Teachers, talk to me...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2008
Teachers, talk to me...
3
Sun, 11-28-2010 - 10:45pm

Ladies I know there's at least one other teacher on this board (hi, Chouli!) and I expect there's probably more.

Talk to me about the teaching profession in the US. I just watched Oprah's episode on "Waiting on/for Superman" and was devastated for those poor kids.

Now, I know that there are plenty of great teachers there, like our Chouli! But I'm so shocked at the process that if you work for 2 years you get tenure? What? This is apalling for a parent, in the case of unmotivated, tired, over-it teachers.

DH and I are both teachers (by choice, not by default) and have had previous professions in the media and business respecitvely. We are passionate about what we do. We love our jobs. The problem is that here, state teachers are mostly on contracts and jobs are so hard to come by (due to "dinosaur" teachers who won't move on, despite openly hating their jobs, and also due to universities accepting very low score applicants into teacher preparation courses as a $ making enterprise. The great thing about this is that because the jobs are so competitive, kids get great teachers. We never know if we have a job the following year so we give 200% every day (not that we woudn't anyway, but there's nothing like instability as a motivation).

What are the teachers like there? What are your colleagues/kid's teachers like? I was shocked about the "Lemon Dance" (where rubbish teachers are swapped between districts!). What is the salary like? The salary here is good (about 60K for a 4th year teacher).

Interested to hear back!

B

B, loving wife to L. Proud Mum to William Luke (22 months) and expecting Samuel James in November. >

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Mon, 11-29-2010 - 5:40am

Down here in FL, it takes three years to be offered tenure, but its not guaranteed. The principal decides if the teacher is good enough. I am a teacher by default (sorry!). I was a scientist for 6 years and went back for a Master's in public health....JUST in time for the economy to tank and all the public health initiatives to go away. So when I moved back to FL after grad school there was nothing for me. I teach because I can and because I am good at it. I may not always like my teenagers, but I like the content, I am intrinsically motivated to be good at my job, and I love when I *reach* them and they get it. The salary for me as a 4th year teacher with a master's is not great - 40K. But I am employed and refuse to complain. DH makes more as a cop w/o a degree (but he's been doing it 14 yrs).

We do have lemons. But the individual school can put some pressure on them. I've seen admins push teachers to resign/retire. Like I said, I am motivated to be great at whatever I do, but I see colleagues who are too young for "burn out" who act like they are already dinosaurs. We work in a "D" school with low-level students

Chouli, 34; DH 45 Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2008
Mon, 11-29-2010 - 8:19am
Hey chouli thanks for replying. I think I'd rather have a bit lower salary and some job security anyday! I think u can be a default teacher and be awesome at it! It just gets to me when staff are unmotivated and say "if I had my time again..." sorry for grammar, on phone! They estimate here the percentage of burn outs in under 5 years is very high, don't know the exact stats, due to conditions. DH is seriously considering becoming a fireman because the pay is better. How do u cope with dh's shifts?
B, loving wife to L. Proud Mum to William Luke (22 months) and expecting Samuel James in November. >

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Mon, 11-29-2010 - 11:24am

I'm lucky enough to have snagged my DH at this point in his career. He made sergeant about

Chouli, 34; DH 45 Lilypie Pregnancy tickers