Yes, long hours and low pay…

Before someone challenges the long hours and low pay contention in the last post I thought I should provide a defense.

The first thing most people say is “But they (teachers) only work eight hours per day for nine months. They get their summers off, they don’t deserve to be paid and yet they do get paychecks during the summer.”

Yep, teachers usually get twelve paychecks to make things easier for both the school and the teacher. At least in Iowa, schools get a huge state payment on July 1 and then can use it to make the July and August payroll. Teachers get a steady monthly income so they don’t have to budget so carefully to avoid starving in August.

Eight hours a day? Don’t make me laugh. Any teacher that cares about the students will not stop at eight hours. They do whatever it takes to be ready for the next day. You may not seem them working at school, but they’re dragging stuff home to work on after their own kids are in bed. Ten hour days are not unusual and twelve hour days happen frequently as well. They’re also working weekends to get stuff ready. I contend that most teachers work the same number of hours that a “normal” worker does in a year. Teachers just do it in fewer months. I challenge anyone to spend a day with a teacher (all day, not just the part at school) and still say they only work eight hours a day.

Summers off? When do you think that teachers take classes to maintain or enhance their licenses? They do in on their own time, on their own dime, during the summer. I’ve been told that in other careers the employer pays for additional training and pays the employee to take the training. That is not true in education. Teachers pay their own way and do not receive payment for the time they spend improving their craft. They do in the summer so it doesn’t impact their current students and so that the school doesn’t need to hire a substitute that may or may not know the subject matter.

These comments reflect my life as a teacher but as usual, I got nuthin’

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