (though not as much as we should, I'm sure.)

    Would I like getting more money? Sure. I'm perfectly content with the amount of money I make right now.
     
  18. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    My first year I made 27000 a yr. After taxes it wasn't much, than take out rent, car loan and school loans and food to live on and I had no money left over. I also, worked 12 hours a day or so. I can't count the summer because I was hired right before I started and found a new job the following summer.

    Now I basically have the one month off in the summer. We are not allowed in the school during the month of July. But it doesn't mean that I'm not at home looking up ideas on how to improve my teaching.
     
  19. Behavior Guru

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    You know the old adage, "the more you make, the more you spend", well it applies to teachers too. If you are used to living within your means, you can be a teacher and still find ways to put aside money into savings. At one time I was living, not comfortably mind you, but paying my own way on a minimum wage job. When I began teaching, making $20,000 a year, I thought I'd struck it rich. It really does depend on your outlook and your circumstances. It's all relative, so I'm happy for you that you've found a profession that you enjoy and one that you feel you are well compensated for.
     
  20. fantasticfirst

    fantasticfirst Rookie

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    You also have to consider the amount of money that you will put into your classroom too. Our district does not supply much. I am always buying things for my kids and my classroom.
     
  21. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Also consider that you might not get a job in the county where you live. You might find one that pays more or less.

    If you are lucky, your school will pay for your insurance. Even if your husband had great insurance on you, don't turn it down. At our school, once you have declined it, it is hard to get it again. Basically, you have to prove you have lost your other insurance and go through a lot of red tape.

    Our school also has after school jobs that add to the pay. I coach cheerleading. Other jobs are tutoring and family engagement.

    I feel that I am paid a decent salary but I could use more most months. I agree that it is important to live within your means, no matter what career you choose.
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That's roughly what I make after taxes and insurance are deducted and I've been teaching almost 10 years. I've never complained about my pay as I know I can supplement with a summer job or tutorials-but it doesn't stretch as far as you'd think. Alice is right, even without kids it's hard to live on just that income-I constantly worry about a large home repair or medical issue that will break the bank.

    I guess teachers may think that the fact that we have the lives, future, safety of 20+ kids to worry about for 8 hours a day is worth more than say, an office worker could make. As Tasha pointed out, we do have to go through school and certification and even if you get a Master's degree in my district-you only get about $800 more a year. After taxes it would take years to pay off the classes you'd have to take to get the degree. I also get 1 month off in the summer. I work 7:00-5:00-at school, probably at least another hour after I get home and at least 4 or 5 on the weekends. I don't get paid for that extra time. I spend at least $1,000 per year on supplies for my class.

    But then again-I don't know anyone who went into teaching for the money :).
     
  23. SweetHomeAlabam

    SweetHomeAlabam Companion

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  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    After taxes and insurance my paycheck just barely covers my bills. My husband works too and we really have no money left over at the end of the month. The cost of living is higher in my area than most so that's part of it. I just got a part time job so that I can have at least some spending money for myself.
     
  25. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    When I started teaching, I couldn't afford rent and daycare as a single parent. I had to live with my parents until my child was in school. The money just wasn't there. What other professional is put in that position? And I know that there are others on here that have to live at home with their parents. It is not right that you have a four year degree, are certified, and are considered a professional, but you can't afford basic bills.
     
  26. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I make about 30,000 (3rd year, parochial school), and we are required to be at school 9 hours a day. That works out to about $17 an hour. And yes, I know that sometimes people in other jobs have to take work home, but ALL of my prep work and grading must be done outside the school day (I have about 15 minutes kid-free during the day). I did a quick 'revised' estimate (and I know I was low on the number of hours) and came up with a new total of $12/hour.

    That said, I can live comfortably on what I make. But I am single, have very good insurance through school, don't have a car payment, and live in low cost of living area. I don't spend much, which makes it easier to save now, because I know I will need it later.

    As others have said, I think it's more the principle of the pay not reflecting the professional nature of the job, as well as the training and other things that go into it.
     
  27. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I only end up bringing home about $2000 a month and this is my 3rd year teaching. The salary you were talking about is almost double that. I'm fine with money now, but if I had kids I don't know if I could make it. If I made about $3900 a month then I'd be great! Considering that my house payment is half of my salary-I don't think I make enough money.
     
  28. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I didn't even think about the fact that on our days we don't have 'specials' classes, I am with my kids from 8 am to 3:40 pm (7 hours teaching + 40 minutes of after school bus duty) without a single break. If I have to go to the bathroom, I have to send a child to find an available adult to come to my room and watch my class. Once this year I lined the whole class up and made them stand in front of the office so I could pee.
    5 years of college and I can't even pee when I want :rolleyes:
     
  29. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Can I hijack for a minute -
    What do you do for the special education teachers? My students can not pass the standardize test that their grade level peers are expected to do. They do make progress each year, but it can be very minimal depending on severity of their disability.

    How do you stop the administration from giving you a class of with all the at risk students while another teacher has all the others? How do you keep it fair?

    Who sets the standards so that they are fair from district to district?

    I am just confused on how a merit pay based system would work in reality.
     
  30. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    As I said, testing would only be one of many parts of a pay increase rubric. In the case of SPED, there should be some exceptions. Also, as far as standardized tests go, I would base it on value-added growth, not simply if a student passes. That standard, even as special education teachers (unless you are working with severe populations), is something all teachers need to take responsibility for.

    Do accounting firms have standardized pay increases from firm to firm? As a potential employee, you would look into the standards before being hired (I would hope).

    I worked in a school that was merit based pay for 2 years, and I loved it. There was set criteria that the teachers were aware of beforehand. In addition, there was a low (no pay raise) and a high cap (I believe 5%) per year. In addition, we had end of year performance bonuses (max of 1,000 for first year, 1,500 for second year, and 2.5% of salary after 2 years).
     
  31. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Your salary calculations are incorrect. The way you did the math, you would only be paid that amount during the school year--no checks during the summer. Most schools at least have the option of being paid year round (my district requires it) but that means your paycheck is significantly smaller.
    My salary is not bad, but I have ti support my husband who is in school, so we live in an old apartment, drive old cars, no cable, etc. I don't mind, but my cousin who is a nurse works an equivalent number of days but he made more his first year than I do on my 7th year.
    Not to mention that some states, especially down south the pay is much less.
     
  32. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    I always assumed that where I am teachers do not get paid over the summer, because 98% of them end up getting summer jobs, or already have them lined up year to year. I love how many responses this question has received, it really helps to see how others are doing. I don't think I would have a problem living within my means, I pretty much always had to, ever since I started working. I refuse to pay full price for anything, I bought a 2001 car for $3,500.00 which I paid for over two years (160.55 a month) and I typically pay for my own food, clothes, etc. (ever since I was 16...). Like I mentioned before, I am merely considering my options right now, but as of this moment I am still stuck on teaching.
     
  33. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    If you feel you are a teacher, the money won't matter. Sometimes, you might wish you made more, but a teacher doesn't stop teaching for money.
     
  34. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    I make 1,880/month after taxes. I'm in my third year. After rent, car payment, and other bills I don't have much left over. If I was a single parent, I don't know how I would do it.

    My boyfriend is moving in with me and is going to start paying half the rent and utilities soon. So December will be the last month that I pay the full amounts by myself. It's going to be SUCH a huge help to have that extra money. I will finally be paying off my credit card. :)
     
  35. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Do teachers make enough money. Those that make that 80k-100k I would say no problem. I have worked 30+ years and have a masters degree. I will make about 52k this year. No raise or even step the last two years but PAY MORE in insurance. After 18 years I made the same salary my niece started at with her two year nursing degree as opposed to my MSed.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    "Mrs. Apple" who arrives just before the students and leaves at the bell each day and who doesn't spend any time outside of the classroom preparing for her classes is also more likely to be satisfied with her salary, especially when she considers the fact that "Mr. Grape" is working so much he needs a cot in the classroom! True, Mrs. Apple may be just as effective as Mr. Grape, but chances are, especially if both have been teaching for the same time approximately, Mr. Grape is offering more to his students.

    If I don't compare my responsibilities and salary to anyone else's, I'm fairly satisfied. Another five thousand annually would push me to the for-sure satisfied category. As I've said before, and others have as well, it's when you compare your career and salary to those around you when you feel as though you are underpaid and perhaps undervalued.
     
  37. mrs.et

    mrs.et Rookie

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    I'm sort of glad that I will be going back to school at 28 next year and getting my credential at 29 or 30. I have been able to just work the past few years since graduating and paid off my undergrad loans. By the time I get my credential, I will have almost paid off my car loan.

    I think the amount of debt you have makes a big difference on how you view your starting salary. I know that's obvious, but I feel for the 22 or 23-year-old teachers who are starting out in the world and are faced with a little more debt.
     
  38. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My $38,000 salary doesn't compare to those with 4 year degrees and 16 years experience. That's my biggest gripe. It doesn't even compare to other public employees.

    Other thoughts:

    Our district deducts $190 a month for health insurance.

    Child care for 3 costs us $1200 a month. It's difficult to find a summer job that would be worth paying this.

    Graduate credits each year are out of pocket.
     
  39. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    So when you say you have to take more college courses, do they specify which courses you have to take? Or can you pick and choose?
     
  40. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    In order to renew my teaching certificate, it is REQUIRED that I earn a masters degree. I can choose the type of degree I earn. I am earning a degree in Curriculum and Instruction, a colleague is earning hers in Mathematics.

    After I have earned my masters, I still have to earn a certain number of continuing education credits each 5 year period in order to renew my license.
     
  41. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    In many states you need to get a Masters Degree to become fully certified.
     

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