IamA teacher in the US. The comments in the Reddit Gifts for Teachers blog post makes me feel this is needed. AMA!
Aug 16th 2014 by reddit-teacher • 15 Questions • 223 Points
There seems to be some confusion about teaching in general, and lots of questions regarding the ups and downs of my choice of career. As with most issues, this one is extremely convoluted and hard to grasp from the outside. My spouse and I will be answering questions. We hope to help clear things up with a perspective from the inside. Keep in mind that we live in a pretty liberal state and in a low-income area, so some of our answers may not be the same as other states or even other districts. If other teachers or administrators want to help contribute, please do! The more viewpoints that get contributed the better. We will do our best to help Reddit understand teaching.
Please, don't gift gold to any of our replies or this post. For privacy reasons, this is a throwaway and would be wasted money anyway. If you feel so inclined to spend money as a thank you, donate to the Reddit Gifts for Teachers here: http://redditgifts.com/blog/view/dear-reddit-we-have-lot-teachers-signed-who-really-need-your/
My Proof: Will be sent to the mods.
Sorry, had a minor household emergency. I'm back answering questions now.
I'm still here to answer questions, and likely will be for at least a while longer.
Sorry, it is extremely late. We'll get to more questions tomorrow. For now, goodnight.
Ok. I answered what questions remained. I may answer stragglers, but I cannot guarantee anything. Thank you all for participating!
Do you believe teachers should be paid more? if so, what is your reasoning behind it.
Short answer: yes.
Here's a breakdown.
My salary is approximately $33,000/year.
- 1440 hours: Actively teaching at school. This is what's in my contract.
- 615 hours: Work outside of school. This includes lesson planning, correcting papers, planning and researching units, reading or re-reading texts and textbooks, etc.
- 150 hours: Summer work. This includes planning for the new year and staying abreast of recent educational research.
- 150 hours: Extracurricular activity work. I only have one and, because it is not a sport or a major activity, I do not get paid.
Amount spent out of my own pocket on my teaching duties: approximately $1000. This includes supplies for my classroom, educational materials, and materials for my extracurricular. I also end up providing snacks for kids who come to my class hungry because they have no food at home.
33,000 - 1,000 = 32,000 after taking out my own out-of-pocket expenses.
1,440 + 615 + 150 + 150 = 2,355 hours in a year.
32,000 divided by 2,355 = $13.59/hour. That's what I make. Before health insurance, union dues, taxes, etc.
My job is to give kids the tools that they need to succeed in life.
For perspective, I made about the same while working a middle-management retail job before becoming a teacher.
Are you represented by a labor union? If so, what do you think of your union or teacher's unions in general?
I am represented by a union. I'm incredibly glad that I am. There have been several instances where the union has gone to bat for myself and other colleagues. It's thanks to them that I have the fair working conditions and the health benefits that I do.