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Dreamworld: $100k a year

In this time of economic crisis, who would be crazy enough to ask for a raise?

Well, not me–but I can’t help but take notice of this op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times talking about this wonder-school that pays its teachers $125,000 per year. This is more than three times what I make as a teacher now, and it seems like a dream.

The writer speaks to me when she talks about teacher burnout, about the challenges of public school teaching, budget cuts, and overwhelmingly unreal expectations from parents & the general public (if I see one more “heroic teacher” movie..!).

Teachers are not viewed with much reverence, and we feel it in the classroom on a daily basis. I confess myself to feeling overworked and under-appreciated. We are subjected to endless meetings that don’t make sense, even to the people giving them. We spend our own money. The children are crazy. We baby-sit more often than we teach. Parents yell at us for not doing enough, and an over-abundance of laws and restrictions prevent us from doing what we should.

Unfortunately, neither the article nor many of the comments address the few joys of teaching, which include being rewarded wtih students who are learning, with whom you have made a difference; or the relationships formed, the daily interaction with kids who make me laugh at least once a day. But to be honest, the kind of self-sacrifice and abuse I put up with daily has, on many occasions, overshadowed these bright spots and has provoked thoughts of leaving the profession.

I’m not sure more money is the answer, though. Apparently teachers at these dreamlands charter schools work 12 to 15 hour days and end up doing even more non-teacher tasks than before (which seems like nothing more than an attempt to quell the masses, who already complain that teachers don’t even deserve the pay they get). But it’s a start.

I actually read an article about these schools for the first time last year. That means at least one of these places has been in the works for a little while now; where is the updated progress? I’ll try to find it.