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Old 08-24-2011, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,747 posts, read 3,073,984 times
Reputation: 746

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Wow, so much animosity. Why is it that we value our chilldren so much, yet we devalue the people who spend their days with them, either teaching, caring for them or volunteering in their classrooms?

Nothing more needs to be said about teachers and the hours they put in. The teacher's post early in this thread covered that.

Room moms make possible the things that your child looks forward to in the elementary school years, and have for decades. They volunteer their time...I'm sure they'd like to be at home doing their own laundry, or spending their lunch time at work with colleagues.

School supplies? That's been around for decades. Maybe a few things, like boxes of Kleenex, copy paper and wipes have been added to the list.

The colleague who organized the gift did so because it's too early in the year to have selected a room mom. Kids love birthdays, including their teacher's. If you've maintained a presence on campus with elementary school children, either as a teacher or volunteer, you know.

The Amazon, etc. list of personal items and preferences? I think that's a valid complaint. But, I have no problem with a list of things for the classroom, which the director's chair probably was. There are several special uses for that in a classroom...read alouds by teachers or volunteering parents, author's chair for kids to read aloud what they've written in writing workshop. It's not that the teacher expects those items, just that many parents ask for a class wish list each year. Some people enjoy being involved in that way.

Last edited by capcat; 08-24-2011 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:56 AM
 
554 posts, read 1,451,852 times
Reputation: 290
The "due Friday" part would **** me off. My wife is in the public school system and I have never heard of anything like this. If something comes up and you want to give then a $5 Starbucks gift card will always be appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,119 posts, read 27,738,734 times
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I think that this specific case is probably a pretty isolated event by someone is is pretty clueless as to appropriate social protocols. Anyone see "the Social Network"? .
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Folsom, CA
475 posts, read 1,421,517 times
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"Room moms make possible the things that your child looks forward to in the elementary school years, and have for decades. They volunteer their time...I'm sure they'd like to be at home doing their own laundry, or spending their lunch time at work with colleagues. "

I'm not so sure about that. At our school, we have had the same room mom for the first four years with no sign she intends to turn over the reigns until her daughter graduates to middle school. She verbalizes that no one else is willing or able to perform the function but her. It discourages others from even volunteering to take over.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,747 posts, read 3,073,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmiguel View Post
"Room moms make possible the things that your child looks forward to in the elementary school years, and have for decades. They volunteer their time...I'm sure they'd like to be at home doing their own laundry, or spending their lunch time at work with colleagues. "

I'm not so sure about that. At our school, we have had the same room mom for the first four years with no sign she intends to turn over the reigns until her daughter graduates to middle school. She verbalizes that no one else is willing or able to perform the function but her. It discourages others from even volunteering to take over.
Sure, there are control freaks. At our schools, it was by application, and the teacher decides. Often, there would be more than one chosen if several people expressed interest. Usually, it's just a few and it's the same people every year, mostly because they're the only ones willing to take it on. Gotta' speak up. It's not all her decision.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
9,196 posts, read 22,888,131 times
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I'm on the PTC at my daughters school. Kids DO love parties but many of the "treat" parties they get at our school are funded by the PTC.There are lots of rules attached, like only certain foods, certain times of the day and whether or not it can be in the classroom or has to be in the cafeteria. As for birthdays, usually the teacher appreciation chairperson will bring that up if they are personally aware of one and want to give them something and then we put it to a vote. I just think the other teacher who sent home the note wasn't aware of the protocols. It's certainly not a requirement and none of the room moms in my daughter's classes have ever done that. They'll send home notes about Valentine's, holiday and end of year parties with a checklist of things needed and I'm fine with that. I agree with another poster who said it most likely was an isolated incident. Talk to the principal if it's bothering you. She will make sure the teacher learns what is appropriate. And as for directors chairs, yes, I've seen them in classrooms. They're usually for the teachers to use during reading time and also students sit in them to read or present thngs to the class. I've also seen rocking chairs. My daughter's teacher put clip boards, manila paper and something else on her wish list and the school nurse was asking for band aids; both of which I'm happy to donate
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:48 PM
 
1,957 posts, read 5,271,860 times
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I not a fan of the teacher gifts, but beyond that I routinely provide school supplies since I see benefit to the education of children with those supplies. My wife was a teacher before becoming a stay at home mom and I used to have to supply this solely from my salary because we lived in depressed area.

We also volunteer our time to help out, in the 70's when I went to school we had TA's in the school that helped with pull out programs. We also had PTA involvement beyond fundraising but was mostly volunteer work. I volunteer because education is not just the schools responsibility, it needs to be re-inforced at home and in the community. Expecting the schools to do all the education is not reasonable and will yield poor results.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:53 PM
 
2,496 posts, read 4,353,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aswyth View Post
I was a teacher. The school district gave us $28 per year for "supplies." That included everything - chalk, paper, pens, staples, dry erase markers . . . and photocopying. Of course, this money lasted about a week (for example, we had to make our own quizzes, tests and homework assignments - kids weren't allowed to take home books, nor were they given anything resembling a workbook.) After that, all supplies came out of our pocket.

Similarly, we had to provide food and snacks to many of the kids. Just buying lunches for hungry students cost me more than $100 every week - more than 20% of my paycheck. Most of the kids were eligible for free or reduced lunches, but many of their parents refused to (or couldn't) fill out the form necessary for this, and so buying lunch for the kids was the only way to keep them going through the day.

I watched kids cut each other with knives, walked into empty classrooms to find 11 and 12 year-old girls performing oral six on boys, was told that students could not be held after school for detention because this meant there would be no way for them to get home. I had kids who showed up only once or twice per semester, but they were not kicked out of school or disciplined - it wasn't allowed.

Despite being an English teacher, I was told that student scores were especially horrible in math, and therefore I had to teach math instead, at least for the next two months. The students then went from one math class to another - they had no English class. That said, most of these kids were functionally illiterate; a few didn't know the alphabet.

There was no one to complain to about any of this, it came down from the administrators at both the school and the district. nearly every teacher I met was an alcoholic from the stress. The burnout rate was unbelievable. There were other young and enthusiastic teachers there, but we did not renew our contracts at the end of the year. As far as I know, we all left teaching for good.

A majority of people who enter teaching will no longer be teachers after five years. It's a horrible job, and in most places - contrary to what the first person person wrote - it does not always offer especially good health care or pensions. At my school, teachers were regularly fired and the union didn't care. Teachers spent most of their free days grading papers, keeping up their required continuing education courses (on their own dime) and planning curriculum. Studies have shown that teachers work more hours throughout the year than nearly any other profession requiring a college degree. Their pay is among the worst for people with similar levels of education.

During the school year, I regularly worked 90 hours a week - I had to be at school at 6:30 am until 5:00 pm. That's 55 hours a week right there. I also coached (this wasn't legally a requirement, but you couldn't get away with not doing it) three days a week until 8 pm. That makes 64 hours. I can't remember ever *not* having at least a couple of hours of grading and preparation at night, and I normally put in 12 hours on the weekend, including school functions. We left a week after the students during the summer and came back two weeks before the students. Averaging it out, we still worked, what, 80 hours a week? I kept track of my hours, and after completing my year of teaching, I made roughly $7.21 per hour for every hour I worked. Subtract out-of-pocket expenses and I made far less than minimum wage - and I have an MA. This isn't as unusual as one might think.

Once, I e-mailed every student and parent about an upcoming parent-teacher conference. I called each parent twice. I sent notes home with the students. Other teachers did the same. The entire school (of about 700 students) received 10 total visits from parents. I had none myself.

Obviously, this was not one of the country's better school districts. But more than 20% of America's children live in federally-defined poverty and attend similar schools. (And the government's definition of poverty for a family of four today is around $22,000 in annual income - this is far below what poverty really means in much of the country. Where I taught, the cheapest one bedroom apartments ran around $700 a month, not including utilities. A family of four might easily pay 60% of their total income to live in something just an inch above squalor.)

Yeah, I think the whole grabby teacher thing is a bit sad. But the job, for most teachers, is horribly underpaid and insecure. I know many people (including myself, now that I'm relatively wealthy) who live in places with stellar, high-paid teachers. They are the exceptions to the rule, and even they tend to be making much less in constant dollars than their peers were just a decade ago. And you really don't have any idea what teaching costs them out-of-pocket.

Teaching has never been a great job, really. But what many parents don't realize is it's now more poorly-paid than ever, rarely appreciated and for many teachers, a roulette wheel of nerves each year when they're laid-off and can only hope that they may be extended another one-year contract come July or August.

Here's a link about a couple of great Austin teachers, and what they went through:

The devastating layoffs that shook our lives - Pinched: Tales from an Economic Downturn - Salon.com

The good news is that after attempting to sell their house and find new jobs, both were rehired, luckily, although at a more than $8000 loss teaching the same number of students. Many others weren't so lucky.
America is a free country (at least for now), so there are choices. No one is forcing anybody (at this stage of the game at least) to be a teacher. There are precious few jobs that don't have drawbacks and many of them major, so pick your poison, but Lord Almighty, stop with the constant bellyaching.

I know eveyone has gripes about their jobs, but so many teachers are just whiney babies and it is sickening. You hate your jobs that much, it reflects in your performance and the kids pay the ultimate price. Far too many people enter the teaching profession with the intention of being more or less glorified babysitters and then if any demands or stress is put upon them, they just freak out. For everyone's sake, get a different job!
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:19 PM
 
1,957 posts, read 5,271,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonestar2007 View Post
America is a free country (at least for now), so there are choices. No one is forcing anybody (at this stage of the game at least) to be a teacher. There are precious few jobs that don't have drawbacks and many of them major, so pick your poison, but Lord Almighty, stop with the constant bellyaching.

I know eveyone has gripes about their jobs, but so many teachers are just whiney babies and it is sickening. You hate your jobs that much, it reflects in your performance and the kids pay the ultimate price. Far too many people enter the teaching profession with the intention of being more or less glorified babysitters and then if any demands or stress is put upon them, they just freak out. For everyone's sake, get a different job!

From reading this, I doubt you actually know anyone who is a teacher. They do not go into this to be babysitters.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:55 PM
 
2,496 posts, read 4,353,686 times
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I assume you mean personally and if so, yes I do know a gal who is a teacher. I've known her for around 10 years and during this time she was going to college off and on to get her degree and finally got it. She's been teaching for about 4 years now. She's the sweetest gal you could ever meet, but dog lazy and that is the God's truth. LOL She's always upset that the kids don't know what she is trying to teach them. Well, to be honest, I guess it would make her job a lot easier if that were the case. And the parents? Ah, for shame on those no-good, lazy parents who don't have their kids already tutored and up to snuff in the upcoming lessons. Well, for crying out loud, if that's the case, you don't need teachers. That is the job I believe, to teach?

I had some really good teachers when I was in school, but that's been quite awhile ago. As to my experiences with my kid's teachers, that's a whole 'nother ballgame. There were some good ones along the way, but boy, did we ever encounter some doozies. Of course, that goes with the program and it's that way in just about every profession. You got your good and your bad. But I'm telling you, from my experiences with far too many teachers, the most part you hear is b*tch, b*tch, b*tch. Geez, just scan through these boards if you don't believe me. B*tch about everything. Most of us know how to make do with what we got, that's how life works. Teachers? Why try to make do when whining is easier.

I know I used the plural, so let me amend this to say not all teachers are this way, but I will maintain there are far too many who are. Makes for a very unhealthy environment in our classrooms too!

I'll probably also get blasted for this too, but I'm a firm believer in showing appreciation for a job well done. But this incessant begging for gifts and favors because, well, because why? You teach someone's child? You're being paid to teach that child. I daresay a good teacher is more than amply showered with gifts, favors and praises. I know I always showed my appreciation to the teachers who cared about their jobs and their pupils and acted accordingly. But I did not offer up presents at Christmas, etc. to the lazy butts whose job I had to do for them all during the year and although I felt the pressure to give in and give them something (the old guilt trip of they know you gave to other teachers, but not them), I refused to cave in.

The mindset at times just floors me. I've had teachers tell my daughter she was doing good when in fact she was failing. I would confront them on it and their reasoning was they didn't want to hurt her self-esteem. They felt that was the wrong thing to do. Oh my word! Where's the incentative in that line of reasoning? I'll tell you how it worked out. My daughter told me I was the reason she was failing. Uh-huh! That I was always on her about not studying and all it did was make her feel bad and that was why she was failing. Yep, I made her feel bad, brought her down, hurt her self-esteem. I can thank the teacher for putting that notion in her head. When I asked her how she came up with that idea (she was fairly young at the time and it just wasn't something she'd say on her own) she told me the teacher had told them they should tell their parents that it wasn't good for them to nag them about their grades, that it hurt their self-esteem and made them do worse. That instead, we (the parents) should be studying with them (kids) and helping them to understand it. Now I know all too well about homework and helping with homework, but at some point the teacher needs to step in with some help other than assign homework and grade. Also, hoiw dare a teacher tell a child who is failing that she is doing good, KNOWING that child is failing. Ah, just one of the many things they can learn at school.

But the questions at hand is this, should you feel pressured to reward all teachers for all occasions? No, of course not. Also, if you don't give at every ocassion and feel compelled to complain about the fact that you are being pressured, does this give leeway for teachers to bombard you with all the horror stories of teaching and all the atrocities they have to endure in order to teach your little brats? I hardly think so.

Last edited by lonestar2007; 08-24-2011 at 03:09 PM..
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