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Author Topic: How we view our Education system- why?
simplybiological
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I was reading digg, and I saw this article with the associated comments from digg readers:

Student Suspended for Answering Call from Dad in Iraq


I never even made it to the article, because I was so troubled by the comments left by readers of the article, many of whom said things like, "It's just high school, it's not like their learning anything."

As some of you may remember, I teach high school. Myself and most of the other teachers I know work their butts off, for very little money. People blame us when kids do poorly, and rarely give us credit when they do well. We are constantly assessed, evaluated, and criticized.

I know there are some teachers out there who are burnt out and just go through the motions, but most do the very best they can do. Often we are hampered by top-down edicts and policies (likely similar to the one in this story), and still people lump us in with admin.

So I have a few questions...

Where does the notion that "Those who can't do, teach," come from, and why does it persist?

If you are a person who holds such opinions, why?

What could someone do to change your mind about the worth of the teaching profession?


This is a personal mission of mine, so any thoughts are appreciated.

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Redskullvw
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The cant do teach bit, I think is a pretty old social theory based not on formal education systems, but rather far older social mechanisims. Namely as people progressed from oone generation sect to another, their knowledge generally increased, but their ability to personally implement that knowledge declined. IE, a man who had mastered archery or swordsmanship would most likely cease to be an effective combat soilder once he reaced a certain age. He still had a vast knowledge, but he could no longer use it.

So he wound up teaching those in a lower age sect group.

In today's commonplace comments as to can't do therefore teach drivel, its a case of the comment not adaquately reflection the reality. Many teachers, of which Ornery has multiple examples, are so skilled and educated it boggles the mind. Many could certainly do better following their profession, instead of just teaching. But there is a perception in many places that teachers couldn't cut it in the real world, so they sought refuge in the scholastic world.

Me? I have often viewed the can't do/ so teach line as sometimes being a compliment while at other times being a slur.

30 seconds off my head while cooking.

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LetterRip
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welcome back sb, we missed ya [Smile]

Red good analysis.

LetterRip

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Everard
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" But there is a perception in many places that teachers couldn't cut it in the real world, so they sought refuge in the scholastic world.
"

Sometimes this is true, not for competency reasons, but for comfort reasons... some people function well in an academic environment, but not as well in a business environment (and vice versa. A lot of teachers move to business after a couple years because the academic environment fries them out).

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FiredrakeRAGE
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simplybiological said:
quote:
I never even made it to the article, because I was so troubled by the comments left by readers of the article, many of whom said things like, "It's just high school, it's not like their learning anything."
I cannot speak for others, but I can give my personal impression of high school. Some of the teachers (I would say around 1/10) were interesting, and knew the material well. Due to the pace that was set, I would say that they were able to teach at a significantly slower pace than that at which I could learn. Other teachers were less interested, and less interesting. Often classes with this type of teacher were so incredibly boring that little was learned; reading the book on your own was more effective than paying attention in class. The issue is (imo) not that teachers are unwilling to teach. The issue is that the vast majority of classes proceed at the pace of the slowest students. Obviously for a number (the majority) of students this makes a significant portion of class time a complete waste.
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hobsen
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Any occupation has its detractors. For a more or less objective sampling:
quote:
These are some of the results of the annual Harris Poll measuring public perceptions of 23 professions and occupations, conducted by telephone between July 10 and 16, 2007, by Harris Interactive® among a nationwide sample of 1,010 U.S. adults. However, only about half of these adults were asked about each occupation.

Six occupations are perceived to have "very great" prestige by at least half of all adults - firefighters (61%), scientists (54%), teachers (54%), doctors (52%), military officers (52%), and nurses (50%). They are followed by police officers (46%) priests/ministers/clergy (42%) and farmers (41%).

By way of contrast, the list includes ten occupations which are perceived by less than 20 percent of adults to have "very great" prestige, with two of these under 10 percent. The lowest ratings for "very great prestige" go to real estate brokers (5%), actors (9%), bankers (10%), accountants (11%), entertainers (12%), stockbrokers (12%), union leaders (13%), journalists (13%), business executives (14%), and athletes (16%).

If teachers are considered more prestigious than accountants or lawyers, I do not think they have much to complain about.
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Athelstan
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The phrase “Those that can, do and those that can’t teach “is in common usage in the UK and has been since I was knee high to a grasshopper. But then I notice many terms used on this site that are used in the UK. That’s not to say they all originated in Britain as I believe the US Army and the US Media contributed to the language here. As to the phrase, school teachers have always been poorly portrayed in Britain and English Literature. I believe the American Ichabod Crane and Dickens’ Bradley Headstone were schoolmasters in literature.

On a personal note my earliest impression of schoolmasters must have been formed by the TV series Wacko . This was set at Chiselbury School and had the motto “They shall not pass”.

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Viking_Longship
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I went on at length about my thoughts on my high school education on another thread so I will summarize here.

I think the problem often is that our education system is trying to do to many things only one of which is to actually educate.

As long as a teacher is expected to manage 20 plus students and we treat every student in the system like they are college bound then public education will continue to deteriorate.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If teachers are considered more prestigious than accountants or lawyers, I do not think they have much to complain about.
That's actually a big "if." I strongly doubt that, in reality, actors and athletes (for example) are considered less prestigious than accountants, or that accountants get more prestige than top executives.
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Jesse
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About one in ten teachers, in my personal experience, is an absolute lump of excrement that needs to be forced to get the hell away from children by whatever means neccessary.

Cowardly chumps taking their mid-life crisis out on students, wacked out broads with the glassy-eyed prozac stare, drunks who cut their first period coffee with vodka, History/Government/Econ teachers bent on indoctrinating students to such an extent that they grade on agreement and not comprehension (seen that one from multiple ends of the spectri), and trash talking gossipy children with degrees bad-mouthing students to each other in the break room.

Maybe, tops, one in ten is on their A game nearly every day, knows how to connect with kids, works their ass off non-stop, and really inspires.

The rest? The earn about what they're paid, and earn about the respect they generally get.

Teachers are really not a bit different than cops, or almost any other profession. The "ok" ones cover for the horrible ones, the great ones get crap for rocking the boat, and base tribal politics rules.

Like cops, only a small minority really, truly, grasp that they are service employees.

Meaning no offense to you personally, SB, but I think you overstate your case in regard to "teachers" in general. It's a common tendency, and I fall victim to it often enough myself.

I have well over a million miles operating a commercial vehicle, without a preventable or at fault accident, and without a moving violation. I'm extremely dedicated to safety, inspect my vehicle regularly and thoroughly, drive courtesly, and take a lot of pride in it.

When some drunken idiot plows a tanker truck into a train, I have a tendency to have a similar reaction to comments that ensue, when people talk about the crazy trucker that almost ran them off the road, or the @hole that fell asleep and rear-ended their friend...that most of us do a damn good job every day.

The truth is, though, that at least 10% of the people holding CDLs ought to have them pulled. I've watched a guy pound three beers - and I mean pound - and drive onto the interstate. I've heard guys joke on the CB about how they're weaving onto to the rumble strip because they've been up and driving for 48 hours.

Now, I don't make excuses for guys like that - I call it in and get them busted. What do you do when you know another teacher ought to be out of the profession?

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OpsanusTau
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I sort of agree with the sentiment that "It's just high school, they're not learning anything."

But I don't really blame the teachers, per se.

The problem with mandatory education is that most high school students are not that well suited for academic learning, not that interested in academic learning, and would be better served by being somewhere else.

A really great teacher can take bored, grouchy students who are stuck in a chair all day and instill some fascination and excitement. But it's not really fair to expect every teacher to be extra great.

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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I sort of agree with the sentiment that "It's just high school, they're not learning anything."

But I don't really blame the teachers, per se.

The problem with mandatory education is that most high school students are not that well suited for academic learning, not that interested in academic learning, and would be better served by being somewhere else.

A really great teacher can take bored, grouchy students who are stuck in a chair all day and instill some fascination and excitement. But it's not really fair to expect every teacher to be extra great.

I tend to agree. There is an expectation that it is entirely the teacher's job to motivate students to learn the material. This is unrealistic to me, while some extra great teachers can achieve this expecting all of them to is like saying a MLB player who doesn't bat 350 a failure. Parents and students have to be responsible for much of the desire to learn. In our society however its more acceptable to blame the organization (schools) rather than parents and students.

Like someone posted above probably 10% of teachers aren't any good. Part of the problem comes from the fact that the best teachers generally will want to teach the best students. So the schools with the worst students and parents will get a lower quality teacher so there are some individual schools that end up with a very high percentage of poor teachers. These schools IMO tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

While I think there are several curriculum changes that should take place to improve what is learned in school this is not the fault of the teachers. For example I think every high school curriculum should have a class in logic. Teaching people how to reason well is a skill that will be useful throughout their lives and would benefit them in math and science courses.

[ April 14, 2008, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: yossarian22c ]

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Omega M.
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Yes, a course in logic along the lines of Patrick Suppes's Introduction to Logic (though that book is probably too advanced) would probably be much more useful than some of the math that kids get taught in high school. Even if kids just memorize logical rules such as "'p implies q' is equivalent to 'not-q implies not-p'", they'll have developed some useful reflexes for looking at arguments.
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Everard
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"The rest? The earn about what they're paid"

I'm not sure how an informed person can make that statement, and not double over in laughter.

I went through some numbers before, and a teacher is paid no better then a babysitter in most areas. Often worse. And even a mediocre teacher does way more then a good babysitter.

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mdgann
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2004-05 teachers in the U.S averaged $47,602 a year. During the same period the median income for all of the U.S was $43,389 a year. Are those the numbers you are referring to. If you consider that a teacher is on the job 9 months out of 12, then they make about $5289 a month. If they worked all 12 months they would be making $63,469 a year. Not to shabby for a 4 year degree. Of course these are just averages.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by mdgann:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2004-05 teachers in the U.S averaged $47,602 a year. During the same period the median income for all of the U.S was $43,389 a year. Are those the numbers you are referring to. If you consider that a teacher is on the job 9 months out of 12, then they make about $5289 a month. If they worked all 12 months they would be making $63,469 a year. Not to shabby for a 4 year degree. Of course these are just averages.

If they were making the same hourly rate for their summer work. I don't know of any school that pays the teachers the same rate for summer school, and I haven't noticed too many temporary jobs paying that rate either. Have you tried to find a summer job that pays you like you have a college degree?
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Everard
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Several things wrong there, mdgann
1) Teachers work on average more hours per year then the average american, so saying its "on the job nine months out of twelve" is misleading.

2) Teachers are required to have more then a four year degree (at least in most states, I don't know about all). You have to have the four year degree, then a masters, and continue your education for the entire duration of your teaching career.

Teachers are paid lower salaries then any other profession for which a master's degree is required, or even common. Teachers work more hours then most americans, and are required to pay for more education then most american's, even after completeing their masters degree, in order to hold their job.

In my region, it would take an 80,000 dollar salary to simply pay a teacher on par with a what babysitters are paid here. And teachers do far more then babysit.

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simplybiological
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Ev's right...
If I go by hourly rate, based on the number of hours I am teaching/planning/writing curriculum/grading, I make about $15/hr.

On the note of prestige...

I find that when I tell people about my job, they say, "Oh, wow, I could never do that job." In that sense, I have prestige. But I don't think I have prestige in the "Wow, you do something really important," way... it's more in the "Wow, you deal with a bunch of little a-hole high school kids every day."

That's really not the kind of respect that I want.

So many of the problems that I see mentioned above are systemic problems- they are things that teachers don't have a lot of control over, or have no training on how to deal with (freakishly few teachers have good training on how to deal with gifted kids besides "give them more work"). As someone mentioned before, teachers who are trying to be the best often get ragged on for rocking the boat, so they get squished down into the box.

Sure, there are bad apples in every bunch, and we all experienced one or two of those. But I've had bad waiters, and I don't conclude that all waiters are bad, or that waitstaff in general deserve no respect.

The teachers at my school rock. There are 14 of us, and we work like crazy. There is no curriculum for our state established for our type of school (It's a project-based New Tech high), and so in addition to the hours of teaching and grading etc, we are also all writing a full year of curriculum as we go.

I know my school is the exception to the rule, and I know my students appreciate that. However, I hate being lumped into an unfair stereotype (who doesn't?).

So how do you get out the word that it's not a field full of apathetic people who couldn't get another job, some of who do inappropriate things with kids?

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simplybiological
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mdgann-

Just FYI, I teach just outside Austin, and I make 38,000/yr before taxes.

I take home $2,700 a month. I work between 50 and 70 hours a week. I have to go to professional development weekly at my school, monthly in my district. I'm generally not paid for this time. Over the summer, I will run orientations for freshman, present at conferences, and write curriculum.

I also have a Master's degree + certification to teach all sciences. Working on ESL and Gifted Certification.

Stats can lie...

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
So how do you get out the word that it's not a field full of apathetic people who couldn't get another job, some of who do inappropriate things with kids?
I think it's probably bound up with getting the word out that the entire public education system is NOT an institution with the primary purpose of turning out docile consumers.

Which means, of course, making that true.

Which people like you, and Ev, and my various friends who are passionate about teaching, are all working towards just by being in the profession. So, keep up the good work!

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mdgann
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I fear that I have tread on some toes. I have nothing but respect for those who choose to teach in our public schools. I had a wonderful experience and some wonderful teachers. I at one time contemplated teaching, and got as far as the student teaching experience and learned that I did not have the patience or compassion needed.
However, your anecdotal evidence that teachers work more hours than anyone else will not convince me that you are all underpaid and under-appreciated.
I do not have the time to do a comprehensive search, but of the 5 state boards of education sites that I visited (CA, UT, CT, TX, VA) they all require a Bachelors or completion of an endorsed education program. Texas did require a Bachelors plus cerification that could be done concurrently at certain institutions.
Like I said, this was by no means comprehensive, but I think that the norm is a 4 year Bachelors degree. I am curious as to which states require the Masters. Of the states surveyed, all offered more pay and higher certification for a Masters, but none required it.
I went into my career knowing that I would have to work year round with 2 weeks vacation. After 10 years I will get a 3rd week. I accept that and live with it. If I had wanted more time off, I would have continued in education and expected less pay because of the 3 months I wouldn't be doing my primary job.
This is a serious question, so do not get defensive and fail to see that I really want to know what compensation and respect would help you to find satisfaction in your chosen profession?

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Everard
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" However, your anecdotal evidence that teachers work more hours than anyone else"

Its not anecdotal. There's a variety of survey's and studies out there. The average teacher works 10% more hours per year then a typical 9-5er.

"I do not have the time to do a comprehensive search, but of the 5 state boards of education sites that I visited (CA, UT, CT, TX, VA) they all require a Bachelors or completion of an endorsed education program."

As far as I am aware, the norm is to have a bachelors degree, and to maintain licensure to complete a masters degree in X amount of time.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Simplybiological,

What do you have a Masters in?

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Funean
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quote:
...teachers in the U.S averaged $47,602 a year. During the same period the median income for all of the U.S was $43,389 a year.
You realize that means that persons who have invested four years of their lives in tertiary education and are entrusted with the fundamental education of all of our youth can expect to earn 10% above the average of all US citizens? A number that includes prisoners, dropouts and the unemployed? Does that really seem appropriate?


ironic edit for verb

[ April 14, 2008, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: Funean ]

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simplybiological
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quote:
This is a serious question, so do not get defensive and fail to see that I really want to know what compensation and respect would help you to find satisfaction in your chosen profession?
I'm not seeing that anyone "got defensive" so much as contradicted your numbers... The "average" teacher makes $10,000 more dollars than I do, and your estimate of my monthly income was about double what I make. There's a world of economic difference between where I am and where you estimated me to be. And while I do think that teachers are vastly underpaid and that's part of what perpetuates the stagnation of the profession, that's not really where I was going.

I don't think anyone goes into teaching for the cash. You'd have to be severely deluded to think you'd make bank in this profession.

What I'd like to see is more awareness and acknowledgment of how much training, work, organization, and tolerance of some pretty wild stuff goes into my work life. Respect for innovation. Etc, etc.

Firedrake-
Master's is in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. B.S. is in Zoology.

(And incidentally, the pay increase I get for having a master's in my (Texas) district is a whopping $800 a year.)

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kenmeer livermaile
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Teachers rule, truckers roll.

Both jobs are incredibly draining and important.

To think your average local newscaster makes more...

Someone get me a Twinky!

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by simplybiological:
I'm not seeing that anyone "got defensive" so much as contradicted your numbers... The "average" teacher makes $10,000 more dollars than I do, and your estimate of my monthly income was about double what I make. There's a world of economic difference between where I am and where you estimated me to be. And while I do think that teachers are vastly underpaid and that's part of what perpetuates the stagnation of the profession, that's not really where I was going.

You're just starting out right? My impression is that you have only a year or two of teaching under your belt (please correct me if I'm wrong). Given that, it's understandable you'd be below the average and likely will be for some time unless you start getting paid on your merit rather than time served. As for teachers being "vastly underpaid", I'd agree that quality teachers are indeed underpaid but the average teacher, at $47,602 a year, is not "vastly underpaid".

quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
There's a variety of survey's and studies out there. The average teacher works 10% more hours per year then a typical 9-5er.

That's only 4 hours more per week. Offsetting that is the increased holidays (e.g. Christmas, spring break, summers, etc). I know, some teachers work during those times as well but many don't. I don't mean to minimize their effort but many people in professional careers work more than 4 extra hours per week.

The bottom line is there are a lot of things wrong with public education right now. A study released last week showed that the average high schooler failed to understand basic personal finance and economics, very basic stuff too (IIRC, only 48% passed). No wonder we have the housing issue we do now.

By any measure, public schools have been in a rather monumental decline over the last 35 years. The free fall the started in the 70's has slowed somewhat but that's primarily because there's very little room left to decline. A ton of money has been thrown at public education with no improvement shown and none on the horizon (in fact, it continues its decline). That's why a lot of people have that, "It's just high school, it's not like their learning anything." mentality. However we measure it, our kids are learning less every year.

For my company, I tried to hire high school graduates as interns over the summer to give them a financial head start and some "real world" experience but the quality of theses kids was so poor I finally quit doing it. Very few had the basic literacy skills I required - and I mean basic. Things like proper grammar and a vocabulary that precluded saying "like" every third word. Basic math skills are nonexistent; when someone needs a calculator to make change for a $20, there's a problem. This doesn't describe every kid I interviewed/hired, only about 95%.

In my experience, the Pareto Principle applies to teachers; about 20% of them supply 80% of the education to the kids in the system. I think that gap is widening to the point where it more of a 95-5 rule. simplybiological works in a "a project-based New Tech high" - sounds like something more experimental than the average high school and that's great. We need more of that and more teachers willing to do what she (he?) does. A voucher system to let parents vote with their dollars for this school instead of being forced to attend the crappy high school they've been assigned would be a good start.

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Jesse
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There's nothing, really, to be achieved with vouchers that cannot be achieved with charter schools, and vouchers offer far more potential for negative effects.

On the pay issue, Welcome to America. People in this country aren't paid based on how hard their job is, and if they were, ditch diggers would be making triple what teachers do.

4% more hours than a mythical 9-5 worker who never puts in overtime? Cry me a river. Does that mythical worker get a state-funded pension, or a self-funded 401k? How do health-care and job security compare?

Median income for firefighters with 5-9 years experience is 46k a year. Shall we compare benefit rendered to society, risk, job difficulty, and on-going training?

[ April 15, 2008, 03:17 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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mdgann
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Fun,
I'm not sure if the $47k number included unemployed and others or not. It was from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. It seems to me that 47k is an average living. Maybe not now with the gas prices like they are, but it wasn't very many years ago when I was making that salary. I am an engineer with 10 years experience. I make somewhat more than that now, but not enough more to be an average breaker.

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Clark
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I wish we lived in a society where we valued teachers more, and payed them according to that increased value. In such a society, parents would also value the education the teachers provide and, as such, would encourage (and enforce) the education of their children. (I personally believe that the latter improvement would have more effect than the former, though certainly both would help.)

My sister has a BS in Biology and a teaching certificate. She took a job at the zoo making less than the starting salary for a teacher. Why? Because she loves the zoo, so the job is worth it to her, despite the low pay and the 50 hours weeks (year round). My point: when signing up for a job, you sign up for all the good points, as well as the bad. Teachers have some perks that almost no other jobs have: summers off, spring break, no over night shifts, etc. They've got bad stuff to deal with, too: low pay, teenagers, parents, etc.

My wife has a BS in exercise science. Upon graduating, she managed to find a job offering her about 20% less than what teachers fresh out of school make. My point: it's not like teachers are the only people out there that have college degrees, provide a valuable service and work hard while making very little.

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Daruma28
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The perception of teachers and it's profession are tainted in the public mind, because most of the public attended public school. And for the average American, public school was not a generally pleasant experience...and that certainly includes their interactions with the public school teachers.

The problem is the system itself.

Here's something I recommend everyone interested in/involved in the topics related to public education needs to read:

The Underground History of American Education

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Everard
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"People in this country aren't paid based on how hard their job is,"

Nor are they paid by how valuable the job is. I am aware. I did not go into teaching for cash, but its insulting when I'm told that I "earn" what I'm paid, or really that any other teacher "earns" what they are paid. If we're going to bring "earn" into the question, like you did, Jesse, I'm going to compare myself to a babysitter... because I babysit 140 kids 5 hours per week, each, and THEN I teach 100 of those physics for 5 hours per week. Around here, just the babysitting portion of that would translate to 80k per year.

I know firefighters and EMT's and other people are also undervalued on the pay scale. Firefighters and EMT's earn a lot more then they are paid, too.

But if you're going to argue that MY profession earns what it makes, then I'm going to laugh at you, and if you say it to my face, I'll spit on you. In the same way you'd probably be spat on by a firefighter if you told him his job was worth 46k per year (well, a firefighter might be more likely to slug you).

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Daruma28
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Ahh yes Ev, your self-regard and martyrdom complex is quite hilarious.

What you fail to understand is that you ARE PAID WHAT YOU ARE WORTH because a salary is based on the laws of supply and demand - i.e. becoming a cog in the public education machine is NOT THAT DIFFICULT to attain, compared to other professions.

If it were, there would be a lot less teachers than there are, and the demand for their services would be paid much higher to retain there services.

Yes, you need a 4 year degree - but getting a 4 year degree in education is much easier to accomplish than just about ANY OTHER 4 year degree program for just about any other professional career.

Aside from that, I don't get where you have this notion that ANYONE makes 80k a year "babysitting."

Babysitting is the task where a person pays someone else to WATCH their kids and keep them out of trouble for a short period of time so that they can do something else.

That is NOT what you do. You are a cog in the machine of COMPULSORY education. As in, if your kids are not in their classroom, they are subject to arrest.

The fact that you consider "babysitting" to be an integral part of your job description just goes to show how corrupted the system of "education" is in this country.

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Everard
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"What you fail to understand is that you ARE PAID WHAT YOU ARE WORTH because a salary is based on the laws of supply and demand "

Yeah, and then people complain because their kids have some teachers who aren't very good. You want a better supply of teachers? Raise salaries, and more people with more ability will apply for teaching jobs.

"- i.e. becoming a cog in the public education machine is NOT THAT DIFFICULT to attain, compared to other professions. "

Compared to WHICH other professions? Compared to other professions of similar pay scale, teachers have FAR more training and go through FAR more education then all of them. The only profession that has as much or more education and training then education, and is paid less, or equal, is being a librarian.

"Yes, you need a 4 year degree - but getting a 4 year degree in education is much easier to accomplish than just about ANY OTHER 4 year degree program for just about any other professional career."

Again, you need a four year degree (and to teach high school, the degree needs to be in your subject area in many states, not in education) and then you need to continue that education, usually with at least a master's degree, which, again, is often not in education.

On top of that, education degrees are not the joke they once were. Not in state universities, or in good private colleges

"Aside from that, I don't get where you have this notion that ANYONE makes 80k a year "babysitting.""

In massachusetts, right now, the pay per hour per child for a babysitter is 4-5 dollars. Watch three kids? 12-15 dollars per hour. I watch 140 kids. Times 5 hours per week is 700. Times 5 is 3500 dollars per week. I make 800. 80k is seriously under-valuing the babysitting portion of my job. I am giving huge discounts for large quantities.

"Babysitting is the task where a person pays someone else to WATCH their kids and keep them out of trouble for a short period of time so that they can do something else."

Yup.

"That is NOT what you do."

You're right. It is only a SMALL portion of what I do. Its more in some schools, where kids get into more trouble then they do in mine. (Trouble=fighting, drugs, running into brick walls for fun, whatever).

"You are a cog in the machine of COMPULSORY education. As in, if your kids are not in their classroom, they are subject to arrest."

Not in mine. I teach mostly 17-18 year olds. Aside from that, do you REALIZE what would happen to our economy if parents had to watch their kids, rather then sending them to school? Goodbye economy. overnight.

"The fact that you consider "babysitting" to be an integral part of your job description"

I don't. It is the part of my job I am concerned about the LEAST. Yet it is still there. it is the smallest fraction of what I do, and that service is valued, in massachusetts, right now, at five dollars per hour per kid.

[ April 15, 2008, 04:26 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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A) Whenever someone says "What you fail to realize" I know that what follows fails to realize whatever it is it thinks it is conveying.

B) Supply and demand determine price, not value.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
In massachusetts, right now, the pay per hour per child for a babysitter is 4-5 dollars. Watch three kids? 12-15 dollars per hour. I watch 140 kids. Times 5 hours per week is 700. Times 5 is 3500 dollars per week. I make 800. 80k is seriously under-valuing the babysitting portion of my job. I am giving huge discounts for large quantities.

That's an apples to oranges comparison. What kind of benefits do babysitters get? How do they compare to yours? Babysitters don't get health coverage, retirement and all those other things you get by being a state employee. You've got quite a different deal going than simple babysitters and you're getting a lot more than a simple hourly wage.
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Clark
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ken, I mean this honestly: What is the difference between value and price? If something has a very high value, but can only be sold for a very low price, what exactly does that high value mean? Conversely, if something has a very low value, yet is available on the market at a very high price, how does it make sense to say that the value is next to nothing?

Is there some sort of overlooked economics distinction between the two that I don't understand?

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Everard
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"What is the difference between value and price?"

Price: How much you pay for X. Value: What is gained from paying for X.

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Jesse
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quote:
and if you say it to my face, I'll spit on you.
And some folks say Ken needs his dosage adjusted.

Thin chalk line, eh? I think you'd fit in a little better over at the Boston PD, Everard.

If I were a student in your class, I'd have had you punching me and out of a job within two weeks.

[ April 15, 2008, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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simplybiological
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Going back to my original post, I wasn't intending to focus on salary, nor to stipulate that teachers are the only undervalued workers. Ev and I have both stated that we did not expect to make big bucks going into teaching- no one does. I make about the same as I did when I was in a lab identifying macroinvertebrates under a microscope... and that's ok. But I do think the job I do now is much harder, more time consuming, and of a much greater value than being a lab tech. But it's not. What I want is that acknowledgment.

Firefighters are definitely respected for what they do, and for excellent reason. However, I do not feel that my profession earns the same respect. My question was, how do I change that?

My point is that there are a LOT of us teachers out there doing fantastic stuff in the classroom, but we are still regarded as the exception to the rule.


With regards to the whole supply/demand idea, there is NOT an abundance of teachers (esp not middle and high school) out there. Many states are in extreme need of science and math teachers, and teachers that are ESL certified. They cannot raise salaries, so they lower job requirements, resulting in uncertified teachers, teachers without content-area degrees, and teachers currently in alternative certification. This does NOT help our education system.

FYI- you can't teach middle or high school with a degree in education. You have to have a content area degree. I have a B.S. and a master's in the subject I teach... I know Ev has a Physics degree.


Oh, and for the record G2- I am a relatively new teacher, but it will take me 16 years of teaching in my district to reach this alleged "average" salary.

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