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SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/24/22 12:06 a.m.
Scotty Con Queso said:
infinitenexus said:

I think America is kinda notorious for not paying teachers enough.

You know who does pay their teachers well?  Canada. 

1. This is my 25th year teaching shop in Canada.

2. I freaking love teaching.  LOVE it.

3. The pay here is fine.  If they want to pay me more I won't say no, but I'm not sure I would do it for less.

4. I got into teaching because I love the subject, and I wanted to inspire kids to a brighter future.

5. I've been beaten down by politics for so long, it's hard to keep smiling.

7. The politics within Education is so freaking absurd, your head would explode.

7. 80% of my job is dealing with behaviour. I did not truly know how much of the job is behaviour.

8. I do not currently, and never will again, ever recommend to anyone: teaching as a career. Yet, I love teaching.

9. I have so few years left, I will keep going.

10. I really love point form lists.

Turbo_Rev
Turbo_Rev Reader
6/24/22 9:32 a.m.

I know some people (me) are looking forward to homeschooling and micro-schools. 

I saw a very successful one in Austin and met a homeschooling family in College Station that was very good. 

Are any teachers looking at going into that world? Micro-schools always seem eager for the talent. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
6/24/22 10:17 a.m.

In reply to Turbo_Rev :

I have a feeling the pay and benefits would be worse then public school and so unless they have a significant other making good money it might not be feasible.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
6/24/22 10:24 a.m.

I feel like low pay isn't the cause, but is a symptom of the wider problem: society generally having low appreciation, respect, and value of the work teachers do.

It's not so much that they need more money as much as more respect and support. But if they were truly respected and supported, we'd probably also hold their work in higher financial value as well.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/24/22 10:57 a.m.

I really don't see it as "disrespect for teachers" unless you are talking about disrespect for almost anyone, especially in authority, by a lot of society and especially a lot of younger society (obviously not universal).  

The "rebellious youth" thing has always been a thing (and always will), but it seems a bit more wide spread and, in many cases, not only acceptable but seemingly encouraged by society in general (which you could read as: social and popular media).

I am also curious, for those in the know:

What would you imagine could be done to fix (or at least help) the internal politics issue that is clearly evident in teaching?   (is is more prevalent in public schools?)

It seems to me, politics and student / parent attitude are primary issues, but paying teacher more will do nothing to help either of those (not to say it would not be nice to pay teachers more).

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/24/22 11:03 a.m.

I think politics happen anywhere there isn't a clear external goal. My wife's office is full of little petty political crap because her current department is contract administration. There's no final target, just a constant treadmill with no reward to show for it and no end. When she was working in estimating and project management - which is all about reaching clear and specific goals - there wasn't any politics because everyone was rowing in the same direction. Teaching can be like that contract administration unless the teacher sees the education of each individual as a goal, and once an administrator is out of the classroom there's a very big risk of losing that.

Teachers need to be appreciated and supported because they do one of the most important jobs in our society overall. But they also need to be held accountable and not protected behind tenure for the exact same reason. Administration should back up their actions in the classroom, but should also be able to deal with problem teachers. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/24/22 11:23 a.m.

It seems to me, a lot of it, (being a bit of an outsider with not a lot of specific knowledge) to be yet another case of concepts and theories running up against realities.  The one example that I can think of is No Child Left Behind.  Great concept, but the realities of implementing it (and the always, never anticipated, un-intended consequences) approach the absurd. As with many of these concepts, they actually make the problem they are trying to solve, worse (in this case, dragging everyone down).

Paying teachers more is certainly not bad, but it does seem to me to be working the wrong end of the problem.  E.g. they don't want to work for such low pay in a job made horrible by the system in place. Fix the system and you will find far more people willing to do it (as noted, it is a passion for a lot fo people).

As noted above, more teacher authority (which has been wildly eroded) seems to be key (some oversight will obviously still be needed).

gearheadmb
gearheadmb UltraDork
6/24/22 11:35 a.m.

It feels like there is a certain segment of society that has taken to viewing schools, teachers, and education in general as the enemy. The teachers are the ones that have to deal with these parents who come stomping in with an adversarial view instead of realizing the teachers actually want to work together with them for the good of their children. I have no idea how to make any of it better. 

XLR99 (Forum Supporter)
XLR99 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/24/22 12:18 p.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

This. My SIL is a 3rd grade teacher. She still likes it overall, but your description is her biggest stressor.

One of our neighbors was like that when the kids were in school.  He's always been a berkeley-up and was banned from my yard by age 8-9.  His mother was so proud of how she would go light up the principal when her precious snowflake did something stupid.  She would tell him that adults should treat him as an equal from an early age, so he would mouth off, mock neighbors, screech profanity in the driveway at 3am, etc.

He's 21 now, uses weed and drinks daily at the apartment she pays for.   No job, no prospects, no respect for anybody.  Thanks mom...

MiniDave
MiniDave New Reader
6/24/22 12:20 p.m.

I think it goes right back to parenting - and the complete lack of it many kids get. Kids need rules, they need boundaries....that's not to say rules and boundaries are rigid, unchanging, set in stone...as the child grows and matures the rules and boundaries grow with them - but they need to be there. In that line, parents need to be involved in their child's growth and education - and they simply aren't any more. 

I'm not talking about one-parent inner city kids either, I taught in an affluent suburban school - it was huge too which added to my issues, but I digress - and the kids I met were largely from completely disaffected uninvolved homes. They either had or had access to plenty of money but they were pretty much on their own, no direction coming from mom and dad and it showed......they were just adrift, sliding thru one part of their life to the next. It's very hard to reach a child like this, especially when your first encounter with them is at age 18 or older.

I had no training in behavioral sciences or psychology, so I had no idea how to teach these kids and I feel like I failed them too. That's part of why when they changed the rules at my school I resigned after 5 years. I liked the idea of the job, but the reality of it was far different.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/24/22 12:22 p.m.

I teach with little to no desire to leave.

Pay isnt bad considering how much we work (9months vs 12) and the benefits are good.

That said, if something popped up with a huge pay increase...maybe.

fanfoy
fanfoy SuperDork
6/24/22 2:54 p.m.

From my short experience and from what my girlfriend is sharing with me, I think a lot of the political problems in schools is related to responsibility.

Many people in the system (and outside of it) but the entire responsibility of the educating the kids on the education system. This is simply unrealistic and destructive. No matter how good you are as a teacher, you CANNOT teach someone who does not want to learn. But we have decided many years ago that everyone should finish their grade school education. No matter what. So we dump the responsibility on the school system which dumps it on the teachers to make these kids pass at all costs. So if there is a disruptive kid in the class that makes it impossible for the teacher to teach, the school's direction will tell the teacher to just deal with it. It's your job after all. But it is an impossible job. At least for an individual. 

What makes it even worst is that the educational system tends to bring in savior-type people. You have to be to accept the lower salary and bad conditions. These people are sure they can "save" the kids that are struggling. They are themselves taking responsibility for the education of those kids. They can help them for sure, but again, you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/24/22 3:21 p.m.

If I can assume to paraphrase you a bit:

   It's important, maybe critical, to let people (kids) fail sometimes.

Most times, you learn far more from failures than successes.  It's also useful for not spending huge resources on a lost causes (they will "graduate" knowing almost nothing anyway)

Turbo_Rev
Turbo_Rev Reader
6/24/22 4:57 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Well, that would be up to the teachers offering the service, I think. They'd be privateers, as far as I know. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/24/22 6:19 p.m.
MiniDave said:

I think it goes right back to parenting - and the complete lack of it many kids get. Kids need rules, they need boundaries....that's not to say rules and boundaries are rigid, unchanging, set in stone...as the child grows and matures the rules and boundaries grow with them - but they need to be there. In that line, parents need to be involved in their child's growth and education - and they simply aren't any more. 

I'm not talking about one-parent inner city kids either, I taught in an affluent suburban school - it was huge too which added to my issues, but I digress - and the kids I met were largely from completely disaffected uninvolved homes. They either had or had access to plenty of money but they were pretty much on their own, no direction coming from mom and dad and it showed......they were just adrift, sliding thru one part of their life to the next. It's very hard to reach a child like this, especially when your first encounter with them is at age 18 or older.

I had no training in behavioral sciences or psychology, so I had no idea how to teach these kids and I feel like I failed them too. That's part of why when they changed the rules at my school I resigned after 5 years. I liked the idea of the job, but the reality of it was far different.

I was an instructor in the Navy following my two combat tours.  I was given a very tough  class.  The graduate rate was 12.7%  and I got it to 100%.   The subject was purely based on memory.   Today that would be turned over to a computer.   But then the way I succeeded was engaged every student every second of the day. Granted I only had about 20 students per class.  
   I made it fun, shocking, wildly outrageous. Then demanded answers instantly without giving a moment to think.  Failing that I'd turn the class on the individual, laughing and poking fun.  Making sure every student got their share of the hot seat from their peers.  The really smart ones quickly figured out the way to win was to bring the whole class with them while they "beat up" on me.   
     Their 6 weeks class I always got 4.0 reviews.  Eventually the CNO of the Navy ( Adm Zumwalt)  attended my class and  following that our training group was awarded the Meritorious Unit  Award. 
    
Following that I was determined to teach. One semester in public school convinced me my future was elsewhere. 
    Politics it's called.   Nonsense and bull ship in reality.  More time was wasted on stuff like where you parked and what you could wear. Then ever learning to be a better more effective teacher. 

VictorBailey
VictorBailey New Reader
6/25/22 6:48 a.m.

I know a teacher who worked a few years in school and then left and went to another country because of insufficient income for all his family's needs. Additionally, his wife got pregnant with a 2nd child, and their daily costs increased. Regarding the kids, pupils, and students, I agree that they have to fail to succeed then, but they need help and advice. I am a student in the law faculty, and it is hard when professors are so few that they have a lot of papers to complete without time for us. https://essays.edubirdie.com/law-essay-writing is the source that saves me and offers help from experts. This law essay writing service is more useful than giving a question to one of my faculty's mentors. The top writers provide good texts with structured data about the law domain and things I study. So, pupils and students are lucky to have academic help from online sources if their teachers and professors can't supply it.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/25/22 8:22 a.m.

On the topic of failures.

Yes, kids need to fail. They need to understand consequences. They need to understand that actions have positive or negative outcomes and they dont all just get a pat on the back no matter what.

Thats socialism and F that noise.

Had a tennis player on the team, a senior who was NOT atheletic at all. But very smart. He was accepted to one of the best colleges in our state, UNC.

In his final semester in HS he was taking some community college classes - he failed them because he didnt submit his assignments in the window allowed. Tried to talk his way out of it, "oh, my email wasnt working..." and that nonsense but the professor didnt care.

I told him, "Good, it's good you failed" and he gave me an odd look. So I explained how it was good to understand HE WASNT IN CHARGE.

 

And that's a problem I see too often. The kid thinks they are in control here. They aint. And soft-butt teachers and admins have given them this ridiculous idea because as they (the kid) gets more upset the adult wants to backtrack because no one wants anyone sad or upset. No, that's how it goes.

Fail. Learn. Do better.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
6/25/22 8:51 a.m.

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

But kids aren't allowed to fail or be wrong anymore because it might hurt their precious self esteem or their feelings.

Nevermind the damage we're already seeing from this no child left behind pro self esteem every child is a special winner bullE36 M3 movement, not only in international academic rankings, but in so many people joining the work force who have no idea what it's like to receive criticism, let alone fail or truly berkeley up and need to recover from it, so they break down, or freak out, or demand special treatment and to be treated with kid gloves despite being grown adults. 

We can't blame the teachers for that. They get the brunt of the blame because they're the easiest most visible target, but they're just following terrible policy ideas with no way to get around it. 

Then there's funding. Well, schools that do good on these standardized tests that have no relevance to anything in the real world receive more funding, so not so good schools have and are almost exclusively teaching just to pass the standardized budget tests to try to keep their doors open and prevent even bigger class sizes and even more school consolidation.

Like most things in this country, we've legislated ourselves into a corner, but instead of trying to roll back to what worked before, we're doubling down on things that don't work in the hopes of I don't even know what anymore. 

Of course, what government actually wants a population capable of critical thinking? None of them, because then they'd be out of work. They want a population just smart enough to work and pay taxes, but not smart enough or capable enough to see how they're being screwed.

I'm off on a tangent now so I'll stop before I cross anymore lines. 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/25/22 10:39 a.m.
RevRico said:

We can't blame the teachers for that. They get the brunt of the blame because they're the easiest most visible target, but they're just following terrible policy ideas with no way to get around it.  

We get a lot of pressure to do everything we can to make sure every kid passes.  NOBODY fails elementary. NOBODY fails middle school. Failed courses magically "disappear" off the transcript. We actually have TWO "Graduation Certioficates" - one for a legit grad, and a second one if you can't make it legit.  Good for statistics - "100% grad rate!"

A kid failed my Grade 11 Metalwork course with about 40%.

He showed up in Metal 12 the next year.  I told him that he will repeat the Grade 11 course material, but I will excuse the projects he actually completed.  He failed it with 30%.

Apparently his entire graduation hinged on passing my class (???), so an admin came to me and said "can we take the 40% and the 30%, combine them and call it 50%?"

That's pretty much when my love for the career really quit.

Two dead bodies don't make a live one.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Dork
6/25/22 11:11 a.m.

Im in high school - I just failed 4 this last semester. Honestly, two more should have failed, but they dont speak any English and are seniors so....'good luck!'

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
6/25/22 12:28 p.m.

I just looked at the starting salaries for teachers here in NC.  Its pretty sad.  I can understand why many would leave.

 

That said, I have considered it as a second 'retirement career'.  Many areas (not sure about here) have pretty decent benefits.  Healthcare and time off is about all I would be looking for.  Working more than 200 days a year stinks.

MiniDave
MiniDave New Reader
6/25/22 12:49 p.m.

I usually failed at least 1-2 kids in every class......but if I did I had to have solid documentation as to why they failed. Most of the time it was because they didn't come to class.....I had a kid who scored less than 30% on every test I gave, missed 2 of the 5 tests completely, had 25% attendance for the semester, did none of the required homework and he challenged why I failed him with the dean of my department. I had all the docs so the dean backed me up, but the student couldn't believe I would fail him!

I was appalled at the poor scores on tests, considering they were multiple choice and often the "wrong" answers were just silly.....yet they still only got in the low 60%.....even my better, more experienced students. Remember I'm teaching automotive courses - steering and suspension could get pretty technical so I could understand some of why the scores weren't great, but mostly it was because no one did any of the reading or homework (all done online) and no one ever asked a question in class about something they didn't understand. I also taught a class on brakes (not breaks, dammit!) and 2 different Intro courses. The most important one was the Intro to Shop Practices, where I taught them how to use the different shop equipment, lifts, tire machines, balancers etc.

I also had to do a section on hand tools - where I would hold up a tool and explain what it was and what it was used for - something I thought any kid that wanted to work on his car would know but they didn't. Example - this is a pair of pliers - it is not a hammer, this is a hammer! We provided all the tools so not having any wasn't a valid excuse.

I remember one class where I was teaching how to use a torque wrench - it was a school requirement that anytime a wheel was removed the lugs must be torqued - with a torque wrench. Period. No exceptions. I decided it might be wise to explain why lug nuts and bolts had a tapered side and a flat side and which went where before we went into the shop that day. That very day a student brought his car into the shop to balance the wheels because they were shaking - and you guessed it, ALL of the lug nuts were on backwards.

I had another student in Steering and suspension - which was an advanced course requiring the all of the Intro courses before you could take it - who I sent with a tire and wheel over to the dunk tank to try and find the leak - I handed him an air chuck and told him to put 40 psi in the tire and dunk it. 5 min later he came back holding the air chuck and said he didn't know how to use it!?!?! I was OK with that as at least he didn't just try to wing it and I got to have a real teaching moment with him. Same kid put his car up on the alignment rack and while entering the info into the computer got stopped because the computer asked if his car was 2 or 4 wheel drive, and not only did he not know, he didn't know how to tell. Mind you, this is a 2nd or 3rd year advanced course.

My point is these kids - especially from the more affluent area my school was in - don't have the basic intrinsic knowledge and experience that many or all of us boomers grew up with. They don't have dads that had to fix their car on Sat so they can get to work on Monday - their dads just take the car to the dealer or shop if it breaks. Their dads don't have a shop full of tools, not even hand tools - they might have a screwdriver or claw hammer but not much else. They just call "the guy" when they need something done in the house. 

Anyone who goes into the trades now is set for a great career, as fewer and fewer people know how to do anything that involves real work.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/25/22 12:57 p.m.

I agree that in many cases teachers are under-compensated and over-blamed. But as a businessman in the later stages of my career, I often pine for my earliest career path - a history teacher. Why? Try thirty years of working 50-60 hours/week for 49-51 weeks/yr. That's what the private sector has given me. retirement? A decent 401K and a nice house. No defined benefits.

As for the shooter thing, it sucks and our country really needs more effective gun laws, but teachers and their kids are still far more likely to be killed going to and from school than while at school.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/25/22 1:01 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

In our generally low cost of living area, in my wife's district  pays new teachers about $35k. My wife, highly over educated and near retirement knocks down near $90k. She's in the top 4 or 5 wages in the district. She makes more than a young principal. 

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
6/25/22 1:06 p.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

But kids aren't allowed to fail or be wrong anymore because it might hurt their precious self esteem or their feelings.

Nevermind the damage we're already seeing from this no child left behind pro self esteem every child is a special winner bullE36 M3 movement, not only in international academic rankings, but in so many people joining the work force who have no idea what it's like to receive criticism, let alone fail or truly berkeley up and need to recover from it, so they break down, or freak out, or demand special treatment and to be treated with kid gloves despite being grown adults.

The flip side of that is schooling in Asia where kids are told they're worthless until they prove they aren't. That leads to suicides when studying for or failing standardized tests. There needs to be a balance.

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