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The Fight Over Teacher Salaries: A Look At The Numbers

By NPR

Teachers in many states are angry after years of stagnant wages. Here's a state-by-state look at what they really makeRead full story

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  • Sara Chile
    Sara ChileSecond Grade Teaching Assistant

    It's hard as hell but it's also rewarding as hell. I've been teaching for two years now and I think we obviously deserve to be paid more. Education is everything in a country based on capitalism, so it makes no sense that teacher's salaries are as little as they are. Either pay me more or increase my benefits, it's that simple.

    If I make less money than I deserve then I shouldn't have to pay for healthcare, school supplies, or even rent out of pocket. We afford those same kind of benefits to our

    It's hard as hell but it's also rewarding as hell. I've been teaching for two years now and I think we obviously deserve to be paid more. Education is everything in a country based on capitalism, so it makes no sense that teacher's salaries are as little as they are. Either pay me more or increase my benefits, it's that simple.

    If I make less money than I deserve then I shouldn't have to pay for healthcare, school supplies, or even rent out of pocket. We afford those same kind of benefits to our military. I think teachers deserve that kind of fair treatment. I'm not asking anyone to take care of me, just give me what I deserve in wages or benefits.

  • Vidya S.
    Vidya S.

    I started my career teaching - and after one semester, I knew it wasn’t for me. I put in ~12hr days (lesson planning, grading, administrative paperwork) and spent much of the day on my feet. I was physically and mentally drained every day, with little time or the energy to do anything else. To those who say it’s easy: it’s not!

    Most teachers also do not take summers off. They are working summer school, doing mandatory professional development or taking additional classes.

  • Peter Repucci
    Peter RepucciAssociate at Riverstone Holdings

    When i was in high school I remember running into my calc teacher working at a Barnes and Noble. This was a man who taught 6/7 periods per day, getting to the school every morning before 7 to teach himself that day's lesson plan so that he could teach it to us an hour later, then going to a book store to work a night shift. These are smart, dedicated, caring people who could find higher earning employment but choose instead to teach the next generation. This should not be a sacrifice they have to

    When i was in high school I remember running into my calc teacher working at a Barnes and Noble. This was a man who taught 6/7 periods per day, getting to the school every morning before 7 to teach himself that day's lesson plan so that he could teach it to us an hour later, then going to a book store to work a night shift. These are smart, dedicated, caring people who could find higher earning employment but choose instead to teach the next generation. This should not be a sacrifice they have to make. A teacher should be compensated by the societal value they provide, which is enormous. Teaching should be a profession people aspire to, not one looked at with derision - with people asking why you're doing that instead of something more lucrative. We owe it to ourselves as a society to take care of the people who practically raise our kids. Unreal.

  • Jing Cao
    Jing CaoQuartz

    This is a really awesome data driven look at how underpaid our teachers are. Teaching in my opinion is one of the best/most noble jobs, one that should be most highly valued.

    A good teacher can make a lifelong impact on a child’s life. An excellent teacher can completely change a child’s life. And a crap teacher can ruin a child’s future.

    The other thing not mentioned in this story is how often teachers (the good ones) are spending their own hard-earned money on supplies, books for their kids

    This is a really awesome data driven look at how underpaid our teachers are. Teaching in my opinion is one of the best/most noble jobs, one that should be most highly valued.

    A good teacher can make a lifelong impact on a child’s life. An excellent teacher can completely change a child’s life. And a crap teacher can ruin a child’s future.

    The other thing not mentioned in this story is how often teachers (the good ones) are spending their own hard-earned money on supplies, books for their kids. They spend their down time helping students in need for free.

    In high school, I had a math teacher who gave up her break to tutor me in calculus because my calc teacher was awful. I had another teacher who would spend his own money to make sure lower-income students could still attend expensive Model UN conferences.

  • Mark  White
    Mark White Founder at White Label Media

    Seems completely loony to me that teachers a) make so little and b) that teachers can cross state lines to work in higher paying states (the teachers of course have that right) but the state governments should make sure they are competitive with neighboring states.

    What does Betsy Ross think? Oh wait despite being the education czar she believes public education is a losing proposition.

  • Ok, just curious... do people look at what the career offers before getting into it? I mean what is the $ for the year vs $ for time worked? I’m self employed and there are some months that are “crazy” busy and I never sleep. Then there are dead weeks. I guess, when it comes to summers off (unless teaching summer school) spring breaks off, Easter off, Christmas breaks... are these some of the things a teacher looks at as a bonus for being a teacher? I have many coaching friends who love to teach

    Ok, just curious... do people look at what the career offers before getting into it? I mean what is the $ for the year vs $ for time worked? I’m self employed and there are some months that are “crazy” busy and I never sleep. Then there are dead weeks. I guess, when it comes to summers off (unless teaching summer school) spring breaks off, Easter off, Christmas breaks... are these some of the things a teacher looks at as a bonus for being a teacher? I have many coaching friends who love to teach so they can work at all the camps they want while others have to take off work in order to coach. Coaching does pay, but it’s not a living wage. (But it’s enough to consider putting towards a getaway vacation) Just thoughts and questions.

  • Edna Rein
    Edna ReinMcGill University

    Teaching means creating content, using technology, understanding learning goals, adapting material to different levels in the class, being sensitive, challenging assumptions, responding to steps of learning, being fun, teaching content, sparking creativity, inspiring critical thinking, evaluating, creating rubrics, giving feedback, adapting curriculum based on evaluation received, keeping material contemporary while acknowledging students will face competition from different kinds of school, staying

    Teaching means creating content, using technology, understanding learning goals, adapting material to different levels in the class, being sensitive, challenging assumptions, responding to steps of learning, being fun, teaching content, sparking creativity, inspiring critical thinking, evaluating, creating rubrics, giving feedback, adapting curriculum based on evaluation received, keeping material contemporary while acknowledging students will face competition from different kinds of school, staying abreast current issues, tactfully acknowledging diversity while permitting different points of view to flower in the class, and responding to emailed work received on the evening of the day it was assigned. All this and staying motivated, doing the paperwork and being positive. In my case, with teens. It is never boring.Did I mention parents and admin? And deadlines , students with semi-professional hobbies and the occasional emergency.

  • Alma Garza
    Alma Garza

    Cost of living makes all the difference.

  • Stephanie  Schierholz
    Stephanie Schierholz Space Communicator

    We need to pay teachers more.

  • Kingh Firee
    Kingh Fireei have diploma

    so cut

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