Well-Paid Teachers? I’m on Board

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Well-Paid Teachers? I’m on Board

    October 7, 2008, 6:00 pm By Christine Gralow When I recently saw an ad for a $125,000-a-year teaching job at a New York City charter school, my first thought was that it must be some sort of phishing scam. Everyone knows teachers don’t make $125,000. My second thought was, “Why shouldn’t we?” After visiting the school’s Web site and reading a New York Times article about the school, I realized it was not only legit, but potentially revolutionary in terms of education reform. So this school year, in addition to my regular special education teaching job, I’ve decided to get involved in the creation of this new school.

    The Equity Project Charter School (TEP) will open in September 2009 in Manhattan’s Washington Heights community, and it will aim to enroll middle school students at risk of academic failure. Students with the lowest test scores will be given admissions priority. In order to recruit the country’s top teachers to work with these at-risk students, the school’s founding principal will cut administrative costs and put a higher percentage of the school’s public funding into teacher salaries. He’s also seriously raising teacher qualifications, offering teachers a potential $25,000 bonus, and expanding the school day and work year for teachers. The principal will make $90,000. There will be no vice principal.

    As a New York City teacher, I’ve often felt the need to get involved in education reform on a broader scale. I fully respect teachers who can put 110 percent into their lesson planning and teaching while not getting frustrated by the overall chaos in public education that currently surrounds them. But I’m not one of them. I get angry about the inequities and bureaucratic chaos I’ve seen in public education, particularly in inner city and special education, and I feel the need to change things. Teacher ranting and raving about unfairness clearly isn’t the solution, so one of my goals for this school year is to get more involved in education reform projects. Volunteering to support a new school with a new, reform-oriented education model is helping me feel less frustrated about the status quo in public education and more proactive about change.

    I’ve decided to volunteer significant time this year as a member of TEP’s Capital Campaign Advisory Board, because I believe the school’s model, if successfully executed, could potentially spark the change needed in many of America’s worst-performing schools. Although I currently work with special-needs children in Manhattan preschools, I remain seriously troubled by the low graduation rates, unhealthy working and learning environments, and the general disarray of the high schools at which I recently taught in the South Bronx. While there were, of course, several well-meaning teachers and administrators at these schools, it was clear that the city’s model of recruiting inexperienced teachers and administrators to work at hard-to-staff schools in troubled neighborhoods wasn’t working.

    I was one of the new teachers who was recruited from another career to work at a school with a 17 percent graduation rate. Most of my teaching colleagues at this school were also new teachers, and we were all in over our heads. The school had three principals in four years. While most of us tried our best, it was clear that the students needed more stability and experience than we could provide. I also noted while working at this school that there were a lot of seemingly excessive staff positions — various coordinators, academic coaches, and subject supervisors — that, while originally designed to help students succeed, were in fact making little difference, or in some cases actively getting in the way of teachers’ classroom focus. For schools serving primarily at-risk student populations, it makes sense to cut such positions; put more money into recruiting and retaining the country’s smartest, most competent teachers; and divvy up the school’s administrative responsibilities amongst those highly competent teachers. Good teachers already serve as parent coordinators, academic coaches, and subject supervisors anyway.

    When I see promising teaching colleagues quit because they simply can’t afford to live in Manhattan on their salaries, and I see staff shortages and inexperienced teachers at the city’s highest needs schools, it’s clear a new model is needed. So far this school year, I’ve seen one good teaching colleague quit to pursue a higher paying job. Teachers realize we’re not going to become wealthy when we choose this profession, and low salaries may in some way be a test for those truly committed to the job, but there’s no doubt that low pay also keeps a lot of well-educated, talented Americans out of the classroom. Good teachers also regularly leave the city for higher paying jobs in nearby counties, and low teacher pay has created serious teacher shortages in math, science and special education, particularly in low-income communities.

    To effectively recruit and retain the teachers needed to turn troubled schools around and give the kids who need it most a fighting chance, education officials should re-consider how schools are financed. I’m sure TEP’s first years will be closely watched by both supporters and detractors of the school’s model..
     
  2. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    Hopefully this will catch on and become a trend.
     
  3. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,742
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    Very interesting. I was under the impression that Canadian teachers make quite a bit of money after their first few years.
     
  4. TurkeyWithaSunburn

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,543
    Albums:
    5
    Likes Received:
    252
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    You cannot teach an unwilling pupil. School is what you put into it, and parents are so stressed and busy that they don't have time to help their kids. There is also that lovely "tracking" that goes on. It happened to me in middle school... instead of pre-algebra I got stuck in the regular math class. How many times can u multiply 2 numbers? *sigh* The more well off kids got tracked into the pre-algebra classes. That's just a fact where I lived. I was certainly up to some challenge. Hell I took an 8th grade geography quiz cuz my one teacher thought I would do good on. I was in 6th grade and got a B on the test. It didn't count, it was just for fun to see how much I did know.

    Also note in that article they are expanding the school day and school year.
     
  5. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    I'm all for it. The last thing kids need in this country is more vacation time. How are we constantly referred to (well, used to be) as a superpower when our kids can barely read and do simple math? There's no excuse.
     
  6. nudeyorker

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    42,918
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC/Honolulu
    I think the salary is a little misleading as they are most likely hiring teachers with a reasonable amount of tenure as well as a Masters Degree. If they are expanding the school year, it's only a tad more than equally qualified and experienced teachers.
    The only way to make this program and others like it a success is to pay teachers what they are worth, give them the programs and funds necessary to do the job and lastly you have to have a passion for teaching. I know the last part is true. I was a good teacher, but I did not love teaching. The money would not have made any difference, I still would have been a good teacher not a great one.
     
  7. Honey123

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,322
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Aridzona
    Verified:
    Photo
    When I lived in Northern Virginia I was on a drive one day with a friend that was a teacher. She had a Master's degree in Math and had taught for 5 years. She was complaining that she only got a 2% pay raise and it should have been 10% because she'd made her 5 year mark. I innocently asked how much she made. When she told me I stupidly without thinking said, "that's half what I make." She was offended and rightfully so - it was pretty dumb of me to say that but I was in shock at how low her salary was. I'm a high school graduate that was fortunate enough to get into IT and have done very well.

    That was her last year teaching at the high school. She took a job as a corporate trainer for a large consulting firm and conducted user training for companies that purchased their product. She also more than doubled her salary by making the move.

    It's a damn shame that teachers all over aren't paid more period. I sometimes wonder why.
     
  8. whatireallywant

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,587
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    This is why I went into IT. Unfortunately, I am now an unemployed IT person, and not senior-level, so the jobs pretty much aren't there.

    As for teaching, not only are they underpaid, but they have to deal with children all day! Yikes! Count me OUT!!!
     
  9. YourAvgGuy

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    505
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Verified:
    Photo
    Interesting proposal, NJQT. As a former educator within a public school with a significant dropout rate, I too know the value of a quality program, sufficient funding, and administration that is supportive and innovative in using all the resources available for diverse teaching methods. Teachers, young and old alike, must embrace different teaching techniques. They must employ students interest to want to learn, to want to challenge thought, and to want to add to the knowledge base by pursuing advance degrees and contributing to the profession. True learning occurs when we question things....

    I do hope the program works and can be a pilot for other school systems. I have often said that students want to learn; we ALL want to learn. However, there are numerous techniques faculty must ultilize in order for students to buy into the initiative. Learning styles, dealing with "baggage" but not invading a students space, involving parents in a way that is not more taxing on them, but rewarding are the thresholds to implementing a successful program. Parental support and input, I think, would be invaluable for implementation. This is a bold proposal - what better way to be bold than to get those whom it will affect involved?

    We all know what the future implications will be without having more innovative and orignal thought. It is imperative policy makers do a paradigm in our educational structure to ensure we are meeting the demands of a quality education and that we are preparing future scholars.

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out....
     
  10. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    from what I've seen, none of our educators deserve the pathetically small salaries they're getting now ...
     
  11. YourAvgGuy

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    505
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Verified:
    Photo
    Amen, Nick! When I started teaching, my beginning salary was $17,342; this was in 1996. I had to get a part-time job just to pay my bills. And, to cap this... we had so limited funds that many of the teachers would pay for the "extras" in their classrooms for students.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted