teachers are using their free time

In recent days, a number of people have made this their Facebook status:

“A teacher somewhere in your neighborhood tonight is grading and preparing lessons to teach your children while you are watching television. In the minute it takes you to read this, teachers all over the world are using their ‘free time’, and often investing their own money, for your child’s literacy, prosperity, and future. Re-post if you are a teacher, love a teacher or appreciate our teachers.”

There seems to be a sentiment out there that we don’t appreciate teachers, and I just don’t understand the point of the above quote. Many professions require that we work extra hours without pay. I do it practically every day of my life. I work in an I.T. department. I’ve worked weekends and been called in on holidays (all without extra pay) because my job requires it and people are depending on me. Just last week I had to do some work on a server, but due to company policies, I had to wait until after 2:00am to do it. And I frequently use my own money and resources to do so. But this is what I signed up for; I understand it and I’m fine with it. It’s what I do. I’m not saying this to get a pat on the back or anything, I just don’t understand why the fact that teachers do it is anything special.

Listen, I appreciate teachers as much as the next guy. There is no way we could ever pay teachers enough for the impact they make on our childrens’ lives. There’s just no way. I’ve had some great teachers in my life, and my daughters have had even better teachers here in the West De Pere School District. It takes a special person to do what they do. But let’s not kid ourselves by claiming that they put in more time than your average worker.

Comments 1

  • In YOUR state…

    Average 1998-1999 salary for a teaher: 51,463
    Average 2008-2009 salary for a teacher: 49,051

    In 10 years their salary has increased 3.4%

    Increased a negative.

    Now let’s say I was purchasing things with that money in 1999. Well what would I need in 2011 dollars to make the same purchases? What cost $ 51,463 in 1999 would cost $68,027.23 in 2011
    (http://146.142.4.24/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl)

    So when you figure in the CPI, that 3.4% salary increase (raw numbers) in WI is NOTHING compared to the actual lost wages for the last 12 years.

    There seems to be a sentiment out there that we don’t appreciate teachers… I appreciate teachers as much as the next guy.

    If your salary has increased from 1999 to 2011 and you aren’t agreeing that theirs should have too, it’s not much of an appreciation.

    You lived in CA. in 1999 a teacher made 59,625, in 2009, 66,064 a 10.8% increase. Ignoring the cost of living differences between these two states, let’s look at that 59,625 against the CPI. Adjusted the 2011 number should be $78,816.30. In other words the CPI adjustment says that a teacher, whether it be in WI or CA, is making less than they should had they just kept up with the cost of living.

    The inflation rate between 1999 and 2011 was ~31%.If you averaged a 2.5% raise every year from 1999 to 2010 you kept up with the CPI (Cost of Living). Anything less than that and you did not. As for the teacher, in CA and especially in WI, they got totally hosed.

    So, before we even get to what the teachers have to do outside of the classroom, let’ get the understanding that they are getting hosed, earning between 28-38% less than they did in 1999 in real wage dollars (1999 dollars adjusted to 2010 dollars).