Sunday, April 27, 2014

More Money is NOT the Answer, Well Sort-Of

Yes, I believe teachers are underpaid.  No, I don't want more money.  I make enough that my husband and I can pay off our loans and support a family.  It is easy, no.  Is it possible, yes.

What I think would make my job better is less expectations.  No, I don't want teachers to be able to get away with things they shouldn't do.  I want us (culturally) to understand what it really takes to plan a valuable lesson.  Then I want enough time in my day to reflect on what I've taught, assess my students and give them feedback, and then plan new lessons.  I also want time to collaborate with my peers; both those in my building and/or district and those who are a part of the math twitter blogosphere.  Then I need time to communicate with parents and the community about the things going on in my classroom.  Sometimes this is email or a phone call, but this also might involve updating my website.  The fifty minutes of prep time I get in no way allows for those things.

I want to be clear:  I am not upset with my school.  The amount of prep time I get is standard across the US.  We have unions across the nation that advocate for higher teacher pay, but do they advocate for more planning and prep time?

That is is what I think we should push for, so that we can lead balanced lives and find passion outside of the classroom.  Yes, I realize that overall this would cost more money, but this is how I would invest the money if it were up to me.




  1. I'm not sure what I want. I do wholeheartedly agree with you, however, that teachers should have more time for planning and collaboration. I'm not ashamed to admit that on numerous occasions I was lesson planning (for that day's lessons!) in the shower and in the car on my way to school.

    1. No shame in morning lesson plans. Some of those are the best! (However, some of my morning lesson plans also turn out the be the worst...)

  2. Your post here really got me thinking. I agree that money is not everything. I find that I never have enough hours in the day (esp at school) to do everything that I want. I wish I had more time with all my classes (50 min is not enough). I wish I had more prep time. I wish I had less nonsense to do (you know, the non teaching stuff that we get stuck doing). I wish I didn't have to administer a standardized test and then get judged by how well my students did. There is a lot that would make my life as a teacher better besides a pay raise... but a raise wouldn't hurt either.

    1. Well if I had infinite amounts of money to spend on education I would do a lot more (like give all teachers raises). It's a tough call with the limited money schools have to spend.