What Do Teachers Make?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hzminda, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. hzminda

    hzminda Rookie

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  3. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    To be honest I don't know what my actual contract is for right now. My bring home is about 1,000/check every two weeks.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    That's Taylor Mali, the poet who wrote 'What Teachers Make'. I've met him. He spent some time in my district a few years back and a bunch of us went into NYC to a slam poetry night to see him. He's amazing.

    Not the best recording/video of that poem...and nothing compared to it in person!
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Clicked on the link, yah I have seen that before. I still say I don't make nearly enough, not for the work that I do.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    http://www.taylormali.com/

    I make a nice salary...and I make a difference.
     
  7. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Pure awesome in a nice round saucer. Hearing that for the first time made me feel pretty good.
     
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Then leave! There are plenty of teachers that want your job. Geeze. Way to miss the point and ruin a really inspiring video. :dunno:
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That was really good. Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    OH yah, because just leaving a job is a wise thing to do. We all still have to pay the bills. I understood the point, I just don't go for those "inspiring" aspects of the job. Sorry, I took the lead title literally when it came to what we make ($) or don't make that is.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, I think we were all pretty much aware of the financial realities of teaching when we went into the profession. Hopefully the great satisfaction that you get from educating our future citizens is enough to maintain your happiness with your career. :)
     
  12. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Yeah, me too. :sorry:
     
  13. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    That is the solution? How about fixing the problem of low pay for educators? That is really what the solution SHOULD be.

    I do not speak for the poster you quoted but I LOVE being a teacher, inspiring and motivating students but I HATE what I am compensated for doing it. Intrinsic rewards go only so far. However, quitting is not something that I wish to do.

    There are a lot of inspiring videos but it seems that there is a severe lack of concrete solutions to deal with the issues of teachers today.
     
  14. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    We are aware of these realities when we get into the profession, no doubt. However, it does not make them right and it does not mean that we should sit back and accept them as carved in stone.

    It is attitudes like this that make it "OK" for districts to pay teachers so poorly. We just accept it because of the LOVE for our profession. I am sure doctors LOVE saving patients but would not LOVE not being compensated for it.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Same here.
     
  16. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP asked for honesty. There are many, many teachers working 'in the trenches' daily, doing their best for their students, dragging work home, researching on weekends who do not get paid well, who are not working under the best conditions, who are not treated professionally, but still show up every day in the hopes of making even a small difference. I'd argue we need these teachers to stay. We need to support them.
     
  18. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    It's a reference to the poem! Taylor Mali wrote nothing about compensation. That's a different subject for a different thread. If you're writing about money, you didn't watch the video.

    I'm just tired of the negativity. I was really excited for this to be one thread where we really talk about the meat and potatoes of teaching. I love this poem. And now people are just going to complain and ruin its spirit. I get that we don't get paid enough and need more support. I 100% agree. But we have half a dozen threads on that already. Let's just enjoy the video for what it is.


    "I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
    "Be honest. What do you make?"

    And I wish he hadn't done that
    (asked me to be honest)
    because, you see, I have a policy
    about honesty and ass-kicking:
    if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

    You want to know what I make?

    I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
    I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
    and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
    How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
    in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
    No, you may not ask a question.
    Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
    Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

    I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
    I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
    I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
    Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
    And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

    I make parents see their children for who they are
    and what they can be.

    You want to know what I make?

    I make kids wonder,
    I make them question.
    I make them criticize.
    I make them apologize and mean it.
    I make them write, write, write.
    And then I make them read.
    I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
    beautiful
    over and over and over again until they will never misspell
    either one of those words again.
    I make them show all their work in math.
    And hide it on their final drafts in English.
    I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
    then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
    by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

    Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
    I make a ******* difference! What about you?
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You don't need to tell me what it's about. I've spent time with Taylor. I'm passionate about what we do. I make a difference.
    For some teachers though, it's sometimes hard to see the differences they may be making when what they do is being scrutinized and criticized by those who don't do what we do, who give their blood and sweat every day and are not treated professionally...and yes, part of being treated professionally is an income...sure many of us say we would do this for free, but when you are in an environment that's difficult (and many dedicated teachers are), it's difficult sometimes to maintain that joyous buzz...that doesn't mean that those teachers should leave the profession, or that they are out to kill your joy...just that some of their joy has been dampened. We need to raise each other up...not show them the door. You don't live that teachers work life, and neither do I, but I can empathize.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    As a brand new 1st yr teacher who just graduated from grad school, my salary was just about $48,000. That was in 2006.
     
  21. hzminda

    hzminda Rookie

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    I am a student who is going to school to become an Educator. Mr professor showed me this video and it made my determination and motivation for this career even stronger.

    When I switched majors a lot of my friends and family scrutinized my decision. They had a hard time understanding why in the world I wanted to become a teacher.

    M.H.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You should go to Taylor's site and join his 1000 teachers.
     
  23. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I know the Taylor Mali poem and video. I love it.

    In my area, teachers are some of the highest paid people in the community.
     
  24. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    What can you really expect though, FourSquare. I'm not attacking you, and I understand what you were attempting in posting. But people see the title (What Do Teachers Make?)... and you insert the term honesty. And you have professional teachers (e.g. myself) who make a little over $1,000/mo, while others doing the same job you aspire for making ~5 grand a month. You have teachers who wear pink t-shirts to lament the pink slip the district issued to you... and they offer you words of encouragement as they see you subbing around at schools. But when the district decides to cut their salary to accomodate the new budget = they strike. And when/if you decide you have to cross the picket line and work because of your $105/day income isn't paying the bills, they intimidate and threaten your future employment. (That's "support" I suppose.)

    What I'm saying is that people are frustrated and beyond "feel good" moments. That's really it--you are seeing the frustration of people. They don't need Hallmark moments or words to live by. They just want a job. They're tired of waiting on the sidelines. They don't want to be rich. At this point, all they want is a classroom and a semblance of an adult, living wage.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am sorry if my negativity was not what you intended to have tis thread be. I read the first post and thought you wanted an honest response before watching the video.
    I'm not sure what you mean by the meat and potatoes of teaching either.
    As for the idea that we go into this profession knowing that we wont be making a lot, true. But when I entered the profession it was with the knowledge that teachers did recieve a raise each year, so where you started was not where you were going to be years down the road.
     
  26. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Have you not received a raise? Yes, that is pretty unfair if that's the case. I am not arguing the fact that we are not underpaid. Certainly we are. My only argument was that we knew this coming into the field. But, there are many teachers who, after many years of working, are quite happy with their salaries. So, I think a lot of it depends on where the teacher is.
     
  27. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    In the past couple years we have not recieved any form of raise. Instead it has been salary reductions. And we are frozen for the forseable future. Its hard to stay doing that, when the cost of living goes up and your pay does not.
     
  28. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    No, it is those who go into the teaching profession who make it ok. We know what we are getting into when we get into it. If someone feels that strongly about it, either make sure you look for a well paying district, or go into another profession. I went and got a master's degree to make sure I do get paid more. So, there are ways of increasing our salary. At the end of the day, what I am doing with my students is the most important thing. I looked into teachers' income before I went into the profession, so there were no surprises for me in that area. I agree that other professions earn more, and if I were interested in making it rich I would have done anything else. I am not saying money doesn't matter, I am currently looking for a position at a better paying school, but certainly we can't act surprised.
     
  29. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    I laughed out loud the entire time I watched the video. I loved it.

    I'm a graduate student/TF, so I don't have a typical teacher's salary. In my home county, however, the average teacher's salary is about $44,000. The average starting salary is about $32,000. You don't get a pay increase during the first 3 years of teaching.

    I acknowledge that my salary will not be high as a public school teacher, and I'm prepared to accept that. I do think teachers in my home state should be paid more, but I can't go into teaching expecting things to magically change overnight. I hope that society begins to view teaching as the important institution that it is and that teacher salaries begin to reflect the time, energy and love that teachers put into their work. Here's hoping!
     
  30. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Well, that's pretty good, though I thought CA was very expensive.

    Starting salaries in MN range quite a bit, I've never seen under 31k, and some districts desperate for people in certain subjects give the new teachers extra lanes to start out, and they're near 40k.

    But, cost of living comparison, and I think MN might beat those CA wages.
     
  31. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I love Taylor's poem and performance of it. When my blog was public I posted his video and wrote my own version of the unique and exciting things that I've made as a teacher in my short time, and the contributions of my 3 favorite teachers when I was in school. (3rd grade, 5th grade, and 12th AP English teacher)

    I did that to try and keep my my positivity at the time but it has died. Anyway, regardless, he's wonderful and I bet if every teacher was just a fraction as proud, commanding, assertive, powerful, and confident as he is, this field probably wouldn't be as disrespected and demonized as it has been lately. (By the media and politicians). But who knows..:confused:
     
  32. Jem

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    I've been fine with a low salary for the last 7 years. Luckily I have a husband who can make up for it with his. I'm looking at a position outside of k-12 education, however, that would pay me about twice what I'm making as a classroom teacher. It's amazing what doors could be open to us with the salary increase, retirement package, second insurance package, etc. I have a $1,000 dental bill after dh's insurance that could be covered with a second insurance plan, but my school does not offer one. I love my students, and I love teaching, but that's a lot of money to sacrifice for it!!
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jem, I thought you said you were making good money this year...not enough to be worth the stress though, I'm sure. Doubling your salary would put you where? In the 100 K range? $100 k a year would open up possibilities for most people. The teachers at the top of the scale in my district do make that much...But even those who arent making that still have good health insurance and vest into a state retirement plan as public employees... jobs that pay upwards of $100k in business are few and far between these days and the competition for them is tough. I wish you luck on your new horizons.

    I hope you feel that you have made a difference to the students you have taught...
     
  34. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Feb 14, 2011

    FourSquare said:
    "I'm just tired of the negativity. I was really excited for this to be one thread where we really talk about the meat and potatoes of teaching. I love this poem. And now people are just going to complain and ruin its spirit. I get that we don't get paid enough and need more support. I 100% agree. But we have half a dozen threads on that already. Let's just enjoy the video for what it is."

    I don't think it's negative to not want unicorns and flowers and cushy feelings all day long. I think it's realistic.

    When someone has a legitimate complaint about an institution (ie the salary teachers are paid) and instead of a discussion about it, someone wants to talk POETRY... Poetry is nice and pretty ladidah, but the reality is that teachers are NOT paid enough. I guess the warm feeling you have inside can feed, house, and clothe you...but it doesn't pay my bills.

    Further, there are a dozen threads on that already for two reasons: 1. People really care about it and 2. People try to change the subject by saying "don't be negative," which shuts down any good conversation that might be taking place.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't think Taylor's poem is 'ladidah' or 'unicorns and flowers'...it's about the power we have as teachers to make a difference. I've had jobs that paid very little and yet I made a difference because I worked in a school that valued me as a professional even if they couldn't pay me much...I've had teaching jobs where I wasn't supported as an educator and even though the pay was good it was hard sometimes to feel the 'buzz'...I now have the best of both...I'm in a highly professional district where my work is valued, where I am an educational leader, where I am paid very well...and where I make a difference. It's NOT about the money...it's about being supported in ways that allow you to grow as a professional, to feel valued, and being able to make that difference because of the climate in which you work.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The OP did not open the thread to begin bashing on teacher pay. The complaint here is legit. If someone wants to open that thread, they can. Although I do realize that the entire use of the word "make" is a play on salary, but that was not the point. The point of this thread is to focus on the wonderful things we do each day as teachers. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep that focus. In fact, the OP has every right to do so.
     
  37. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Wow...do you work for some sort of private school? I've never heard of teachers here in California not having insurance benefits.
     
  38. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Yep.
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    With all due respect (sincerely), I don't agree that we necessarily knew what we were getting into regarding salary concerns and that we can't act surprised now. When I was in college to become a teacher I can assure you the economy was much different than it is now. I had no way to know our salaries would freeze and many would see their salaries decrease. In fact, I think a great deal about education has changed, not just in terms on money, in just the five years I've been teaching.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The original post asked us to be honest about what we make. And to then watch the video. I think salary was bound to appear in the conversation.

    As for as this poem, I have read and seen it before and I do very much enjoy the message. I can be upset about education and enjoy these "rainbow and butterfly" moments at the same time. :)
     
  41. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 14, 2011

    Well, that is definitely a true and valid point. But, I would point out, education is not alone in that problem. This (as far as I see it) is really a separate issue. Everyone is hurting because of the economy. Many people are dealing with frozen or decreased salaries, so that does not pertain to teaching alone. That's just a matter of the economy. My sister is an accountant, and their salaries have been frozen for the past 3 years as well. :(
     

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