OLD HOMETOWN SAID:
"So those currently working at "America's mediocre schools of education" are not the best and brightest?
Pretty damning statement right there from someone who claims 35 years of employment in one system of "America's mediocre schools of education"."
--Hometown, you are twisting her words. She never said our current crop of teachers are or are not the best and brightest. She was simply making the point that you get what you pay for; if you don't offer an attractive compensation package for any job, you won't attract the best workers.
"It's not an argument, it's fact and you know it."
--Yes, it is a fact that most teachers only actually work 9 months per year. Her point, which you failed to refute, was that you do a lot of work outside of your normal hours during those 9 months.
"None, since that's not my gig (and, BTW, grading happens during the 9-month year).
--Again, very often the grading is done at home; or in the classroom after hours. That was her whole point there.
"If you're asking me do I work on weekends and weeknights, the answer is yes. I do it because I need to complete a project or I want to advance myself."
--OK then, teachers are not alone. Now we are getting somewhere.
"Or you can just put me in the group of businesspeople who work like hell in this economy to ensure that my (side) business survives--"
--OK, so again, teachers are not alone. No argument there.
"and you can't do that (at any time in any economy) by being a 9-5 clock puncher."
--Agreed...and teachers are never 9-5 clock punchers. School starts well before 9, and the staff has to be in the building well before the students arrive and class starts. And it often goes later than 5.
"you are paid to be at those meetings. It's part of your salary. If there is a meeting after-hours or off-building and I'm required to be there, guess what? I show up."
--Again, I agree.
"How many hours per week do I prepare reports for supervisors and colleagues and how many presentations do I do? Plenty. Once again, you are a salaried employee. Your time is paid for by your salary, not hourly. If you don't like your salary, that's on you (and your union). But you are being paid."
--It sounds like you work hard. I applaud you for that. I work hard, too. And you know what? So do teachers. We all do what we have to do. Sometimes, it's not always fair what we ALL have to put up with to make a living. The point that I think you are missing is that teachers are under attack, as though they are getting away with some sort of highway robbery. On top of that, there are attempts being made all the time to blame everything that is wrong with our schools on teachers. The teachers are just standing up for themselves. They put up with a lot of crap, just like you do, just like I do, and they do it for an agreed upon package; the one thing that really is not covered in that package is a premium pay for being the butt of widespread public scorn. When their livelihood, as well as their character, is under attack, they have every right to defend themselves. This goes for ALL of us, public or private, union or non-union. Considering all of the work you do, and all of the extra miles you go for your employer, would you sit idly by if your salary was threatened or your work ethic questioned? If your employer expected the same amount of work (or more) for less pay, or improvement of conditions you don't have full control over as a condition of employment, you're telling me you wouldn't stand up for yourself? You're telling me you wouldn't start looking for another job? Or, if you happen to be a well educated professional doing what you do because you love it and feel called to it, you wouldn't speak up to try and improve things? Do what you have to do...but if that is the case, you are less an employee than a servant or slave.
It's true, you are free to leave your job any time you want. So, you're not a slave in that sense. But you've pretty much got to work somewhere. If you are willing to accept any amount or type of work for any amount of pay, and will take no action when you're being wronged, it does not say much for your sense of pride, and in the end you'll wind up with exactly the situation you deserve. Once again, that goes for ALL of us.
"And your union fails to protect you/fight for reasonable reimbursement expenses because.......hmmmmm, why?"
--Your subtle suggestion here that the union is somehow failing them is quite flimsy. In most cases, the union DOES protect them from having to pay for these things out of pocket. Most teachers pay for these things of their own free will, in order to create a better experience for their students; and the things they choose to buy that are extra are things that are not supplied by the school, for varying reasons. But nobody forces them, and to be fair, they would not have much right to complain about that in and of itself. But I think the resentment here would come not so much from paying for extra things out of their pocket; but rather, doing so and still being subjected to being called pampered good-for-nothings by people like yourself.
"Bottom line, what do you want, a medal? It's not a punch-clock job. You have responsibilities that need to be fulfilled and are known up front before you start on day one. You know the salary from day one."
--Yet again, you are putting words in peoples' mouths. Nobody asked for a medal. Teachers are not IDIOTS. They understand the idea of working a certain amount for certain pay. They accept it and they do it. I think most teachers would be satisfied if everyone would just stop blaming them for all of society's ills.
Recently, we have had a rash of violent crimes in Toledo, and not long ago, a rash of arson. I never heard any talk about over paid or lazy police or firefighters. Every day there are auto accidents on the highway involving semi drivers, but rarely do you hear about lazy or overpaid truck drivers. So why then do so many people see teachers as the chief reason for the failure of schools?