Is this a bad time to go into teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by PrettyInPink98, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 28, 2020

    Same. I work in an area with a low-to-moderate cost of living. In some districts, it’s possible to get near or maybe even slightly over $100,000, but it takes 20-25+ years to get to that. It’s at the top of the salary schedule.
     
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  2. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I asked in another thread for @futuremathsprof to provide links to the salary schedules for these incredibly high paying CA districts. Haven't heard back yet (he said researches CA salary schedules for fun).

    Yes, it's possible for a teacher to earn 6 figures in my district. That's after a Master's Degree and many, many years of service, though (20 is the minimum, I believe).
     
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  3. whizkid

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    You can't even get that as an administrator in my district, though I do understand the differences in col.
     
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  4. RainStorm

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    In the 3 districts I've worked in, a 30 year veteran with a masters would top-out at $69,000 -- but that was before all the changes (doing away with years of experience, steps, and extra education payments.) I don't think it would be possible there anymore.
     
  5. Apr 28, 2020

    Wow thats alot.
     
  6. Apr 28, 2020

    Wow thanks for all the feedback. I mean teachers must make a livable wage because many do it. I believe in my neck of the woods they start off around 40k. Which is more than i make now as a broke college student. lol
     
  7. RainStorm

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    That's true, Pretty, but just make sure you realize that each year, no matter how good of a teacher you are, you'll get the exact same raise as the teachers who aren't invested in their students' learning, and that in 5 years time, you'll only be making a small amount more than you were when you started -- while all your college friends in different fields will be making way more.
     
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  8. Apr 28, 2020

    I realize that. In the field I’m in now I’d start out at 50k and have unlimited chances for overtime. But is that what life is all about? Chasing the money or chasing your dreams?
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I’ve known since 2nd grade that I was going to be a teacher. I know...weirdo! LOL!
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Mountain View Lost Altos, Sequoia Union High School District, New Haven Unified School District, San Mateo-Foster City School District, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, Modesto City Schools, Redwood City School District, Ceres Unified School District, etc.

    You were saying?
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

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    It costs over a million to buy a 3 bed/2 bath home in all of those districts except for two (Ceres and Modesto). Here’s Ceres’ pay scale: http://ceres.sharpschool.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_5439645/File/personnel/salary/1920/CERT 1920 36.pdf

    Yes, they make a lot of money in Mountain View, but when I’m dishing out 1.4 million for a track home, it’s not really worth the move. I’m good.

    I’ve done my homework, too.
     
  12. futuremathsprof

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    I didn’t say my friends lived in those places. They commute anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to drive to those districts, which is smart. Live in a lower to moderate priced locale and commute into the higher-priced areas. It makes sense to me.
     
  13. CaliforniaRPCV

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    Working always costs. But commuting is especially costly. 1.5 hours one way for a total of 3 hours commuting a day, in addition to direct cost of transportation? That absolutely makes no sense to me.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

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    C’mon now. You’re a math guy. Commuting 3 hours a day makes sense?

    You and I both know that a lot of people live in the Tracy/Mountain House area and commute to the Bay Area (60-90 minutes from the Mtn View/Los Altos School District). Because of that, home prices in Tracy are now over 600k. Yes, a salary of 105k sounds great, but not when your mortgage payment is $2,300/month and you’re in the car 3 hours/day.

    https://www.mvla.net/documents/Pers...s/Certificated Staff Salary Schedule 2019.pdf
     
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  15. futuremathsprof

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    First off, salaries in MVLA quickly balloon. The max is ~$160,000 and you can get that relatively “quickly.” Second, a $2,300/month mortgage is not a lot of money to me. When I purchase a home eventually, I plan to pay it off within 10 years or less, probably like 5.

    You guys are harping on the 1.5 hour commute. I said they commute anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. The average is somewhere in between, probably around a little over an hour or so. Hundreds of thousands of people commute similarly every day in California for a reason.

    And as I’ve explained in past posts, I commute for 2-3 hours sometimes round trip when I tutor and I charge $120/hour for 3-5 hours per day because of it. My time on the road is well compensated for.

    My tutoring income is quite substantial and it is well worth it to me to make the daily grind for 4-6 days per week because although I spent about $8,000 on gas last year, I made an additional $78,000 just from tutoring. I don’t know about you, but that sure as heck looks like a $70,000 profit to me, so it IS smart.

    I invest almost all of my tutoring income and live off my admin/teaching salary ($85,000 currently). Case in point, I was able to invest $50,000 into
    various retirement accounts and if I continue at this accelerated rate, then I calculate I will have multiple millions of dollars in retirement and that doesn’t include my teacher pension or Roth IRA.

    As a teacher at my school, I get roughly 3.5 months off per year and so I see it as a win-win. I wouldn’t do this if I had a regular 9-5 job.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
  16. CaliforniaRPCV

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    For the 8 hour a day teaching job, a person is traveling 2.5 hours a day. Add to that the cost of the fuel AND the new car every five years, AND the insurance that you need to pay for the extra mileage - direct transportation cost. Turn direct transport cost into time, say one hour per day. Eleven and a half hours a day working for one eight hour salary.

    Now, that isn't your situation. Basically you are saying you are working pretty close to two jobs for a total of ~$163,000 - (direct transportation cost).

    Dollarwise, it might make sense. But that would wear me down. And, bottom line, the point is that making that kind of money is a bit easier outside teaching; you could get there a lot faster.
     
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  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That doesn’t make sense... and it isn’t the norm in most parts of the country, even other “blue” states.

    We aren’t talking about your situation, specifically, here. Your situation is unique; that’s been well established here. For most people, a $2,300 mortgage is a lot. That’s not a “low-to-moderate” cost of living. People who actually live in low-to-moderate cost of living areas and work as teachers are not making six figures only 10-15 years in, if ever. That’s a fact.
     
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  18. TeacherNY

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    I used to commute 45 minutes each way but at the time I still lived at home and my parents took care of the house so I had no responsibilities except doing my own laundry and cleaning my own bedroom/living room/bathroom. I only cooked on weekends. The commute didn't have much of an impact on my life because I had a lot of free time. If your lifestyle can support a long commute then go for it (I could get through tons of audiobooks with lots of time in the car)!
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

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    My teaching job isn’t 8 hours. It’s less. I am essentially only working like 5 hours a day via distance learning. Sometimes students don’t need any help. Other days they need a lot of help. It’s a toss up.

    I get roughly 3.5 months off per year. I rarely lesson plan. And if you recall, I’m an administrator part-time and a teacher part-time. Concerning the former, my administrative duties are largely on hold as a result of this pandemic — I’m the Dean for Academic Affairs and the STEM Director — and I largely just respond to emails now. All of the STEM clubs and organizations I oversee have been put on hold and the academic piece is basically nothing as it’s been handled largely done over the past 9 months or so before all this started. Thus, I have only a handful of classes to teach (AP Stats, AP Calc BC x2, and Calc 3). Online learning has proven to be less work (for me). Everything is automatic at this point and I feel like I’m on autopilot, lol!

    I don’t feel as if the tutoring is hard work as I enjoy it. It’s more like a hobby if that makes sense. I just don’t ever get tired of it so it doesn’t wear me down.

    That being said, I pay $145/month for car insurance. That’s $1,740/year. Add in gas and the total jumps to $9,740/year. With routine maintenance, that’s $10,000/year altogether for all three I would say. That still isn’t much to me considering how much more I bring in. Here’s why:

    I grossed $163,000 last year, I paid like $20,000 in bills (this includes the aforementioned $10,000 car “bill” mentioned) and I invested $50,000 into retirement. I put like $15,000 into savings, too, and had fun with the rest ($37,000+). This year, I am due to make more than I did last year tutoring as some regular clients want me to do more on the weekends. This will increase the amount I make by anywhere from $20,000-$40,000/year. That is not chump change.

    Think about it. I just pay all of my yearly bills up front — I hate having regular bills throughout the year — and then I have no other financial obligations essentially thereafter, except for gas and maintenance. I invest steadily as I go along and and have a ton of money to have fun with. I am going to have many, many millions of dollars in the future and should be able to retire in my late 40’s if I play my cards right.

    I don’t get where these supposed hardships are coming from. It may seem like I’m working a lot, but I have a TON of free time and I leverage that to my advantage. My daily obligations make my very relaxing.

    And I wouldn’t need to buy a car every 5 years. For commuting, I would drive either a Honda or Toyota as they last. Currently, I drive a 2020 Honda right now and it should last “forever,” practically as they generally get up to 200,000-300,000 miles easily. My motto is, you really can’t go wrong with a Honda or Toyota, especially if you commute. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  20. futuremathsprof

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    This!

    I don’t ever cook as I eat out constantly and I’m a neat freak and so my house is kept in tip-top shape. Always. My landscaper is dirt cheap and so I don’t really worry about things, haha!
     
  21. TeacherNY

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    On top of that I commuted 30 minutes each way after school to take grad school classes twice a week. I still had lots of free time. If you have 8 kids and 12 dogs then NO you should probably not bother with a long commute.
     
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  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Again, we are not talking about YOU. And all of this is beside the point and has taken us off track.
     
  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    It actually does make sense.

    I fully recognize if they don’t branch out that they wouldn’t make as much, but there are many that do.

    Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people commute each day to work from “afar” in California and I’m not just talking a short 5-10 drive to work. I didn’t say $2,300 is low to moderate. Affordability is largely relative. Given my level of income, $2,300/month is cheap. It may not be for other people and I accept that, but it is cheap for me.

    I said my friends live in low-to-moderate priced areas and commute to locales that pay more. They come out ahead mathematically, as do I when I tutor.
     
  24. futuremathsprof

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    Again, exactly. Beautiful response. :)
     
  25. TeacherNY

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    You must have missed my point. Sorry <shrug>
     
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  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    No, I understand your point. It’s valid for those in your situation. Most of us are older and not in that situation. I didn’t quote you. I quoted Future.
     
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  27. bella84

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    I thought you were trying to offer examples of places where teachers could make six figures only 10-15 years in their careers and also live in a low to moderate cost of living area. I’m still not seeing any examples, as a $2300 mortgage doesn’t scream low to moderate cost of living to me. That’s different than saying it’s affordable because of unique income circumstances or having a spouse or parents to help make payments. In areas that are actually low to moderate cost of living, that mortgage would be considered very high.
     
  28. CaliforniaRPCV

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    Right now you are doing distance teaching, no long commutes.
    But, ok, I get it. You have a sweet gig. Even outside pandemic mode, the commute during regular times isn't a burden. Your normal is working 1.5 to 2 jobs about 3/4 of the year and taking the other 1/4 off. And you like your job, so no sweat.

    But we've gone off here. Is yours the gig the OP is asking about? Is that what the OP can reasonably expect as a kindergarten to second grade teacher?
     
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  29. SpecialPreskoo

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    IDK but in Alabama, new teachers will have to die teaching. Won't be able to afford to retire. Technically I could retire in a couple of years but I can't afford it and I'm on a different tier.
     
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  30. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I hope one day you’ll look back on this post and realize how elitist it sounds.
     
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  31. YoungTeacherGuy

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    His point was not proven.

    What he did illustrate is that you can make 100k if you sit in the car for 3 hours a day.
     
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  32. RainStorm

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    I agree. If an area has a low to moderate cost of living, then you wouldn't have to drive up to 1.5 hours each way to get an affordable home. The fact that you have to commute that far clearly shows that you can't afford to live in that community which means it is not low to moderate in terms of cost of living.

    Yes, perhaps you can list some people who wouldn't mind commuting 2-3 hours per day, but realistically, the majority of people in the US (like 99% of them) would not consider a 2-3 hour daily commute as reasonable. They would not be able to have an acceptable home life doing that. They'd be gone from their kids or spouse 10+ hours a day. That is not a typical or reasonable thing in most of our country.

    To future...you may have some unique situation, but most classroom teachers (which is what the OP was asking about) teach from between 7.5-9 hours per day. (In my part of the world, 8.5 hours is the norm, with charter schools going for 9 hours per day.) Again, you may have some unique situation, but that is not typical, and the OP could certainly not expect to find such an arrangement in a typical classroom teaching situation.

    I don't think you have any idea how elitist and how arrogant you come across when you make such claims. Okay, we get it -- you make a fortune and have a great life. But what you are claiming to have is not typical, and not probable for the average teacher. I would say that less than 1% of all classroom teachers would be able to find themselves in your position at any point during their career. So by constantly asserting that "this is how it is" you are misleading the OP, making her think that it is possible, probable, and attainable for the average classroom teacher in the US. It is not.
     
  33. FourSquare

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    Come to Chicago Public Schools! We've got a decent salary schedule coming in the new contract that will push many people to 6 figures. My 4 BR house was only 295K, which is reasonable, here. I commute 20-25 min to work.
     
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  34. futuremathsprof

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    No, you are harping in the extreme case. I did not say all of my friend drive 1.5 hours both ways. You are saying that, which is very different.
     
  35. futuremathsprof

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    I didn’t assert this is how it is. I merely stated this is how it can be and it is an option. You all are the ones stating this is how it is.

    I said what I do and others do makes sense for my situation and many others, not everyone. It was you and others that said it didn’t make sense when other people commute just because it is too much for some of you.

    Please stop taking this as a personal attack.

    Some of you get far too emotional for non-issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
  36. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You and others get so riled up after asking questions or making statements regarding my financial situation and then get upset when I speak on my own behalf. Really?

    I proved that signing bonuses exist. Some of you said you never saw any before and confessed your doubts. I showed otherwise.

    I show several salary schedules and I have many more that allow someone to make six figures or pretty darn close to six figures 10-15 years in.

    Now, in relation to your “elitist” comment:

    $2,300*12 = $27,600/year. $163,000 after taxes and deductions last year was like $130,000 after all said and done. $130,000 - $27,600 = $102,400.

    This mean I would still have 102,400/130,000 or 78.79% of my net income after paying for the mortgage. If I paid double I would still have $74,800 left or 57.54% of my net income.

    Please explain how it is a burden to me.

    Definition of burden: “to cause someone hardship or duress.”

    This means that burdens are situational. I didn’t say paying $2,300 was not burdensome at all. I said it was not burdensome to ME, which makes sense by the very definition of the word. Applying definitions as they are defined is not elitist, it’s sort of the point of how words work.

    Definition of elitist: “relating to or supporting the view that a society or system should be led by an elite.”

    Where did I ever espouse this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  37. Linguist92021

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    Ok so let's get back to the original question: is this a bad time to get in to teaching. This profession's opportunities work like waves. For a few years you have too many teachers and not enough jobs. Because of that, there are less people going into education, but teachers still leave the professions (a lot of them, actually, considering how much time and education they put into it, is sad) and people still retire. So then you have the few years when there are many jobs and not that many teachers.

    It also varies based on region and based on credential, and this can change as well. While special ed, math and high school science classes are usually in high demand, and PE / History are in low demand (too many teachers), this can also change from region to region and year to year. Before they hired me, they had a hard time filling this English teaching position for over a year. In other areas English teachers are a dime a dozen.

    I think the single best thing that can helps you get a job almost no matter what, is if you can and are willing to relocate. It doesn't even have to be a different state, just your state so you don't have to do additional paperwork and hassle.
    I kept waiting for an opening in San Diego (I only wanted alternative ed, but they had a hiring freeze) so I was willing to go to pretty much anywhere in California for the right position. As soon as I decided this I applied to 4 jobs, went on 2 interviews and got one job offer, this one (7 years ago). 3 months after making the decision to widen my horizons I already loved up here (after living in the same region for 13 years) moved in, and started working. Never regretted it.
     
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  38. Linguist92021

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    the reasons I never regretted is because I love the job, and I love this area (outdoors) and where it has taken me personally in my life.
    But financially it's great. Cost of living is very low (high poverty area and not very desirable actually), but the pay is very much comparable to high cost of living such as San Diego or Los Angeles or Orange County. Yes I have a Masters and got some more credit, we got some extra raises time to time and my yearly raise, but after 7 years I'm making $16 000 more than what I started it.
    And my rent is 25 % of my monthly take home pay (I get the 12 month pay). I am a single income household and have been able to manage and live the life I want.
    So if you can get to a lower cost area your money will go much further.
     
  39. bella84

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    ... CPS is where I was working in my sixth year of teaching, when all I could afford was a studio apartment. I paid $1150 per month, and this was five years ago.

    I just checked the new salary schedule, and, if I were at the same lane and step, I’d only be making about $5000 more. I do see six figures here, but it still appears that a teacher needs to either be highly experienced or highly educated, or both, in order to get there.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to do what you’re doing as far as making the salary work for you, but Chicago has a very high cost of living... and I don’t think this salary schedule makes it look like teachers are rolling in money - again, unless they are highly experienced, highly educated, or both. I guess if you’re willing to live in less trendy neighborhoods and/or commute from afar, you can make it work. But teachers are priced out of many neighborhoods in which they teach, unless they have someone to share the cost of rent/mortgage with.
     
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  40. Tired Teacher

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    This is so very true in my experience. Also, I think a lot depends on your district, P, and relationships. My 1st job in a public school allowed me to pick my grade level. ( I had to move from a sought after district to a place that needed teachers.)
    I'd have been allowed to stay in that level for a long time if I had not agreed to start looping w/ my class every other year. So I stayed in a 3//4 loop a lot of years. I was asked if I would be willing to do it and loved the class I'd had the yr before.
    I had a smart P who knew if their teachers were good in a spot, leave them alone! They get better each yr in their teaching abilities, knowledge of the standards, and it allowed for student learning to stay high.
    I have known a P who loved to flip teacher's world's upside down by moving a K teacher to 6th grade and vice versa. He enjoyed messing w/people and was a bad boss. You can find a bad boss in almost any career. The weird thing about schools though is if you get a bad boss, it is so hard to get another job because the P has to vouch for you.
    It took many years to get the experience, recommendations, and resume I needed, but was able to get into the district I had originally wanted. I have been there for a really long time, and stayed in the same levels. So staying in K-2 would be possible.
    Also, I first moved to a low cost of living district that paid well enough that I could buy a house my 1st yr there. Produce was dirt cheap. The house didn't turn out to be a great investment though. ( My bad...) Up here, the pay is a lot higher, but so is the cost of living.
     

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