Monday, May 2, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

This week, May 2-6, is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  This week is important to me because teaching runs in my family.  My parents were both high school teachers.  My mother-in-law was an elementary teacher.  I have a brother and a sister-in-law who currently teach high school.  I also have more friends than I can count who were or are teachers.  I, myself, was a preschool special needs teacher before I had my own kids.  I whole-heartedly believe that teaching is a highly underpaid and definitely un-glorified profession.  Without teachers, however, where would any of us be???  Who taught the doctors, lawyers, scientists, architects, etc.???  TEACHERS!  Even professional athletes were, at some point, coached by people who, like my dad and brother, were TEACHERS.

When I was a teacher, I gave my heart and soul to the kids in my classroom.  I spent countless hours "off the clock" preparing, planning, and praying for the kids I taught.  I took my responsibility to make a difference in their lives very seriously and sincerely hope that I did make a positive impact somehow.

A few months ago, the passage below circulated around Facebook.  I did not write it (I did insert some comments, though) and do not know the name of the original author.  I think it definitely puts teaching as a profession into perspective.  I hope you will read it.  When you are finished, go hug a teacher; tell them "thank you;" find a way to let him/her know that what they are doing is important and valuable.  Let them know that you appreciate them and the sacrifices they make for children every day.

To all the teachers in my life - THANK YOU for all the sweat and tears you have ever given to the children you have touched - The world is better because you were/are a teacher!!!!!

Are you sick of high paid teachers? Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan — that equals 6 1/2 hours).  Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.

Now how many do they teach in day…maybe 30?    So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.  LET’S SEE…. That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).  (In NC, the average elementary class size is about 20.  Remember, also, that middle and high school teachers usually have 3 or 4 classes a day.  At 20 students each, that's at least 60 students a day which would actually equal  $1,170 per day and $210,600 per year according to this math!)

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your

(Would you "baby-sit" a child for just $1.42 per hour????  Yet we expect our teachers to educate our children, academically and morally, while also ensuring their physical safety and emotional well-being.)

**This is not meant to be a political rant about raising teacher pay.  I just wanted to make a point about how incredibly undervalued our teachers are!!!**

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