Feeling like we don't matter!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lovebeingteach, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    Aug 19, 2012

    We start back to work on Tuesday. I am sitting here feeling like financially I don't think I can make it any longer. I make $31,000/year, and this is my 8th year teaching. We used to get an 8% supplement, but this year, the board voted to not give it to us. I couldn't even make it WITH the supplement, what am I going to do without it? Without my husband, I would be very bad off. I had to use his debit card to get $25 in gas today. He could care less, but I feel so bad. He works very hard for his money, and I feel like because of my low-paying job, he can never purchase things that he wants. He makes about $37,000 a year as a correctional officer.

    I haven't gotten a raise in over 5 years. This year, all state employees were supposed to get a 1.2% raise, but when I looked at the updated salary schedules, it is the same amount I made last year. They always do something funky with our pay so we don't make more.

    I am actually depressed over this issue. I feel like we don't matter at all. We are educating our future, we should matter at least a little bit. :confused:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2012

    :hugs:
    The last weeks of August can be hard on a wallet:(.

    Are there any stipend positions or extra duties you can ake on in your district to make more $? Such positions in my district include yearbook, student council, some clubs...I do dismissal duty which pays about an additional $250 per month. I also teach an afterschool enrichment class and tutor...it adds up to boost my salary quite a bit for the year.
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I would definitely look into tutoring. You could make a lot of cash tutoring that could definitely help make up for that supplement you lost out on.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    This is why North Carolina needs unions! $31,000 is completely unacceptable for an EIGHTH YEAR TEACHER with a COLLEGE DEGREE.

    So sorry.
     
  6. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Look into tutoring, respite care for kids with autism, etc.
     
  7. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    You gotta be kidding me! That's ALL you make? Your husband is a corrections officer, right up my alley, because I teach in a prison. And since I brought that up, lemme ask you this............

    My step-sister just got a nursing job in NC at a prison and she said in order for her to carry her family on her insurance, it would be 500 a MONTH! Is that your husband's situation, or do you carry the insurance? I just had to ask because that seems so astounding - especially in a high-risk job like that.

    I knew I'd never make any money, never did, until 7 years ago. I scrounged forever making pauper's wages teaching at a county juvy lock up for 10 years, got better when I went to an alternative public school, and felt like I won the lottery when I got the job at the prison. I'm around 65 K a year here in Ohio, but that's with a masters plus-30. My wife makes around 23-25 a year, pre-school (private). Hell, we're considered highly paid compared to most in our town, and we struggle to make ends meet. I don't know how you do it.

    Sounds like NC is one of those "right to work" states, am I right? We fought that BS last year because King John Kasich our new governor wanted to "break the back" of the teacher's union. Well, we took it to the ballot and rammed it up his poop shoot 3 to 1.

    Interested in teaching in Ohio?
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    There is a seven thousand dollar difference between a first year teacher's salary and mine. I'm starting year twenty.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wowza.:(
     
  10. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    WOW! That's crazy! :confused:
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We got a raise, but it was so little. Last year we got none.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I wish I could offer something more helpful than condolences, but all my suggestions have already been offered.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    This makes me feel bad for complaining about my salary. I'm starting year 5 and I'll be making a little over $34,000. In the district I live in, if I were employed, I'd be making $47,000.
     
  14. MissTeach22

    MissTeach22 Companion

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    As hard as it may be just remember it could be worse - I make 22k a year with 4 years experience AND a masters degree! I would love to make what you make - I just remind myself that I do it bc I love it, but are there times I wish I made more - absolutely.
     
  15. GTB4GT

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    I always look at things like this...imagine the poorest person in the USA. THAT person is living bettter than probably 96% of the world (cell phone, housing, food, car, AC, TV, freedom to do as she/he pleases, right to vote and worship, etc.) May be simplistic but we in this country tend to focus not on what we have, but what we don't have or want.
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    More and more it is becoming clear that teachers in this country are some of the least valued workers and there is a large group committed to devaluing them more. With the cost of living as it is this kind of salary is an insult to young families. Go find the cost of becoming a teacher in this day and age and then you find that you make what unskilled wages for many. You have my sympathy. We havent had a raise in five years and even took a 3% pay cut last year. I know the refrain. WE SHOULD be happy we have a job at all in this day and age. You would think America/Americans would care more about the children and listen less to their politicians and radio experts. We have enough to outspend the next ten countries on the list in military matters and have bases in over 100 countries but we send our kids to schools that are in disrepair and pay teachers salaries like you described. All that said I love my job.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nice outlook, GT, but that food, gas, other commodities are rising in price faster than many salaries can keep up with. Hard for some to feel grateful for what they have when they are experiencing hard times holding onto those things.:(
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it's a lovely to think that job satisfaction should be enough.

    But the reality is that teachers have bills to pay, rent and mortgages to worry about, taxes that are ever increasing. And many have kids to support as well.

    And that not paying a living wage simply ensures a constant turnover in the profession.

    I think we all appreciate all that's wonderful about this country. But I don't think that any of those freedoms have a lot to do with the fact that some teachers in this nation are incredibly underpaid.

    What makes it all the worse is to see the salaries some of the administrators are making... they're not feeling the same economic pinch as the teachers in those same districts.
     
  19. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Alice, I have tremndous respect for those who choose to teach (obviously). However, no one in any field is underpaid. pay is determined by supply and demand. granted there is high turnover but there is (apparently) enough talent in the pipeline seeking jobs to keep salaries where they are. this is true of any profession...the market dictates pay. you can argue that those coming in aren't as valuable as those exiting for more lucrative fields but until those seeking to fill the jobs see differently it will remain as it is. Not wishing to step on any toes but this is basic college economics 101.
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    None of those are paid positions in NC. I am required to have an after school duty, lunch duty, and I am the science fair coordinator. I make $0 extra!
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I can commiserate with you :(
    Luckily, my district still pays a $2000 stipend. I have been working a second job since my first year (I am going on year 6). I have had it. I started looking for a job out of state last year. It was a no-go, but I am very determined to do whatever it takes to make it happen next year.
     
  22. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    What do they want down there, missionaries or educators? THAT sucks! I'll probably get one more raise in my life and that's because they have no choice when I got my masters plus-30. That's why I got it - I saw the writing on the wall.

    Look, we deserve to be fairly compensated because of the education we're required to get. In Ohio at least, a masters is required. None of us signed up for this "gig" to get wealthy, otherwise we wouldn't have done it.

    But I understand where you say you feel like we don't matter.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As a former business major who took quite a few economic classes, its not all about supply and demand. I'm in NJ where there are literally hundreds of resumes for every one opening ( economic principles would say high supply, relatively low demand would lead to lower 'prices')...and after 12 years in my district I'm making MANY times over what a 20 year veteran on this thread is making...geographics, demographics, tax base also come into play. There are many teachers in our country who are highly educated, extremely competent and for whom money wasn't the biggest motivator or them when choosing this profession,BUT still some of them (read the OP's post again) cant make it on teacher pay alone despite living rather modest lifestyles....sure they're living better than Someone living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where
    GDP Per Capita in 2011 was $348, but they're certainly aren't making a living in line with their education level or professional 'status'.:2cents:
     
  24. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I feel your pain. We are entering year 3 without a contract and without a raise. After taxes and rising health insurance costs I make less than I did 4 years ago.
     
  25. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    AMEN! School doesn't start until 8:00, but I have to be there every day at 7:30 to do breakfast duty. I don't get paid more, and I don't have a choice.
     
  26. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    I think I'll look into some respite care....
     
  27. GTB4GT

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    excellent points. However you suggest that you make more than most in this thread...I would argue that it's because of where you live. The cost of living I would think would be higher than in the NE so teacher pay would be reflective of that.

    However, the reason you and your colleagues (or perhaps I should say we and our colleagues) don't make more is the "hundreds of resumes for every one opening" as you state. Salaries will lag (in any profession) while this is the case and sadly, it is the case of most professions these days.

    I agree that these are perhaps some of the most difficult economic times since perhaps the Great Depression or the runaway inflationary period of the 1970's.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You seem to be reiterating my points...Yes, I mentioned geographics..unions play a part too. I'm in a strong one despite political actions that aim to undermine some of our collectively bargained work conditions.

    And yes...economics is A HUGE part...also my point in that it's hard to remain thankful for what you've got when those very things are becoming cost prohibitive and slipping away.
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I can't complain about my salary but I was pretty annoyed when I saw a sign on a window at Stewarts saying they were hiring managers and the starting salary was almost as much as I made!!
     
  30. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    State base for my step is 43k. Thankfully, my district does pay above base, but not as much on the upper steps as the lower.

    I just think if one step is 13k above state base, then all steps should be.
     
  31. Ms. I

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    I'm so sorry you're discouraged, I don't blame you. But don't feel guilty about spending your husband's money. In my book (financially), that's what having a spouse is for: What's each of the spouse's becomes their's & there's sharing, compromise & all that good stuff.

    For an 8th year teacher, it's maddening to know what you get paid. Even though I'm an SLP, my district has SLPs on a teachers' payscale (which is a whole other issue many SLPs in my district are mad about - a few other districts in my area have a separate SLP payscale)...but anyway, not to rub it in at all, but I got more my 1st yr & I'm considered a part-time employee. The cost of living between our states of residence is really something too! But besides that, those jerks need to give you a raise! :mad:
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You do realize, Ms I, that 'those jerks' can only stretch the voted on school budget so far...the taxpayers vote on the school budget...other $ may come from the state, but it's tough...the amount of pay one gets is usually contracted...those 'jerks' don't have much wiggle room once one is on the books...their hands are often tied by budgets, taxes, contacts, legislation...You and I, and others like us, are fortunate to work in districts with tax bases that support a more generous contracted wage.

    And while being in a relationship where there are two incomes coming in helps, in this economy, many dual income couples are still facing challenges, as the OP described.
     
  33. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yep, I know the legalities of it. I'm calling them jerks just to show the OP support that I'm on her side. I know, it sucks, but that's how it goes.
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    North Carolina has a state mandated pay scale. She could switch districts and she will still make the same. So no matter how wealthy (or poor) a district is, you make the same pay. Some districts are able to provide a lump sum 'supplemental' pay. That is what she lost. The largest supplement I have ever seen for teachers is $6K. My district gives $2K.

    North Carolina micromanages everything. We would save a tremendous amount of tax dollars if they didn't feel the need to control everything. For another example, you can only buy liquor from a state ran store.
     
  35. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I guess this where we disagree. I think most of us have been blessed beyond belief relatively speaking. It's a glass half empty/half full type thing. I have been outside of the USA several times and it has changed my thinking on things.

    not saying that we all haven't regressed some in these times but we are all still very lucky.
     
  36. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oh yes--this is very true.

    My aunt and uncle have great careers, but they also have five children. In their words, "We live month-to-month!"

    Side note: They were doing fine for the longest time, but an unexpected health issue with one of their children left them short on money! :(
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oh, Gtb4GT, I'm thankful every day to do a job I love and to be well compensated for it. I'm fortunate and blessed...but that doesn't blind me into a Pollyanna outlook on how everyone else should feel the same just because they arent living in deprived condirions in some other country...Those who are suffering financially don't always even have that half glass.
    God bless all who are struggling. I pray for better times ahead.
     
  38. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    :thumb:
    Teachers are so underappreciated. Considering how important education is to the progress of a country, you would think it would be reflected in teachers' salaries. In the long run, it will cost more to support an uneducated population than it would be to support an educated one.

    GT, it is not all just supply/demand. The other issue is that education is taxpayer funded and a lot of taxpayers seem to begrudge teachers a living wage.

    This is why I wouldn't consider moving to NC because the salary cut would be huge even given the COL.
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    For what it's worth, teacher salaries are NOT part of what we vote for when we vote for or against the school budget. (By "we" I mean Long Island districts; I can't speak for anyone else.)

    Since they're salary based part of a contract, they're off the table at election time. So taxpayer attitudes don't really come directly into play.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The standard of living varies WIDELY from one place to another... look at rents in Manhattan as opposed to other places in the country.

    Putting all US teachers on the same pay scale would NOT be equitable.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's not DIRECTLY what is voted for, but in that $big number, there is funding for salaries and benefits.
     

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