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Thread: Teachers deserve no more, or less, than private sector workers

  1. #1
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    Default Teachers deserve no more, or less, than private sector workers

    To my mind, public school teaching is an easier job than most. It requires a modest education, offers several months off each year, a short work day when compared to many professions and job security to the extent you can’t be fired for even egregiously poor performance.

    So what exactly are teachers striking about now? Bill Tufts, author of Pension Ponzi, notes: “Teachers, in the span of a single generation, went from being members of the lower middle class, to upper middle class, to upper class today.”

    The Drummond Report found the median salary of public school teachers in Ontario three years ago was $95,000. Add to that 30 per cent, or $28,500, in benefits and the option to retire as early as age 53, with a generous indexed pension for life starting at 70 per cent of their highest salary. That adds up to about double the average teacher’s salary in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and is the second highest in the world, behind Germany.
    http://business.financialpost.com/ex...sector-workers
    Last edited by Glenco; 19-05-2015 at 02:10 PM.
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    I think teachers are overpaid and underworked compared to other places. For example, in Japan, when it is school holidays for the kids, the teachers are expected to go to the school and prepare next years materials / work on projects, working a full day. Whereas in Canada, the teachers get paid for a big vacation. In writing that, the school system is excellent in Canada, and while we may overpay teachers, educating our kids is moderaltey important to society.
    Last edited by moahunter; 19-05-2015 at 02:21 PM.

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    It's a fine line between attracting those qualified enough to teach math and sciences at the high school level, and overpaying. I've heard an interesting perspective that while providing competitive pay, one way to attract people is to create a community of respect for teachers - something I think really isn't there today.

    The salary's posted above for Ontario are quite high, but maybe it's attracting the best people? I wonder if there is a difference between elementary and high school pay? I don't recall there being any, but there really should be.

    Bottom line though, teachers that go into teaching complain a lot for what they get. They really should know what to expect...
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    I think teachers earn a fair salary, but this is just not correct. Teachers have well above average education (in Alberta, most have two or more degrees, all have at least one), and they have responsibilities of a manager. Yes, they get some time off in the summer, but they also do not receive vacation pay (i think it's the only profession that doesn't). Tell me, in what other managerial position in Alberta is 60-100K a lot of money?

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    ^Management? Really?

    And 6-8 weeks vacation time in the summer, plus spring break plus 2 fulls weeks at Christmas/new years is a huge benefit when compared to other professions who tend to max out at 4-5 weeks and don't get all the in lieu/ non stat days that teachers get.

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    As one who hails from a family of teachers, I can say it's not as easy a job as many of you think.

    Many off hours are spent preparing assignments, marking assignments, prepping exams and marking exams. They organize field trips, dances, Christmas concerts and graduation ceremonies. They do double-duty as coaches, career advisers and babysitters. They have to put up with parents who are as whiny as the kids. They are in the classrooms 2 weeks before the kids return in the summers. Now imagine doing all that and having to put up with your own kids at home.

    I say they deserve the compensation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    ^Management? Really?

    .
    Yes, really. They make decisions that affect their students lives. They have to set up programming for students with special needs, they need to find learning strategies that work for their students and fair ways of providing accurate and timely feedback, and reporting results to parents. They are accountable to professional standards and a code of conduct.

    They also take a lot of crap from people who disagree with them, whether it's admin, students, or parents. And they are also expected to do a whole bunch of unofficial things as part of their job, take on projects, and be part of committees and initiatives.

    Of course, everyone has gone to school so they think they know what a teacher does. Teaching is one of those jobs where everyone else has the benefit of knowing the job better than the the teacher and the luxury of none of the lonliness or responsibility of the one making the decisions.
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 19-05-2015 at 02:54 PM.

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    If you've ever been a teacher (a good teacher) or been around one (lived with one, been in a relationship with one) you'd know they work off the clock the hardest, have no weekends due to prep, and most quit in the first 3 or 5 years due to stress. Beginning salary for full course load and intro teacher (first 5 years) is just over 30K, and in BC it's under 30K. The summers off and weeks of holiday time is not what the real life of a teacher is. A poor teacher has that time off because they are set in their ways and are now relying on a formula to teacher their kids.

    Teachers do not have a walk in the park.
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    My main concern with teachers wouldn't be their salary or benefits. It would be the near bulletproof job security they receive once they're on a permanent contract. I think most teachers work hard for their pay and deserve our gratitude for it, but there's a significant number that are outright bad at their job, and will never, ever be fired for it. And that makes the entire profession look bad.

  10. #10

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    I am happy that teachers make a lot of money, they are very valuable members of society.

    I do not like the narrative of teachers being underpaid as it makes the job less desirable (have similar thoughts towards police, firefighters, etc...). The compensation, security and pensions should be well publicized to encourage more competition and higher quality of candidates.

    Unfortunately there's too much self interest by public sector unions to keep promoting that narrative for the purpose of labour negotiations. I know a few teachers and they feel justly rewarded when looking at their compensation objectively, but until they looked at it objectively, they were told they were underpaid.

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    If parents believe that their children's education is important, why shouldn't teachers get paid like they are important?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    I am happy that teachers make a lot of money, they are very valuable members of society.

    I do not like the narrative of teachers being underpaid as it makes the job less desirable (have similar thoughts towards police, firefighters, etc...). The compensation, security and pensions should be well publicized to encourage more competition and higher quality of candidates.

    Unfortunately there's too much self interest by public sector unions to keep promoting that narrative for the purpose of labour negotiations. I know a few teachers and they feel justly rewarded when looking at their compensation objectively, but until they looked at it objectively, they were told they were underpaid.
    There already are lots of high-quality candidates, just like there are for firefighting, but a lot of new grad teachers never get a chance and move on to other opportunities. From that perspective they certainly are not underpaid.

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    It actually goes in waves. Sometimes there is oversupply of teachers, like most urban areas across Canada right now, sometimes there is a shortage. For something that should be predictable, it's a balance provinces strangely have trouble making.

    As well, there is a high attrition rate for teachers with many quitting in first few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by River Valley Green View Post
    If parents believe that their children's education is important, why shouldn't teachers get paid like they are important?
    Teaching is relatively easy when parents believe that education is important, because they get support. Teachers at schools where the parents don't support their children's education are really earning their money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    It actually goes in waves. Sometimes there is oversupply of teachers, like most urban areas across Canada right now, sometimes there is a shortage. For something that should be predictable, it's a balance provinces strangely have trouble making.

    As well, there is a high attrition rate for teachers with many quitting in first few years.
    Some of that attrition is people who were never cut out to be teachers, but a lot is just the stress and workload of a beginning teacher. The first year in a grade (or after a major curriculum change) is a massive workload, teachers in the first few years should be excused as much as possible from the extra-curricular stuff and given the easiest assignment. Unfortunately due to union seniority politics they usually get the worst, hardest classes in the most difficult schools, and if they do get into a good school they tend to make more changes from grade to grade than the more senior teachers who teach the same grade every year and do much less prep.
    Last edited by highlander; 19-05-2015 at 03:28 PM.

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    ^So bloody true. The worst part about teaching is not the kids... but their parents. For Alberta, I'd say salary is on par, BC not bad, maybe a little low (last I checked was two years ago), but for Ontario and their "teacher's college"... their teachers are over-educated and maybe overpaid to a degree, but it isn't the primary issue for attacking. Being able to get rid of poor teachers or a review of some kind is what is needed!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenWhy? View Post
    If you've ever been a teacher (a good teacher) or been around one (lived with one, been in a relationship with one) you'd know they work off the clock the hardest, have no weekends due to prep, and most quit in the first 3 or 5 years due to stress. Beginning salary for full course load and intro teacher (first 5 years) is just over 30K, and in BC it's under 30K. The summers off and weeks of holiday time is not what the real life of a teacher is. A poor teacher has that time off because they are set in their ways and are now relying on a formula to teacher their kids.

    Teachers do not have a walk in the park.
    You're a bit off on the salary but I agree with the rest. Starting pay is 60K, max is 101K. See the salary grid here: EPSB collective agreement

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    Teaching our kids is one of the most important jobs around, is not at all easy, and should be paid as such.

    To get my biases out of the way, I'm the son of a teacher, have friends who are teachers, and have kids in school. Teachers should be and are paid professional wages. Trying to gauge how much work they do by looking at class time and "vacation time" doesn't address their actual hours. There is a lot of work in evenings and during the various student breaks. I've taught adults various topics and can say every hour of class time has many hours of prep time involved. For school teachers, that prep time is often at home. Further, there are far too many cases of teachers paying out of pocket for classroom resources and supplies.

    So I agree with the headline but not the article. Teachers should get paid what private sector professional jobs get paid for the amount of education, work, hours, and importance of the job. Contrary to the article I think they are getting that now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenWhy? View Post
    If you've ever been a teacher (a good teacher) or been around one (lived with one, been in a relationship with one) you'd know they work off the clock the hardest, have no weekends due to prep, and most quit in the first 3 or 5 years due to stress.
    I'll echo Highlander a bit here. What you have described is a new teacher learning the job. I taught for one year in Europe at the equivalent of a high school in Canada, by the end of that year, I could do it in my sleep. It was hard at first, like any job, but unlike many jobs it then just starts repeating, same sort of prep, week in, week out. I didn't find it diffiicult or time consuming at all once I had a bit of experience, rewarding, yes, but basically boring if you like change in your job, and I didn't even get into a second year (left to get on with my real career). One day when my brain slows down more and I'm of less use to anyone, I'll probably become a professor or instructer as a retirement job (I always appreciated those with industry experience when I was at university), but more as a hobby / to give something back, than anything else.
    Last edited by moahunter; 19-05-2015 at 05:25 PM.

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    I find the premise of this discussion odd. No public sector job "deserves" more or less than private sector counterparts.

    It comes down to supply and demand. If we do not offer a competitive wage, we will lose the best employees to other corporations. If we want an efficient and effective public service, we require the best employees.

    The question we need to ask is not "do teachers deserve more", but "are teacher salaries high enough to attract good teachers". In my opinion, yes, however the supply of teachers is hyperinflated by only requiring them to get a very basic, easy to achieve advanced education.

    An education degree should be a master's program, just like all the other professional sectors. Require a master's degree, watch the supply shrink as the less intelligent/driven candidates are weeded out, then raise salaries sufficiently to attract good workers.

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    Engineers don't have masters. A bachelor is sufficient, along with experience, to be recognized as a professional.

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    Neither do Accountants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    ^Management? Really?
    Absolutely management. You're trying to get your team of 20-35 to accomplish their objectives. Each have individual personalities, needs and egos as well as skill sets and skill levels.

    I think it would be better optics if all school boards went to year round schooling as some catholic schools do here in town. They do it in Australia. You get a bunch of 2 week breaks spread throughout the school year, rather than concentrated.

    Teachers don't get paid during the summer. Their annual pay is split in to 12, with the additional payments coming at the end of June and the first week of July.

    Some teachers can work summer school, which is quite lucrative. $64/hr last I heard. Pay is high because supply is low, and because summer school are actually profit centres for schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Engineers don't have masters. A bachelor is sufficient, along with experience, to be recognized as a professional.
    Its funny, I just had a bachelors (was working on my masters), when I taught, and I had experienced teachers coming up to me and saying "you are a natural at this, you should make it your career". I wasn't enjoying it though. I'm not sure someone can "study" to be a good teacher, you either have an outgoing personality and are capable at motivating / public speaking, or you don't. Unfotunaltey, when I think back to when I was kid at school, most teachers don't, they sort of fall into the career because they can't get into anything else. I don't think higher pay influences that one way or the other.
    Last edited by moahunter; 19-05-2015 at 05:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ...

    An education degree should be a master's program, just like all the other professional sectors. Require a master's degree, watch the supply shrink as the less intelligent/driven candidates are weeded out, then raise salaries sufficiently to attract good workers.
    Being a good advanced education student isn't so strongly correlated with being a good teacher, and at least up until high-school there's no significant need for a teacher to know more about the subjects at hand than a reasonably aware high-school graduate should be.

    Valuing teachers who are "driven" and "intelligent" greater than those who are simply good teachers would do nothing more than increase cost while providing nothing of value to students.

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    Back in the day, I prepared theses and other academic documents for publication. From what I could see the Masters program was designed in a way to almost ruin actual classroom teachers because they mostly spouted whatever jargon was most on fashion that year (usually devised by people who have never been in front of a classroom).

    I don't think Masters degree guarantee that someone will be the teacher that the kids remember twenty years later.

    Eve

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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    Back in the day, I prepared theses and other academic documents for publication. From what I could see the Masters program was designed in a way to almost ruin actual classroom teachers because they mostly spouted whatever jargon was most on fashion that year (usually devised by people who have never been in front of a classroom).

    I don't think Masters degree guarantee that someone will be the teacher that the kids remember twenty years later.

    Eve
    I think what works best for those who want to do a Masters is to get their BA, teach a number of years, then do a Masters. It's one of those degrees that benefits a lot from previous experience in the field.

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    I totally agree, Paul. A lot of the folk I'm talking about went straight through the academic stream with perhaps an internship but no experience of being employed by a School Board. I think I may have encountered one or two that came up through the classroom (and a Masters combined with experience does increase one's prospects). They were more likely to write in good English prose.

    Eve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
    To my mind, public school teaching is an easier job than most. It requires a modest education, offers several months off each year, a short work day when compared to many professions and job security to the extent you can’t be fired for even egregiously poor performance.

    So what exactly are teachers striking about now? Bill Tufts, author of Pension Ponzi, notes: “Teachers, in the span of a single generation, went from being members of the lower middle class, to upper middle class, to upper class today.”

    The Drummond Report found the median salary of public school teachers in Ontario three years ago was $95,000. Add to that 30 per cent, or $28,500, in benefits and the option to retire as early as age 53, with a generous indexed pension for life starting at 70 per cent of their highest salary. That adds up to about double the average teacher’s salary in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and is the second highest in the world, behind Germany.
    http://business.financialpost.com/ex...sector-workers
    I am a former (and future) public school teacher. I have not worked as a nurse (although I know many) or an engineer (again, know some), or an IT-type person (know some), but I do know that most teachers have same or more education than people in these professions. So, based on education, I would say the compensation for teachers should be at least at par.

    Glassdoor.com offers a "glass door" into compensation for all of these in Alberta:
    Engineer (of many kinds)

    Aparently, according to Glassdoor, average nurse salary in Canada is $107,260... That's average. It probably take into account things like overtime and shift work differentials.

    IT jobs range from about $50,000 to about $128,000 (at Shaw apparently). Quite a range possibly to do with responsibilities and education.

    I think teacher compensation is in line with these professions that have similar education.

    _____________________________

    Now, level of responsibility. I would not take on making assumptions about the level of responsibility that other professions carry. I can just tell you what I know about teaching. I do not think that teaching is the most challenging job on the planet, but it can be very consuming and overwhelming at times. It really depends on how far a teacher goes.

    There are ideal ways of teaching children–things that people describe as going above and beyond–that are very effective in giving all students the best opportunities. That is, a teacher could take the time to interview every student to determine what the student knows, what makes each student tick, and how to adapt instruction to reach particularly those ones who are routinely disruptive and otherwise seeking undesirable attention only to cover up personal problems and insecurities. The ideal way of assessment, for example, breaks up the kind of assessment that you do into a couple of general categories. One is to determine the exit knowledge–what has the student learned since previous assessment? That one's called summative and it is basically the typical test that people remember taking. That one is a quick and dirty measure of what the student can do. Those things alone take good amount of time to create, administer, and grade.

    Summative assessment is not what drives learning. Formative assessment is the one that allows teachers to actually peak into a student's brain. It provides immediate feedback about the quality of the lesson and the direction that the teacher needs to take the student. It requires constant interaction, contact, reading, writing, and feedback with every student. It cannot function with multiple choice type responses. Instead, the teacher must ask: Tell me all you know about... or How can you... or other broad questions, then patiently listen or read and provide actual, quality feedback to each student and the parents.

    Now, take a guess what that type of feedback would involve per student. Imagine a number that might seem reasonable to you and the number of times per week such feedback would be required. Then multiply times the number of students per class, and continue until you arrive at the number of hours per day for a, say, 200 teaching days school year... I would not be surprized if you didn't think that such a good teacher could use a couple of months off to re-charge. But that is for you to calculate and figure out.

    Also don't forget other responsibilities such as committees and extra-curriculars...

    I am of the opinion that too many people critical of teacher compensation are too fixated on the amount of assigned face-to-face time.
    __________________

    I know people often think about differential compensation based on performance for teachers. There may be some truth to the need for that, but there is really no good way to measure such performance other than to say that students must at the very least maintain their baseline performance if not improve. But that has to maintain all other contextual variables constant–an impossible task.

    One thing is for sure–for teachers to even contemplate going all out towards becoming such dedicated professionals that we all hope our children were to have, there have to be good working conditions (including class size as well as other support), recognition from the public, and compensation that is adequate.
    Last edited by grish; 19-05-2015 at 11:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Glassdoor.com offers a "glass door" into compensation for all of these in Alberta:
    Engineer (of many kinds)
    When I click on that it shows an average for an Engineer of about 74k, and they don't get to take the summer off, and retire at 53 with a generous pension. Teachers get it very very good relative to the private sector, especially when you consider supply massively outweighs demand (there are lots of people qualified to be teachers who never get a shot). And sure, Nurses get more, but I know which job I'd rather do, and having been married to a Nurse, I can assure you, it is very very hard work involving rotating shifts and massive overtime. Teacher is a realtivley easy job, that is paid very well in Alberta, and has almost perfect job security, and fantastic retirement benefits. This is for one reason, and one reason only, there is very strong union / parents lives are miserable when teachers strike.
    Last edited by moahunter; 20-05-2015 at 10:26 AM.

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    Next to politicians, school teachers are the second biggest bunch of useless dog fokkers Top_Dawg has had the misfortune to endure.



    All joking aside, the way Top_Dawg looks at it, teaching is exactly the same as any other occupation.

    There's your top 15% who are outstanding.

    There's your bottom 15% who are so brutal it borders on criminal.

    And there's the vast 70% in the middle exhibiting varying degrees of mediocrity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    As one who hails from a family of teachers, I can say it's not as easy a job as many of you think.

    Many off hours are spent preparing assignments, marking assignments, prepping exams and marking exams.
    Sure they do.

    But the magnitude of effort that goes into this is way overblown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    They organize field trips, dances, Christmas concerts and graduation ceremonies. They do double-duty as coaches, career advisers and babysitters. They have to put up with parents who are as whiny as the kids. They are in the classrooms 2 weeks before the kids return in the summers. Now imagine doing all that and having to put up with your own kids at home.


    Yes they do.

    But in Top_Dawg's experience that happens for the first 5 - 10 years of their career.

    After that there's a whole new crop of younger teachers who either volunteer for or are assigned these extra curricular responsibilities.

    The ones with enough time in are usually seen trampling over the kids at the 3:30 bell as they race to the parking lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    I say they deserve the compensation.
    Meh, Top_Dawg generally agrees.

    They deserve it.

    But what's hard to tolerate is listening to them whine about how hard they're done by.

    The way they pi$$ and moan one would think they are swinging a pick and shovel in a rock quarry all day.

    Really should appreciate how well rewarded they are in terms of salary, benefits, working conditions, security of employment, and how little is demanded of them compared to other professions.

  32. #32

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    ^
    Coincidentally, i come from a family of nurses, teachers, and software developers (similar to engineers). All three.

    I don't know what your experiences in Europe were like, was it something like teaching ESL? Teaching, in front of students, is the most important job teachers do and yet it's just one tiny part of their job. Every hour in front of the students involves many more hours of planning and marking, and meeting with parents and admin, often under awkward circumstances.

    In Alberta, at least, there is a lot of pressure for teachers to get students to legitimately succeed. It's not like teaching adults where you deliver the material and they're responsible for it. A teacher teaches children first, their subject material second, even at high school level. Out of a class of 30 students, there are 2 or 3 students especially who will monopolize a teacher's time and energy.

    On top of that, if a teacher wants to get a permanent contract or stay on good terms in their school, they're unofficially expected to coach and supervise after-school activities, to participate in and organize committees and initiatives such as fundraising events, field trips, graduation ceremonies, school improvement initiatives, etc. They double-duty as career counselors, social workers, and babysitters.

    There's always something else that needs to be done. I've never heard a teacher say they didn't have enough to do.

    Again, the summers off is a red herring. Teachers get paid for 10 months of the year, not 12, and they don't receive the 4% vacation pay. If they miss a day of unpaid work, they're deducted 1/200 of their salary, not 1/240 like non-teachers. Yes, they get Christmas and Easter off , although they start the school year 2 weeks earlier than the students (mid-August), and many end up working during their breaks to catch up on marking and planning.

    When they are working during the school year, they are full out. Work-life balance is the #1 concern of teachers in Alberta. And yes, frankly, many entered the profession with rose-tinted glasses, which is often coloured by their own schooling and what they thought being a teacher was all about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    ^Again, the summers off is a red herring. Teachers get paid for 10 months of the year, not 12, and they don't receive the 4% vacation pay. If they miss a day of unpaid work, they're deducted 1/200 of their salary, not 1/240 like non-teachers. Yes, they get Christmas and Easter off , although they start the school year 2 weeks earlier than the students (mid-August), and many end up working during their breaks to catch up on marking and planning.
    So are you saying the median salary is not per the OP, which is well above the average individual salary (and that's before benefits like pension) its just a proportion of that? If you are not, then the supposed "reduction" for vacations is a red hearing as clearly the worked time has been bumped up in salary. I was teaching at a business high school in Europe, a mix of ESL and business topics, my salary was low (just enough to cover costs), but it was ok for me at that age - I worked a full day, and also on the side taught adult students off hours. I would have expected more than that if it was my career, but I don't think it was a challenging job at all, and its certainly a very boring / repetative job once you have done it for a bit. Fine for people who like that I guess.
    Last edited by moahunter; 20-05-2015 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    ^Again, the summers off is a red herring. Teachers get paid for 10 months of the year, not 12, and they don't receive the 4% vacation pay. If they miss a day of unpaid work, they're deducted 1/200 of their salary, not 1/240 like non-teachers. Yes, they get Christmas and Easter off , although they start the school year 2 weeks earlier than the students (mid-August), and many end up working during their breaks to catch up on marking and planning.
    So are you saying the median salary is not per the OP, which is well above the average individual salary (and that's before benefits like pension) its just a proportion of that?
    A teacher working with EPSB earns 60-100K a year. Again, what manager in Edmonton earns less than that? I wouldn't want to work in that organization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Glassdoor.com offers a "glass door" into compensation for all of these in Alberta:
    Engineer (of many kinds)
    When I click on that it shows an average for an Engineer of about 74k, and they don't get to take the summer off, and retire at 53 with a generous pension. Teachers get it very very good relative to the private sector, especially when you consider supply massively outweighs demand (there are lots of people qualified to be teachers who never get a shot). And sure, Nurses get more, but I know which job I'd rather do, and having been married to a Nurse, I can assure you, it is very very hard work involving rotating shifts and massive overtime. Teacher is a realtivley easy job, that is paid very well in Alberta, and has almost perfect job security, and fantastic retirement benefits. This is for one reason, and one reason only, there is very strong union / parents lives are miserable when teachers strike.
    From the same site:

    Engineer:
    National average: 74,000
    Calgary average: 89,000

    Teacher:
    National average: 68,000
    Calgary average: 71,000

    So for those numbers engineers are making at least 26 per cent more than teachers in Alberta.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  36. #36
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    ^^Every fast-food manager? they even have to deal with things like employees and hiring.

    Swimming lesson teachers get less than $20 and hour and if they get it wrong, kids can die. Daycare workers get relative peanuts but it can be a very responsible job. Most sports coaches work for free in community sports but can have similar importance in a kid's life.

    There are lots of equivalents we could draw, to make a teacher look under or over paid.
    Last edited by highlander; 20-05-2015 at 11:13 AM.

  37. #37

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    ^ Teachers have far more responsiblity and the skills demanded of them are much greater. They don't just supervise kids, impart knowledge they already know, and then send them home. If that's what teaching was all about, then sure, pay them $20/hr, but that's not the case. Teachers have to make decisions, often very difficult decisions that sometimes affect students for the rest of their lives.

  38. #38
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    That's why I find it difficult to compare. If all one looks at is education, you can reach one conclusion. Number of days off (real or not)–another conclusion.

    Basically, if one thinks to be a teach is this easy and the outcome is a fast track into being wealthy–go for it. This is one of those "free society" things that anyone can take advantage of. You want to be it–go and do it. You don't want to be it? I think in a thread like this it would be interesting to know why...

  39. #39

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    If you don't want one of the best public school systems in the world like Alberta has, and prefer a crappy one like the States, then by all means, pay teachers fast food wages. Make teaching a career choice only for the most philanthropic and second chancers, and instead of coaching, improving their school, working extra to help engage students and make them succeed, and doing all the extra-curriculars teachers currently do, let them work second jobs instead.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    I find the premise of this discussion odd. No public sector job "deserves" more or less than private sector counterparts.

    It comes down to supply and demand. If we do not offer a competitive wage, we will lose the best employees to other corporations. If we want an efficient and effective public service, we require the best employees.

    The question we need to ask is not "do teachers deserve more", but "are teacher salaries high enough to attract good teachers". In my opinion, yes, however the supply of teachers is hyperinflated by only requiring them to get a very basic, easy to achieve advanced education.

    An education degree should be a master's program, just like all the other professional sectors. Require a master's degree, watch the supply shrink as the less intelligent/driven candidates are weeded out, then raise salaries sufficiently to attract good workers.
    ^This is the foundation of capitalism and capitalistic thinking. However, people work for rewards beyond the cash on the barrel head. Salary doesn't overshadow all other considerations in terms of attracting and rewarding people.

    Since we're talking money, and equating that with societal "classes" as well, let's get the opinion of someone who's proven to be a moderate success in the private sector and comes from a background of having a father that was a US Senator (as a proxy for so called middle-upper class):





    "
    The following quote from 1988 highlights Buffett's thoughts on his wealth and why he planned to re-allocate it:


    I don't have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It's like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GDP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don't do that though. I don't use very many of those claim checks. There's nothing material I want very much. And I'm going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die. (Lowe 1997:165–166)


    From an article by The New York Times: "I don't believe in dynastic wealth", he said, calling those who grow up in wealthy circumstances "members of the lucky sperm club".[125] Buffett has written several times of his belief that, in a market economy, the rich earn outsized rewards for their talents:


    A market economy creates some lopsided payoffs to participants. The right endowment of vocal chords, anatomical structure, physical strength, or mental powers can produce enormous piles of claim checks (stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital) on future national output. Proper selection of ancestors similarly can result in lifetime supplies of such tickets upon birth. If zero real investment returns diverted a bit greater portion of the national output from such stockholders to equally worthy and hardworking citizens lacking jackpot-producing talents, it would seem unlikely to pose such an insult to an equitable world as to risk Divine Intervention.[126]"

    ...

    "In a letter to Fortune Magazine's website in 2010 Buffett remarked:


    My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well... I've worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate's distribution of long straws is wildly capricious.

    [144]"



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett

    And then there's Bill Gtes:


    Gates Urges School Budget Overhauls
    By SAM DILLONNOV. 19, 2010

    "His new area of interest: helping solve schools’ money problems. In a speech on Friday, Mr. Gates — who is gaining considerable clout in education circles — plans to urge the 50 state superintendents of education to take difficult steps to restructure the nation’s public education budgets, which have come under severe pressure in the economic downturn.

    He suggests they end teacher pay increases based on seniority and on master’s degrees, which he says are unrelated to teachers’ ability to raise student achievement. He also urges an end to efforts to reduce class sizes. Instead, he suggests rewarding the most effective teachers with higher pay for taking on larger classes or teaching in needy schools.

    “Of course, restructuring pay systems is like kicking a beehive” — but restructure them anyway, Mr. Gates plans to tell the superintendents in his talk to the Council of Chief State School Officers, which opens a convention in Louisville on Friday.

    “Rebuild the budget based on excellence,” Mr. Gates says.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/us...&ref=education
    Whenever people equate the public and private sectors they usually assume all is good in the private sector. I thin that's wrong. Both sectors have problems. So here's the thing - like the movement against government workers' defined benefit pensions, we have here an argument to reduce the well being of teachers - as a group.

    So, in my mind, the question with pensions should maybe be, instead of doing away with them in the public sector so we have more equality with the private sector, maybe workers in the private sector should instead see greater gains through a wide spread adoption of defined benefit pensions (or some compromise/hybrid system).

    In education, is it that teachers - as group - are paid too much or is it that the wrong teachers paid too much while others should be paid more? This allocation issue may also applies to the private sector where executives have seen there benefits packages rise from say 50 to 100 times that of the average worker to 1,000 times or more of the average worker. (It's possibly a problem with the efficient allocation of capital.)
    Last edited by KC; 20-05-2015 at 11:57 AM.

  41. #41
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    ^ of all the above quotes, Gates (and his contribution to education reform) has been a bit of a disaster. He is basically a well-meaning person who is very misguided and stubborn in his misguided viewes. If only he could use all that influence and allow those who do work in education make the decisions. That would be something!

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post

    All joking aside, the way Top_Dawg looks at it, teaching is exactly the same as any other occupation.

    There's your top 15% who are outstanding.

    There's your bottom 15% who are so brutal it borders on criminal.

    And there's the vast 70% in the middle exhibiting varying degrees of mediocrity.
    Yes. And I would say this is true in most organizations. There are people who shine, and there are people who do the bare minimum and mostly coast through their careers.

    I think most teachers would agree because of the seniority system, an unfair burden is put on new teachers. They get the most difficult assignments and they are the ones least prepared to deal with them, but it's the way it is. There are some initiatives to remove permanent certification and make it so teachers must show they have kept up with professional standards and development in order to renew their license, but the mechanisms to make that work have not been worked out. Teachers are rightly leery of more bureaucratic loops to jump through if they have no value.

    Teacher merit pay is problematic for many many reasons. I respect Gates philanthropy, but I think his initiatives in education have been more harmful than helpful.

    In general, Alberta has a great education system, on par with other world leaders like Finland and it's because we have the luxury of hiring well-educated, talented teachers, and paying them a living wage.
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 20-05-2015 at 11:53 AM.

  43. #43
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    ^ about the 15-70-15 break down (with numbers being completely made up, but probably ok)...

    I would say the top 15 are not paid enough, bottom should not be paid, and middle get fair pay for what they contribute. I think merit pay could (and should) work something like this:
    - identify ways to pull bottom 15 into middle 70 or find ways to dismiss
    - identify ways to pull from middle 70 into top 15
    - give top 15 the tools to make their contributions greater. With more tools and responsibilities, they can have the financial recognition that they deserve.

    In every organization, when you enable your top performs to do greater things, they will pull the organization up. You can even look within the middle 70 to identify those with capacity to do better and those with capacity to do worse-probably similar 15-70-15 break down. Identify those top 15 of the average and partner them up with your top 15 to create a stronger top-tier group of teachers. Repeat to improve overall quality. Those who lag behind will either want to join in, or toss in the towel on their own as their inadequacies will no longer be possible to hide.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    If you don't want one of the best public school systems in the world like Alberta has, and prefer a crappy one like the States, then by all means, pay teachers fast food wages.
    There is some truth in this, but by the same token, I'd be disapointed if we see very large increases for teachers anytime soon, they aren't a group in society who are struggling right now.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
    To my mind, public school teaching is an easier job than most. It requires a modest education, offers several months off each year, a short work day when compared to many professions and job security to the extent you can’t be fired for even egregiously poor performance.

    So what exactly are teachers striking about now? Bill Tufts, author of Pension Ponzi, notes: “Teachers, in the span of a single generation, went from being members of the lower middle class, to upper middle class, to upper class today.”

    The Drummond Report found the median salary of public school teachers in Ontario three years ago was $95,000. Add to that 30 per cent, or $28,500, in benefits and the option to retire as early as age 53, with a generous indexed pension for life starting at 70 per cent of their highest salary. That adds up to about double the average teacher’s salary in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and is the second highest in the world, behind Germany.
    http://business.financialpost.com/ex...sector-workers

    The article has some good points but I don't agree with the reasoning and judgement of the private sector school comment beyond it applying to those "who can afford it".

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    If you don't want one of the best public school systems in the world like Alberta has, and prefer a crappy one like the States, then by all means, pay teachers fast food wages.
    There is some truth in this, but by the same token, I'd be disapointed if we see very large increases for teachers anytime soon, they aren't a group in society who are struggling right now.
    True. I don't know when their collective agreement expires, but it should be interesting. Last round, teachers took a 0% pay raise during the good times, which many are grumpy about. Their mistake. This round, we elected an NDP government. Our mistake. (In terms of contract negotiations I mean).

  47. #47
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    The right thing to do would be to increase funding but target that funding to additional teachers and aids and to smaller class sizes, rather than to increased salaries. The teachers union is always saying classes are too large, and both claiming that they need to shrink and claiming that they need to be paid extra to deal with the extra stress of large classes. Well, call the bluff and target increased funding where it would actually help students.

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    ^ Agreed. About 10? years ago the ATA tried to negotiate for smaller classes but the province shut them down. It went to arbitration and the arbitrator was not allowed to consider class size limits, only salaries. The result was a much larger wage increase than the teachers were asking for, and a lot of unemployed new teachers. Hopefully the new government will reverse their approach. I suspect a lot of teachers would take another wage freeze in exchange for hard limits on class size and composition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    If you don't want one of the best public school systems in the world like Alberta has, and prefer a crappy one like the States, then by all means, pay teachers fast food wages.
    There is some truth in this, but by the same token, I'd be disapointed if we see very large increases for teachers anytime soon, they aren't a group in society who are struggling right now.
    True. I don't know when their collective agreement expires, but it should be interesting. Last round, teachers took a 0% pay raise during the good times, which many are grumpy about. Their mistake. This round, we elected an NDP government. Our mistake. (In terms of contract negotiations I mean).
    Given that they just had three years of zeros legislated to them I will be the next round they'll want at least cost of living.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  50. #50

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    So, should the best teachers receive private sector equivalent?

    "Ijaz was in charge of the technical side at A123, making $294,000 per month, guiding a team of engineers to try to make the best electric car battery yet..."

    http://www.treehugger.com/cars/more-...h-battery.html

  51. #51

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    Back in the old days...




    April 8, 1947: Only office boys paid less than teachers


    BY CHRIS ZDEB, EDMONTON JOURNAL APRIL 8, 2015



    "A survey presented at the annual general meeting of the Alberta Teachers’ Association found only office boys were paid less than teachers in Alberta.

    The average teacher’s annual salary was $1,405. Office boys were averaging $1,177. Next on the scale were 10 groups of labourers including janitors and cleaners who averaged $1,500.

    “It’s easy to see why there is a shortage of teachers,” said Eric C. Ansley, the ATA’s secretary-treasurer. He contended salaries were the biggest single factor in the whole problem."

    ...

    "The maximum salary for a teacher with a teaching certificate became $2,725 and for a teacher with five years experience, $3,975.

    Today, according to the Alberta Education website, the average starting salary for a teacher with a four-year education degree is..."


    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...537/story.html

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    If I remember correctly it was much the same for nurses prior to the 70s.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  53. #53

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    The Liberal government in Ontario has brought in back to work legislation to stop teachers strike:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront...hers-1.3086318

    It reminds me of when I lived in New Zealand. People who worked on the wharves made huge salaries, with big pensions, way out of line with the rest of the population. They even controlled, being a union, who could get those plum jobs (basically, friends and family, not so different from some unions in Alberta). The reason? They could hold the entire country, which was totally dependent on exporting, to ransom, just by going on strike.

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    ^ I don't think that is a good comparison. Unskilled / low skilled dock workers don't deserve to make as much as teachers, and while no sector is immune to nepotism, teacher's unions do not restrict entry like some other professions and trades do. Quotas and admission standards on education degree programs are set by universities and anyone with an education degree can work as a teacher. There is never an artificial shortage of qualified teachers.

  55. #55

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    ^there are lots of unemployed teachers (I know one who retrained, and entered a trade union), so if it was free market deciding, teachers salaries would drop. Its a similar comparison, in that the union can hold a gun to all of our heads, as it causes massive disruption to so many people when teachers strike.

  56. #56
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    ^ I would call BS on the suggestion that any union in AB could control or in any way affect who gets a job. In AB, if you have the training and there is a job–you can get it.

    With teaching specifically, in AB your job prospects really only depend on your references/ evidence of competency as well as (to a lesser degree) what subjects you teach. In AB, if you are a teacher with no position at a public school, it is probably because your reference letter/ teaching evaluations failed to make you stand out from the pack. If you have a friend trying to break through in AB into teaching, the friend should try and get as much teaching exp while subbing or in non-public settings and collect as much evidence of ability to teach as possible–innovative lessons, references, thank-you letters from students/ parents, etc.. Particularly large board HR's have a process and request a lot of these before deciding to hire or not to hire.

    one thing to add... In AB, teaching job prospects also depend on government funding and whether teachers are leaving positions/ retiring making room for new ones.

  57. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    ^ I would call BS on the suggestion that any union in AB could control or in any way affect who gets a job. In AB, if you have the training and there is a job–you can get it.
    Not true, there are unions in Edmonton who select their members from various candidates, as per the example I gave. I remember him telling me the selection basically involved showing your qualifications (he had done some training prior), a test, talking to various people in the union, and hoping he was selected. This is how traditional unions work (they basially act like an employer / subcontractor). He got lucky and works as an apprentice at various locations in Fort Sasketchewan now (and yes, he makes more than he would have as a teacher, but not what he wanted to do / would rather be).

    Breaking into teaching in Alberta is like breaking into anything else, its not easy at all for graduates to get that first job. Once you are in, its fine, but a lot of people who would probably make great teachers, never get in. There are lot more arts grads than there are teachers jobs available.
    Last edited by moahunter; 26-05-2015 at 08:41 AM.

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    ^^ Looking for first jobs in small towns works for some teachers too.

    ^ Yes, apprenticeships are the choke point for entry into most trades, and the restrictions are at least in part due to union rules. This does not apply to teachers though, the ATA accepts anyone with an education degree.

  59. #59

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    I don't think I would ever be capable of judging a teachers worth or thinking they get paid too much.

    Teachers not only deal with classrooms they deal with dysfunctional parents, mediate problems in families, among students, and countless inter family feuds involving students.
    In an era where people have forgotten how to be civil, polite, kind, teachers are often under attack, judged, mistreated, maligned, and while trying to teach a class of 30 or so kids many of whom even get conflicting messages at home whether the teachers are even credible or deserving to be listened to.

    Try to manage all that constant challenge in your job while also contributing to assessment, referral, of appropriate resources to children and mitigating that.
    Addtionally teachers often have an eye out for student problems, concerns, monitor affect and how children are doing and often intervene to help.

    Why do I see all this? My own experience is that countless teachers intervened in my traumatic childhood to assist, share support, kind words, encouragement, and knew without even speaking of it the problems I was facing in an abusive dysfunctional family. For a first immigrant child that had zero relatives in this country teachers were the only adults I could really even turn to, talk to. The most consistent and willing adult resources I had. Rarely did one of them exhibit not caring. Coming from a suspicious, often closed unit family I had every reason to mistrust teachers and was even at times told to. But they consistently earned my trust, they consistently provided guidance, hope, and turned what would be an adult casualty, or substance user, into a professional dedicating their life to helping others. Because teachers did that for me. It made all the difference.

    So kudos to any teachers reading this or feeling the least bit guilty about any wage negotiation. What you do is of immeasurable value within our society.

    soapbox off/
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-05-2015 at 10:28 AM.
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  60. #60

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    Young teachers are underpaid and over worked. If they are lucky enough to even get a 1.0 FTE position, they will be the ones working 12-15hr days coaching, preparing, driving teams to games etc. As they get older and work their way up the pay scale...the job becomes much more attractive, with the option to just go home when the bell rings, and never having to prepare lessons as you've done them a million times.

    Even if you thinking teachers do nothing but babysit, paying them minimum wage to babysit 30+ kids for 7 hours a day would probably earn them more money.

    Low hanging fruit to go after teachers. It is an incredibly difficult job.

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    ^ Young people everywhere are facing lower starting salaries, higher working hours, and lower job security.

    In most industries, temporary contracts are the new norm, with young professionals being strung along year by year or month by month with no job security, no benefits, and lower pay.

    Teachers do not have it worse than most industries. Quite the opposite. Many young professionals face 2-3 years of internships, sometimes unpaid, before they can even get a "real" position.

    Again, this is the new norm across the board, not a special case for teachers. Firms (including governments) are seeking to minimize costs, and future talent is the first thing to get cut. Why care about developing talent in-house when you can string along an endless stream of bright young people until they burn out?

    Actually, the more I think about the argument you guys are making, the more I realize how absolutely inane and ridiculous it is.

    As they get older and work their way up the pay scale...the job becomes much more attractive
    That is every professional job there is. What kind of world do you live in where people fresh out of school get everything they want in a job? You have to work your way up.

    Sorry, but "12-15 hours" (more like 9-10 from what I hear) working in a school pales in comparison to 60-75 hours a week pouring over brain numbing material as a young lawyer, or endless impossible project deadlines as a new architect. Especially when those positions now come with no job security or benefits, and doubly so when you take into account that you need a far higher education with better grades to reach them.

    No, teachers still have it pretty good compared to where other young people are.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 09-06-2015 at 02:17 PM.

  62. #62

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    My parents are both teachers, and I do believe their salaries are well earned. They have master's degrees specific to the subjects they teach, as well as masters' in education. When they come home from work (which is generally quite late) they continue to prepare for the next day and find innovative ways to help their students. Along with simply teaching during an 8:30 - 3:30 schedule, they create assignments, tests and outlines. As well, they recognize when students are struggling with the class, with bullying or even with their home life and work to help these students by one-on-one teaching, having conversations with the parents, etc. My parents pour their lives into what they do. With having a lawyer as an aunt, and an engineer for an uncle, I can let you know that my parents are more educated (due to having two master's degrees-in marine biology and in linguistics, as well as teaching) than both my aunt and uncle (whom went to school for less time and did not work as hard, as they have personally told me), but are payed significantly less (100k to be exact). Teachers make a FAR greater impact on a child's life than you can imagine. I have seen first hand the impacts of early literacy intervention, as well as how draining it can be to focus on motivating unmotivated students. These people you are insulting are so integral to society. Without teachers where would we find doctors, lawyers, architects, and astronomers? Speaking to your job security comment, young teachers have virtually none. Unless they have a continuing contract (which takes years to receive), they can only hold a position for a year at most before hoping to find another job, or be barrelled into the unpredictability of being a substitute teacher. Teachers deal with oh-so-much more than many give them credit for. Next time, please, before you insult a profession, consider the facts that are beneath the surface.

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    Please do not jump to silly defensive arguments like suggesting people are"insulting a profession", and you badly need a reality check in terms of income.

    but are payed significantly less (100k to be exact).
    The average household income in this country is $74,540. That means that your household of teachers makes almost 2.7 times the average household income in Canada. They would be in the top 5% of income earners.

    Doesn't sound hard done by to me, especially considering they get 2 months off in the summer.

    whom went to school for less time and did not work as hard, as they have personally told me
    It is nice your parents have master's degrees, but that is not required to be a teacher. A four year bachelor degree that has one of the lowest entrance standards of any program is all that is required. Also, you are delusional if you think a young teacher works harder or more than a young lawyer. A young lawyer will have 3-4 years of 60-70 hour weeks if they want to reach that top income earning bracket.

    The points on job security are the new norm. No one has job security any more. Teachers comparatively have more. In Alberta, young teachers have less than elsewhere because we have too many graduating teachers (probably because it is far too easy to get an education degree).

  64. #64
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    ^ have you worked as a young teacher and a young lawyer? Only the person who had can really make the true comparison. So, lay off the young kid.

    Also, people have expressed views that I consider insulting to teachers. Although calling them out is rather pointless. And the assumption that it is "easy" to get a BEd is rather insulting.

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    ^ Silly argument. "Were you part of the apollo missions? If not, you can't argue that man walked on the moon". We don't need to directly be something to learn about it and debate its merits. Using relativism to shut down debate is misology.

    I am not devaluing what teachers do. It is a vitally important job. I just find it ridiculous that people in our society think they are underpaid and overworked. This is a kind of comical phenomenon that can likely be attributed to the overwhelming influence of American media. In the states, teachers are paid dismally and horrifically overworked. The same is not true in Canada - especially in Alberta. Yet, all our TV shows, movies, novels etc refer to it as such, leading people to believe our situation is the same.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 15-06-2015 at 09:50 AM.

  66. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ I am not devaluing what teachers do. It is a vitally important job. I just find it ridiculous that people in our society think they are underpaid and overworked. This is a kind of comical phenomenon that can likely be attributed to the overwhelming influence of American media. In the states, teachers are paid dismally and horrifically overworked. The same is not true in Canada - especially in Alberta.
    This is what I think as well. It's good teachers are well paid, it shows that we value education, more than most other places. But, there are limits, especially in times when the econmy is struggling, we can't just give every government worker whatever they want. Teachers have a very good lifestyle as it is, and like you say, the job security puts them in a different league from most other professions, not to mention, pensions and vacation benefits. The young lawyer, if they don't burn out or fail (a lot do fail), "might" ultimately end up earning a lot more (after they have "done their dues") than the young teacher, but the young teacher will have a lot more stable time for family and similar. That's a trade off that has real value to a lot of people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    ^ have you worked as a young teacher and a young lawyer? Only the person who had can really make the true comparison. So, lay off the young kid.

    Also, people have expressed views that I consider insulting to teachers. Although calling them out is rather pointless. And the assumption that it is "easy" to get a BEd is rather insulting.
    Try getting a engineering or a law degree.

    Hell, just try to meet the qualifications for admission.


  68. #68
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    ^ The numbers don't lie. Entrance standards:

    http://admissions.ualberta.ca/requir.../averages.aspx

    Education is among the lowest standards. Engineering is the highest. Law is even higher, and requires a bachelor degree to get in. I don't think you'll find a single honest person who suggests that education is a seriously difficult program to graduate from either.

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.

  69. #69
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    People frequently exaggerate how much they work. They'll say they work 50-60 hours a week, yet the reality is that most people do not work more than 40-45 in reality. Except for articling law students. They really, truly do work 60-80 hours a week, depending on the firm. It's crazy what young lawyers are put through.

  70. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    They really, truly do work 60-80 hours a week, depending on the firm. It's crazy what young lawyers are put through.
    Which is what was talked about, although I've noticed even experienced lawyers work long hours (at least, corporate ones). Its very competitive to get those articling positions as well, and unless get one with a reputable firm, will probably never in career make the big dollars. There are lots of people with legal degrees out there who never had the grades or personality to get a legal job.

  71. #71

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    ^

    Lawyers struggle with substance abuse at nearly twice the rate of general population
    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/article...3-03-28-190800


    Killing Ourselves
    Depression as an Institutional, Workplace and Professionalism Problem
    by Megan Seto University of Ottawa

    Excerpt:

    "In law, the culture of endurance and workaholism is celebrated, and the need for greater “flexibility” and “balance” is discussed and often dismissed as irreconcilable goals. With the timeliness of the economic recession and its effects on our Canadian workforce and students, it is important to recognize the personal toll to pursuing and practising law. In this essay, it is suggested that depression is not a personal failure and most certainly, not a moral weakness; depression is an institutional, workplace and professionalism problem. ..."

    "Mental illness within the profession is not a new problem. Lawyers are consistent and frequent “winners” of undesirable honorifics such as the “most depressed workers” or “most prone to succeeding in committing suicide.”1 "
    http://www.lsuc.on.ca/WorkArea/Downl...?id=2147487888
    Last edited by KC; 15-06-2015 at 06:50 PM.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ The numbers don't lie. Entrance standards:

    http://admissions.ualberta.ca/requir.../averages.aspx

    Education is among the lowest standards. Engineering is the highest. Law is even higher, and requires a bachelor degree to get in. I don't think you'll find a single honest person who suggests that education is a seriously difficult program to graduate from either.

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.
    Education at most universities is now also an after degree meaning you would have to get through some of those hard to get into just to get into. UofC calls theirs a Master of Teaching program.

    Ed programs themselves are an interesting beast. I was academically much more successful in my honours math degree (dean's honour rolls throughout) than in BEd. The skills that got me through math, physics, programming and other sciences/ engineering courses were very inadequate for education. I now have a grad degree in Math, and a grad degree in education yet I still think a bachelor of education course is more challenging to me than a 4th level math. So, to summarize, for a person like me an education degree is more challenging than, say, engineering or heavy duty math degree.

    Was never in law school–so I would not know. I did find our course in ethics and legal foundations to be quite interesting, although that isn't really a law-type course other than reading from legal cases.

    Entrance requirements are often a function of demand and need, not the rigour of the program and, specifically, in education, a good candidate would be a well-rounded one rather than a top person only in a strict list of courses.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ The numbers don't lie. Entrance standards:

    http://admissions.ualberta.ca/requir.../averages.aspx
    Yep, numbers don't lie. Evidently, looking at admissions requirements, all those who speak french are dumber

  74. #74
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    ^

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.
    Low entrance standards doesn't mean those who get in are "dumb". It means that it isn't as difficult to get into the position.

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.
    Low entrance standards doesn't mean those who get in are "dumb". It means that it isn't as difficult to get into the position.
    In fact, those with the highest grades may be the last ones you want to teach your children for what it takes to excel at school is sometimes a very narcissistic attitude.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.
    Low entrance standards doesn't mean those who get in are "dumb". It means that it isn't as difficult to get into the position.
    I know that. Mine was "sarcasm".

    Using entrance requirements to justify your position on difficulty is very much pointless.

    Also, note the shift year to year. Would one's opinion about teacher qualifications change year to year based on admissions requirements? Sort of like wine vintage...

    Imagine asking your child's teacher what year (s)he was admitted into the teaching program, checking against the entrance requirements for that year. and then asking the school admin to switch from the teacher who was admitted in 2014/2015 to teacher admitted in 2015/2016 to take advantage of a 10% average bump in "program difficulty"...

  77. #77

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    ^a big difference between a teacher and a lawyer though, is if a lawyer fails to perform, they get fired in a heartbeat. The teacher only gets fired if they do something truley terrible, its a job for life with no serious perfomance evaluation.

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^

    Note - this is not to "insult" or "devalue" anyone who takes education. There are a lot of very smart people in the program. The point is just that remuneration is more than fair for the difficulty of getting the job.
    Low entrance standards doesn't mean those who get in are "dumb". It means that it isn't as difficult to get into the position.
    In fact, those with the highest grades may be the last ones you want to teach your children for what it takes to excel at school is sometimes a very narcissistic attitude.
    For the most part teachers liked school, whether it was the academics or social experience, and that why many became teachers. It's a big awakening being on the other side, a teacher instead of a student.

  79. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^a big difference between a teacher and a lawyer though, is if a lawyer fails to perform, they get fired in a heartbeat. The teacher only gets fired if they do something truley terrible, its a job for life with no serious perfomance evaluation.
    That is not true. There is a long process of temporary and probationary contracts, involving performance evaluations, before a teacher gets a permanent contract.

    Senior partners of a law firm are probably as untouchable as well.

  80. #80

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    And compare that to my salaried job, a more typical one, where i was made permanent after a 3-month probationary period. Of course, I don't have the job security of a permanent teacher, but I'm considered a permanent employee, and that means I can do things like get a mortgage at least. I also have the luxury of leaving my job and finding another one if I'm disgruntled. A lot harder for a teacher to do that unless they leave town and are willing to go through a long drawn out probationary process again.

  81. #81
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    teachers have a few major checks:
    1. School practicums
    2. First probationary year
    3. Some have to go through second probationary years
    ...

    After that, principals and school boards only have things like transfers, "surplus" declarations, or assigning teachers to classes with less responsibility...

    If you continue to insist on comparisons with the lawyers, they have a couple of years before they pass the bar. After that, yes they could get fired from a firm but they can always open up their own practice. A bit harder to open up a personal high school for a teacher.

    This is a disucssion of risks and rewards that will always be between a private and a public sector jobs. Legal profession is predominately a private sector one with its level of risks and rewards and teacher posission is predominately public with less risk, but also not as much rewards (material, not personal).

    I really want to stay away from comparing the two. I only know about teaching...

  82. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    And compare that to my salaried job, a more typical one, where i was made permanent after a 3-month probationary period. Of course, I don't have the job security of a permanent teacher, but I'm considered a permanent employee, and that means I can do things like get a mortgage at least. I also have the luxury of leaving my job and finding another one if I'm disgruntled. A lot harder for a teacher to do that unless they leave town and are willing to go through a long drawn out probationary process again.
    Very good and interesting point!

    I held a highly specialized position with only a handful of other people in the Province doing anything like it. When I decided I had no interest in other positions in the organization and in fact, felt the organization no longer aligned with my views, I decided on a career change. It was one of several fairly dramatic career changes I've made.

    Most people though are more conventional, don't walk on their talk, and basically prefer to stay within their chosen fields. I can't see teachers being any different.

  83. #83

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    Article from Peter Mansbridge on this a couple years ago when teacher bashing was all the rage in Ontario. Emphasis is mine.

    http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/peterman...can-teach.html
    Those Who Can Teach
    ...there are way too many people who truly believe that teachers are grossly overpaid and under-worked.

    What a strange attitude. Never mind that teachers are grooming the next generation of Canadians, the ones who will grow up to support our pensions in our old age. Maybe we can't think big-picture. The little-picture is pretty simple. Teachers are grooming our children. Yours and mine. Do we really want to trust the most precious parts of our lives to underpaid and overworked drones?

    I keep seeing comparisons to what teachers make to the average industrial wage. And guess what? Teachers make more than the average. Of course they do. They've gone to school for at least four years of post-secondary education. The average teacher has been working for 11 years. They should be making reasonably good money. They're raising families too.

    Then there's the under-worked part. That argument usually starts with July and August. Teachers get the whole summer off. No doubt about it; that's nice. But they need the break. I know there are lazy teachers. Just as there are lazy bankers, letter carriers, doctors, and yes, lazy journalists. But overwhelmingly, teachers are not lazy. In Ontario, the teachers stopped participating in extracurricular activities as part of their fight with the government. What an uproar that caused. School plays, sports teams, newspapers, chess clubs, fashion shows, and on and on. None of them possible without teachers freely giving their time. Critics are anxious to count the summer against the teachers, but they never count all those extra hours in their favour.

    And sure, classes go from about 9am to 330pm, but anyone who thinks a teacher works six and a half hours a day, doesn't know many teachers. Preparing for class takes time. Talking to kids after school takes time. Meeting with parents takes time. Marking takes time. I can't imagine reading through 60 essays on why Hamlet is so sad and writing helpful comments in the margins.

    We send teachers children from broken homes, from abusive homes, from negligent homes. We send teachers children from homes where both parents work, or where the only parent works, or where no parent works.

    We send teachers children who leave home without breakfast and whose grasp of mathematics is grounded in the reality that welfare money sometimes runs out in 28 days or 29 days, and can't be stretched to cover 30 or 31.

    We send teachers children who are new to Canada, children who stare blankly ahead unable to understand a single word that is being spoken.

    And we ask that those teachers turn each of those children, each of our children, into productive little citizens. We ask that even though there are 28 or 29 other students in the classroom, even though there are students misbehaving, even though some parents don't support teachers by re-enforcing lessons or by making sure homework is done, or even by insisting that the student listen to or respect the teacher.

  84. #84

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    ^ We live almost next door to our elementary school and regularly see teacher vehicles in the parking lot on the weekends. Almost every day my daughter's teacher will take the time to talk with me about how her day went and take time to show me what I could be teaching her at home to align with his teaching.

    Also, my wife and I are on the Parent Advisory Association, and so see teachers in the evenings devoting time to attend our meetings, etc. and stepping up to do field trips, etc.

    Interestingly, the PAA, sometimes has a hard time getting parent volunteers to serve on the board and volunteer for functions, casinos, field trips, etc. It would seem that the teachers are excelling while many parents are failing in stepping up to help their own children and other children succeed. We have parents on the PAA that would continue to help the school after their children have left the school, if they could, but they can't unless they have a child in the school. Unfortunately, most parents only focus on their own kids needs and their own career needs.

    So, start treating teachers like you treat private sector workers and expect a huge backlash where parents will have to start stepping up to the plate and doing a heck of a lot more for their own children, and other children.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Using entrance requirements to justify your position on difficulty is very much pointless.
    No it isn't.

    It clearly shows that pretty much any dumbass can be admitted.


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Also, note the shift year to year. Would one's opinion about teacher qualifications change year to year based on admissions requirements? Sort of like wine vintage...

    Imagine asking your child's teacher what year (s)he was admitted into the teaching program, checking against the entrance requirements for that year. and then asking the school admin to switch from the teacher who was admitted in 2014/2015 to teacher admitted in 2015/2016 to take advantage of a 10% average bump in "program difficulty"...
    Please.

    Give Top_Dawg a break.

    Top_Dag hates to stray from his usual politically correct disposition but let's bring some reality into this discussion.

    Education was a mickey mouse faculty to get into when Top_Dawg first went to university over thirty years ago.

    Education has remained a mickey mouse faculty to get into since.

    And Eucation will continue to be a mickey mouse faculty to gain admission to for the foreseeable future.


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    If you continue to insist on comparisons with the lawyers, they have a couple of years before they pass the bar. After that, yes they could get fired from a firm but they can always open up their own practice. A bit harder to open up a personal high school for a teacher.
    The costs of setting up a private practice for most young lawyers is prohibitive.

    The only way this is possible is if either his/her parents have very deep pockets or if the lawyer is taking over a existing family practice.

  86. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Using entrance requirements to justify your position on difficulty is very much pointless.
    No it isn't.

    It clearly shows that pretty much any dumbass can be admitted.


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Also, note the shift year to year. Would one's opinion about teacher qualifications change year to year based on admissions requirements? Sort of like wine vintage...

    Imagine asking your child's teacher what year (s)he was admitted into the teaching program, checking against the entrance requirements for that year. and then asking the school admin to switch from the teacher who was admitted in 2014/2015 to teacher admitted in 2015/2016 to take advantage of a 10% average bump in "program difficulty"...
    Please.

    Give Top_Dawg a break.

    Top_Dag hates to stray from his usual politically correct disposition but let's bring some reality into this discussion.

    Education was a mickey mouse faculty to get into when Top_Dawg first went to university over thirty years ago.

    Education has remained a mickey mouse faculty to get into since.

    And Eucation will continue to be a mickey mouse faculty to gain admission to for the foreseeable future.


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    If you continue to insist on comparisons with the lawyers, they have a couple of years before they pass the bar. After that, yes they could get fired from a firm but they can always open up their own practice. A bit harder to open up a personal high school for a teacher.
    The costs of setting up a private practice for most young lawyers is prohibitive.

    The only way this is possible is if either his/her parents have very deep pockets or if the lawyer is taking over a existing family practice.
    None of this may matter. How strong is the correlation between high school grades and teaching ability?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Using entrance requirements to justify your position on difficulty is very much pointless.
    No it isn't.

    It clearly shows that pretty much any dumbass can be admitted.

    Any "dumbass" who was able to maintain a mid 80% average or better that is... and, just speaking from personal experience, I found the ed undergrad courses much more challenging to me to be able to get equiavlet to an A or A+ than, say, a 300 or 400 level honours differential equations or physics of solid state courses... I would like to see Mr. Mouse–the one who did so well in Top_Dog's education course–get an A+ in a 300-level honours math.
    Last edited by grish; 16-06-2015 at 01:53 PM.

  88. #88

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    Talking about entrance requirements to education programs is a red herring. A potential teacher graduating from an ed degree says nothing about getting a job or more importantly, keeping it.

    And in actuality, besides the relatively large pool of people who have above average intelligence and shown enough discipline and literacy to receive a university education, experts have been very bad at determining what skills will make a good teacher, until they already have a couple years under their belt.

    Malcolm Gladwell compares teachers to Football quarterbacks in this article

    Malcolm Gladwell
    Most Likely to Succeed: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...y-to-succeed-2


    A group of researchers—Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard’s school of education; Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth; and Robert Gordon, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress—have investigated whether it helps to have a teacher who has earned a teaching certification or a master’s degree. Both are expensive, time-consuming credentials that almost every district expects teachers to acquire; neither makes a difference in the classroom. Test scores, graduate degrees, and certifications—as much as they appear related to teaching prowess—turn out to be about as useful in predicting success as having a quarterback throw footballs into a bunch of garbage cans.

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