Teacher Salaries

An oldie but a goody:

I’m fed up with teachers and their hefty salary guides. What we need here is a little perspective.

If I had my way, I’d pay these teachers myself. I’d pay them baby-sitting wages. That’s right, instead of paying these outrageous taxes, I’d give them $3 an hour out of my own pocket. And I’m only paying them for 5 hours, not coffee breaks or lunch.

That would be $15 a day – each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their child. Even if they have more than one child, it’s still a lot cheaper than private day care.

Now, how many children do they teach everyday – maybe 20? That’s $15 X 20 = $300 a day. But remember, they only work 180 days a year! I’m not going to pay them for all those vacations! $300 X 180 = $54,000. (Just a minute, I think my calculator needs batteries.)

I know now what you teachers will say – what about those who have 10 year’s experience and a master’s degree? Well, maybe (to be fair) they could get the minimum wage, and instead of just baby-sitting, they could read the kids a story. We could round that off to about $5 an hour, times five hours, times 20 children. That’s $500 a day times 180 days. That’s $90,000 … HUH???

Wait a minute, let’s get some perspective here. Baby-sitting wages are too good for these teachers. Did anyone see a salary guide around here???

~author unknown


Teacher ABCs

A is for the abundance of questions and yearning

B is for both inward and outward beauty

C is for creative learning

D is for doing it over ’til it’s right

E is for the effort you pour into preparing each night

F is for watching how far we can go

G is for seeing us blossom and grow

H is for reaching for that star so high

I is for imagination, for the courage to try

J is for joy in touching a child’s life in a meaningful way

K is for kindness you bring children each day

L is for the love of teaching we see

M is for the “me” you’re helping me to be

N is for never being too busy to pray

O is for overcoming our desire to stray

P is for positives you bring to each

Q is for the quintessential way you teach

R is for your willingness to give us a reason

S is for teaching us to appreciate each season

T is for touching those that sit before you

U is for understanding our fear of all that is so new

V is for the vitality you show each day

W is for every wonderment you bring our way

X is for the extra special teacher we see

Y is for our sense of yearning to be, and

Z is for the big “yahoo” sent from your very own “zoo”!

~Author Unknown

Real Teachers (a longer version)

Back on December 8, I posted Real Teachers, some funnies I’d found on an old MNEA newsletter.  Well I found an even longer version in my online drive recently, here it is.

Real teachers will eat anything left in the teacher’s lounge.
Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, in the bathroom, and at the end of six weeks have even been seen grading in church.
Real teachers cheer when they hear that April 1st does not fall on a school day.
Real teachers drive older cars owned by credit unions.
Real teachers can’t walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line.
Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat of the chair.
Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning around.
Real teachers are written up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of their bladders and kidneys.
Real teachers wear glasses from trying to read the fine print in the teacher’s manuals.
Real teachers have been timed gulping down lunch in 2 minutes 18 seconds. Master teachers can eat faster than that.
Real teachers can predict exactly which parents show up at open house.
Real teachers understand the importance of making sure every kid gets a Valentine.
Real teachers know it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission.
Real teachers know that the best end of semester lesson plans come from Blockbuster.
Real teachers know the shortest distance and length of travel time to the front office.
Real teachers can “sense” gum.
Real teachers know the difference between what ought to be graded, what should be graded, and what should never see the light of day.
Real teachers know that the first class disruption they see is probably the second one that occurred.
Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.
Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.
Real teachers know better than to plan discussions or cooperative groups for last period during an observation.
Real teachers know that secretaries and custodians really run the school.
Real teachers know that rules do not apply to them.
Real teachers give themselves away in public because of the dry erase pen marker smudges all over their hands.
Real teachers know that dogs are carnivores and not “homework paperavores.”
Real teachers know that happy hour does indeed begin on Friday afternoons.
Real teachers do not take “no” for an answer unless it is written in a complete sentence.
Real teachers clutch a pencil while thinking and make notes in the margins of books.
Real teachers never take grades after Wednesday of the last week of the six weeks.
Real teachers are solely responsible for the destruction of the rain forest.
Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil at Sam’s.
Real teachers have the assistant principals’ and counselors’ home phone numbers.
Real teachers know the value of a good education and are appalled upon seeing their paychecks.
Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and they are absolutely nonexpendable.

~author unknown


“Where are the heroes of today?” a radio talk show host thundered. He blames society’s shortcomings on public education, of all things! I think too many people are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and rock musicians, athletes and models aren’t heroes, they’re celebrities.

Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that doesn’t make the news. There is no precedent for the level of violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in today’s America. Public education certainly didn’t create these problems but deals with them every single day.

You want heroes?

Consider Dave Sanders, the school teacher shot to death while trying to shield his students from two Neo-Nazi youth on a bombing and shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and there were also other less heralded heroes who survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes?

Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC, teacher, was moved by the plight of one of her students, a boy dying for want of a kidney transplant. So this pretty white woman told the family of this handsome 14-year old black boy that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When they subsequently appeared together hugging on the Today Show, Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes?

Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow teachers in San Jose, Calif., said “she could teach a rock to read.” Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which is always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on the job-and did. When her voice was affected she communicated by computer. Did she go home? She is running two elementary school libraries. When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to teach– that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes?

Bob House, a teacher in Georgia, tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and that would not change. The community was both stunned and gratified.

You want heroes?

Last year the average public school teacher spent $468 of their own money for student necessities –work books, pencils– supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That’s a lot of money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the industrial world. Public schools don’t teach values? The critics are dead wrong. Public education provides more Sunday school teachers than any other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes?

For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day because the nation is living through the worst parenting in history. Many have never been taken to church or synagogue in their lives. A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk — one that said “I love you!” He said he’d never been told that at home.

This is a constant in today’s society-some two million unwanted, unloved, abused children attending public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes?

Visit a special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says, “We have been so anxious to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did have.” What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want? Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

~author unknown

A teacher’s plea to other teachers part 2

Please if there are set behavior expectations for everyone in the building to follow such as line and hallway behavior have your kids follow those behaviors.

If you have to refill the paper in the copier or printer, please don’t put in just enough for what you’re copying/printing.  Fill the tray!

Also if you’re using the copier and using colored paper or card stock, when you get done take out the leftover and put it back where you found it so the office staff doesn’t needlessly go looking for more of a certain color or order more when it is not necessary.

On that note, be kind to office staff, custodians, cafeteria workers, support staff in general.  Yes administrators are in charge of the building but it is the support staff that actually keeps it running, especially the secretaries.  A friend of mine told me when she went for a parent orientation at her daughter’s school the teachers leading the orientation told them to make extra copies of anything they send to the office because the office staff is incompetent.  UM what?  Never say that to parents even if you believe it.

Now on that note never say anything negative to parents or students about another staff member.  Yes people don’t always get along but complaining about other teachers to students is just irresponsible and disrespectful, something we don’t want our students to be.  If a student asks you directly for your opinion, and it happens, say you don’t know the teacher very well, say you don’t always see eye-to-eye as happens in life but you’re sure he or she is a competent teacher.  Side step if you have to, admit you don’t always get along maybe but don’t badmouth a fellow teacher or staff member.

If you have a problem with a staff member talk to them first before talking to administration.  I felt completely cornered my first year teaching (I was a traveling teacher) when two assistant principals called me in to talk to me about complaints made by another teacher who had never spoken to me.  They were small complaints and had she expressed them to me I would have made changes.  I felt disrespected when she didn’t come to me first.   If you are uncomfortable speaking to them try an e-mail or with another teacher.  Don’t confront them in a large group, I made this mistake, not purposely but I still felt really bad about it.  I disagreed with the rewards policy of another teacher in that her rewards were things like students wearing pajamas all day.  While I supported her right to give rewards I felt that those rewards should only be in her class and not all day as they had not necessarily earned a reward in my class.  I went about talking to her the wrong way and hurt her feelings as well as causing some unnecessary conflict.  I learned my lesson please learn from my mistake!

What Teachers Make

Short post today but sometimes as we all know the saying “good things come in short packages”, ok so I altered the saying just a bit but it still makes sense.  This is a short post but I think it’s powerful.   You’ll have to tell me what you think.  If you are an educator and somehow have never seen this video you need to watch it.  If you know a teacher share this with them.  I first saw this video several years ago at an all district meeting.  Our superintendent had seen the video and wanted to share it with us, unfortunately he didn’t realize the version he found to share was a bit school inappropriate at the end.  For your viewing here is the “explicit” version and the clean version, here’s the text of the poem from Taylor Mali’s website, it does contain the explicit words but you can remove it should you want to print it, and finally here’s the poem in comic strip form (also explicit).  I know I’ll be adding it to my wall of inspiration.  Every time I watch this video I end up in tears and cheering, hopefully it will inspire you just as much.  Like I said at the beginning this is a short post I know but there’s really nothing to do but let the words speak for themselves!

Another Intruder Drill news story

So watching the news last night a story caught my attention, the high school in a local district was holding an active shooter drill on a staff professional development day.  Now having been through a similar drill I was surprised to hear that four members of the staff had called the local prosecutor’s office for advice.  I’m not sure why, did they think what was happening was illegal?  Were they worried about being required to participate?

I found two other articles about this same story today one from the St. Louis Post Dispatch Farmington Teachers Balk at Shooting Drill with Pellet Guns and one from the St. Francois County Daily Journal School’s Active Shooter Drill Alarms Some Staffers. I mentioned in a previous post Intruder Drills and Lockdown that I went through a similar training.  Now the training I underwent did not include the possibility of teachers being shot by pellet guns which I understand adds another level of anxiety and fear but as a teacher who has been through a similar training I think all teachers should as well.  The Daily Journal article says teachers were given the option to opt out of the drill more than once.  So if you were given the option to opt out why didn’t you?  I’m confused.

A parent interviewed for the KSDK story commented that it can happen anywhere, even in a small town.  My first thought was that most of the major stories I can recall about school shootings were in small towns.  That being said I don’t think it matters what size town, school, or district you are in it only seems beneficial to me to participate in training like this.  Once you do those ideas stick with you.

Part of our training was the County officers walking through the building and classrooms identifying strong and weak points.  Since that time I try to always make sure (when I have control that is) that my desk is situated so that I can see into the hallway through the window in the classroom door, the phone is close to my desk, and my classroom door is always locked.  I’m fortunate that in my current building we have a way to keep our doors locked and propped so that no teachers have to go into the hallway to lock their door during a drill.

My room was recently rearranged as the computers on the back meant that students working there had their backs to the SMART board and it made it difficult for them to type when we type things together as a class.  I noticed almost right away that the added benefit of the computers being moved is the tables now create a niche for students to sit in during intruder drills.  Something I did not have before, it’s a little bit more of a place for my students to be out of sight.  Something I might not have thought of so quickly and readily if not for the training I was lucky enough to take part in.

What about you teachers out there?  Have you participated in trainings like this?  Would you?  Parents what do you think?