Teachers Make Too Much Money?

Monday, August 03, 2015

This is an oldie, but goodie. I'm going to repeat the original, then update it!

Who's ever heard someone else complain that teachers just make too much money? One wise sage said that a teacher should be paid babysitting wages. If each family paid $3.00 an hour for 5 hours, that would be $15.00. Then, there's about 20 students in each class, so $15 x 20 = $300. Then teachers work 180 days a year, so $300 x 180 = $54,000.

Apparently, at the time, this was an incredible amount of money. Let's see what it looks like on TODAYS scale:

Babysitters charge $10/hour in my community, so
$10/hour x 6 hours a day = $60

Average classroom size today is 25 students, so
$60 x 25 = $1, 500

My current contract stipulates that I work 185 days this year, so
$1,500 x 185 = $277,500

Well now! Maybe if more teachers were paid a salary like THIS, we would be able to afford to pay more into our health insurance and retirement funds the way politicians want us to do.

To further put things in perspective, the average teacher's salary in the United States is $58,260.

$58,260 divided by 185 days of work = $314.92

$314.92 divided by 25 students in a class = $12.60

$12.60 divided by 6 hours per day = $2.10

The average teacher is getting paid $2.10 an hour. That isn't even minimum wage.

Teachers are professionals. We have to go to college to earn a degree, and many of us have continued our professional education and have earned a second degree. Many of us are required to earn Professional Development Hours every year we are teaching. The usual requirement is 20 hours a year. We have to take exams to earn our teaching certificates. Why is it that teachers continue to be paid what is equivalent to substandard pay, especially compared to other professions?

I hope this gives you food for thought.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD15641307

    I'm only 6 years into teaching, and not worn down yet, but some days I do wonder how much I could earn in other sectors for less work!
    2149 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2348080
    I was a teacher at a treatment facility for adjudicated youth, the school was year round. When the new assistant manager found out that I earned more than she did, she made a few negative comments in front of other employees. I finally just said that if I was a teacher in public school I would earn at least $10,000 a year more than I was at that time and have 8-10 week more a year off.
    2150 days ago
    My Dad encouraged me to be a teacher because you had summers off. I wouldn't be a teacher if they made 3x what they make. Not with the stuff they have to put up with from the kids. Bless you and all teachers.
    2150 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. I find it interesting how those professions that serve others, like teachers & nurses, don't make anywhere near what they need to be making considering all that they do for others. emoticon
    2151 days ago
    emoticon teachers deserve much more. you are way underpaid.
    2151 days ago
  • BOB5148
    emoticon emoticon
    2151 days ago
  • 3SUSIE
    Thanks for sharing that! I haven't seen that for a while. It sure would be nice to get paid for ALL the work teachers do during and after school hours.

    2151 days ago
    Frankly, I think your profession is UNDERPAID!
    2151 days ago
    I worked for a school district that paid its teachers well - one of the best pay scales in the state. The measurement of student success was also one of the best in the state. However, so much was demanded of us, it was hard to maintain a normal family life. As my principal once put it "they expect us to love their children even more than they do."

    We were paid well and the community supported the school by continuously voting tax increases on themselves.

    How much more difficult is it when a community does NOT support the schools financially, when the demands of teaching are the same and the community basically says that you're not worth it.

    Where I live now, our Board of Supervisors denied a 1 cent tax increase in the tax rate even though that would have added $20 per YEAR to the average tax bill. It's no surprise that we are NOT near the top of student success by any measure,

    Teachers care about and yes, even love their students, but we are not the clergy!

    Note: I'm retired now and regularly lend my voice of support to those candidates trying to change attitudes.
    2151 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/3/2015 1:16:21 PM
  • no profile photo CD14643906
    I have retired teachers in my family and I know this is all true. A lot goes into the prep, the planning, the enduring of the kids, and their parents. And the politics of it all. And I don't believe anyone can do this job. I had teachers of varying skill when I went through school, but I had one teacher I truly loved and who inspired me, encouraged my love of reading, and made me feel the excitement of learning. This was my first grade teacher, and none of the teachers that followed her had her magic.

    But I'll bet you are a wonderful teacher!
    2151 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/3/2015 12:50:28 PM
  • no profile photo CD14575754
    My daughter's a School Board Psychologist, evaluating students with learning disabilities, advising on the proper course of action the "Teachers" need to take to help each one better able to learn. She feels badly for the teachers and the so called 'normal students' as these special needs kids take up most of the time and attention. Where in your wages are you compensated, having to apply methods beyond your training? She is also so back-logged with evaluations, as today there seems to be a huge influx of learning disabled kids. The parents all fight her on the fact that their child has a disability... Apparently there are no imperfect children according to the parents. Even if she finds their IQ is 50 or less. emoticon
    2151 days ago
    We sure place our money on the wrong things, imagine if we paid our politicians baby what teachers get paid, or our athletes! The pay is one of the reasons I left teaching.
    2151 days ago
    Yep! True, true, true!

    Something that I have found interesting - I work post retirement two days per week in fall and spring at a community college which pays into the state retirement system for teachers. I must not exceed a certain number of hours per week and a certain number of hours per calendar year as well as not make over a certain amount of $$$ based on my highest year of salaried full time employement.

    With all those years of grading in the evenings and weekends, teacher's meetings, all those unpaid things that teachers do because they make things better for their students...well, after the ACA, our HR department decided when they turned in the number of hours to the retirement system that they were going to figure something other than clock account for the outside-of-class activities. For the first time in my teaching career, this is being done and the short story of what happened is that I must teach one less class in spring and summer, which is about a $6000 cut...just amazing to me, but it is what it is, I guess.

    When do you start your school year?
    2151 days ago
  • JANET552
    I have seen this before and always enjoy it -- I also love your update!! I think there is the attitude that everyone can teach. After all, look at all those who home school. Of course, they aren't dealing with having to differentiate the curriculum, handling behavior and THE TESTING. I could have gone on but I'm trying to keep friendly thoughts in my head so I'll get down off the soap box.

    Can you tell I am a retired teacher? Well, Speech Therapist anyway.
    2151 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.