It turns out that my district won't give me my (small!) first-couple-of-years step increases for college teaching while in grad school. I was teaching freshman and sophomore physics, technically full-time - the exact same level I now teach to smart HS juniors and seniors. It had previously been implied that the district would give step for this, although the HR director, who is otherwise a great person, denies that that was the case. Other districts in my state do give step increases for this stuff, by the way. The laughable bit is that the other day I turned down a great job offer (as a scientist, not a teacher) from someone I used to work for; for those exact same couple of years in grad school they were offering me a very tidy salary indeed (rather more than our P. earns, I believe!). I am sorely tempted to bring this up to the district, shortly before turning in my resignation letter and skipping off to the new job, but I owe it to my students to stick it out at least until the end of this year. It's not even the salary difference; I mean, I knew about that already. You don't become a teacher to earn the big bucks. It's the insulting things - the policies that penalize the best and hardest-to-retain teachers. This step issue penalizes HS advanced science teachers, because they are the most likely to have taught in grad school. Some of the best and most proven teachers in all subjects may soon be penalized as well, because there is talk of ending pay increases for National Board certified teachers. I know the budget crunch is hitting hard, but please -- penalizing the most qualified or hard-to-find teachers is not the answer!!