Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are Teachers Underpaid

photo by: teachermisery.com
Are teachers underpaid? This is one of the most divisive questions during 2012. Across the country we saw teacher strikes and state legislatures high-jacking teacher collective bargaining rights. Across the country we heard teachers revered and  reviled. We heard people say they "made too much" and they "didn't make enough." And at the conclusion of the year, it seems that we are back where we started.

As I searched for articles about the topic of teachers' being underpaid or overpaid, I came across an article that puts a humorous twist to the teacher salary debate. The article generated over 140 comments. This speaks volume to the explosiveness of the issue. The article is from www.addictinginfo.org. Enjoy!

Are You Sick of 'Highly Paid Teachers'? 

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.
However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!!

I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) 


How much do you think a teacher should make? Are teachers underpaid?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Martin Luther King or Bill Gates

One day as I got down on my knees and prayed, a benevolent voice whispered to me and said, “MJ, you will receive a gift.” Instead of asking who or what the voice is, I got very excited with the prospect that I might receive a windfall of riches and fame. So I asked, “What’s the gift?”

The voice answered, “You will have the chance to determine one of your children’s future.”
Ok, so the gift is not for me it’s for one of my children. This is even better.  I gleefully asked for more details. The voice obliged.

“First you must choose which of your children will receive the gift. Then you have to decide which path your chosen child will take. There are two paths. The first path is a path that Martin Luther King journeyed and the second path is the road that Bill Gates traveled. Your child’s chosen path will have the same triumphs, struggles, rewards, and sacrifices as the person who first lived it.”


It’s already hard enough to choose which child to pick but the different paths has made it more difficult. I asked the voice if I can have at least an hour to maul over my choices. The voice said, “No problem.”

If I pick MLK, then I know for sure what will happen to my child. But his life affected so many people and has literally changed the course of American society and arguably changed the world. If I were to choose MLK, then my daughter, The Family Genius, with be perfect for his life. Like MLK, the Family Genius has the huge capacity to do what’s right. She has an unwavering conviction that will not sacrifice her integrity and good sense. She also has the ability to organize and galvanize people to work for a common cause.

Now if I decide to go with Bill Gates, The Prodigal Son would definitely fit the bill. Like Gates, The Prodigal Son, has the knack for business and the ability to recognize a need and be able to meet that need with speed and efficiency.  The Prodigal Son will be focused in growing his business and money but in the end like Gates, he will give them away through philanthropic means. He may not admit that he has a kind and generous heart but he does. His kindness is immense.

In my deep thoughts, I didn't notice that my one hour has run out. The voice pressed me to make a decision. And so I did.

I chose to selfishly keep my daughter and I decided on Bill Gates and The Prodigal Son.

Of course in reality, there was no voice and there were no paths to choose.

This whole exercise is about knowing your children’s abilities and capacities. We may have dreams about what we want our children to be when they grow up. We may even want to choose their paths for them.  In the end however, our children will become who they are. It’s our job and responsibility to recognize our children’s abilities and help them develop these abilities.

We may want to protect them from the world but we cannot and must not because in doing so we will be depriving them of their destiny. We have to remember that as parents, like Martin Luther King and Bill Gates parents, we are the original “Life Coaches.” Our job is to help with their life game plan and guide them through life practice. 

And when it is game time, we have to let them play.

photo by: bloom-fitness.com

Positive Lies, Negative Truths

At work I’m an expert at telling positive lies in place of negative truths. As a teacher and a school administrator, I not only have to nurture our school’s students’ feelings, I have to do it for their parents as well.

When speaking to parent about his or her child, you have to know that even if a parent is listening to your comments objectively, the negative statements about his/her child doesn't hurt any less. I know I’m good at what I do because I can totally empathize with every single parent I talk to. Like any other parent, while my children are definitely my source of inspiration and strength, they are also my Achilles Heel.

Any negative statement regarding my children, true or not, is like a dull knife piercing through my heart. Such was the case when one of my dearest and respected relative spoke unfavorably about my children. While what she said was true and without malice, her comments were still hurtful.

And because I was hurt, I changed our entire vacation itinerary. Did I overreact? Probably.  Was I too sensitive? With out a doubt! But my feelings were definitely valid and justified.

So imagine me, reacting the way I did. I'm supposed to be a professional, who is very objective, and who usually take everything with a grain of salt. Now replace me with one of the many parents from my school.

Yes, I believe in telling the truth. But I also believed in bending the truth to achieve a bigger and better outcome. When it comes to talking to parents about their children’s academic, social, and emotional progress or lack thereof, one must thread lightly and cautiously. If one sets out to tell the unadulterated truth to a parent, one must be ready to face the repercussion. 

photo from: blog.lib.umn.edu