Do you want to hear something sad?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by ecteach, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I went out with my best friend who was my roommate in college. We started talking about our jobs. I told her how much money I made and she started crying. Her quote, "You've been doing this for almost a decade and you make $20,000 less than I did my first year." She works in finance.

    Made me want to get out even more. Regardless of what anyone says, money does make a difference. I don't need any more pins or certificates. I need money to pay my bills. $31,000 and some change just isn't cutting it. At all.

    On another note, I hope everyone had a GREAT THANKSGIVING.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    She started crying? Was she really surprised that a job in finance is more lucrative than teaching?
    I'm saddened that teachers are not paid well. My district is currently in the midst of a difficult contract negotiation. Teachers are seeing less in our paychecks than last year because of required increased payment into our pension and healthcare. It's frustrating....but not surprising.
     
  4. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    She said she had no idea it was that low. Like I said, we were roommates in college so she knows I could have done anything I wanted to do with my life. I chose this career (special ed) for many reasons. But, I am no longer willing to sacrifice everything else for this career.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Not all teachers get paid that little. I'm in a fairly low-paying state, but I make a ton more than $31k. My suggestion is to move to where the money is, if that's an option.
     
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Teachers definitely make far less than in other careers, but I know in NJ, teachers can start out at nearly 20k more than that.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I've been in for a decade. I make WAY more than 31K. I live in an area with low cost of living. I do just fine. More than just fine.
     
  8. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Right. I should have mentioned that she is living in PA. now. There, they start out at a lot more than what I make right now.
     
  9. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I know. Right now I am not in the position to move. So many reasons why. I don't want to bore you with my (other) sob stories. :blush:
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Had I stayed at my previous district, that's what I would be making. In my current district, teachers are paid almost $10k more than that.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Same here. (more than 3x what the op is making,14 years in my district.)...but I still make less than someone with 14 years in finance, I'm sure.
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I feel your pain. I'm a second year and make quite a bit more than that, but I live in an extremely high cost of living area. $45k feels like minimum wage when rent on a one bedroom apartment is more than $1500 a month and tiny houses are $600k plus.

    Our solution? We're moving. But we are lucky to have family in a lower cost of living area and to have the option. I realize not everyone can do that.

    For what it's worth, no matter how much it pays, I would never ever EVER want to work in finance. So there is that to consider.
     
  13. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Wow. I'm a fairly new teacher and I make significantly more than 30k. I could not survive on that.

    COL and location does matter though. Does your district have a step program?
     
  14. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Funny you should ask. We do have a step system, but salaries have been frozen since 2007. I should be making about $38,000.00 right now. We can not make any more because the legislators refuse to lift the pay freeze. Worst part, when they do lift it (if they ever do) we will not go where we should be on the scale. They have reconfigured the scale so we will just go to the next step. So, essentially, I will not go to $38,000 (where I should be), I will just go to $32,500ish. At this rate, I will NEVER make enough to retire. I have been applying for jobs. I feel like crying every single time I walk through that door.
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is North Carolina, right? I just find this absolutely disgusting. I can't believe how teachers are treated in your state.

    I work at a charter, and our pay is frozen, and has been for the past 3 years. The rumor is we have 3 more years of frozen pay. And it's the same situation - no one will go to where they're supposed to go at that point. My situation isn't as upsetting as yours, though, because it's just one school. It's another reason I'm going to go out and find another job. I'm so sorry you don't have that option. That statewide salary schedule is just ridiculous. :(
     
  16. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    :hugs: I know you have a family, but is there ANY opportunity to move? Have you looked at private schools, freshened up your resume, exhausted all of those options?
     
  17. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Wow, hugs to you too! Before browsing atoz I was embarrassingly ignorant of this frozen pay issue... I didn't realize how common it seems to be, which is scary. How can teachers be kept motivated and properly compensated with no raises?:dizzy:
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm sure her contract is more than yours, though.

    Several of my friends make more money than I make, but I'm under a 180 day contract. They are under many more days per year.

    One of my friends is an executive assistant, and she makes more per year than I make. However, when we figured up our contracted time (days and hours), I was still making more money based on the contracted time.
     
  19. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    She makes $78,000/year. So, no it's nowhere near comparable. She's just in a field where people pay her for her talents. Won't happen with teaching. Ever.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    It IS sad when you compare your friend's & your situations. As you probably know by now, I'm a SLP, but (also sadly) most SLPs (in my state anyway) who work for school districts do not have a separate SLP salary scale. It's the same as the teachers, yet SLPs MUST have a Masters. (Even though an SLP would start at the point of the payscale where the Masters starts, many schools SLPs are mad that the pay isn't higher, since it's a difficult, science-based field, anyway, that's another story.) My district that I started off at didn't, but I still made a lot more than that my first year. Nevertheless, I started working on something to where I hopefully won't even have to continue being an SLP for much longer & definitely never return to special ed teaching again.

    BTW, true about what Ima said. I'm sure your friend doesn't get holidays & summers off....maybe not even weekends either.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Her friend probably also doesn't take too much work home or spend Sundays planning her week.
    Masters degree progams generally focus on research based best practices. I'm not sure why you think your masters would warrant a different pay scale than any other school professional...especially considering that most teachers who hold a MAT or MS Ed actually have years of experience teaching in the area of their graduate degree. Certainly you could potentially make more money as a private practitioner. Not sure if that's part of your plan...good luck to you.
     
  22. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I don't understand why you think an SLP should make more than a classroom teacher. Most SLP's that I know work with two to three students at a time, have minimal parent contact and can at least have some input on their schedule. I know there is paperwork, but all educators have this. I am NOT trying to start an argument, but I have heard this from you several times in the past.
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    All teachers in my state have to have a masters.
     
  24. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Oh, to the contrary. She gets every holiday off and never brings work home. I know it's a different ball game all together. I want to be in that game. As soon as I can be done I will be. I'm T.I.R.E.D. It's too much. If anyone is wondering, I AM a good teacher. That's part of the problem. I kill myself everyday. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I always get great evals. It's just not worth it to me anymore. I'm not Mother Teresa. I'd like to be able to provide things for my family.
     
  25. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I do feel like SLP's should make more money than a teacher. OT's too. If I were an SLP or OT, I'd never work in a school.
     
  26. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    SLP's here make far more than teachers. They are on a totally distinct salary scale, along with school psychologists. Those positions are viewed as clinical and both require more than an undergraduate degree to start. In fact, they make more than elementary assistant principals in my district.
     
  27. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    SLPs are on a different scale in my state as well, at least in the districts I'm familiar with. And they do make more on that scale than classroom teachers.
     
  28. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Ec,

    Since I'm a *new* teacher, and in NC also, is this whole never get paid more thing literal? I mean, am I going to be making 30,800 20 years from now????
     
  29. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Missy & czacza, of course I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers nor knock the hard work of teachers whatsoever, but I know both sides of it. I have an MA in special ed too & was briefly an RSP teacher & none of that put together (not even my comprehensive exam to get my first MA) was nearly as difficult as some of the grad courses I'm taking now that I'm working on my MS in communication disorders & sciences. You'd swear some of the courses were as if you were in med school, with all this anatomy, physiology, & audiology. It IS harder, so it's fine that people think that SLPs only work with a couple of kids in a group at a time & do some paperwork, but the schooling it took to get there was much rougher.

    Well that's nice for your friend & I'm not trying to overshadow your thread w/ this SLP talk...just replying to what some said about it. Hopefully, you'll get to experience what your friend does as well! :thumb:

    Well, I'm glad some of you recognize this...not that SLPs need a medal or anything. :) Many SLPs choose to work at schools because you still get all the holdiays, etc. off & you don't face the types of clients at schools that you'd have to face if you were in hospitals, convalescent homes or clinics, etc. That's a whole different ball game! At those places, you're dealing with cleft palate people, swallowing disorders, people who've had neck & throat cancers, etc & you have to know what you're doing so they don't choke & die.

    In the schools, SLPs work mostly with kids with articulation & language problems. Maybe once in 2-3 years, if that, you might have a cleft palate kid & being at the school, you're mainly helping them to talk. A SLP at the hospital would have to be a lot more involved, such as how to eat/drink, physiological issues before & after cleft palate surgery & working with surgeons, etc.

    Some school SLPs also have side jobs working at clinics, private practices, etc., especially in the summers when school's out.
     
  30. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I understand what you are saying, ecteach. It's maddening to me. Especially now that I am out of public education. Professional positions are paid professional salaries. Even in my rural area, if you have an education and are qualified for a skilled position, you are paid well.

    You're right, it's not all about the money, but it's ridiculous to me to think that if a teacher wants to be able to save for retirement, pay bills, and live comfortably, one has to either move (and therefore give up a lifestyle), or just give up that pipe dream. I can't accept that!

    My husband makes well over six figures. He started out with an Associates Degree, and at that point made twice what I did teaching. He then earned his Bachelors Degree (which his company paid for). His annual bonus now is more than what I made in salary during my first 3 years teaching.

    I don't say that to brag or anything. I'm just pointing out an incredible disparity in "professional" positions in this country. I now work in higher education, and make a nice salary with fantastic benefits. I love my job. But the reality is, even with that, I could quit tomorrow (with 2 weeks notice, and not worry about losing a license-but that's another thread), apply at my husband's company where I would be hired because they currently have FIFTEEN professional positions open (all of which require a Bachelors degree in anything), and I would almost double my salary.

    It is about the money. It's about compensation for work, and until you see the other side you don't really realize it.

    I know that these statements I made here are not going to be popular. I don't want to argue with anyone, and I respect others' opinions on the topic. I just have strong ones of my own. :peace:
     
  31. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    ecteach,

    I feel your pain, although I have it better than you as far as step increases. We get them; however, it's the thing of the more you make the more you are taxed. I bring home $25 more than I did six years ago when I started with this district.

    I'm kind of at an impasse this year. I want to be able to save more for retirement and for my kiddo's education, and it seems like more money is the only way to do that, but I like having the breaks with my child. It tears my heart out to think of sacrificing that, but I want him to have a good education and for DH and I not to be a burden to him as we age. :(

    DH makes more than I do, thank heavens, with only a high school diploma. Granted, he has to wear a bullet proof vest to work, but still. J/K My sister makes about $20,000 more than I do with only a high school diploma. Granted, she has worked really hard to get where she's at, but TBH I don't think she works/has worked any harder than I do/have, and I have far more requirements and accountability than she does. She works in finance, too. Go figure, lol.

    My state always plays the "low cost of living" card to justify our crappy pay. That really hacks me off. As I've said before, real estate in our town is insane! An apartment here rents for $800, but in a town 45 minutes away one rents for $350. Moving isn't an option.

    Beth
     
  32. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I think that depends on where you live as well. I live comfortably on my teaching salary. I bought a house at 29, and it's nearly paid off. I buy new cars. I take vacations. I have investments. I have savings. I have everything I need and most of what I want. I supported myself and a husband for many years.
     
  33. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Sounds like you have it made ....... Good for you.....
     
  34. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    The way things are going now...yes.

    When I started in 2004, I made roughly $25,000. In 3 years I jumped up to $31,000 and some change. This is only my 8th year, but on the pay scale it's 7, because they do not count your first year. I'm still at $31,000 and some change. We moved to another state for 2 years where I worked outside of the teaching field. They did not honor my experience outside of teaching when we came back, which is fine in my opinion. This should be my 10th year. It's just a big old mess.
     

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