Is this a bad time to go into teaching?

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

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,034
    Likes Received:
    896

    Apr 29, 2020

    That salary schedule makes me want to go to Chicago Public Schools! Compared to what some of us are dealing with this absolutely seems like "rolling in money" to me. I'm on year 10 and have my MA+40. My salary is just about what a 2nd year BA only teacher makes on this schedule. I live way out in the burbs and my 2 BR townhouse cost more than what FourSquare listed for her 4 BR house. I inherited my down payment and put down 40% so I could afford the mortgage/monthly HOA payment. I would have never been able to get a house had I not received that inheritance.

    Previously I lived in a 600 sq. ft. apartment that was over $1600 per month. Things were cheaper here when I started at under $40K. I honestly don't know how any of our new teachers do it; they only make slightly more now than I did starting out 10 years ago. I was set to get the biggest raise of my career since getting my MA degree, about $7K, next school year. Now of course that's not going to happen because of the shut down. I'm sure I'll end up making even less than I do now as there has already been talk of furlough days.

    This is a "purple" state that has become decidedly more blue over the past few years. As of the last election we now have an entirely democratic state legislature and had high hopes that maybe we could start turning things around for education. Some of the tax laws in place make it so that our funding is abysmal despite having a booming state economy. Of course that's all gone now and it will only get worse from here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  2. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,155
    Likes Received:
    1,758

    Apr 29, 2020

    Teachers work a minimum 208 day schedule? That’s a lot of days! It’s about 20 more than us, that’s about a month longer, so I’m confused about that. Good salaries though.
     
    Backroads, mrsf70 and bella84 like this.
  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,458
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Apr 29, 2020

    Teachers only work 180 days around here. That’s the standard.

    ETA: I just pulled up my contract. I work 210 days. It’s no wonder they get paid so much! There’s always a catch.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,155
    Likes Received:
    1,758

    Apr 29, 2020

    If you don’t mind me asking - If you take what you’d make as a teacher in your district, and look at what you make now, considering the differences in required work days, do you make much more per day now than you’d make teaching? At my school, vice principals and instructional coaches often don’t from what I’ve heard from friends in those positions. I’d consider going into those positions, but honestly, there’s not much financial benefit to it, especially considering they often require another degree or certification. My district has awful salaries and benefits though.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,458
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Apr 29, 2020

    I’m only posting this because you’re asking (I would hate to sound boastful or elitist). My daily rate as a teacher for the upcoming school year would be $588. My daily rate as a vice principal will be $637. So it’s slightly more, but nothing to write home about.

    Shoot, now that I do the math, it makes me feel like going back to the classroom. One day, I will. Just not sure when. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be the site principal.
     
    mrsf70 and otterpop like this.
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,924
    Likes Received:
    1,899

    Apr 30, 2020

    That was my thought too. Off the top of my head, I think my current contract is for 185 days, give or take a couple. CPS has shorter work days but not by much... and perhaps that has changed since I was there. It was a 7 hour day, and I now work a 7.5 hour day.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,924
    Likes Received:
    1,899

    Apr 30, 2020

    Chicago may totally be better than some other places, sure... but it’s absolutely not easy to get by as a young, single teacher there. Again, when you’re older and more experienced, or if you have someone to share expenses with, it’s more manageable. But the cost of living is high. And CPS requires the overwhelming majority of teachers to live in the city, so it’s not like moving to the suburbs to save money is an option. Even if it were, the commute has the potential to be unbearable (admittedly, even within the city, the commute has potential to be unbearable).

    If you’re looking for a better income-to-COL ratio, Chicago is not where I would move. It’s much better in my current city and likely some others. It’s not as trendy or high profile here as in Chicago or Denver, but it’s much easier to get by on a teacher salary. Not easy, but easier.

    And, yeah, 208 days is significantly more days than we work around here. So that salary isn’t so nice with that in mind, IMO. Also something to consider... Any experienced teacher moving into Chicago will only get paid on step 3, no matter how much experience they bring in. That salary schedule isn’t looking so good then.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
    YoungTeacherGuy, RainStorm and a2z like this.
  8. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    104

    Apr 30, 2020

    I was an instructional coach. In my district we are considered "Teachers on Special Assignment" so the salary and benefits are exactly the same as classroom teachers. Same contract.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,155
    Likes Received:
    1,758

    Apr 30, 2020

    I’d do it for sure if we had a similar deal. Our instructional coaches work an admin schedule, with only a few weeks off in the summer.
    Thanks. That’s not too rough.

    Of the handful of people I’ve known well in these jobs, one did go back to classroom teaching and loves it. One almost did when our salary schedule changed a few years back. Instructional coaches are not on a pay scale, it’s all on individual contract/salary. When they changed the pay scale, she would have made more annually as a teacher than in her position working summers. They weren’t going to address that until she put in a transfer to teach at another school. I think she ended up getting paid more than before and more than she would’ve if she’d gone back to teaching, but it took threatening to leave to make it happen! We have some sneaky stuff going on money wise sometimes.
     
  10. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    187

    Apr 30, 2020

    PrettyInPink98,
    Any thoughts or conclusions based on the discussion so far?
     
    YoungTeacherGuy, bella84 and otterpop like this.
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    321

    May 5, 2020

    I think that depends on who you are. Chicago is a major metropolitan city. One should expect your dollar to not go as far, but I've never been starving. When I was renting, my studio was $600/mo and I paid up to $1400/mo split with a roommate for a 3BR condo. It was manageable if I didn't eat out every day or spend my money frivolously. There's such a sticker shock from my family in Ohio, but that makes sense. I'm thinking bigger picture and comparing the city to San Fran or NYC. The cost of living isn't as bad.

    As far as teaching goes, I think CPS works if you can get into a school that fits you. The union is strong. We're guaranteed 60 min preps and duty free lunches. The 208 day calendar is not instructional days. We teach 180, have 10 PD days, and have 18 holiday/vacation days. There are 3 guaranteed personal days and 10 sick days. Many of these benefits have been eliminated in other districts.

    It's true that I have some years and advanced degrees that help. However, if I were 21 and fresh out of school with a bachelor's degree, I don't think 58K is a bad start.
     
  12. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    37

    May 5, 2020

    It’s all about how you spend your money.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    2,109

    May 5, 2020

    For most this is true. There are still places you cannot afford to live on a teacher's salary. Rent is just too high and there is not enough supply for lower income people. But the fact is that teachers may put in extra hours and have additional coursework to keep their credential, but the paid portion of the job is not full year. If teachers had a full year contract with 3 weeks off and some sick time like most other professions, their salaries would be higher.

    Part of the decision when someone goes into teaching must be the acknowledgement that the salary is not a full year salary even if the district has a plan to break the contracted salary over 12 months. It is definitely a trade off when considering a profession.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,155
    Likes Received:
    1,758

    May 5, 2020

    Ah. The 208 includes holidays. That makes more sense. Our day count only includes working days.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,924
    Likes Received:
    1,899

    May 5, 2020

    I've honestly never understood why CPS has paid holidays... Why not just reduce the number of contract days, have those days as non-paid days off, and keep the salary the same... divide the salary out over actual days worked. That's what every other district I've worked for does. It's the only district I've ever heard of having paid holidays, whereas all of the other districts I'm familiar with just divide the annual salary over actual work days.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,924
    Likes Received:
    1,899

    May 5, 2020

    I can agree to an extent. For certain, one's lifestyle has an effect on how easily they can get by on their salary. Being willing to live in a lesser-desired neighborhood, being willing to have a roommate, buying low-cost items, forgoing pets, etc. will all make it easier to get by on a given salary... But my point was that it's harder to get by in Chicago than mid-sized cities (I wasn't comparing it to bigger, even more expensive cities), and I wouldn't recommend someone move to Chicago simply because the CPS salary schedule looks nice in comparison, without doing their research on the cost of living first, which I still believe to be true. I'm not frugal, but I'm also not a big spender. And I had a hard time making ends meet when working in CPS and living in Chicago. I made it work, and I wasn't starving, but it was and has been much easier to get by in my smaller and less trendy city, even with the same spending habits. I just signed my contract for next year, and my salary will be two grand lower than what I made working in Chicago five years ago... but it goes SO much further. All I'm saying (to someone who is looking to enter teaching and/or move to a new city) is: Do your research on COL (and also what step experienced new hires can come in on) before looking at a salary schedule and getting big eyes.
     
    tigger88 likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MntnHiker,
  2. MrsC
Total: 462 (members: 3, guests: 442, robots: 17)
test