{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Am I the only one on here not getting paid a living wage????", "post_id": "620a2c5936ba20002a4dfcec", "reply_count": 179, "vote_count": 29, "bowl_id": "5d1bf3e05a095a0021eaf449", "bowl_name": "Teacher's Lounge", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Am I the only one on here not getting paid a living wage????

likefunny
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I took a good look at salary charts and benefits before taking the plunge into education. I also took advantage of a teacher prep program that waived tuition if I taught STEM in an “underprivileged” school district, so no student loans for me! I also worked in industry for several years prior and used stock options to buy a house and investment property, both of which provide rental income.
That said, would I have become a teacher early in my career? Hell no! Only later in my life did I have the perspective, knowledge, and patience to consider teaching a worthy endeavor, and that is in no small part due to the fact that teacher unions negotiated enough pay and benefits to make teaching attractive to me, considering all I went through as a small business owner before making a career change to teaching. Only now do I have the best possible teaching gig I could find, and I’m looking forward to it until I retire. And for those that like to badmouth unions, consider how our administration wants to chip away at our contractual benefits, like reducing lunch time from 30 to 20 minutes. Why, just because they can? Property tax income in our town is higher than ever, the town can certainly afford to maintain our benefits along with modest raises.
I guess my original was…salary schedules are public knowledge, study them if you need to be earning a “livable” wage!

I definitely hear you. That is one aspect of being a teacher that is reprehensible. Unfortunately it is a reflection of our culture, capitalist oriented, which doesn’t know what to do with non-tangible products like education of our children.

I used to tell my students when the topic came up that it was a good thing I wasn’t in teaching for the money, because I wasn’t getting what I should compared to others with comparable education. In this country, money is often the key to respect. It’s not the case everywhere. My first experience in teaching was in the Peace Corps in Cameroon (west Africa) 1981-83. The pay was at subsistence level. Host national peers all made more than Peace Corps Volunteers except for those first-year teachers with minimum qualifications. I had a bachelors degree in biology, minor in chemistry, but that had no impact on pay. The respect and regard was high in my community, such that I could get my groceries on credit if my pay was slow in coming. Eventually I decided to pursue a teaching degree (masters) when I returned to the states.

It took quite a few years for my salary to reach a living wage, and I’m single with no spouse and no children in my life other than the ones I taught. After a while, I reached the top of my pay scale ladder such that the only increases happened when 1) I got a second masters and 2) the union was able to negotiate increases and more steps. Often the latter happened thanks to binding arbitration when the school district couldn’t or wouldn’t come to an agreement.

I’ve been disrespected by the public, including prospective dates because of being a teacher, either money-related, as in why chose such a job which doesn’t pay, or because of some negative experience that they had with a teacher. It’s difficult to be a teacher, ie a public servant, in a culture that assigns value and importance to a job or profession based on the size of one’s wallet.

On the dating scene, it is nice when the trash reveals itself quickly.

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Yes...

OK, I'll remove my tongue from my cheek now.

Define 'living wage'. My single daughter managed quite well (financially speaking) teaching in DCPS. So, for her, a 'living wage' was quite accessible through her work.

Now, if you're a single parent trying to provide child care expenses and rent an extremely overpriced DC apartment, that living wage issue is something else.

A first-year teacher in DC makes more per year than I make at 27 years in rural NC. Whether you have a living wage is as much a matter of geography as it is experience and pay scales.

likesmart

“Put extra money towards retirement” - tell me you didn’t have large student loans without saying you didn’t have large student loans

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My net pay is half of my gross salary. So to the government it looks like I make okay money, but in real life I don’t bring home a living wage.

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CES2-I’ve always paid high taxes because I do not have deductions(do not have children, cannot afford a house, live in my parents house because rent is too high, have to take a standard deduction). Every year I get raked with taxes. Happened prior to Trump.

Awe, sorry to hear that. However, this profession takes heart and passion. It's not about the money. Keep thinking more positive and it helps reduce the low pay mindset. Happy V-Day. Spread love and positivity and joy to your children.

funnylike

I also apologize if I came across too harsh. I have been in very toxic, back stabing schools with all admin, staff, parents and teachers playing eachother as pawns. I have seen it tear a kids little world view and I believe it has made me more humble, observant and defensive of those that are seeming to be wronged.

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It could be better! Education is not a priority in this country!

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AGREE!

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Try be a building sub. $22,000 a year and no benefits

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Your benefit is not having any extra work besides 8-3 snotty kids lol

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I think teachers and those working in education are grossly underpaid. Helping professions in general don’t pay well. This must be the mind set of our country - it’s not a public (government) thing, it’s also happening in other areas in the private sector where professionals are grossly underpaid. It’s about value! When we as a country value education, maybe we’ll get paid what we deserve. I’d say I make decent money but I could easily double it if I worked in private practice. I plan to retire next year 🤞🏼, but would make a move if I was younger.

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My advice to you would be to downsize your entire life to fit your salary and increase your lifestyle as your salary increases; I had to do it and a lot of other teachers have had to do it. I make sure my salary always fits my lifestyle from year 1 to today (17 years). If you can make life alterations and make your salary work for you instead of you working for your salary, you will find that life is a lot more enjoyable. It might even involve relocating to an area where the cost of living is cheaper like Missouri. I dont know how many years you have been teaching, but trust me, it gets better over time and if you alter your lifestyle, the best times will sneak up on you in no time, especially if you enjoy what you do!

likeuplifting

I get it but, that’s is just sad! This job takes up way too much emotional energy and we have a 4yr degree at a minimum, many have a masters degree. Work is definitely not over when you walk out the door. Even if you bring not one file, no papers to grade, no lesson plans, no bips/FBAs or evals home w you but… you expend a lot of mental energy thinking about, dreaming about, strategizing for, researching about the students you work with …you’re putting in a ton of bourse that you’re not getting paid for. I don’t work in a factory where when I walk out the door and feel free minded and full of energy (might be tired but…).
When you’re responsible for children, you should be compensated appropriately!

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Like someone else said, "Define living". I live comfortably. I always have money for food and internet. After nearly 20 years in education I was able to purchase a home. Do I have enough money saved back for rainy days or broken HVAC systems? NO. Could I afford a vacation? NO. Do I have an extra dime to consider home improvements? NO. And truthfully, the only reason that I am as comfortable as I am is that I don't have kids. If I had children, I am sure that I would struggling and barely surviving paycheck to paycheck. Bless single parents trying to raise kids on a teacher's income. Dont even get me started on paras and teacher assistant pay. That is well below poverty level and I dont see how anyone survives on so little.

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nope, and 7% inflation isn't helping.

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I make a living wage, but it's a combination of hard work, luck, and a couple of key choices that got me here. Hard work: I got a master's degree to bump over a few columns on the pay scale. Luck: I have a strong union that fights for me to have that living wage and good benefits. I also don't have children to support and my husband and I are relatively healthy so we can get by with the cheap insurance. Choices: I moved from Florida to rural California over a decade ago when I could see the writing on the wall of where education and teacher pay/support was headed there. I work at the one high school in my small town where everyone knows everyone. They all want their kids to get a good education and know that taking care of teachers is the way to get that. Not that the community impacts our pay, but it impacts our board elections which sets our pay and general moral on campus which trickles down to a good work environment.

All of that to say - I do see my privilege. I know that not everyone can move across the country for a better job, and I know not everyone gets to pick their union. But my biggest advice for those wanting bigger paychecks? A good union is key. Start organizing and create one if you don't have one already, or run for union positions to make changes from within if you have a crappy one.

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Definitely not!

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No, you are not alone.

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I don't want to sound rude, but perhaps you need to look at a new higher paying career or moving into an area with a lower cost of living. Looking at the pay scale in your area, it is very high compared to others. I wish you luck.

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Thanks for chasing off teachers, clearly your state doesn't have a teacher shortage.

likesmart

I am not. I am looking to work this summer if I can to save for the rest of the year. My rent alone is 50% of my take home pay. Can't be a single parent and live on what teachers get paid

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I'm making over 160 K yearly and will retire with a pension starting at 115 K a year. Find a job in a suburban public school.

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Mine is less than a third of that after 30 years. They did away with pay steps where I live so I make less than teachers who retired 10 years before me.

Washington State - In my district anyone over about ten years of experience is nipping at $100,000 per year. Public school in Eastern Washington.

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No you are not... I have been teaching for 8 years, I have a master's in education for a total of 7 years in college and I make $44,000... between mortgage, utilities, car/gas/insurance etc. it is VERY tough. After all, we are only building the minds of the population that is going to run this country in a decade right?

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You’re definitely not alone! This has got to change. We definitely need a paradigm shift. We need to flip this scrip and actively fight for change. There’s a shitload of us…ppl are not going into education (or nursing or MD).
This is the time for change! Any ideas on how this can happen on a national level? Walk outs aren’t possible but there’s gotta be something the majority could get behind. I can’t think of anything bc my mindset is on just a walkin out strategy. It’s powerful-

30 years of teaching and making over $100,000. We have a great union that works hard for us.

likefunny

This is me Cali hs6- 27 yrs in making 100,000.
I love our union!

likefunny

If all was equal to when you signed your contract, I would agree. For me, this is a very different job than when I signed my contract…very different.

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I should have said that I see myself as a change agent. I resist stagnation when it is no longer working. I try and do that w my students on a professional level and in my life as well.

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