Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video


Posted by john h on 8/28/03 at 12:59 (128289)

Since we have a number of teachers on the board I will share some of the information in USA Today that I read today. It comes from the National Association of Teachers. I may have these number slightly off but they are in the ball park. Average pay for a teacher in 2003:$43,000.00. Average class size for an elementary school teacher: 21 Average size for middle school class: 27 Average amount of money a teacher spends out of her/his pocket each year on the class room: $600.00 Asked if they were starting over would they be teachers about 67% said NO. There are more women teachers than men and the ration continues to climb. What does all this mean? I do not know and as Sgt Friday always said 'just the facts Mamm-'

I was supprised at the class size. It is much smaller than I imagined. My first grade class had 9 students. My 7th grade had 17. In high school we were assigned a home room teacher for the entire 4 years and met there for 45 minutes to start every day. We had about 20 in my home room and Mr. Carlson was with us all the way. Home rooms were either all boys or all girls.

Re: Teachers

Suzanne D on 8/28/03 at 14:35 (128299)

Thanks, John. That was interesting. Our class sizes in KY are 'capped' at 24 for primary, 28 for intermediate, and to be honest, I don't know about middle and high schools. I DO know that they figure in librarians, etc. in the average, and my daughter in high school has 34 in her AP English and around 30 in her Calculus classes. So sometimes the numbers may look a little smaller than they actually are in reality. You know how statistics can be used...

There ARE still more women than men teachers in elementary although I teach with more guys now than I did when I started. (I might add there are more women principals than there were when I started.)

I spend at least the $600 (and probably more) out-of-pocket for my classroom each year.

If I were starting over, would I be a teacher? YES!

Suzanne :)

Re: Teachers

marie on 8/28/03 at 17:17 (128316)

The article is pretty close. I have 12 in my high school classes (Iam use to 25-30), I have between 20-25 in my middle school and elementry, the junior high kids are seperated by sex for their special classes because it is the way the PE teacher wants it. How ever many girls or boys is how many I will get. I have 28 girls. At first I thought it to be a bit archaic but now am seeing the benefits to having a same sex class. I accidently ordered some mini toat bags instead of the full size for the kids to paint. I almost sent them back but then I showed them to the girls and they all started saying 'Cool purses! Do we get to paint them?' I hadn't thought they looked like a purses & some how don't think I would have gotten the same reaction out of the boys. ;)

Money out of my pocket is usually around$500. somtimes more and sometimes less.

Pay is close but how many years is average.

Like Suzanne, I love what I do and wouldn't change for the world.

We need more male elementry teachers. Kids need positive role models for both sexes. So many of our little boys and girls are growing up with little or no presence of the father and they need to have men in their lives that roll model positive behavior.

Re: Teachers

R C on 8/28/03 at 21:48 (128331)

Interesting. I taught at the collegiate level for many years, and absolutely loved it. I truly enjoyed teaching, doing research, and being active in campus life. The pay was terrible, though. When I got a job in private industry, my salary went up by a staggering factor of 388%. Someday (when my own kids are on their own), I might go teach high school. I think that would be immensely satisfying.

As I was leaving academia, my professorial colleagues gave me parting advice to beware of the political machinations in the corporate world. Don't you believe it -- I can now say with authority that campus politics is a ten times dirtier...

Re: Teachers

Rick R on 8/29/03 at 07:25 (128341)

I just sent my little bundle of joy off to her first day of school Wednesday. She's teaching middle school spanish and high school english to non-english speaking students. This has been more exciting than sending any of them off to kindergarten. I'm glad to see that she's not the only one spending money on the room, any luck at all next year it will be her money.

I'm well aware of the income issues, my father taught high school. We grew up with less than most of the other kids in our area, no doubt. Dad worked second jobs which included Sundays and holidays for many years. His penalty for being a teacher has worked out to be about the same as my penalty for not having my wife employed.


Re: Teachers

Dorothy on 8/29/03 at 16:22 (128400)

Campus politics are something to behold, aren't they...

Re: Teachers

marie on 8/29/03 at 17:27 (128406)

Living in a college town I have learned that it is all politics. I'm glad I am working in a public school.

Today one of my fourth graders surprised me a small turtle. Now Aristotle, my Map turtle, has a companion Socrates, a small painted turtle.
I love all the perks that come with my job.


Re: Teachers

Suzanne D on 8/30/03 at 15:40 (128441)

Best wishes to your daughter, Rick, in her very first year of teaching! This is my 24th (with two years of full-time subbing before that). There is something quite special about your first year. For years, I could picture my room and where each and every student sat from that first year. The memories have faded some now, but there are still many special things about that year which I fondly recall.

My daughter, also, has begun her first teaching job this year! She is a fourth grade teacher at the same school where I teach first grade. That is a great satisfaction to me, although it has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I have to turn the other way sometimes and remember that at school I am a fellow teacher first, and her mama second. I'm there if/when she needs me, but I don't want to hover over her and give the impression that she cannot handle her job - which she certainly can do.

I had to chuckle when she overheard two children talking, 'Mrs. Hayes is Mrs. Dennis' daughter! But I think she's a little meaner...' :) Of course new, young teachers don't want to come across as 'too easy', and fourth graders have to be handled a little differently than first graders, hence, the comparison. But it did make me smile!

Wish her well for me, please. And remind her to take one day at a time and not to let the paperwork bog her down. And tell her to enjoy teaching! It won't make any of us rich - not in money, anyway - but I'm enough of a Pollyanna to believe that there are more important issues.

Suzanne :)

Re: Teachers

Peter R on 9/01/03 at 12:19 (128499)

I have never met a teacher who thought that they were compensated enough. In the town where I pay $7000/yr in school tax( and do not use the system) the teachers median salary is $75,000 for 180 days of 6.5 hrs/day. Extrapolated out to the corporate world that would be about $128,200/yr. for a job no more difficult than a file clerk. What teacher has to design their own curiculum? None, they just follow what they are told to teach. Spend your own money for supplies- don't complain because you are not compelled to do it you elect to do it. If you all didn't suppliment the wasteful ed. boards things would change. And to those who belong to the UFT- shame on you for being such rotten socialists.
I spent 20 years in various schools as a student at one time or another and never met a teacher or prof who didn't think that the world should kiss their butts for the sacrifices they are making. Stop crying and get real jobs.

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/01/03 at 13:14 (128502)

Oh Peter, really now. I love my job and don't complain about my income. I wish I had a 6.5 hour contractual day. We spend our off time in the summer taking classes. Some states help with that and some don't. I don't have a text I am the text. What I teach takes a great deal of research on my part, as most teachers must do. We already have real jobs. I thought you said you never had to work unless you felt like it......hmmmmm. Oh brother! Peter, you made the choice not to have children and that does not exempt you from paying taxes to support public education as mandated by our country. There is simply nothing you can say that will make me feel less proud of the work I do. Most of all I am proud of my students, some have become life long friends. There is more to happiness than a pocket book full of money, in your case a bank full of money.

Re: Teachers

Suzanne D on 9/01/03 at 14:36 (128504)

Peter, the mean teaching salary where you live is WAY above what it is where I work. But I am not/was not complaining. I was simply replying to the post about teaching statistics.

I love to teach and never expect anyone to hold me in high esteme for the 'sacrifices' I make which, as you pointed out, are my choice.

However, you are wrong in that we don't have to design our own curriculum. I have guidelines and standards to meet, but my day-to-day curriculum is designed by me. We use few textbooks or workbooks in early primary grades these days, and I spend a great amount of time planning and preparing. Again, I'm not complaining; but I don't like facts to be stated which aren't true.

I have no choice about what our board of education spends other than to vote on my representative which I never fail to do. For what it is worth, I do not belong to a teacher's union which puts me in the small minority. But I don't agree with many things the money goes for, so I never have. I have my own private insurance which would cover a lawsuit.

You certainly have a right to express your opinion as you see fit, Peter, but your points in this issue - and the way you have expressed them - have been offensive to me, and I am epressing that same right in pointing it out to you.


Re: and...

Suzanne D on 9/01/03 at 15:16 (128506)

6.5 hrs/day is almost laughable compared to the time spent by most people I work with...

I won't disparage a file clerk's job. But your point is taken that my job doesn't take much effort, and I disagree with your point.

Now I'll stop. I usually don't respond to posts when I'm upset, but I made an exception here. Perhaps I'll be sorry, but it seemed a time that to remain silent would be an injustice.


Re: Teachers

Dorothy on 9/01/03 at 16:19 (128507)

What an insulting, rude, disgusting message to make to another person on this board. If you are upset about the rate at which you are taxed, say so. If you are angry about the quality of your own educational experience, say so. To generalize about teachers and attack the field as a monolithic entity is ignorant. If you have problems with your own local school system and level or system of taxation, what are you doing about it?
Why aren't you directing your disparaging, belittling remarks at corporate robber barons who, quite often, are the same ones who speak out of one side of their mouths about expensive labor, demanding unions, poor public education results - while at the same time they are exercising every greedy, scheming, legal and illegal cheating of the tax system, their shareholderss, pensioners, and American workers known to humankind. What they are costing all of us taxpayers and the damage they are doing to American well being far exceeds any inadequacies you might perceive in any school system. And, by the way, they do not have a 'real job'. Why aren't you directing your anger at the current Republican political trend they call 'No Child Left Behind' which has a catchy title but is completely insidious, disingenuous, and destructive. Public education in this country has many enemies and many attackers, but it is universal, free, public education that made the difference in America versus Europe and 'old world' conditions and, in labor, it is labor unions that made the difference between a 'master-serf' relationship and decent working conditions in the U.S. Tell the truth; you long for that old 'master-serf' system, don't you - as long as you don't have to be the serf, I suspect. I have not heard one of the teachers who writes here complain about spending out of their own pocket for supplies. Do I think they should have to do that? No, I do not. If you have ever held a job, have you had to buy your own supplies? I doubt it. What supplies are required to do what it is that you do? What work do you do to try to improve life for other beings? Or are you truly the nihilist you seem to present yourself as being. Or perhaps just a provocateur. Or are you opposed to all social systems that are supported by tax dollars? Or are you selectively opposed only to those that don't directly benefit you in some way? I don't usually find labels enlightening, but you often sound like you are either a libertarian, an anti-government militia type, a nihilist, or perhaps just a mean-spirited, negative, hate-spewer, maybe all of the above or maybe some other hybrid. In any case, who do you think you are to say to another person whom you know almost next to nothing about: get real jobs. For a person who ostensibly is here because of foot problems, you have little understanding of walking a mile in someone else's shoes. The two teachers who responded to you, Suzanne and Marie, showed amazing restraint and courtesy to you. Maybe you just didn't have the right teachers.

Re: Teachers

john h on 9/01/03 at 17:21 (128512)

Peter: I can only assume you made your post to get attention and you will most certainly get that. I have my doubts that these are your true feelings. Even if these are your true feelings what benefit do you obtain by making this post? You have hurt some people's feelings but you knew that going in. I am sure there are some teachers who make $75,000 per but as I posted recently I think the average according to USA Today is around $45,000. This is less than the majority of the auto workers in Detroit or the Garbage Collectors in N.Y. That is not to imply there jobs are not important or vital. A jobs worth to society in not measured in dollars or we would not have baseball players making $20 million dollars a year. In Vietnam as a Lt Colonel flying combat mission over N. Vietnam I think my pay was around $40,000 per year. We were not there for the money and I would guess most of the teachers are not in it for the money. Money is great but so is job satisfaction and a sense that at the end of the day you have done something worthwhile. Only you know why you made this post and I hope like most of us it was just one of those days you stuck your foot in your mouth. I have been known to do that.

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/01/03 at 19:16 (128520)

Peter is this the reaction you wanted? You haven't hurt my feelings because I am comfortable with what I do for a living. You told me in a previous post that you graduated from college in 1958. Things have changed a bit since you were in school. One of the biggest hurdles we teachers face are the folks who carry around the baggage of their own personal experiences while in school. If it wasn't for some of my teachers I don't know who or what I would have become. I flunked English and writing, Mrs. Anderson didn't give up on me. She stayed after school three days a week to help me so I could pass and go tho eighth grade. I think of her every time I write a grant or essay contest. I'm still a poor speller.....but I've gotten 26 out of 32 of the grants I have written. What are the grants for? Money to improve the quality of education in my classroom. Teachers aren't perfect and certainly like every industry there will be whiners. But in general we work hard and love our kids as if they were our own....even the busy bodies. When they hurt we hurt and when they die we're torn up. I have an iris plant in my garden for all the children I have lost. Every spring when they bloom I think of them and the art they left behind. You see they don't teach us what to do in college when they are hurt or dying. So please know that not all teachers are as you have portrayed them here. Suzanne is a wonderful teacher and puts her heart and soul into her job and I believe you have upset her a bit. I won't ask you to apologize because it certainly would be out of character for you.....but think and know that there are kind hearted folks here...at least most of the time. Take care!

best wishes marie

Re: Teachers

Tammie on 9/01/03 at 23:41 (128530)

Well, I wanted to add my Thanks to all of our Teachers. I Know that if it were not for the many devoted ,loving,compassionate people, who choose to take that title we would ALL be in major TROUBLE!!!!!

Life is lived and learned in the classroom. It is the first startings of learning and getting that start on finding that perfect job that someday they will have to do. I mean Dr..,Lawyers,Company ,Piolot,Business,Chemists,I mean the list goes on and on and on. Our Teachers are the ones who we SHOULD credit with giving our children the dreams and the possiblities to feel that any DREAM job they have COULD become a REAL posibility!

They also are not only teaching academics.They are also teaching our children to have confidence in themselves and that keep trying don't give up.Learn to deal with a challenging subject that is difficult,without quitting. I believe our teachers are the childrens best chance in life at getting a fair chance in learning. I also think tho some are not the best teachers the better TEACHERS out weigh the bad.I also know that the teachers here on line are the teachers that are the GOOD ! They make it their business to take care that their students GET all that they can! If it means more of THEIR time or money so be it they will take it as a loss. Gain it in there heart as the pay on it is dual fold as they get to wittness the after effects watching the children grow up and take the jobs in life. I mean YOU have to learn somewhere for those jobs and YOU have to have basics.

My son will graduate from EKU next spring It will Be a English Major,Pre teaching, he will have to come home and finish a few classes to really get his teaching degree but we are very proud of him he will do very well, He to wants to make a difference in teens lives! I might add His loans that he has for his collage will take him a VERY long time to pay , He always loved school and sports I can see that he will be very happy!Broke but happy lol. But in any case ' Teachers' I love you all and you deserve your money!I believe much more as it does not stop with teaching often you are a nurse, mother,friend,I could go on and on about that to. Take care and remember YOU ARE ALL GREAT LOOK AT THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE GRADUATED!

Re: Teachers

Peter R on 9/02/03 at 09:34 (128544)

One conclusion I can draw from this thread is that a high % of teachers have PF.
Don't you think that something is wrong when individual taechers have to beg for grant money? More evidence that the education system in this country, too long in the hands of liberals, needs a drastic overhaul.

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/02/03 at 11:23 (128557)

Yes I do. And you are correct that education needs a drastic overhaul.

best wishes marie

Re: Teachers

Peter R on 9/02/03 at 11:33 (128558)

WOW- we've agreed on something :D

Re: hot buttons

JudyS on 9/02/03 at 13:08 (128564)

I see Peter is at it again.

He appeared to have had some fun pushing several very hot buttons this weekend -and getting the exact reaction he seemed to be trying for. He even got the dearest of all, Suzanne, to react. The man is no manipulative slouch.

He can't do any of that without us.

However, the dignity and eloquence in responses to him far outweighed his narcissistic need for negative attention. That was impressive.

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/02/03 at 14:12 (128568)

Yes we have, however I am sure our approach to solving the problems would be entirely diferent.

Thanks for the happy smiley! I needed one today.


Re: hot buttons

marie on 9/02/03 at 14:19 (128569)

At this point, I hate to say it but I have come to expect peter to respond the way he does. Once the shock is over I think the goal would be to find a common ground. I have seen Peter (sorry to be talking about you in front of you, Peter) show some very kind posts. I hope that isn't an isult to you Peter. We just have to try keep up a positive tone. It is ok I think, to express one's feelings good or bad. It is the way we express them. I think Suzanne did a very nice job.

Judy how is your remodeling going?

Re: Teachers

BGCPed on 9/02/03 at 20:58 (128620)

Yeh Peter Marie is a rather compliant liberal. She carries a great degree of logic and critical thinking skills you dont normally find on the left.

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/03/03 at 11:22 (128691)

Maybe you guys just haven't given the left much of a chance. I think both left and right want the same thing. It's our approaches that differ. I have had to become more of a data driven person because of my work.

later, marie

Re: Teachers

BGCPed on 9/03/03 at 16:11 (128711)

p.s. I meant compliant in a nice way. I think in the last few months you have stepped a few places closer to the conservative darkside

Re: Teachers

marie on 9/03/03 at 17:14 (128715)

In your wildest dreams!!! ;) I'm listening to Ringo's new CD, Rongo Rama. I'll quote him 'if ya can't laugh ya know then what's the problem!' Thanks for the nice comment.

I think there are times you guys on the right of things have good points. We (as in lefts and rights) need to spend a little more time listening to each other. I consider myself to be a conservative Democrat. The definition of Democrat means: Forward thinking and Republican: Holding on to status qou. Folks can criticize all they want but if you don't come to the table with solutions you're just another whiner. If one idea doesn't work....change it and try the next, that is what makes me a Democrat.

I'm glad your back on the board again!