Should Teacher Pay Be Different...

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by dave1mo, Sep 7, 2013.

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  1. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    OK, the students I have are at school form 7:45am to 3:30pm. I am required to be at school from 7:15-3:45. I have lunch duty 4 days a week. The students get 40 minutes for lunch, but 4 days I get 20. I also have morning duty and after school duty 1 day a week (15 minutes each) I get 30 minutes of prep a day when they are at specials. 0 minutes on Fridays. I have to be at school 9 evenings a year. The other elementary teachers have it the same (K-5). Explain again, how you have work more than us?
     
  2. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    A very different degree.
     
  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oh, I don't know if I would say that I have more work than you. If you re-read my statement you will see that I said I work more hours than elementary school teachers do here.

    I'll ignore your tone, assuming that you simply glossed over my post and did not thoroughly read it.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    OK, I will rephrase. Do you work more hours than us at our school? See the above post to see the hours that us elementary teachers work.:confused:
     
  5. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    But the hours and how hard you work is not really the topic of discussion here. It's irrelevant. I know that physical day laborers probably work a lot harder (and possibly longer hours) than I do, but their skills and background are different. They generally don't get paid much. For every 1 person who is qualified to do a good job teaching AP Physics, I'm willing to bet there are hundreds of people qualified to do a good job teaching 2nd graders.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

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    I work right at the same number of hours. This is the first year that I will have duty-free lunch. This is also the first year that I do not have to stay after an extra hour twice a week. If you had asked this question last year I would have told you that I did work more hours than you.

    But you work more hours than the elementary teachers do in my district. By that I mean, you are required to be at school for less time. I'm sure every teacher works a lot outside of that scheduled time.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Hmmmm ...

    Note: I do think ELEM teachers work hard to teach and prepare their students for MS and HS; their effort may not always be apparent though ...
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If I wanted to destroy public education, I'd set about ensuring that various subgroups within the profession see others as competitors for scarce resources rather than as colleagues. I'd encourage secondary teachers to believe that they're under much more pressure and are much more deserving than elementary teachers, and vice versa; I'd differentiate salaries to make it clear that some subject areas and therefore some teachers' contributions to students' education are seen as more valuable than others; I'd spread the word in the high schools that that any idiot in elementary could teach any herd of little kids to read if only the right idiot-proof curriculum were followed to the letter; I'd foster rumors among elementary teachers that much of what kids are supposed to learn in high school is material they'll never, ever need for the rest of their lives... and so on.

    And you know what? It wouldn't be hard at all.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Well said. :agreed:
     
  10. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I'd say yes. It's like this in all other careers. It would cause a lot of friction at first though, because no one is used to it. When I graduated from college I was under the misconception that special needs teachers got paid more, because in college all I ever heard is how hard it was, and how there was such a shortage. But, this is not the case.
     
  11. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Imho, All this thread is doing is creating more of a divide between secondary and elementary teachers. There are definite challenges in both areas. If you're elementary you can argue that your job is harder and if you're secondary you can come up with just as many points why your job is harder. So what's the point?

    I would never presume to say that I work harder or longer therefore I should be paid more. I would feel very offended if someone said that to me. Our union ensures that contact time/ break time is equitable.

    Please don't flame me for my opinion. :whistle:
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I teach high school math because I love high school math. I'm no martyr, willing to do something impossible. I do it because I love it and I'm good at it. I know I would be far less effective, and get far less enjoyment, from teaching elementary.

    Why, then, should I get more pay for teaching what I love than someone else who is teaching what they love?

    There are so very many pressing issues in education that need and deserve our attention and fervor and energy. Battling over each other over who works harder or deserves money simply takes that attention and fervor and energy from the issues that will help our children.
     
  13. RadiantBerg

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    Again, not which job is "harder to do" so much as which job is "harder to fill"
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    I'm not going to flame you :)

    I am glad that it is equitable in your district. Alas, it is not here. Then again, we don't have a union!
     
  15. Linguist92021

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    I don't think there should be a pay difference based on content or grade level. I teach English - should I be paid less than a Math teacher (because I think Math is hard) and more than Art or PE (because some people think Art or PE is easier?). These are relative terms. As far as what subject is hard to come by, that can change. If you start paying math and science teachers more, all of sudden there would be a shortage of social studies and English, and the pendulum would strike back.

    Should high school pay more than middle or elementary? Who is to say what's easier or harder. Every grade level has different weaknesses, strength and unique qualities. I'm actually surprised that at least in some parts of Ca. grade K-5 pays the least, 6-8 pays more and 9-12 pays the most.

    In my opinion, let's stick to years of experience and education.
     
  16. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    AMEN! I know some teachers personally who clock in and clock out, and aren't invested at all. Then there's an ESL teachers who does home visits on the weekend to try to connect with a Spanish speaking families. She is such an advocate for them, and is a true inspiration.

    I also once saw a fellow teacher meeting with a parent who works in the deli at the local grocery store. She was doing a parent teacher conference right there in the store. She had the documentation (work samples, etc) and everything. That's something I will never forget.

    Like in every profession there's good and bad. Unfortunately, in our profession everyone is paid the same regardless. Like others have mentioned before, I think it's because it's so hard to accurately determine teacher effectiveness.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Fill? No.
    If someone is a better teacher than me? Yes, they deserve more money.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The payback for being in a field that's "harder to fill" is that it's MUCH MUCH easier to find a job. There are any number of so-so math teachers out there, simply because schools need to hire someone with the appropriate certification.

    By the same token, getting a job teaching elementary education, at least around here, means doing the near-impossible.
     
  19. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I am ok with these great teachers being paid more (a bonus) if it is because of their work ethic, extraordinary teaching, extra effort, etc. But not if its only because they teach a hard to fill position.
     
  20. RadiantBerg

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    This is a good point to consider. I am wondering though if such a payscale might help in some urban districts where very few people are willing to teach HS math or science because they can teach in a nicer district for the same pay. In such districts, they frequently go without proper staffing.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    True! I had several choices of schools and was the first graduate hired out of my cohort.
     
  22. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    I'd like to see the research. You can't just claim something is a "fact" when it's really just an opinion (this is a discussion my students and I have all the time.
     
  23. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    CEOs wouldn't be able to do their job without middle management or customer service representatives either. Each job has its own challenges.
     
  24. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Why should I not make more money than someone doing the exact same job but with much worse results when all things are held constant?

    Pretending that you can't adopt best practices from other industries because your industry is "so much more than theirs" is a huge mistake that so many teachers are making, and it's a shame. We should be willing to learn from everyone.
     
  25. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    I have a different degree than the 1st grade teacher, the art teacher, and the biology teacher.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    But CEOs stand above middle managers and customer service representatives in the hierarchy, and theoretically bear more responsibility for the success or failure of the company; are you seriously arguing, dave1mo, that a high-school physics teacher bears more responsibility for her school's success than a first-grade teacher does for his?
     
  27. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Refusing to adopt any best practices from the private sector has done a pretty good job of destroying public education anyway; I look around and see people who know they'll get raises regardless of the s*** they pass off as "work" on a daily basis. I see districts who desperately need to hire in one area but could pick from hundreds of candidates in another area, yet can't hire in the needed area because there aren't enough funds to attract a quality candidate when their specialized skill set can be used in another profession or a school that pays better; any SANE person would understand that all resources are scarce and entail opportunity costs, and therefore the flexibility to employ them as the manager of said resources however you see fit is a basic, reasonable request.
     
  28. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    The amount of work you do or time you spend doing it is irrelevant; the scarcity of the skill set you bring to the job at hand is what's relevant. Also, this thread has been made "secondary vs. elementary" by the posters; I gave several examples in the original post.
     
  29. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Because some skills are more scarce and in more demand than other skills; why should an accountant get paid more than you do when you're both doing something you love?
     
  30. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Job security is only a small component of compensation; it's absolutely ridiculous to pretend it's the only way compensation should be differentiated based on demand for particular skill sets in education.
     
  31. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Hierarchy has nothing to do with it; it's based on skill set and demand. Why is a biologist paid better differently than a marketing coordinator? Why is a teacher paid differently than a tutor?
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    All right, dave: are you seriously arguing that a high-school physics teacher ipso facto makes a greater contribution to her school's success than does a high-school music teacher?
     
  33. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Where did you see that argument made at all in this thread? I'm not a principal, so it's not my job to decide. However, I think a principal or finance director should be able to make that decision if that's how they feel.

    This is fun, by the way. People get up in arms, but these are the types of meaningful discussions teachers should be having on a regular basis about whether the status quo is really the best practice available; of course, frequently the status quo is the way to go, but often it's not.
     
  34. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I would say a qualified, hired physics teacher makes a greater contribution to a school than a school than an unfilled position which happens because physics teachers are in such short supply. How many other teachers teaching subjects that have plenty of qualified people could fill that physics position?

    As I see it, that is where the increased worth comes in.
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Be consistent, at least, dave: you just lambasted us for making this about secondary vs. elementary, so I was merely trying to move to the ground you'd indicated. This after you'd abruptly changed the ground from supply and demand to teacher quality, and then back again. So what do you mean to be arguing here, and on which basis?
     
  36. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    To terptoteacher:

    No, I'm not in a high demand content area that would benefit from such pay. There are plenty of high school English teachers floating around. I would not be upset if a STEM teacher made more than me because the position required skills that were harder to find; that's how basic capitalism works.

    Of course, I fully expect to get paid based on my merit (evaluations, test scores, etc.) as opposed to a ridiculous idea like step raises too. Again, this doesn't make me particularly popular with those who want raises regardless of how well they perform :( .
     
  37. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I don't think you care much if you are the Popular One.

    While I may not always agree with you - good for you, for standing on your principles.
     
  38. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Thanks! And no, popularity has never been my strong suit; this board is fun because we can have the conversations that we should be having in the teachers' lounges...instead of complaining about administrators, students, and Honey Boo Boo. Also, I don't care much what people on this board think of me...with a couple exceptions.
     
  39. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    It seems like a lot of teachers are very pleased to lambast their fellow teacher's quality and their fellow teacher's education. It also seems so much of the lambasting is based on presumption. I work with many teachers. I have actually observed them teaching few times for the amount of years I have taught. I have seen teachers have bad days and good days in my minimal experience observing. It is not my place to judge their overall quality from a few minutes of watching. We all have things we are really good at and things we should work on. The idea of paying less or more for quality is very arbitrary. Why would you keep a teacher who was really bad and pay them anything?

    I am confused about how any of you seem to think you know what another group of people's original degree was in. It is seriously generalizing. In the state I work in the credential is a post baccalaureate degree so some elementary school teachers I know have degrees in science, some have degrees in art, some degrees in business... Almost none of us have the same original degree except the ones who also got a bachelors degree majoring in education.

    This whole idea just seems like it is saying-lower grade teachers just play with or keep the children until middle school-what you do is irrelevant. Why should we grade them? Why should we worry about quality lessons? Who cares if they can read, add, or behave? Let's just baby sit our groups. My guess is the high school and middle school teachers would disagree quickly after the first bunch of day care pay k-5 grade classes arrived in their classroom.
     
  40. HorseLover

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    :yeahthat: I think each area has its own challenges that are often quite different from the other! It would be very hard, if not impossible, to make a legitimate claim that one is significantly more difficult than another (especially since something that's hard for one person isn't as much of a challenge for someone else).
     
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