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Teaching: your opinions (poll)Follow

#1 Sep 21 2011 at 2:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Saw a facebook debate the other day on this issue and it got me to wondering how people think about teachers. I'm talking about primary/secondary, not college level.

Which best describes your thoughts on the teaching profession
Teachers educate, and education improves the future. Teachers are fantastic! However they work long hours and get burnt out quickly; it's a tough job, but an honorable one.:25 (51.0%)
Teachers are necessary, but they complain too much. Their salaries aren't bad, they get great benefits, and they get the summers off. Due to unionization it's often difficult to fire them, and can have too much influence on a child's outlook by injecting their own views.:9 (18.4%)
They're basically glorified babysitters. Public schools are a blight and we should go back to a private school system where competition will allow only the best teachers to retain a job... the best students to learn at the schools. Also, I studied to be a history teacher and failed at it.:1 (2.0%)
I've got my own thoughts that don't really align primarily with one side or the other. And I'm not Varus.:14 (28.6%)
Total:49


Edited, Sep 21st 2011 4:33pm by LockeColeMA
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#2 Sep 21 2011 at 2:36 PM Rating: Good
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Don't think they should be nearly as protected as they are, but I feel the same way about my job.
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#3 Sep 21 2011 at 2:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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I went #1 but I could caveat it all day long. There's shitty members of every profession: teachers, soldiers, firefighters, doctors, judges, whatever. Broadly though, I agree that it's a necessary and difficult profession that involves a lot of personal sacrifice to achieve a difficult goal. There's no question that most teachers burn out quickly; the attrition rate is approximately 50% after five years.
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#4 Sep 21 2011 at 2:46 PM Rating: Good
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I'm no fan of tenure, and I've yet to hear an argument for it that wasn't flawed. Getting summer off seems like a sweet deal.

That being said, I'm not raging about them. Yeah, tenure is an issue, and it should be addressed, but meh. I'd have selected the second option, 'cept for the bits about them complaining too much (in my experience, they only complain as a counter to people saying that their job is easy/insignificant) and them influencing childrens' outlooks with their own views (which, if it's even a problem, is marginal and solvable locally).

Edited, Sep 21st 2011 4:47pm by Eske
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#5 Sep 21 2011 at 2:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think they often get too much of the credit/blame for how their students turn out.
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#6 Sep 21 2011 at 3:02 PM Rating: Decent
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The problem is that #1 and #2 are not really exclusive. I think teachers are great. I think that the public school system most of them have to work in is awful. Same with the unions that come as part of that package. And I think that most of the negatives people do cast at teachers are really things that are related to that public school system and those unions and not really the teachers themselves.
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#7 Sep 21 2011 at 3:15 PM Rating: Good
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I think your options suck so I took option 4, although in reality, I likely fall somewhere between 1 and 2.
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#8 Sep 21 2011 at 3:16 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch, Mercenary Major wrote:
I think your options suck so I took option 4, although in reality, I likely fall somewhere between 1 and 2.
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#9 Sep 21 2011 at 3:34 PM Rating: Good
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I picked 1, but I'm very biased.

I would like to clarify that summers off doesn't apply when most teachers have to attend staff development, continuing education classes (to maintain their certifications, they have to take classes every three years or so), or teach summer school to supplement their income. Students get the summers off. Teachers are doing some form of work most of the time in summer.
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#10 Sep 21 2011 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Teachers are doing some form of work most of the time in summer.
The ones I know don't.
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#11 Sep 21 2011 at 4:13 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
Uglysasquatch, Mercenary Major wrote:
I think your options suck don't match up to my own so I took option 4, although in reality, I likely fall somewhere between 1 and 2.


I mostly lean towards (1) although there is a small tiny percentage of teachers that are terrible and are difficult to get rid of, which I think is detrimental to kids and public education.

I don't generally find they complain very much, and I don't think they really get paid fair market value for their work (even getting summers off). I dunno, being a teacher seems a lot more important than being a common labourer (and the latter doesn't have to spend their own money to get the training for the job) yet they can easily make the same amount.

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#12 Sep 21 2011 at 4:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch, Mercenary Major wrote:
catwho wrote:
Teachers are doing some form of work most of the time in summer.
The ones I know don't.


The do attend a few staff development days and may have to spend some time prepping their classroom. But it's not more than a handful out of the whole summer. If they are actually working during the summer (like teaching a summer school course), they get paid more, which breaks the whole argument.
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#13 Sep 21 2011 at 4:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
I don't generally find they complain very much, and I don't think they really get paid fair market value for their work (even getting summers off). I dunno, being a teacher seems a lot more important than being a common labourer (and the latter doesn't have to spend their own money to get the training for the job) yet they can easily make the same amount.


Unless median salaries for common laborers is between $40-45k/year then your statement is false. Certainly, common laborers don't "easily" make the same amount as certified teachers. There are some legitimate arguments to make about teacher salaries, but it's exactly this sort of gross misinformation about the salaries themselves which make the topic difficult to discuss.
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#14 Sep 21 2011 at 5:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Voted number two, but my opinion is more realistically represented by a mixture of both one and two, with two slightly edging out one.

Edited, Sep 21st 2011 7:06pm by Turin
#15 Sep 21 2011 at 5:10 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
I don't generally find they complain very much, and I don't think they really get paid fair market value for their work (even getting summers off). I dunno, being a teacher seems a lot more important than being a common labourer (and the latter doesn't have to spend their own money to get the training for the job) yet they can easily make the same amount.


Unless median salaries for common laborers is between $40-45k/year then your statement is false. Certainly, common laborers don't "easily" make the same amount as certified teachers. There are some legitimate arguments to make about teacher salaries, but it's exactly this sort of gross misinformation about the salaries themselves which make the topic difficult to discuss.



I know plenty of people who have made easily 40-45K a year doing common labour(hauling rebar, roofing, sweeping mills) so yeah...Many of them make more. Go to the oil patch and people doing grunt work are easily pulling in 80-150 K a year or more.

It is a little worse now that the economy has cooled but, yeah, resource industries pay tons to people without them having to shell out for their own education.

These don't have salaries on them - but note how NO formal education outside of a high school diploma is necessary. I am not going to do the work to check for you, but if these jobs AREN'T pulling in 80K+ a year I would be shocked.

http://aquifer.nabors.com/career/jobdetail.asp?id=303
http://aquifer.nabors.com/career/jobdetail.asp?id=273


Edited, Sep 21st 2011 4:14pm by Olorinus
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#16 Sep 21 2011 at 5:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Go look up the definition of "median". Then get back to me.
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#17 Sep 21 2011 at 5:49 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
Go to the oil patch and people doing grunt work are easily pulling in 80-150 K a year or more.
What do teachers up in those areas make?
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#18 Sep 21 2011 at 7:04 PM Rating: Good
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There's a fair mix of all three, and not just in one teacher being a good example and another being a bad example.

Education is supremely important, and in the long term the most efficient way to create lasting benefits. Many teachers do work hard and it can be a very tough job. However there are some problems with teachers unions that need to be fixed, and especially in private schools injecting personal viewpoints is quite easily achieved and can be severely damaging. And to an extent they are glorified babysitters, because the school system is fairly broken, to the extent that much of what children gain is a byproduct of merely being in the presence of a book with ideas they couldn't figure out on their own in a timely manner rather than any sort of method or effort on our part to impart knowledge to them.

So I went with the last one. Just because this thread seems to be heading into yet another boring political discussion, I'll throw in that I think there are many true conservative critics of schooling such as the power and detrimental effects of teachers unions, that could be improved. I don't however think that eliminating teacher unions or switching to entirely private schools would have a very significant effect for the amount of effort involved, and that largely it distracts us from more fundamental and serious problems. Namely, that we don't have a half intelligent metric outlined to even determine whether what we're doing is successful.
#19 Sep 21 2011 at 7:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
it's exactly this sort of gross misinformation about the salaries themselves which make the topic difficult to discuss.
It's even worse when people bring jobs into discussions and have the salaries incorrect by a less than fair margin.
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#20 Sep 22 2011 at 8:39 AM Rating: Good
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I think your options suck so I took option 4, although in reality, I likely fall somewhere between 1 and 2.
I mostly agreed with 1, but the hours aren't long, as far as I can tell. Schools around here are in session for 6 hours a day. Let's give them 2 hours on either end for prep and correcting homework and tests, and also remember that they have periods off, not including lunch time. Holidays off, with thanksgiving normally being 3 days off; Xmas vacation, February vacation, April vacation; ~2 months for summer. It's not a bad job in regards to time off.

Even if they averaged 9 or 10 hours a day when you add up all the prep or what not, all that time off really makes up for a lot.
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#21 Sep 22 2011 at 8:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
it's exactly this sort of gross misinformation about the salaries themselves which make the topic difficult to discuss.

I heard that teachers make more than army generals and astronauts and the Pope!
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#22 Sep 22 2011 at 9:15 AM Rating: Good
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Teachers, especially those in high school, are expected to support some sort of after school activity as part of their employment. For example, my high school biology teacher was also the baseball coach. My high school band teacher had orchestra on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and then jazz band on Fridays. My high school chemistry teacher ran the science club. The entire math staff participated in the math club, with one teacher coaching math olympiad and another one handling math bowl and yet another one handling the actual math club activities (we tutored the middle school that was attached to our high school as our service project.) Etc. Even management gets into this - my husband's brother in law is the high school principal... and the track coach.

So yes, it's not unheard of for a high school teacher to put in a 12 hour day during the week, on top of weekend activities.

And they usually don't get paid for those extra curricular activities - they're just expected to do it. (On the other hand, department heads are paid an extra $5,000-$10,000 and given a pass on heading the extracurricular stuff since they have double the paperwork to deal with.)
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#23 Sep 22 2011 at 9:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
it's exactly this sort of gross misinformation about the salaries themselves which make the topic difficult to discuss.

I heard that teachers make more than army generals and astronauts and the Pope!

Combined, right?
#24 Sep 22 2011 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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That's what I've been told, yes. They make more than space traveling generals of divine holy armies.

Kindergarten teachers make more than the Archangel Michael! Who probably isn't paid at all, so I guess it's technically accurate.
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#25 Sep 22 2011 at 9:55 AM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
And they usually don't get paid for those extra curricular activities - they're just expected to do it.

Highly district dependent, and I dare say not likely the norm.

As to the occasional 12 hour day, so f'ucking what? I put in 50-60 hours a week routinely, and occasionally get the 80 hour week dropped on me. I don't get 12 weeks of vacation every year. It's a seasonal job. They should quit their **** or do something else.
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#26 Sep 22 2011 at 10:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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And how well paid are you for those 50-60 hours a week? I hope you're getting some form of overtime compensation.

I'm not against paying high salaries to work-a-holics. More power to you. But $40K/year for 50-60 hours a week is not a high salary.
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#27 Sep 22 2011 at 10:37 AM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
And how well paid are you for those 50-60 hours a week? I hope you're getting some form of overtime compensation.

I'm not against paying high salaries to work-a-holics. More power to you. But $40K/year for 50-60 hours a week is not a high salary.

I worked more at entry level and made less. A teacher with my level of experience in St. Paul makes $75,000. To teach kindergarten. For 40 weeks a year.

Cry me a f'ucking river.
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#28 Sep 22 2011 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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They probably own color televisions and FM transistor radios as well, the jerks Smiley: mad
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#29 Sep 22 2011 at 12:06 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch, Mercenary Major wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
Go to the oil patch and people doing grunt work are easily pulling in 80-150 K a year or more.
What do teachers up in those areas make?


Around 90-100K I think. I'm not an employment expert by any means but they make about 20% more than teachers in B.C.
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#30 Sep 22 2011 at 12:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
They probably own color televisions and FM transistor radios as well, the jerks Smiley: mad

AND VIDEO GAME CONSOLES!!!!
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#31 Sep 22 2011 at 2:13 PM Rating: Decent
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MoebiusLord wrote:
catwho wrote:
And they usually don't get paid for those extra curricular activities - they're just expected to do it.

Highly district dependent, and I dare say not likely the norm.


This. While I suppose it's possible that there might be some school districts out there that require extracurricular activities of their teachers and don't compensate them, I've never heard any direct report of any district which does do this. It's one of those repeated rumors which lots of people seem to know, but no one can actually say "district X in state y does this".

There are *some* after school activities which staff are required to help out on, but they're minor things, like helping out at a bake sale, or football game, or school dance. Most schools handle those sorts of things by requiring every staff member to pick 2 or 3 events each school year that they will attend. That's not even remotely in the same category as coaching a team though. If you coach a team, or manage the drama club, or whatever, you get paid more for doing those things *because* they require significant amounts of time.
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#32 Sep 22 2011 at 2:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I've never heard any direct report of any district which does do this.

Well, you'd certainly be the first person they called Smiley: rolleyes
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#33 Sep 22 2011 at 4:06 PM Rating: Excellent
Just for perspective, because, y'know, not all states are the same:



South Dakota teachers:

Starting salary = $26k

After 10 years = $34k

Comparison to average state wage = +34%



US average teacher's salary: $49k


So, let's at least pretend all teachers don't make $80-100K a year.


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#34 Sep 22 2011 at 4:34 PM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
US average teacher's salary: $49k


So, let's at least pretend all teachers don't make $80-100K a year.

I don't think anyone in this thread has pretended or even suggested that. The number I threw out was for a teacher with nearly 20 years of experience and a master's degree. A $49,000 salary for the average teacher equates to about a $65,000 salary for a full time job, so the better thing to not pretend is that they're under-paid for a job no more taxing or time consuming than any low level management position in your average corporation.
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#35 Sep 22 2011 at 5:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Just for perspective, because, y'know, not all states are the same


Yeah. This link has some interesting numbers about teacher salaries and different ways of measuring them.

Quote:
So, let's at least pretend all teachers don't make $80-100K a year.


No one said that. However, in states with higher average pay, teachers earn higher pay as well. The point is that teachers earn higher than average (state) pay in every state. You're free to argue that teachers should be making more above average than they are, but it's wrong to say that they're somehow being grossly underpaid.
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#36 Sep 22 2011 at 5:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
US average teacher's salary: $49k


So, let's at least pretend all teachers don't make $80-100K a year.

I don't think anyone in this thread has pretended or even suggested that. The number I threw out was for a teacher with nearly 20 years of experience and a master's degree. A $49,000 salary for the average teacher equates to about a $65,000 salary for a full time job, so the better thing to not pretend is that they're under-paid for a job no more taxing or time consuming than any low level management position in your average corporation.
So why bring up the kindergarten teacher? Do you think that her making $75K/year after 20 years in the same profession overpaid?
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#37 Sep 22 2011 at 5:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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On the one hand, she gets to finger paint and sing the ABCs all day.

On the other hand, she has to deal with vomit, crying, and five year olds losing control of their bodily functions fairly often. I know I widdled my pants one time in kindergarten and the teacher had to call my mother to have her bring fresh clothes.

75K for 20 years of that is a bargain.
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#38 Sep 22 2011 at 7:17 PM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:
I don't think anyone in this thread has pretended or even suggested that. The number I threw out was for a teacher with nearly 20 years of experience and a master's degree. A $49,000 salary for the average teacher equates to about a $65,000 salary for a full time job, so the better thing to not pretend is that they're under-paid for a job no more taxing or time consuming than any low level management position in your average corporation.
So why bring up the kindergarten teacher? Do you think that her making $75K/year after 20 years in the same profession overpaid?

In context it was in response to a teacher being asked to work a 12 hour day once a week occasionally. I don't think a professional making that sort of salary should complain about the odd 12 hour day, even if it is a regular occurrence.

Unrelated, do I think $75,000 is over-paid for a kindergarten teacher? You bet your f'ucking **** I do.
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#39 Sep 22 2011 at 7:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus wrote:
Uglysasquatch, Mercenary Major wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
Go to the oil patch and people doing grunt work are easily pulling in 80-150 K a year or more.
What do teachers up in those areas make?


Around 90-100K I think. I'm not an employment expert by any means but they make about 20% more than teachers in B.C.


I looked it up according to the BCTF (who are in bargaining for what it is worth)

http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/Publications/NewslettersAlerts/BargainingBulletin/2010-11/BargBulletin2011-01-25.pdf

  Category Vancouver Edmonton Winnipeg Toronto Elementary TO Secondary Newfoundland 
        5 min.  $45,909   $58,819  $50,259    $49,261            $50,231     $49,198 
        5 max.  $74,353   $91,213  $76,385    $85,322            $87,004     $63,458 
        6 min.  $50,488   $62,422  $56,329    $52,750            $53,790     $74,619 
        6 max.  $81,489   $94,814  $85,338    $90,173            $91,949     $84,415 
 


So what I read from this, very top paid teachers (non admin) in Alberta make under 100K and a lot more of them make around 60K. I am not sure what the categories mean though they sound like "steps" to me, which are usually based on time spent in the position. Teachers have steps based on education as well, with the top paid ones having to have masters or better in terms of degree.



Edited, Sep 22nd 2011 6:31pm by Olorinus
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#40 Sep 23 2011 at 9:43 AM Rating: Decent
100k?! I do hard work for a living and actually have to use my head, and I don't think I'll hit 60k. I also have to work during the summer. I'll admit that I don't have the patience to be a teacher, but for the most part, they are compensated well.
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#41 Sep 23 2011 at 12:16 PM Rating: Good
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Admiral Lubriderm wrote:
100k?! I do hard work for a living and actually have to use my head, and I don't think I'll hit 60k. I also have to work during the summer. I'll admit that I don't have the patience to be a teacher, but for the most part, they are compensated well.


That would be for someone with a Master's degree. Considering the cost both in time and money (including lost earning power during the 5-7 years at school) ... it really isn't a very good wage.
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#42 Sep 23 2011 at 1:36 PM Rating: Decent
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100K isn't a good wage because of the time spent getting a master's?
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#43 Sep 23 2011 at 2:17 PM Rating: Good
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Eske Esquire wrote:
100K isn't a good wage because of the time spent getting a master's?


Considering the 7 years of lost income (even at 30K a year, working mid-wage service industry type jobs) and the astronomical cost of the schooling, and the prime + 2.5% interest rate on the loans you have to take out to do it, I think it is fair for a teacher who gets to that point to make that kind of wage.

Nevermind that no teacher is starting at step six (max), or the fact that most beginning teachers spend 3-5 years (here in B.C. at least) being TOC (teacher on call) and working another job to make ends meet... and teachers at the top of their pay scale (so years of service and masters degree or better) in B.C. don't make 100K.

So lets see.

a) no teacher starts at the top wage bracket (100K) and in B.C. (the most expensive province in the country to live in) that top wage bracket is actually only 80K

b) It requires at least 5 years of schooling - probably 7 (4 for bach, 1 for teacher's college, 2 for masters) for most people to be educated enough to EVER qualify for that top bracket. The cost, plus interest of that schooling is borne by the wanna-be teacher.

c) Most beginning teachers AFTER spending 4-5 years in school (so NOT even qualifying for top wage bracket) then spend another 3-5 years only getting substitute teacher work (which they can only get after all the retired teachers who pick up these shifts and have seniority have had their share). One of the "teachers" I know works full time at my local pub. He can't get enough work as a teacher to pay his bills.

d) So you're looking of up to 10 years of your life before you can even get to the BOTTOM rung of the pay scale. It takes years more before you even get close to the top range of the pay scale.

So yeah, I think after bankrolling their own education, then being underemployed for years, and then working more than a decade making considerably less than 80K or whatever - I do think it is totally reasonable for a teacher to make the top wage scale for a few years.

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 1:18pm by Olorinus

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 1:20pm by Olorinus
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#44 Sep 23 2011 at 2:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Uh... my master's degree loans are at a 2.5% interest rate period, not prime plus.

Maybe it's different in Canada?

Also in the US, bachelor's and teacher's college are rolled into the same undergrad program, so we have 6 year's for a MA, assuming you finish the BA under the four year plan.

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 4:21pm by catwho
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#45 Sep 23 2011 at 2:22 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Uh... my master's degree loans are at a 2.5% interest rate period, not prime plus.

Maybe it's different in Canada?


Yep. Canada student loans (believe me I know) are 2.5% + prime. Thanfully prime is low right now, but how long is that going to last?

B.C. student loans have the same rate (although every other province iirc offers a lower rate).

Quote:
For Canada Student Loans issued on, or after August 1, 1995:

* the fixed interest rate is prime + 5% and;
* the floating rate is prime + 2.5%.

http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/after/payingback/inr.shtml



Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 1:24pm by Olorinus

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 1:25pm by Olorinus
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#46 Sep 23 2011 at 2:45 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
100K isn't a good wage because of the time spent getting a master's?


Considering the 7 years of lost income (even at 30K a year, working mid-wage service industry type jobs) and the astronomical cost of the schooling, and the prime + 2.5% interest rate on the loans you have to take out to do it, I think it is fair for a teacher who gets to that point to make that kind of wage.


Ah see, now you've hedged your terminology. I'm not talking about whether or not the compensation is fair...I'm taking issue with you saying that 100k is a bad wage.

I think it's a fine one, and schooling be damned. As an architect, I've gone through the same 7 years of it, and I'd be **** lucky to sniff the 100k range any time remotely soon. We have to go through a mandatory 3-4 year Intern Development Program afterwards, as well.

The point being that I think 100k is a great salary. If you don't think that it's fair compensation for the amount of schooling, then that's fine, but just know that that's not a unique situation. All things equal, someone should be able to get by reasonably on that pay scale.
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#47 Sep 23 2011 at 3:08 PM Rating: Good
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
100K isn't a good wage because of the time spent getting a master's?


Considering the 7 years of lost income (even at 30K a year, working mid-wage service industry type jobs) and the astronomical cost of the schooling, and the prime + 2.5% interest rate on the loans you have to take out to do it, I think it is fair for a teacher who gets to that point to make that kind of wage.


Ah see, now you've hedged your terminology. I'm not talking about whether or not the compensation is fair...I'm taking issue with you saying that 100k is a bad wage.



Oh, did I say it was bad? If so, I retract. I am just saying I don't think it is unreasonable considering most teachers would only be making that at the very tail end of their career and only after investing a considerable amount of money into education and time into the profession.

I might not think it is a generous wage though, just in terms of workers with no education making similar amounts. If teachers had their education fully paid for and their entry into the workforce streamlined then 80-100K in the final years of their career would be quite generous. Given that isn't the case, I don't see any reason to begrudge them it.

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 2:08pm by Olorinus
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**** I'm related to two PhDs in education and neither of them make 100K a year.

Then again, this is Georgia.

Edit: DURRR three, forgot my own sister finished up last year.

Edited, Sep 23rd 2011 5:52pm by catwho
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#49 Sep 23 2011 at 4:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
Oh, did I say it was bad? If so, I retract. I am just saying I don't think it is unreasonable considering most teachers would only be making that at the very tail end of their career and only after investing a considerable amount of money into education and time into the profession.


I think the point is that it's formulaic, while for the rest of us, it isn't. If you are a teacher and get a masters and work for X years, you will make Y salary (which might be that 100k figure). If you are in any other profession and you get a masters and work X years, you might make 100k. Or you might make 50k. Or you might make 250k. It depends on how well you work, what your field is, and what the market values your labor at.

The tradeoff of working in a largely unionized field with standardized wages like that is that the resulting average wages kinda has to be lower than what you "might get" with the same education in another field. Certainly, it's absurd to argue that teacher salaries should be compared only to the highest earning professions with similar degrees (doctors and lawyers commonly come up). A whole **** of a lot of people have masters or higher degrees and don't make as much as a public school teacher.

Quote:
I might not think it is a generous wage though, just in terms of workers with no education making similar amounts.


Sure. And some workers with the same education make lower amounts. You keep kinda leaving that part of the equation out.

Quote:
If teachers had their education fully paid for and their entry into the workforce streamlined then 80-100K in the final years of their career would be quite generous. Given that isn't the case, I don't see any reason to begrudge them it.


No one else gets that benefit either. The hardship for a teacher to gain a masters degree is no greater than any other professional. Actually, it's less so since they get significantly larger blocks of time off in which they can take courses towards a degree. It's pretty trivially easy for a teacher to get a bachelors, begin teaching, then obtain a masters. It's a **** of a lot harder for someone working full time to advance their education.

But even ignoring that, you're still forgetting that there's no guarantee of any given salary in any other profession. In non union professions you get paid based on the value of your labor to your employer. Having a higher degree increases your odds of your labor being worth more, but that's really it. In education, they just assume that a degree is worth X more dollars per year. For everyone. We can debate the necessity of that sort of pay system within education or the difficulty of trying to find any sort of alternative pay system, but I think it's unfair to just ignore that as a factor when discussing this topic.
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#50 Sep 23 2011 at 5:05 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:

It's pretty trivially easy for a teacher to get a bachelors, begin teaching, then obtain a masters. It's a **** of a lot harder for someone working full time to advance their education.


Except most young teachers aren't able to get work in their field immediately. So, you're discounting the years of waiting to get high enough up the seniority pole to even be allowed to apply for a job.

Yes, this is a result of the way the union is set up, and yes, I think it is problematic, so no disagreement there, I imagine.

Quote:
If you are in any other profession and you get a masters and work X years, you might make 100k. Or you might make 50k. Or you might make 250k. It depends on how well you work, what your field is, and what the market values your labor at.


I also agree that it is a fair trade off to have increased wage stability (at reasonable rates) instead of opportunities to make even more. (So you're protected from extremely low pay out - but have no opportunity to get the big payout - that seems fair to me).

Which is why I think teacher's salaries are reasonable. In case I wasn't very clear, I was arguing against any who would say it was somehow terrible that a teacher might, in their final few years of work, after investing in their own schooling, and after enduring several years of low wages and casual work, make between 80-100K.

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#51 Sep 23 2011 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:

It's pretty trivially easy for a teacher to get a bachelors, begin teaching, then obtain a masters. It's a **** of a lot harder for someone working full time to advance their education.


Except most young teachers aren't able to get work in their field immediately.


And most young people in other professions don't immediately land their dream job either. What is your point?

Quote:
So, you're discounting the years of waiting to get high enough up the seniority pole to even be allowed to apply for a job.


No, I'm really not. You are selectively accounting for it.

Quote:
Yes, this is a result of the way the union is set up, and yes, I think it is problematic, so no disagreement there, I imagine.


It is vastly easier to land a teaching job out of college than the average of other equivalently degreed professions out there. You'll have to spend a couple years subbing before you get a permanent position, but you're gaining seniority while doing that. Have you *ever* heard of someone dropping out of the teaching profession because they couldn't land a job? They drop out because they decide they don't like it, but not because positions aren't available.

I've met lots of people bemoaning the fact that they aren't using their business degree, or math degree, or science degree in their current (often low paying) job. People often get teaching credentials after getting a 4 year degree *because* they can't land a job with that degree and decide to try teaching instead. I just don't buy that it's even remotely as hard to land a teaching job as other jobs with similar education requirements. From everything I've seen, read, or heard about, it's the exact opposite.

Quote:
I also agree that it is a fair trade off to have increased wage stability (at reasonable rates) instead of opportunities to make even more. (So you're protected from extremely low pay out - but have no opportunity to get the big payout - that seems fair to me).


Absolutely. But you can't have it both ways. When people compare teacher salaries to doctors and lawyers they are trying to have the stability *and* the high pay. Which is more than a bit unfair IMO.

Quote:
Which is why I think teacher's salaries are reasonable. In case I wasn't very clear, I was arguing against any who would say it was somehow terrible that a teacher might, in their final few years of work, after investing in their own schooling, and after enduring several years of low wages and casual work, make between 80-100K.


Not sure about the specific case that was brought up, but teacher pay ladders rarely have more than 10-12 rungs on them. Meaning teachers reach that "max pay" level far far earlier than "in their final years". And IIRC, the case was about a kindergarten teacher, which is usually considered one of the bottom rungs in terms of pay (they might be higher than grade school, but lower than middle or high school teachers). Remember, the issue is the automatic pay scale. If a kindergarten teacher is making 100k in a district, then a high school teacher (every high school teacher) with the same number of year in that same district is presumably making some significant amount more.


Um... I don't want to get caught up on one case though. The point being that public school teacher pay is often complained about as being too low, when in reality it most often ranges from "about right" to "OMFG they make that much?!!!".
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