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Old 02-10-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Texas
38,859 posts, read 25,380,158 times
Reputation: 24780

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Many, many moons ago, I taught HS for five years. To tell the truth, I really enjoyed the teaching part. What makes a teacher's job difficult is petty local administrators and state legislators. From what I hear, it's only gotten worse in the years since I got out. Micromanaging administrators who taught 4th grade for three years before being promoted to an office job THINK they have all kinds of things to "help" your instruction when you're HS teaching chemistry.

They don't. They're pretty much clueless, but they have to play the part of "competent educator" so they're going to harass working teachers with all of these "helpful" suggestions that tend to become nonproductive busywork requirements.

And I have to say this about teaching; I never thought of it as high stress. But it's definitely high energy. You're in a room with 25-30 teenagers who are just waiting for you to show some sign of relaxing or letting your guard down. I'd go home each night exhausted. But it was a good exhaustion, not a brain crunching stress-induced exhaustion. A teacher gets no down time. You're "on" all the time in the classroom. He/she can't take a morning and afternoon coffee break. They can't just sit back at their desk and chill for a few minutes here and there during the day.

Those who begrudge teachers their pay and time off don't have a grasp of this. Me? Ive been there and I can tell you that the vast majority of teachers I worked with earned every penny.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,405,144 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
Many, many moons ago, I taught HS for five years. To tell the truth, I really enjoyed the teaching part. What makes a teacher's job difficult is petty local administrators and state legislators. From what I hear, it's only gotten worse in the years since I got out. Micromanaging administrators who taught 4th grade for three years before being promoted to an office job THINK they have all kinds of things to "help" your instruction when you're HS teaching chemistry.

They don't. They're pretty much clueless, but they have to play the part of "competent educator" so they're going to harass working teachers with all of these "helpful" suggestions that tend to become nonproductive busywork requirements.

And I have to say this about teaching; I never thought of it as high stress. But it's definitely high energy. You're in a room with 25-30 teenagers who are just waiting for you to show some sign of relaxing or letting your guard down. I'd go home each night exhausted. But it was a good exhaustion, not a brain crunching stress-induced exhaustion. A teacher gets no down time. You're "on" all the time in the classroom. He/she can't take a morning and afternoon coffee break. They can't just sit back at their desk and chill for a few minutes here and there during the day.

Those who begrudge teachers their pay and time off don't have a grasp of this. Me? Ive been there and I can tell you that the vast majority of teachers I worked with earned every penny.
For me, what makes teaching high stress is being on all the time. I have to be on my A game every day. Students take any mistake to be proof you don't know what you're teaching. I came out of industry where you could take a break when needed, delay a presentation by half an hour is you needed to, even decide to take the afternoon off if you were beating your head against the wall on a project, so you could come back refreshed the next day. Now I can't even go to the bathroom when I need to. Let alone take a 20 minute break, when I need it, to destress.

I miss coffee and being able to just take 10 minutes and chat with coworkers. I gave up coffee because drinking coffee means I'll have to use the bathroom and Lord knows when I'll get a chance to do that. I think I'll enjoy this job more when I'm old and have to wear Depends. Even my students are at more liberty to use the bathroom than I am. They can leave the room without someone having to stand in for them.

I also, really, enjoy the teaching part. The grading and flavor of the month educational experiment that the administration wants us to try, not so much. Fortunately, they're pretty resonable where I'm working now. The charter school I worked for was a nightmare.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:52 PM
 
34 posts, read 62,655 times
Reputation: 31
Cut the superintendents and principals pay. I was aghast at the wages they make. Really, there jobs are anywhere near as hard as the teachers in the classrooms.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:04 PM
 
724 posts, read 1,679,845 times
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Originally Posted by bottoms View Post
Cut the superintendents and principals pay. I was aghast at the wages they make. Really, there jobs are anywhere near as hard as the teachers in the classrooms.
Yes, the teachers do work extremely hard and the difference in compensation is extreme. I don't like how they justify 300-500K salaries saying that they need to be in line with corporate CEO salaries. That is ridiculous because administrators would leave in a second if they were actually competitive to get corporate CEO jobs. The skill sets needed for those positions are just completely different. So, it doesn't make sense to compensate a school administrator at that level.

Additionally, in the private sector, pay is based on the income that CEO's bring to the company. School administrators aren't bringing in profit. They are public servants.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,405,144 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEconomist View Post
Yes, the teachers do work extremely hard and the difference in compensation is extreme. I don't like how they justify 300-500K salaries saying that they need to be in line with corporate CEO salaries. That is ridiculous because administrators would leave in a second if they were actually competitive to get corporate CEO jobs. The skill sets needed for those positions are just completely different. So, it doesn't make sense to compensate a school administrator at that level.

Additionally, in the private sector, pay is based on the income that CEO's bring to the company. School administrators aren't bringing in profit. They are public servants.
If administrator salaries are in line with CEO salaries, why aren't science teacher salaries in line with engineering salaries? ...Math teacher salaries in line with salaries of mathematicians? ...English teacher salaries in line with Journalist salaries?

Funny how they justify administration being paid like CEO's but balk at teachers being paid like other professionals.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Suburbia
8,799 posts, read 15,238,193 times
Reputation: 4492
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEconomist View Post
Yes, the teachers do work extremely hard and the difference in compensation is extreme. I don't like how they justify 300-500K salaries saying that they need to be in line with corporate CEO salaries.
I'm curious about where school administrators are making that much in actual salary. I think our superintendent makes around $270k and he is in charge of a large system of 175,000 students. Now, that's the actual salary. The board also contributes $46k annually into a tax deferred annuity, $16k a year into a deferred compensation account, a personal automobile, no cost life and health insurance, 14 days of sick leave and 26 days of vacation leave annually.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:33 PM
 
724 posts, read 1,679,845 times
Reputation: 723
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
I'm curious about where school administrators are making that much in actual salary. I think our superintendent makes around $270k and he is in charge of a large system of 175,000 students. Now, that's the actual salary. The board also contributes $46k annually into a tax deferred annuity, $16k a year into a deferred compensation account, a personal automobile, no cost life and health insurance, 14 days of sick leave and 26 days of vacation leave annually.

The Houston Chronicle did a big write up on the superintendent of HISD. It's not a particularly good school system and this guy is banking $500K in total compensation. He had a car and it seemed like an allowance for everything. It was pretty absurd.

His enablers argued that he was really good (despite poor results for the district) and they needed to throw money at him to keep the corporate world from snatching him up (yeah right).

It sounds like your school superintendent is banking too. That's a pretty outrageous salary for a public servant. He might technically be in charge, but it isn't like the teachers don't run things on their own. Large organizations tend to be run by doling out fiefdoms, so the person in charge of everything is usually a figurehead and may make a few big decisions here and there.

EDIT: The total compensation for the HISD super was $424K http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/6255165.html

That includes a 77K performance bonus. What performance???

Last edited by TheEconomist; 02-12-2011 at 11:42 PM..
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Suburbia
8,799 posts, read 15,238,193 times
Reputation: 4492
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEconomist View Post
The Houston Chronicle did a big write up on the superintendent of HISD. It's not a particularly good school system and this guy is banking $500K in total compensation. He had a car and it seemed like an allowance for everything. It was pretty absurd.

His enablers argued that he was really good (despite poor results for the district) and they needed to throw money at him to keep the corporate world from snatching him up (yeah right).

It sounds like your school superintendent is banking too. That's a pretty outrageous salary for a public servant. He might technically be in charge, but it isn't like the teachers don't run things on their own. Large organizations tend to be run by doling out fiefdoms, so the person in charge of everything is usually a figurehead and may make a few big decisions here and there.

EDIT: The total compensation for the HISD super was $424K Saavedra keeps $327,000 salary even if he exits early | Bellaire/River Oaks/West U. | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

That includes a 77K performance bonus. What performance???
Yes, ours has a good contract too, but it doesn't seem out of the norm for an executive of such a large district. I read an article from 7 years ago that said the median salary for a superintendent in districts of at least 25,000 students was $174,805. Police and fire chiefs, county executives, directors of economic development have similar contracts. HISD, from what I read, is the 6th or 7th largest in the country with over 200k students. We are now the 11th largest with a budget of $2.2bil. I do agree that we have too many cluster and assistant superintendents who also make similar salaries and have similar perks.

Your teacher salaries are much lower than ours as they move up the scale, but I'd guess the cost of living is also lower.
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