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Teachers Salary

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006: Teachers Salary
By Conni on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:10 pm:

I was looking up info on my school district and read that the avg teacher in this district gets paid just over $49k per yr!! Wow! I didnt realize that. I thought they made mid $30's? :) When did it go up?

By Reds9298 on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:17 pm:

Keep in mind that the term 'average' includes all of the "older" teachers who may have higher degrees and more experience so they get paid more. If your district has a lot of older teachers (for lack of a better word!) that will jack up the 'average' quite a bit. :) Also know that depending on the state, teachers have to maintain their licenses through a set number of new college hours every so many years, or must attain a Master's degree within a certain amount of time. That's out of your own pocket, too. Here in IN, we have to take 6 credit hours (2 college classes) every 5 years or our license is terminated. Can you tell I don't think teachers make enough $$??:)
First year teachers in Central Indiana start at $30K. The manager at Bath & Body Works in the mall, with NO degree, starts at $36K here. Hhmmmmmmm.........

By Conni on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:27 pm:

I see what you are saying! And really you need more like $60k to afford to live around here too! So it probably isnt much compared to the COL in this area.

They start at $37k here. One of my good friends w/7 yrs experience is going back to work next yr and she will be making $46 or $47k I cant remember. I am really excited for her! They need the money, she has been a sahm for the last 7 yrs. Her youngest starts K in August so she is going back to teaching. I am going to ask her about the CE credits. She hasnt mentioned anything about that.

Thats interesting about the mgr pay! I am sure they work alot of weekends and holidays and *maybe* thats how they determine that amt? lol I dont know!

By Tink on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:27 pm:

I don't know what our state or district average is but my mom has been teaching for about 15 years and has her Masters in Administration and makes almost $60,000. Beginning teacher salaries are just over $32,000. With the cost of living in California and if they have a family, that probably puts them below poverty level! I'm in agreement with Deanna, teachers do NOT make enough. My mom is in her classroom by 7am and usually works at school until 5pm and brings work home every weekend since she refuses to bring it home during the week. She works well over 60 hours per week so I think, even with her higher salary, her hourly wage doesn't come close to properly compensating her for her time! Low wages for teachers is one of my pet peeves. :)

By Reds9298 on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:08 pm:

Yep, Tink - those hours sound about right!!:) Man I was at school ALL the time (of course I loved it) but on the hard days or when you're getting your butt busted by parents who haven't got a clue, you think about things like all the $ you're NOT making. I'm working on my Masters so I can get a pay raise when I go back. I was making just under $40K when I resigned a year ago. Sad thing too is that if you have your Masters already it's hard to get hired for anything other than Administration because you're deemd "too expensive". I want to stay in the classroom when I go back, so I have to time my completion of the Masters program AFTER I get a job again! I'm so glad I waited on it (the pay raise is better the longer you've taught when you complete a Masters). That's why I waited, but a few close friends got their really quickly and now they can't quit to stay home with their little ones. If they quit, they're basically saying "I'm okay with never teaching in the regular classroom again." It's tough. I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision because I probably wouldn't be a SAHM right now and I'd be sick everyday about it.

I can't imagine having a starting pay of low $30's in places so high in cost of living, like CA for example. That's crazy!

Conni- as far as the Bath & Body Manager job I mentioned, that's a salaried position. I'm sure managers work a lot of hours and take up the slack, but I've done managerial retail while I was in college and it's nothing compared to teaching. It always irks me when I think of those mall manager positions!

By Melanie on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:15 pm:

I have never been a teacher, but I was an assistant manager in retail for a while. I wouldn't be so harsh on mall managers!! I was working 80 hours per week and making just over $20,000...and going to school. It was the most stressful time of my life, without question. :)

By Enchens on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 12:24 am:

My first year of teaching was five years ago, in West Sacramento. I was making sooo much money...$29,000! After taxes, bills, and student loans that suddenly had to be paid back, I'm surprised that I had any money at all! LOL

By Trina~moderator on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 07:40 am:

I find those "averages" hard to believe. Teacher experience and area of the country are big factors. My last year of teaching was in '96 when pregnant with DS. I was teaching at a Catholic school in NH, and it was my 10th year as a teacher with a BS degree. I made $18,000. The public school teachers made about 20-30% more. Needless to say, it was not a difficult transition becoming a SAHM. LOL!

By Reds9298 on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 08:21 am:

Melanie - I'm sorry if it sounded like mall managers have an easy job. Since I was an assistant manager like yourself, I know it's not an *easy* job, but just for me, compared to teaching it WAS easy. I'm sorry if I offended you.:)

By Conni on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 09:14 am:

Trina, they actually do get paid a fairly good in my district (well, not good pay according to anyone on this post lol!) But my friend who is a special ed teacher said she wanted to teach in my district so she could make a little more money, but her dh insisted she teach in her own district. She *thought* they would offer her in the high $30's and called me squealing last week they were going to pay her almost %50k... :) She said her first yr of teaching (this was in Texas) she was 21 yo and made $20k. She said she could barely make it on that.

I didnt set out yesterday to find the teacher salary avg for my district. I was looking up the school's test scores down the street from my house and at the very bottom of that page it had this info. lol When I think about it, it has gone up from yrs ago ( i had many friends who became teachers, so I remember them talking about their salary). However, the COL has really gone up here in the last 20 yrs. So this is probably still not quite as much money as it would take to live ok in our area!!!

My friends dh makes somewhere in the $50k's and they have been living on that for 7 yrs while she has been a sahm. So her returning back to work and making $47k is really going to help their family out!!! :) Basically they are almost doubling their income. So *she* was very appreciative of her new teaching position. She has a Bachelors, and has no desire to get her Masters. I do go to church with some of the administration and they all live in big houses with pools, and drive either a Lexus or a Mercedes. So, I could see where they might be making more than the teachers!!! *IF* I Were a teacher, I would want to go back and get my Masters and be a *counselor*. I always thought that would be an interesting job!! :) Of course the school nurse job wouldnt pay well at all, but that would be kind of fun too. :) My friend also appreciates the fact that she will work the same hrs/days that her kids are in school. She really does like being a teacher and has told me that she wouldnt want to be anything else. Around here the teachers have the parents donate alot of time and money. Many times I have graded papers, brought home laminated things to cut out in the evenings, read to the class while the teacher worked, stuffed the weekly folder the teacher sends home with the kids, the list goes on and on... and so have many other Mom's. Sometimes I have shown up to help with things and there were SO many Mom's there to help I could barely sqqueeze in the room. ;) Every teacher has a wishing tree and the parents pull off the tree whatever they want to buy and donate to the classroom. And the teacher always sends home a list of items she will need to complete projects with the kids in class throughout the yr. The parents send in and donate the items to her class. Some parents have paid for some things on the playground,(instead of it coming out of the PTA acct) one couple bought the bike rack for the school. I am sure they just wrote it off their taxes. :) I cant tell you how many things the vendors donate to our schools!!! Anyway, I have to hope all the money and time we parents have donated somehow offsets the teachers pay and time here atleast a little?? :) I know they are always very appreciative. I know when we did the Fall Festival booths...well, that money and time didnt come out of the teachers pocket. About 5 of us Mothers divided it up and I had my kids go and work the booth with me for THEIR class. That just made since to me to make them work a little at their class booth. lol :)

I agree I am shocked at the CA teachers pay!!! That shocks me its so low for that high COL they have there!!

By Karen~moderator on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 09:23 am:

I've always found it amazing that crucial posiitons - like teachers, firemen, policemen, paramadics - make some of the lowest salaries in a given area. Where would any of us be without these people??? I know that my parish and a couple of others north of here pay higher salaries for teachers than most of the parishes in this area. And of course, Louisiana schools are ranked near the bottom, so I assume much has to do with the quality of the teachers - which also must have to do with what they are paid. After all, only the most dedicated person would continue to work for half of what they *could* be making.

By Melanie on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 11:41 am:

Offended is a strong word, Deanna. Definitely not offended. LOL. :)

Back to the point of the post, our school hired a new teacher this year who is just amazing. But he is leaving at the end of the year because he makes so little and cost of living is so high. It's sad...our kids will really miss out not having him.

By Kaye on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 12:59 pm:

Being a teacher, i just feel like I need to add this. Cetainly there are districts that under pay teachers. When I worked full time I made 17k a year. YIKES! But I do think when you start talking teacher salary you have to look at all the numbers, you just can't compare them to other jobs in the same way. During the school year, most teachers do work 40-60 hours a week, they are paid salary, my hubby is too, he works on average 50-80 hours a week. But here is where things start to differ in my book. As a teacher you do get a lunch break, 30 minutes for some teachers, an hour for others. In texas this is mandatory with no children. Also you get a planning period of 45 minutes. Most teachers take the kids out to recess, so you end up with about an hour and half a day, of non teaching time. That is not too shabby and there are teachers who can really get a lot done in that time.

But in Texas teachers work a 190 day calendar. As opposed to the rest of the jobs, most work 261 days a year. Even if you take out vacation time of the average 2 weeks, there is still a huge difference. So really you have to take a teacher salary and compare it with 80% of the other job market. Do teachers "work" in the summer? The good ones do. But still it isn't the same type of work. That is like saying that other jobs don't work when they aren't in the office. Sure there are plenty of mindless jobs that you turn off when you leave, but I know my hubby does paper work at home, books travel, etc, all on "his" time, because it needs done. If a teacher teaches summer school they do get paid extra. Anyway...just a thought. I love working for the school district because I get all those days off, it doesn't bother me they are unpaid. Also as far as vacation...teachers don't call it that, most districts give the teachers 5 days a year (so 1 week), paid, sick days or personal days, I also got 5 days at sub cost (which was about 50 dollars of my 100 a day). And after that two weeks, it did cost my entire days pay.

We also had the option to take our pay for the 9 months we worked or to have it spread out over 12, so I would get paid all summer all though I didn't work.

By Reds9298 on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 09:19 pm:

I just want to add that non-teaching time (Kaye, I think that's what you're referring to as recess) is most definitely without a doubt NOT free time. Especially when you are one of two teachers with 115 kids to supervise and keep safe.

In addition, at least in IN, medical/dental insurance for teachers is very expensive. I was very fortunate that I did not have to insure my family, but let's face it, lots of teachers marry other teachers. Here it is $185/dependent PER PAY (2x.mth.), and that's not for cheap co-pays and cheap scripts. That's still for $1500yrly. out-of-pkt. per dependent. Insurance ALONE eats up the pay. To insure yourself alone it's cheap, but anyone else and you're now looking for a second job.
At least half the teachers in my building (who are also married to other teachers) work second jobs during the school year, and most work summer school. Yes, there is extra pay for summer school and it's very good, but many of them said if summer school gets canceled they would be hurting financially.
Just as a K teacher, I had 45min. per day of break (lunch). There are no specials for K, and no recess, and even if we did take the kids outside, there's no one to do it but me. During that 45 min., I had to prep for class #2, clean up as much as possible, eat, and deal with parents between sessions.
I feel that teachers deserve A LOT more than they make. The ones who aren't that good won't stay anyway because of the pay.
We also have the option for 9 or 12mth. pays. Getting it all year just means your checks are smaller. I took short pays the whole time I taught, but many people do get paid all year.

By Luvn29 on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 09:39 pm:

I was hoping someone would say something about the recess. I don't feel like I can step in on this thread because I am just a substitute teacher (teacher in training), but I certainly wouldn't consider our recess as downtime. I know that when I go out with other "real" teachers for recess, we all work just as hard then. It is recess for the kids, not for the teachers.

And here we get 30 minutes for lunch. However, that includes the time it takes to walk your kids into the lunch room, watch them all get their trays, get your own food, and then get to the teacher's lounge or back to your room. And then it also includes the time it takes to get back up to the cafeteria in time to get your kids at the correct time. So you are left with a good 20-25 minutes if you are lucky.

Our 45 minute planning period includes the time it takes to walk our kids to their "resource" which is music, P.E., library, etc., and then back to the classroom, and the time it takes to walk back to where they are to pick them up which is included in that 45 minutes. This is not "downtime". It is usually used to prepare for whatever is coming up in the day, especially for me as a sub. I always use that time to prepare for the next part of the day. So unlike typical jobs with the 30 minutes for lunch break that all 30 minutes are really yours, plus usually two fifteen minute breaks that are yours, the teachers in my district don't get any of this. And I know this first hand.

By Tayjar on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 10:29 pm:

In my central Illinois school district, starting pay is around $25,000 for a first yar teacher and that's probably on the high side. Our school district is in the top 10 if no tthe top 5 percent in the state. However, our superintendent make $150k and our principals make $100k or more each. What's wrong with that picture?

By Pamt on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 11:20 pm:

I gotta say...I don't think that "most" teachers get paid all that bad all things considered. And both my mom and sister are teachers. You do get the summers off and all school vacations, plus at the bare minimum work from 8-3:30ish. I just checked on my parish's website for the salary schedule and with 15 yrs experience, a M.S. + 30 additional hours I would make $50,085/year for less than 9 months of work when you factor in all of the vacation. I am part-time at my current hospital job. However, IF I worked full-time I would work from 8-4:30 every day in direct patient care, but that means getting to work at about 7:30 and leaving between 5-5:30. I currently do work 2 full days. I get 50 minutes for lunch, but that's only b/c my 30 min lunch and 20 minute "coffee break" are merged together, not by my choice. I see patients every 50 minutes back-to-back with NO time in between. I do not have a planning period, but yet I somehow still have to plan therapy for each individual child I see--8 to 10 per day with different goals, different needs, different ages. I also don't have any paperwork time which I why I generally eat lunch at my desk working or 30-60 minutes late at the end of the day. I am expected to write a daily tx note on each child, write a monthly update, dictate and correct evals, call doctors/insurance companies/parents/teachers/other therapists, write letters to schools/insurance companies/doctors, etc. each day. I generally have at least 4-5 phone calls to return each day and no time to do this. I went in to work for 2 hours on Friday (I don't work on Fridays) just to play catch-up and I still have paperwork sitting on my desk waiting to be finished. I work on Christmas Eve, Friday after Thanksgiving...basically get only 6 holidays off a year and if I want to get paid for those holidays then I have to cash in my own PTO. I have to have a master's degree to work--it is the entry level degree for my profession. I also have to pay $250/yr for my national certification to remain current, $50/yr for my state license, and $$$ for 10 continuing education hours a years. Insurance for my family of 4 is $365 per month. I don't work full-time, but if I did I would make about $45,00-48,000 per year. So...less hours, more vacation, more money, and in LA SLPs don't see kids on Fridays because that is paperwork day...school personnel aren't hurting too badly from my vantage point.

P.S. Base salary with no experience and a B.S. is $33,731--that's not too shabby at all.

By Marcia on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 12:34 am:

This is what teachers make in Ontario...

"The salaries range from approximately $38,000 to $70,000 annually. The increase occurs over a 10 – 13 year period as you add qualifications and gain experience."

" In addition to salary, teachers’ collective agreements provide for a number of fringe benefits, including:

Compassionate leave
Supplementary medical insurance
Cumulative sick leave
Long-term disability insurance
Maternity leave
Retirement gratuities
Sabbatical and study leave
Life insurance
Dental insurance"
from....
http://www.enseignerenontario.ca/en/salary.htm

By Paulas on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 04:10 am:

Okay, I just had to add a bit to this discussion. I am a teacher. I get paid fairly well. I wanted to add a few things though.

1. I do not know a teacher that works 8 - 3:30ish. Even if you see one leave the building chances are they are taking TONS of work home.

2. We don't get a lunch break most days as we have supervision, parent meetings, intramurals to run, planning to do (I don't have any planning time).

3. We also do planning, marking, write report cards, attend staff meetings (last one was 3.5 hours long), drive in buses with kids to supervise sporting events on the weekends.

You are correct, we do get summers off. However, if you drive by the school on any given day during the last two weeks of summer vacation, you will notice that the parking lot is full of cars..teachers working and not getting paid for that work.

Also, I don't know of many other professions where the employee must spend so much of their own money to work. You can ask almost any teacher and you will find that over the course of a year, most teachers spend between $500-$1000 of their own money for their classroom. I currently buy art supplies almost weekly for the art class I teach. My school doesn't have any supplies and yet I still have a curriculum to cover.

I don't believe many teachers are in this for the money. It would be a very difficult job if that were the case.

There are many other things I could add but it's after 2am and I'm tired.

By Reds9298 on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 07:25 am:

Good points Paulas!!! The contractual work day for a teacher is short, but like Paulas said, that's really just when kids are there. If I worked those hours I would have never had anything prepared or ready to go for teaching time. I took work home AT LEAST 3 nights/week when I taught, and I was there almost every weekend on one day. The out-of-pocket $ you spend is ridiculous, and that varies for each school district. Some districts give teachers a cash allotment each year. Ours does, too, but it's $75 /year...whooppee. That covers nothing. Summers are just your down time to reorganize for the following year and attend conferences and trainings (which are offered all summer by my district).

Sorry... I get easily offended when people say teacher pay isn't so bad. :)

By Conni on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 09:27 am:

My dh is on call 24/7, 365 days a yr. He gets called all hours of the night. Gets called on VACATION. Brings TONS of work home, works on weekends. Goes to work early in the morning comes home late at night. Is required to travel. Has a Treo and cell phone that go off all the time when home and at work. Misses lunch MANY MANY days due to mtg's or problems that have to be fixed before anyone leaves... Does his salary compensate for all the hours he puts in?? OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Can we pay our bills, YES! And we have both lived on much less. The problem is that we are AMERICANS and we think we have to have tons of money, big houses, nice things... LOL So we will always want more money.

I dont think you want me to get into how much our insurance and prescriptions have skyrocketed in the last 7 yrs. Let me just say this- we were VERY thankful for that little bit of coverage when my dh had Cancer 3 yrs ago. It's amazing what you become thankful for in a situation like that. I use to gripe and complain about our coverage going up, etc... Now, I am tickled to have any insurance at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think there are many people in other careers that could say the same thing. But my dh will tell you its all about attitude. You have a choice everyday when you wake up- you can be positive or negative. Pretty simple choice really. Dh rarely complains about his job- he really does like his job. Even tho he has no job security after 21.5 yrs. lol Thats right, you screw up, your fired and they will find someone else to do your job.

If you find you can only be negative about your career- imo- it's time for a career change.

By Luvn29 on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 09:28 am:

I was so hoping that I would get up this morning and see all of these things posted. Especially about the 8:00-3:30 work day! I don't even leave at 3:30 as a substitute!!! Our teacher leave bell doesn't even ring till 3:45 because our last student doesn't get on the bus or go to the cafeteria to wait for the late buses till then. And I am straightening up and leaving a note for the regular teacher, so I am lucky to be out by 10 till four or 4:00.

Reds I understand.

I so totally respect all of you teachers so much. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes to be able to teach those children for the 7 hours a day. I compare it to a play. The seven hour school day is just the actual production that we see. What we don't see is everything that is put into it behind the scenes to make it happen, and to make it work.

By Conni on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 09:36 am:

BTW- my comment about AMERICANS is directed at ME and my DH, because we joke about that!!! After traveling to other countries and seeing how little they can get by on. Seeing how small their houses are, etc... We find that we complain alot less when we get home from ttraveling about our poor pitiful life. LOL

So dont even try to take offense to that because that is just something my dh and I talk about with each other. After seeing kids begging on the strees, it makes you realize how fortunate *we* (dh and I) really are.

By Paulas on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 01:40 pm:

I never complain about my job until people start to comment about how little hours teachers work for the pay they get.

By Reds9298 on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 04:10 pm:

Ditto Paulas. I LOVE teaching!!! It only gets my goat when people talk about the pay I guess. I don't dwell on it, and honestly I've never really had to because I'm fortunate that my DH makes a good living.

And Conni, I agree. I think there are lots of professions where people complain about the money, I just happen to know about teaching. I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel underpaid. My only other job experience is in retail, but I never felt underpaid there.


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