# Teachers

#### maxpower097

Joined Feb 20, 2009
816
Thanks for the link Strantor. Regarding my point about the hype of the term "millionaire" it was originally a term of wonder, in the 1920's a teachers salary was about $970 in 2010 a teachers salary is about$45000.
l.
I dunno where your teachers are teaching but here in FL the average salary of a HS teacher is 22k - 27k and they have to buy almost all their own supplies. Down here people are leaving teaching in droves.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,970
I dunno where your teachers are teaching but here in FL the average salary of a HS teacher is 22k - 27k

http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/

It indicates that the starting salary is $33k and the average is$43k. Their "comfort index" is meant to account for various factors, including cost-of-living, that allow them to say that an average teacher in this state is more "comfortable" than a teacher in that state. Florida ranks right at the middle.

#### THE_RB

Joined Feb 11, 2008
5,438
Wow! I got that figure from a very quick google and found a North Carolina site listing teacher wages.

I figured that a NC wage was as good as any, I would not have imagined it as an unusually rich state or anything.

As for teachers getting 22k a year, well that is about 20k Australian dollars which is right on the poverty line. Families on welfare can get 20k a year and often more!

#### 1chance

Joined Nov 26, 2011
46
How's this for pathetic? This is my 27th credited year in the Missouri teacher retirement system and unless you count my "extra duty" contract (department chair, new teacher mentor, math club coach, academic team coach, and after school tutoring program), I don't make the average state wage! All those extra responsibilities add 6 hours to the work week and also take up 8 Saturdays and 12 school nights. That website would have been more "accurate" in my opinion if they had listed states by median income. In the last 5 years, we have gotten a $1000 raise once and$500 raise once. Otherwise, we have only been getting $200-$400 "step" for years of experience, depending on where you are on the salary scale. This is the reality when you teach in a rural area. My daughter-in-law makes about the same as I do with only 9 years experience and her extra duty involves 2 drama productions. However, she teaches in a nearby city and I would never consider going back to that setting! Obviously, I don't teach for the money or free time.

#### maxpower097

Joined Feb 20, 2009
816

http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/

It indicates that the starting salary is $33k and the average is$43k. Their "comfort index" is meant to account for various factors, including cost-of-living, that allow them to say that an average teacher in this state is more "comfortable" than a teacher in that state. Florida ranks right at the middle.
Couple issues I have with this report. 1. Its blatently paid for by a bunch of schools for teachers which presents a conflict of interest. 2. Its not mentioning what teachers its counting, from what I'm reading it could be calculating in university professors, 3. It also doesn't say if its public schools or private schools. I can only see these numbers being close if you were including private school teachers or college professors. I know quite a few teachers my sister being on of them and they don't make close to those numbers.

#### tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
Couple issues I have with this report. 1. Its blatently paid for by a bunch of schools for teachers which presents a conflict of interest. 2. Its not mentioning what teachers its counting, from what I'm reading it could be calculating in university professors, 3. It also doesn't say if its public schools or private schools. I can only see these numbers being close if you were including private school teachers or college professors. I know quite a few teachers my sister being on of them and they don't make close to those numbers.
The report is accurate with regard to Tennessee teacher salaries, and does not include any college teacher data. As to private school teachers, they actually make less than their public school counterparts. This is because the working conditions (students) are generally better in private schools, so there are many public school teachers who are more than willing to take less money and move to the private sector.

With that said, I do agree that good teachers are paid too little.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,177
My sister teaches 6th grade science in a little backwoods town in Texas and makes ~40K. She's been teaching for about 6 years now.

I thought 40K was pitiful but sounds like she's making out like a bandit compared to the rest of teachers.

I go back and forth on this issue in my mind. Teachers, cops, military; they all make a lot less than what seems fair to me. it seems like a real slap in the face for their service. But at the same time, it all but ensures that only people with a calling go into the profession. I can be fairly sure that my daughter will be taught by someone who is there because they love to teach kids, and not by someone who is just there to collect a paycheck.

food for thought: If the salary of teachers was raised by order of law to say, 70,000$minimum, would the quality of education go up or down? #### WBahn Joined Mar 31, 2012 24,970 food for thought: If the salary of teachers was raised by order of law to say, 70,000$ minimum, would the quality of education go up or down?
There's really no reason to think it would have much effect at all. In most places, teachers are not hired primarily based on teaching ability, nor are they promoted, given raises, or retained based on teaching ability. In most public schools, teachers are paid based on years in the system and degrees and certificates listed in their file.

What you would likely see is just a further entrenchment into the kind of nepotism and cronyism and corruption that is seen in most places where you have artificially high pay associated with jobs for which there is a large labor pool willing to work at lower salaries. You end up having to know someone (or, in some cases, literally be related to someone) already in the system in order to get one of the jobs because the feedback mechanism is reversed.

If you want to raise the pay and the quality in step, then you have to raise the standards so that, with few exceptions, the only people able to meet the expectations are people than can command, to use your example, \$70,000/yr elsewhere. But you also have to tie performance directly to continuing to keep your job and you have to reward people for excellence and not longevity.

#12

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,177
You took a different path on that one, but interesting perspective. I was thinking more along the lines of people who otherwise would have chosen something like, for example, to go to college and get a degree in business management because they just want a fat paycheck, might instead choose to get a teaching degree to earn a fat paycheck. Then we would potentially end up with sociopathic, micro managing, power tripping type people teaching our kids who really don't give a hoot if the kids learn anything, just so long as the kids are quiet and they get paid.

I understand what you say about teachers not being paid per their teaching ability, but I still think that the only people who choose to be teachers when it is such a financially unrewarding prospect, are those who really have a passion for teaching. I suspect that this increases their likelihood of being good teachers. People who love their job (or at least the principle behind it) tend to put more effort into it. I think this wears off though. From what I remember of school, the younger teachers were usually the best; they were more obviously in love with their job - exuberant, passionate. The older teachers, at least most of them, seemed to have worn thin on passion and exuberance but were now locked into a low paying profession. I can see how working more than a decade in the school system, and with the new generations of disrespectful kids could make a person feel that way.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,970
I don't know how much I can agree with a general notion that the only people who choose to be teachers are those with a love of teaching, just because the pay is low. A counter argument would claim that this would mean that the only people that become dishwashers are people with a passion for washing dishes.

Although there is no universal characterization, I think a major factor is the following chain: Person A wants to go to college to "find themselves" but they have no passion for anything -- they are there for the "college experience" and almost certainly major is something that let's them focus on the experience rather than the education . Or Person B goes to college with a passion for something that is in no way reasonably marketable in the work place. Both end up with a college degrees with which they can't get a good paying job. So they get their teaching certificate, which takes little time and which requires little effort in most states, so now they join the large pool of other poorly qualified teacher candidates. To be sure, in this pool are also people with a passion for teaching and who are (or would become) superior educators, but they are lost in a sea of people, most of whom are there because it is the only thing they are "qualified" for (and they are only qualified because they have 'a' college degree and 'a' teaching certificate).

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,177
Ah, see I was under the mistaken understanding that teaching required a degree in teaching (is there such a thing?), and not just filling out a form for a certificate. Nobody would go through 4 years of dishwashing classes unless they really loved dishwashing.

Unless I'm mistaken, my sister got a degree in teaching. Maybe that's why she makes so much more than the rest of teachers.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,970
A lot of people get degrees in education of one flavor or another, but many of them are doing so because at many places it has the reputation of being an easy program in which you can devote most of your time to enjoying the college experience and finding yourself.

In most states you can take a college degree in anything and get into a teaching certification program that will only take a year or so to complete -- and there are lots of "for profit" schools out there that will get you the necessary credentials with very little effort (lots of money, but they'll walk you through the loan process).

#### 1chance

Joined Nov 26, 2011
46
A teaching degree takes "little time and little effort"? My blood is boiling as I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT AND WOULD ADD A FEW CHOICE WORDS BUT THEY WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE HERE!!!!!!!!! It's attitudes like you have expressed that give teachers such a bad image.
I happen to have a math degree, a science degree, an education (what you call teaching) degree, and an advanced degree in mathematics (pure math--not math education). Most doctors and lawyers have not spent the amount of time or effort that I have in advancing my knowledge base. Most teachers that I know are continually taking classes or attending conferences in their content area. I know that I do. My last teaching certificate renewal entitled me to teach for "100 years" in Missouri, the equivalent of what used to be a "life-time" certificate. You have to go through a lot of hoops to get the type of certification that I have. And I am also qualified to teach (and do) on the college level as well, giving me the title of "adjunct professor" with one of the local universities.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,177
1Chance, if you're calm, would you say that most teachers are teachers because they have a passion for teaching?

#### loosewire

Joined Apr 25, 2008
1,686
How did we go from Millionaire's to teachers and professors, when most teachers

swear that they do it for the kids(students) and not for the money. If you add the

salary,sick time,vacation,pensions and all benefits they will make a million or more

over there life time. Alot of money to teach a test.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,970
A teaching degree takes "little time and little effort"? My blood is boiling ....
Be that as it may, people can look up the requirements here:

Teaching Certification Requirements in All 50 States

Let's pick on my own state of Colorado, which I think is probably middle of the pack in many regards.

Remember I said "In most states you can take a college degree in anything and get into a teaching certification program that will only take a year or so to complete"?

In Colorado, this is called Alternative Licensing. Here is the basic description: "The Alternative Teacher Licensing Program is offered state-wide. Candidates teach full-time under the supervision of a professional support team, while taking educational coursework from a Designated Agency. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates can apply for an Initial Colorado Teachers License."

Here are the requirements for the Alternative Licensing path in Colorado:

1.Has received a bachelors degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
2.Has not completed an approved educator preparation program with student teaching.
3.Has demonstrated content proficiency by:
a.Having completed the 24 semester hours of content required with a minimum GPA of 2.6 for the endorsement as described on the alternative evaluation worksheets and verified by a transcript review, or
b.Having passed the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content exam for the endorsement being sought
4.Has cleared a background check based upon review of CBI/FBI background check and self disclosure on the application.

Notice that you only have to have a 2.6 GPA and it can be in anything. Most engineering graduate programs require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in a closely-related field.

So how much content is required to become, say, a science teacher?

6 sem - Biology
6 sem - Chemistry
3 sem - Physics
6 sem - Earth/Space or Environmental
3 sem - Math

The only requirement is that these be "college level". I went to a very highly respected engineering school and, for AP work completed in high school, got college credit for 6 sem hours of chemisty, 3 of physics, and 3 of math (another state school offered me a total of 33 hours, this school offered me 18, the rest being non-technical electives). So before I ever set foot on a college campus as a student I had half of the content area requirements met to seek alternative licensure as a high school teacher in Colorado.

Note also that these are not above and beyond what you took to get your bachelor's (which can be in anything). So if you happen to take some of these while getting your bachelors, you only have to fill in any gaps.

But surely, since people getting their Alternative Teaching License have specifically "NOT completed an approved educator preparation program with student teaching", it must take quite some time to complete such a program, especially since you are teaching full time while taking the necessary educational coursework. Guess again. Although you have three years to complete the program, it is intended that you should be able to complete it in one year. The requirements are only 225 contact hours. I normal 3-credit course requires 40. So this is roughly 5.6 courses or 17 semester hours. The state-approved program at the university I just graduated from, you get 33 sem hours of credit for this. This is because about half of the credit is apparently earned by the fact that you are teaching full time (and I guess this is not unreasonable as it is basically taking the place of the student teaching experience).

I happen to have a math degree, a science degree, an education (what you call teaching) degree, and an advanced degree in mathematics (pure math--not math education).
While I might have called it a "teaching degree", I can't find where I did. I talked about degrees in education and I talked about teacher certification. But that is really neither here nor there.

Most doctors and lawyers have not spent the amount of time or effort that I have in advancing my knowledge base.
If you say so, but I tend to be skeptical (at least in general, I have no basis upon which to make any supposition regarding your specific case). By all means, however, I truly would be very interested in seeing a side-by-side comparison of the requirements to practice medicine, practice law, and teach.

Most teachers that I know are continually taking classes or attending conferences in their content area. I know that I do.
As do real estate agents, tax preparers and many, many other professions (including doctors and lawyers). Also, many teachers take as many classes and conferences as they can because their district's teaching contract with the teacher's union leaves that as the primary way by which a teacher can increase their pay (other that just remaining employed in the first place).

And I am also qualified to teach (and do) on the college level as well, giving me the title of "adjunct professor" with one of the local universities.
In most states there are NO requirements for any type of certification to teach at the post-secondary level. Most engineering programs would like you to have a degree one-level higher than the courses you will be teaching (or a terminal degree), but this is usually not engraved in stone. I was an adjunct professor of engineering at two state universities before completing my masters degree, receiving a teach of the year award at the second.

A few years ago I looked into the education department at the university where I was teaching (with the notion of completing an education degree to get secondary certification) and was dismayed to discover that, of all the programs on campus (a state public university), the education department was the only one that would not publish their curriculum. To find out, you had to apply to the program and then talk to an admissions advisor. But the intent was that once you had your undergraduate degree, the path to Licensure was a 12-month program that was predominantly student teaching.

I just checked and if you are an undergraduate wanting to eventually get your teaching certificate from this university, your pre-education undergraduate work must consist of a minimum of 120 sem hours. My undergraduate degree required 132 sem hours (I had 177 sem hours when I graduated because I believed in getting as much education as I could).

#### Sparky49

Joined Jul 16, 2011
833
1chance, please ignore the dunderheeds who are trying to get a reaction.

My experience with many, is that they have a strong view, find figures and then use them blindly without understanding the 'whole story'.

Just do what I do, and have a wee chuckle at their expense.

These trolls aren't worth it.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,914
How did we go from Millionaire's to teachers and professors, when most teachers

swear that they do it for the kids(students) and not for the money. If you add the

salary,sick time,vacation,pensions and all benefits they will make a million or more

over there life time. Alot of money to teach a test.

Uhh, No.

Compared to what? For the eductaion you must take and long hours after school, the pay scale sucks, as there is no such thing as overtime.

Of course, some do sluff, but they are the minority. They are people after all. The teachers I know are constantly carrying their work with them (usually grading papers), looking for spare minutes of their personal time to do their day job.

I know a lot of teachers, it goes with being a youth advisor. Guess what, a lot of teachers are also volunteers because they like kids. How many teachers do you actually know Loosie?

As for Mr. Bahm's rant, it has massive holes, tells a small part of the story, and is deliberately insulting to anyone who is a teacher that cares. I have met bad teachers, but I have met more who work long hours, do take more college than is needed, and put in extreme unpaid hours. The case I made with Loosewire also applies here. Frankly, I view it as flaming and possible trolling. I would strongly suggest this line be dropped as such.

One of the advisors in my DeMolay chapter is a retired high school teacher, who is also a doctorate in English. When trying to create stereotypes, you should look at the people you are stereotyping.

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#### Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,181
I 'm not familiar with the US reality, so I won't be commenting on that. Instead, I 'll talk about the Greek one:

The talk basically revolves around the teachers' professionalism and how serious they are about their profession.

Let's take some examples that this thread considers major: The teacher, the doctor, the engineer and the lawyer.

In my country, a lawyer's degree has about a 5-year curriculum, the engineer's also 5 years (without a post-graduate degree), the doctor 7 and another 4 or 5 to get his specialty (while he is working in those last ones) and the teacher 4.
Admittedly (by the teachers also), the curriculum is easier for the teacher and the least lengthy.

So now everyone's got a degree. Let's see how each one individually can perform acts of extreme unprofessionalism:
The engineer can fail to meet safety standards in a project and underestimate an offer's cost
The lawyer can charge extreme amounts, disproportional of his services and take part in unethical deals.
The doctor can also charge large amounts of money for his services, ask for tax-free payments and in case he lacks complete focus, the worst can happen.
The teacher can be indifferent in his profession and not perform as requested in class, failing to transfer to your child the necessary knowledge to advance in his life.

Weigh it out now. In which case unprofessionalism matters the most? To me they all matter more or less the same.

Let's see now what it takes to be a good professional in each case:
The engineer must work long hours in a row to meet deadlines and take into account multiple variables.
The lawyer must be a good spokesman (not exactly something they teach you) and learn large volumes of legislation by heart.
They doctor must be up-to-date on his knowledge and give each client the needed amount of dedication and individual attention (not easy in a daily routine).
The teacher (in preliminary and high school grades) must have influence over his class, retain their attention continuously and be able to withstand the pressure that the kids put onto him. Kids can be VERY cruel creatures. I 've seen teachers cry in class a few times while I was a student. Nothing of the above is taught in education degrees.

So how does it look now? Is it easier to be a good teacher than be a good lawyer?

Would you say that teachers are proportionally more unprofessional than other professions? I don't think so. I believe professionalism is a human trait, not related to his profession.
However, people feel more comfortable blaming teachers than blaming engineers and lawyers, possibly because teachers are closer to the everyday citizen than the rest of the professionals.

I will make only one exception here, and only base in my country's reality: The physical education teachers: They are required to have a 2-year degree from a gymnastics school and 80% of the ones I had didn't get involved in teaching us anything at all. All they did was give the boys a ball and let them play football in the courtyard. Very few teachers actually made us to physical exercises that included warm-up and targeted muscle and cardio development.

P.S. @Wbahn
Once again, you make a statement that hasn't taken into account all of the factors, but you do present yourself as an authority, dismissing other opinions. This is a very bad way to engage a conversation, and a forum is all about a conversation.
You raise hostilities very fast in this way, which isn't a good thing.
I suggest you are more conciliatory in the future.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,734
Geo, WBahn and 1chance, I like them all and respect, but hey, we're all humans and slip up once in a while.

Sometimes it's good to follow this Zen proverb: "A closed mouth gathers no foot".