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Paperback Teachers Have It Easy : The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers Book

ISBN: 1595581286

ISBN13: 9781595581280

Teachers Have It Easy : The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Now in paperback, the bestselling call to action for improving the lives of public school teachers - and improving classrooms along the way.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Experienced Tenured Teacher Faces Layoff

Art D. wrote "Salary comparisons fail to note that in private sector, there is no tenure. That is, teacher salaries can be stable for 35 years, while private sector workers face possible, quint-annual layoffs with salaries and benefits that can (and sometimes do) spiral downward." As a teacher with 9 years experience, I have faced 4 years where I have had to worry about whether or not I will have a job come August. Yes, I do have tenure...but in education you can be "RIFfed" at any time the money runs out, even in the middle of a school year. Yes, I have tenure, but did not qualify for it until after my 6th year of teaching. Even then, I can be released if someone higher-up assumes I'm not doing my job. No, my benefits don't spiral downward. But this is no thanks to the school district I work for, just the fact that I choose to take more out of my paycheck every month to make sure I do not loose my benefits. More money is taken from my check every month than I actually receive. The district and the teachers' association just completed this year's round of negotiations. As teachers, we were excited to receive the biggest raise we've had in more than 7 years...a whole $1270 for the entire year! That's just a little more than $100 a month before taxes...but still not enough to pay for cost of living increases. The list goes on and on... Did I know what I was getting myself into? Yes, both of my parents are teachers. At 9 years, I have made it almost twice as long as the average new teacher will. However, I can't afford to make it for much longer. I have 3 part-time jobs in addition to teaching your children all day and my husband works 2. We can't afford to buy a house, have children, purchase a used car, or even have eye exams. It's time America started treating educators like the professionals we are. Without us teaching the country's children to be independent workers and critical thinkers, what kind of life would they end up having?

Response to Ingram

Well, it is certainly about time someone wrote a book on this topic. Now the challege is to educate the systems and our society of the reality and demands of the teacher's job. This profession is misunderstood by many people, including the guys who sit around a table and make decisions for our systems, students and teachers. None of which I am sure have even been in the classroom in years, if at all. Ingram - I understand your need to hear the positive feedback from experience teachers given that you are an "inspiring teacher". But the system is the system and the problems within this system are real. I have an education degree as well as a business degree. The business degree I have never regretted. I have many family members and friends in the profession. My suggestion to you is to actually work in the field first before making judgments on those individuals that have actually made these sacrifies. In other words, check back in a few years when you actually have some experience under your belt.


Any of us in teaching understand how difficult a job it is, how little recognition for our efforts we receive and how little respect from our peers we garner, yet it is difficult to argue with comments like "you're done at 3:00" "you have the entire summer off" "I'd just treat those kids like my own." Finally a book that explains that none of us are done at 3:00, we need the summer off to recoup and reenergize and those kids are not our own. Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers allows teachers a forum to describe their day, asks experts in a variety of fields to explain exactly what teachers do and how, and examines ways schools are changing to validate that teaching is a profession worth paying quality people to go into. Especially illuminating is the chart in Chapter Seven: "A Day in the Life" in which a teacher's day is compared to the day of a salesperson making twice the salary. No where have I found such compelling evidence that teaching is much more difficult than asking students to open books and answer questions. This is a must read for everyone in the profession, anyone contemplating going into the profession and everyone who has any say to how teachers are paid, from voters to legislatures to district policy makers. Buy a copy, read it, pass it on.

Educate yourself about what teachers go through with this book

This book combines statistic and qualitative data to give readers a frank and unsparing portrait of American education. For all of the talk about 'standards' and 'accountability' America expects its teachers to do so much with very little. Teachers are horribly paid for all of the work which they are expected to do--and their responsibilities keep on growing. This is madness. In my own home state of Texas, school teacher salaries are determined by the local property tax paid in individual districts. The 'local control' which is promised under this arrangement sounds great until we realize that teachers are also expected to be a counselor...etc but do not get any extra compensation for these assignments. Well-heeled school districts and schools are the exception and not the rule inside public education. That America presently has the amount of public school teachers which it does is more testament to their idealism of wanting to make the world a little better place rather than the 'benefits'. It is a travesty that our country has teachers starving themselves (and their families) while ensuring that a community's children are being taken care of. After seeing what neighbors, friends, and the people inside this book go through, I am convinced that public school teachers are among the closest things which America has to saints. I am also concerned that the public policy discrepancies which are painstakingly illustrated by the authors will continue festering unless concrete action is undertaken.
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