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View Full Version : What a Teacher Makes?



Jim Koepke
05-31-2012, 1:55 PM
This teacher just might teach you to never ask a teacher what they make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xuFnP5N2uA&feature=endscreen&NR=1

If you know a teacher, share this with them. They may love you for it.

jtk

David Weaver
05-31-2012, 2:15 PM
Coming from a family of teachers and marrying into another family with lots of them, it's never a good question to ask!!

I do hear moaning about level of pay from within sometimes, though! That's not an exclusive trait to any job, though, most people think they should be paid more regardless of their profession.

Ron Natalie
05-31-2012, 2:19 PM
My brother decided there was no money in his chosen career (broadcast radio) and went back to get his teaching credentials.
I found a card that appeared to be a money holder that said "This card is like a career in teaching." On the inside it said "There's no money in it."

Jim Koepke
05-31-2012, 2:20 PM
I do hear moaning about level of pay from within sometimes, though!

That of course is what the questioner wanted to know.

That is not what the teacher answered.

" I can make a C feel like a medal of honor, I can make an A minus feel like a slap on the face. Don't waste my time with any less than your best effort."

jtk

Jim Rimmer
05-31-2012, 2:20 PM
Excellent. I taught for 4 years and found it was not my calling. My wife taught for 30+ and was Teacher of the Year in her district. They are special people with a special talent.

David Weaver
05-31-2012, 2:27 PM
That of course is what the questioner wanted to know.

That is not what the teacher answered.

"… I can make a C feel like a medal of honor, I can make an A minus feel like a slap on the face. Don't waste my time with any less than your best effort."

jtk


I, of course, didn't watch the video. My mother took the teaching trade seriously, so did my dad. My in-laws (who are younger) are exceptional teachers who put gobs of time into their jobs, though they have gotten a little more pragmatic after running into the quicksand that makes up the local politics - the kind you get stuck in when you feel like you're going to change the world and you outwork your colleagues and get repeated recognition from administration. But they are making a positive difference and pushing kids and other teachers where they work. That counts for something.

Tim Morton
05-31-2012, 8:50 PM
My daughter graduated college last week with a degree in middle school education, and starts her first teaching job in the fall...i will be sure to pass it along to her.

Greg Peterson
05-31-2012, 9:18 PM
Frankly, you could not pay me enough to be locked inside six or seven classrooms a day with the offspring of those that complain about how much teachers make.

David Weaver
05-31-2012, 9:56 PM
I can't imagine being so tortured that I'd worry about what the parents of the kids in the class think.

Greg Peterson
05-31-2012, 11:15 PM
I can't imagine being so tortured that I'd worry about what the parents of the kids in the class think.

I can't imagine trying to teach the children of parents who resent the education system.

Brian Kent
06-01-2012, 12:00 AM
My mom was a teacher and made a decent, steady and not huge wage.

I deeply honor the teachers I know; public school teachers, private preschool teachers and professors. They earn their wages. The only unfair part of the system currently is the annual pink slips and lay-offs. It is very difficult to plan responsible finances for their families when the state budgets are so shaky and their jobs so unpredictable.

My mom created so many lives, taught so many to read and to love t learn.

Ron Natalie
06-01-2012, 11:29 AM
My wife was a special ed teacher. Take all that and add physical exertion and increased paperwork bureacracy.

Greg Cuetara
06-01-2012, 9:24 PM
Both of my Parents were educators, not teachers but worked in school systems. Please don't misunderstand what I am about to say because I am a huge teacher supporter. Teacher pay around where I live frustrates me. If I were to get paid in the private sector for what they make with their eternal union benefits, pension and pay I would have to make between $150k to $200k / year. Factor in an average salary and benefits while they are working and then for 30+ years after they stop working and it all adds up. One thing most teachers do not account for in their pay is their benefits during their stint and then when they get done. They also get incredible vacation time during the school year and then the summers off.

Brian I hear you regarding the pink slips etc. but with the unions around where we are they almost have to lay everyone off and then decide who they want to hire back. I know a number of towns in the north east have done that because of the ridiculous union rules. We need to foster and take care of the teachers who care and those that are good. You don't just pay your dues and get to stay a teacher while kicking out someone who is better than you are just because you have been around longer.

For the most part teachers care and want to teach but I can not make a blanket statement that all want that because I have seen enough of my fair share that don't care and just complain.

Please don't take this as a rant on teachers or their benefits they are there and that is what they chose but again that is what they chose to do. If they think they can do better than they are free to go somewhere else and try another school or the dreaded private sector.

We are free in this country to do what we want and be responsible for ourselves.

Greg

Matt Meiser
06-01-2012, 9:47 PM
+1 Greg. The school district just to the south of us the teachers are OUTRAGED that next year they'll be required to kick in some of the cost of their health insurance. HELLO??--I've had to do that since my first job out of college 15 years ago. I also have a large deductible they don't have. They work something like 180-190 days a year. I always hear the argument they work a lot of hours--so do most people I know. And usually about 230 to 240 days a year. I'd make a lot less if I got another 50 days off. I have no pension plan. They complain about cuts to theirs. I have no retirement health care plan. I have not vison and dental insurance. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't last one day in a classroom. But we all chose our paths. They knew what they were getting themselves into or at least that information was available, as it was to me. If one doesn't feel their profession pays what it should, perhaps it's time for a change.

harry hood
06-02-2012, 2:34 AM
Teacher pay around where I live frustrates me. If I were to get paid in the private sector for what they make with their eternal union benefits, pension and pay I would have to make between $150k to $200k / year. Factor in an average salary and benefits while they are working and then for 30+ years after they stop working and it all adds up.

I think it would be enlightening for everyone here to see your calculation that a K-12 public school teacher, in any district, makes the equivalent of $150-$200K per year when benefits and pension are included.

Charlie Velasquez
06-02-2012, 3:47 AM
...I've had to do that since my first job out of college 15 years ago. ... I also have a large deductible. ... they work a lot of hours--so do most people I know. And usually about 230 to 240 days a year. I'd make a lot less if I got another 50 days off....I have no pension plan. ..... I have no retirement health care plan. ...I have not vison and dental insurance..... .... If one oust feel their profession pays what it should, perhaps it's time for a change.

Matt, let me see if I understand what you're saying.
You are complaining about your occupation's compensation when compared to a teacher's?
That it is time for a change?
You are saying that you wish you were a teacher?

phil harold
06-02-2012, 9:06 AM
+1 Greg. The school district just to the south of us the teachers are OUTRAGED that next year they'll be required to kick in some of the cost of their health insurance. HELLO??--I've had to do that since my first job out of college 15 years ago. I also have a large deductible they don't have. They work something like 180-190 days a year. I always hear the argument they work a lot of hours--so do most people I know. And usually about 230 to 240 days a year. I'd make a lot less if I got another 50 days off. I have no pension plan. They complain about cuts to theirs. I have no retirement health care plan. I have not vison and dental insurance. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't last one day in a classroom. But we all chose our paths. They knew what they were getting themselves into or at least that information was available, as it was to me. If one feels their profession pays what it should, perhaps it's time for a change.

This seems like an appropriate response
233441

My cousin is teacher in England and has a great wage and the best retirement package of all the government employees. Teachers need to be taken care of.

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 9:11 AM
You are saying that you wish you were a teacher?

Not in the least. I'd be fired within a day, probably when I yelled "sit down and shut the ____ up you little brats!" And it might not even happen in the classroom, and might not even be directed at children based on my stress level as a parent in attendance at school events.

You know honestly I don't think a lot of people who are retired or nearing retirement age today, at least those retired with pensions, heath care, etc., get what they've left for future generations. My mom (retired teacher) and my dad (retired white collar auto worker) often don't believe what we don't get as benefits. I think my dad does more so than my mom because he saw those benefits being withdrawn from the offerings for new hires before he retired--and that was before things got bad.

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 9:18 AM
This seems like an appropriate response

If you've interpreted what I've said as a complaint about my own job then you've completely missed the point. I'm quite content.

Jeff Bartley
06-02-2012, 9:53 AM
+1 on what Harry said!! Here in VA that's far from the reality....health benefits are not really benefits, health coverage is available to teachers but it's more expensive than a private plan.....and union benefits? Teachers paythe union....they don't get money from the union....and the union doesn't really do much here except collect dues.
Greg-if what you're claiming is true we'd have a much easier time at the end of the month! It may be different in Maine but here a teacher with a masters degree makes right around $40k/yr with about a 10 yrs experience. And the misconception that teacher pay increases each year is exactly that: a misconception!! It's not a given, in fact it hasn't happened here in over 5 years. And if it does happen, it's not really a clear raise in income. Case in point: this year a raise was awarded for teacher pay......but this raise was put in place because of a mandatory increase in the contribution to the virginia retirement system. Basically the state robbed peter to pay paul but somewhere a politician can claim they increased teachers pay! Unfortunately all these issues are never straightforward; especially with so much misinformation! Sorry for the rant but since I'm married to a teacher I'm closer to the issues!

Ron Natalie
06-02-2012, 10:06 AM
...and the union doesn't really do much here except collect dues.
The main reason for membership is the legal protection if some lawyer parent decides you didn't treat their precious snowflake right and sues you.

Greg Peterson
06-02-2012, 11:18 AM
I'm sure there are administrators in the school systems that make out quite well. I have only second hand information myself, but have heard that many persons in the management side of school operations (principles and vice principles) receive a handsome compensation and a very attractive retirement program. The $150-$200k figure thrown out there for teachers is near what I have heard administrative personnel receive, but knowing some retired teachers I can say for a fact they are not anywhere near those figures. Were teachers in fact receiving that kind of retirement, I'm sure they could easily find something better to do in retirement than work forty hours a week for me.

Even though I never had any children, I have no problem paying for public education. Education, like health care, is a vital component to maintaining a stable society. And just like my health insurance, I would be much happier if the dollars I pay into the system were actually spent in delivering goods and services first with the remaining change spent on the administrative bureaucracy. How many principles and vice principles does a school require?

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 1:09 PM
a teacher with a masters degree makes right around $40k/yr with about a 10 yrs experience

Adjusting out the extra 10 weeks of vacation that a person in the private sector wouldn't get, that's about $50,500. ($40K/190 working days is about $210.52/day. $210.52/day * 240 days is $50,526.) I don't know if those are valid working-day numbers in Virgina.

Retirement system? Most of us working in the private sector who have graduated in the past 10-15 years retirement system is whatever we put in our own 401(k) plans plus MAYBE a small match from an employer. A pension just isn't something available to most of us today.

When you say health care is more expensive than a private plan, what does that mean? The monthly employee contribution is higher than a private employers? Or it cost more than buying health insurance on the open market? And what does that plan look like? Does it include 1000's in deductibles and co-insurance after that like many of us have in the private sector? That's not the case in this area.

I'm just trying to make the point that there's a lot more to compensation than annual salary. I often heard the number thrown around at my old place that total compensation cost for an employee was actually about 2x salary. We didn't have a pension. Employee's paid part of the cost of their own health care and all of the cost of dependants. We had dental and vision. We had short and long term disablity and life insurance which we could buy up at relatively reasonable prices. We got a total of about 24 days per year off including holidays, PTO, and sick. We were covered by the company policies for professional liability. PAY was lower there than where I am now.

Greg Peterson
06-02-2012, 1:38 PM
Off topic - a bit.

LA Times published report last weekend on the price of medical procedures (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/27/business/la-fi-medical-prices-20120527).

CT Scan (Abdominal):
List Price: $4,423
Insurance Cost: $2,400
Cash Price: $250

A patient had a abdominal/pelvic CT Scan for which the charge was $6,707. Her out of pocket cost, via her insurance, was $2,336. However, had she paid cash instead of using her insurance, her out of pocket would have been $1, 054.

Point of the article is that if you do not plan on exceeding your deductible in a given year, your best bet is to pay cash for many procedures. Obviously there are circumstances you would want to meet your deductible, but in many instances you are further ahead to pay cash.

It is accurate to extrapolate the wages out to 240 working days a year as the contracts are for roughly 190 days per year. How many hours a day does the average teacher work during those 190 days? I'm sure many of them take work home with them after their 'work hours' at school. How many of those teachers coach, spend time after school hours participating with students? My band instructor worked every football and basketball game, we performed many nights a year, we marched in parades.

How well are teachers compensated at private schools and universities?

Teachers compensation use to be average or below that of the blue collar worker. Now we begrudge anyone in the public sector whose compensation stands as a reminder of how it use to be for many. Meanwhile, we celebrate and cheer for the pirates of wall street who got their hands on our private retirement plans and turned them into 401(k)'s.

If you want to break out the pitchforks and torches, you need to aim higher than public employees or their unions.

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 1:50 PM
It is accurate to extrapolate the wages out to 240 working days a year as the contracts are for roughly 190 days per year. How many hours a day does the average teacher work during those 190 days?

True, but how many hours does the average white collar worker work unpaid in a given year? My employer tries to keep our extra time light--many of us only do 45-50 hours. The official working hours of a lot of teacher around here are 7:30-3:30 which is an 8 hour day INCLUDING lunch and prep time. My wife works late at least once a week, usually works through lunch, and works at least one Saturday a month. Ever hear the kinds of hours a big firm associate lawyer works? When I travel for work its often on Sunday evening and late Friday. I'm FAR from the only business traveler in the airport. I'm actually taking a break from reviewing a proposal right now. I got the easy end of the bargain compared to my coworker who's doing the bulk of the writing.

On your OT comment--How does one get those prices? Can you really negotiate prices? Since I don't have dental we've been paying cash for 2 years for my dental (my wife and daughter are covered--adding me to her plan would cost more than the benefit) My latest cleaning, no xrays was $125. They accept less than 1/2 that from the insurance as payment in full.

phil harold
06-02-2012, 2:12 PM
If you've interpreted what I've said as a complaint about my own job then you've completely missed the point. I'm quite content.
No you are complaining about the teachers having it so easy
but have not lived in there shoes

brian c miller
06-02-2012, 2:18 PM
Matt / Greg

My wife is a teacher and I think your calculation are a bit outrageous, she's got a master degree and almost 10 years experience and makes around $40K. She pays into a 403b for retirement and picks up a large portion of her medical, dental and vison.


Her last dental vist 11 whole dollars was cover by her extravagant plan that you referenced.

FWIW, you guys need to get your facts straight: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 2:22 PM
No you are complaining about the teachers having it so easy
but have not lived in there shoes

You are putting words in my mouth. I never said anyone had it easy. In fact, I don't think teachers have it easy at all. Lots of people have hard jobs. Lots of people have a lot harder jobs than teachers and make less. Lots of people have a lot easier jobs than teachers and make more.

I'm saying that I hear a lot of complaints about teachers paychecks and those complaints fail to consider the total compensation package and how that compares to the private sector.

harry hood
06-02-2012, 2:24 PM
I'm sure there are administrators in the school systems that make out quite well. I have only second hand information myself, but have heard that many persons in the management side of school operations (principles and vice principles) receive a handsome compensation and a very attractive retirement program. The $150-$200k figure thrown out there for teachers is near what I have heard administrative personnel receive, but knowing some retired teachers I can say for a fact they are not anywhere near those figures. Were teachers in fact receiving that kind of retirement, I'm sure they could easily find something better to do in retirement than work forty hours a week for me.

Administrator compensation suffers from many of the same abuses that executive compensation in the corporate world does; when you're allowed to essentially write your own contract you tend to give yourself much more than what most people would consider fair and justified. For example, I know for a fact that the superintendent in our district makes over $200K per year in salary, has the usual severance pay flim-flam that seem completely absurd to most of us, accrues sick time without bound over his entire employment, etc. Teachers, on the other hand, max out at around $70K per year (and that's with multiple credentials and at least an MA in one of the subjects they teach) and most are typically between $50-60K. This is in an area of the country where it's $50K/year barely gets you an apartment and a car.

There are lots of problems with our public education system but the teachers are not one of them. Blaming them is just easier than addressing the real issues.

harry hood
06-02-2012, 2:55 PM
Adjusting out the extra 10 weeks of vacation that a person in the private sector wouldn't get, that's about $50,500. ($40K/190 working days is about $210.52/day. $210.52/day * 240 days is $50,526.) I don't know if those are valid working-day numbers in Virgina.

You keep calling it vacation but it's really not. My sister, who is middle school English teacher (and rents a shabby house, drives an old car, doesn't get health coverage for her 12 year old daughter, and is constantly borrowing money from me), spends much of the summer working on lesson plans and materials for the coming year. She isn't unusual and English teachers have it easier than science or math teachers.

But just for sake of argument let's assume those 10 weeks are spent sitting on a beach in Hawaii. How do you get from this $50K per year to your claim of $150-$200K per year? Even if you assume their pension gives full pay for the rest of their life, they work for 30 years and retire at 60 and then live to be 100 you still only end up with 3.5 million dollars. Unless you think health benefits and whatever else they get is worth 10 million dollars over that same period it's nowhere near $100K much less the $150-$200K claimed.

harry hood
06-02-2012, 3:05 PM
True, but how many hours does the average white collar worker work unpaid in a given year?

For most, zero. "White collar" implies that they are a salaried employee exempt from overtime laws so the concept of an hourly wage doesn't really make sense here. A lot of this depends on the industry of course but in mine (software) nearly everybody gets classified as exempt, maybe that's not the case in yours. If I can do my job in 20 hours per week, great....if I need 100 hours per week too bad for me. I've been in both situations.

Van Huskey
06-02-2012, 3:29 PM
This has moved far off the OP's intent but...

The good ones get paid too little, the poor ones get paid too much, simple as that and generally true for most any profession.

I have a mental laundry list of jobs that are "overpaid" as a whole, K-12 teachers are not among them.

Mac McQuinn
06-02-2012, 3:44 PM
Having 3 Teachers in the immediate family, I have some insight on the amount of money which is earned although pay across the U.S. varies greatly due to so many different factors that arguing over the what and why is pretty meaningless IMO.
Mac

Matt Meiser
06-02-2012, 4:03 PM
I never said they were were effectively paid 150K per year.

I never said they were overpaid.

I never actually said they shouldn't be paid more. If the school funding system in Michigan wasn't so screwed up and my "school tax" money went directly to my school district I would likely vote for every mileage our district put up.

What I said is
- You have to look at the total compensation for any job
- I don't think a lot of people (teachers and those grandfathered into corporate entitlement programs) have any concept how total compensation in the private sector has declined in the past 15 years.
- I believe teacher total compensation is much more comparable to the private sector than they like to believe it is. At least in this region of the country.

I'm out. We can nitpick who's got a better dental plan all day. No one wants to look at the big picture.

Ken Fitzgerald
06-02-2012, 4:17 PM
This thread has run it's useful course. I am closing it.