Below is a playful (yet passionate) interpretation of the perception that teachers are nothing more than "glorified babysitters".  The author, David Coffey from Spring Lake, hits a chord with me and some of the frustration I have felt (as of late) regarding the public's perception of teachers.

 

Enjoy and feel free to comment.

 

BTW... this article is starting to pop up in newspapers throughout the state.  I found it at Mlive.com at this link. 

 

WHAT IS A TEACHER WORTH?

"Full disclosure: I’m a teacher. My wife is a teacher. Both of my parents taught. And my maternal grandparents were teachers. I am aware I am biased on this issue. However, that does not negate the following facts.

I have read comments lately suggesting teachers are paid too much. Sometimes, the rationale behind these comments is that teachers are simply glorified babysitters. So let’s consider this for a minute. Babysitters make anywhere from $4-10 an hour. Let’s be conservative and use the lower amount. Classrooms now have about 25 kids per class. School runs from around 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., but teachers often get an hour planning and a luxurious 30-minute lunch. So conservatively, they work 5.5 hours. The school year is 180 days long. Doing the math I learned thanks to a teacher, that totals to $99,000 per year. Of course, we will have to pay someone else to do the planning, assessing and other duties that teachers do beyond the school day since that’s not in a babysitter’s job description.

Now I can hear some of you complaining that this is too much money given that you consider teachers part-time civic employees. So let’s consider paying teachers what we pay another part-time civic employee — a Michigan legislator. They make $79,650 per year and another $1,000 per month for expenses. And then there are the lifetime health benefits after working just six years.

But wait, there has been a lot of yelling recently that we must reduce government debt so our precious children and grandchildren will not be saddled with this burden. They are our future, after all, and an investment in ensuring that America will go on after us. A precious investment, you say? Then maybe we should pay teachers like investment bankers.

You get the point. A teacher is worth much more than the average $58,000 we pay them — even when you add in benefits. So the next time you think that teachers are paid too much or that their unions are unnecessary consider these examples. When we pay teachers as much as investment bankers or legislators or even babysitters then maybe the time for teacher unions has passed. But until then be grateful for the bargain.

David Coffey

Spring Lake

Views: 14

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Comment by Jamie Tuch on April 6, 2011 at 2:50pm
In Menominee we are across the river from Wisconsin.  Everyday people sound off in the newspaper of how teachers are overpaid government employees who are bleeding the state dry with their huge pay and benefit packages.  Scott Walker has managed to divide that state so much that public employees are hated by the private sector.  This is from a governor with no college degree at all.  Teachers are not supposed to earn a decent living and have benefits.  We are compared to every private employee no matter what educational background.  People are taking pleasure in making sure that teachers suffer because they are suffering.  It is really a sad state of affairs over there.  Many young teachers are going to exit the field because an 8% cut in pay does not make it worth it to work in that field.  I fear that Michigan will be next.  Like Barbara has said it is a sad time to be in the public education system.  Schools are unsure of the per-pupil funding next year and are going to be scrambling to meet their budgets.  It is really a shame how little support is out there for public teachers these days.  Watch MSNBC some night with Rachel Maddow.  She has been uncovering many things going on in Michigan about the upcoming budget.  It is an eye-opener.
Comment by Barbara Assenmacher on March 25, 2011 at 6:58pm
This is definitely a sad time for the public education system. My school district plans to lay off all teachers and administrators at the next board meeting, April 12th. Since they don't know what they are going to cut to try to balance the budget yet and they are required by law to notify us by April 30th, they are taking the approach of playing it safe by laying off everyone until they can figure it out.

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