Ok... so I know I am not the ONLY teacher in the world who thinks that teachers are GROSSLY underpaid. And, I dare say, there are some NON-teachers out there who would agree. Then I flip channels and I see people who play sports for a living (as in major league, etc) and they get paid SO MUCH MONEY they could wipe their asses with $100 dollar bills and STILL be rich!
What gives? Sometimes you also see them whining about how they are not getting paid enough.. that they are ONLY making $7 million and they NEED $10 million. For doing what? Playing a game? Yeah, yeah, yeah.... they could get injured and not be able to play anymore... or heaven forbid have a major injury like the recent football injury. But come ON! I could get hit by a school bus tomorrow. I don't get paid big bucks. I don't even get paid medium bucks, to be honest.
Teachers are responsible for the students in their classroom... in my case I have 37 (19 in my AM class and 18 in my PM class). We have to plan each day.. what we are going to TEACH them... HOW we are going to teach it... HOW we are going to teach the REQUIRED subject matter to the child who is delayed AND to the child who is gifted and all of the children in between... AT THE SAME TIME. How we can present a lesson so that all types of learners will "get it" -- the visual learner, who needs to SEE it; the auditory learner, who needs to HEAR it; the kinesthetic learner, who needs to DO it .... all the while not going too fast for the kids with processing disorders who need extra time to think about it. And we have to do this NUMEROUS times throughout the day. Plus we have to teach them how to get along with each other, how to think for themselves, how to problem solve, how to manage their time... just to name a few. In my case, I often also have to potty train, and teach the children what common objects are (such as a fork, spoon, cup, bowl, chair, etc). No.. this is not a joke.
We teachers are often expected to also teach the kids things that they should be learning at home.. such as morals, right and wrong, stranger danger, etc.
And the kids I teach are only 4! Imagine my colleagues who teach older children.
On top of all the required curricula material we are responsible for... and all the "other stuff" we are responsible for... we have requirements outside of the classroom as well. We have to attend IEPs for the students who have special needs, we have to meet with parents, we have to attend professional development seminars, and to take classes to keep our certificates up to date, we have to supervise the playground and the bus ... I could go on all night.
Suffice it to say that teachers spend a great deal MORE than 40 hours a week working. If a teacher tells you otherwise, ask their family.
Not only do we spend a great deal of our own time doing things for school... but we also spend a great deal of our own MONEY (that we have very little of) purchasing things for the classroom. I have $10 per MONTH to spend in my classroom (that is the budget through my school). Out of this $10 needs to come developing of pictures that we take in the classroom to send home to parents (IF WalMart has their digital prints on sale for .15c per print... times my 37 students, that makes $5.55 --- which is over half of our budget for the month.) We are also required to purchase anything "extra" for the kids out of this budget... if there is a game or toy we want, if we need supplies for making play dough (or if we buy playdough itself), and various things like this. It is aggrivating to say the least.
So what do we do? Teachers need to come together and demand higher wages. Not in the millions, like professional sports players.... but much higher than what we are paid. I could write a letter... but 1 letter from a teacher in the midst of millions of others won't make a bit of difference. But if we bind together maybe we could make a difference??
Ok... stepping off my soap box now. Teaching really DOES have it's benefits... and I do LOVE my job. I just get so sick of the backwards pay scales of America. For the record.. I also believe that stay at home parents should get paid for staying home and raising their children (or at the very least ONE parent should get paid to stay home) and I have opinions about health care too, but I won't go into any of that here.
I joked with a friend that my blog should be called "The Opinionated Bitch" LOL :)
Maybe tomorrow I'll have something less opinionated and more positive to say :)