Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why We Teach?

Many of you have already acknowledged that you did not enter the teaching profession for the salary. But how does an annual salary of $125,000 sound? A new magnet slated to open in 2009 will be paying its teachers just that, and the principal will earn $90,000, with the goal of one day being promoted to teacher.

The initiative is based on the theory that what really matters in a child’s education is the teacher! The goal is to attract the most qualified and brightest teachers in the nation.

The school will serve the middle grades, 5 through 8. All students must take two courses: Latin and music! Class size will be 30.

Okay, where is this school? It is in New York City's Washington Heights. The principal has already been selected. Recruitment of teachers is in process. Even if you are not interested in relocating to the Big Apple, do you think paying teachers over $100,000 is the best way to achieve excellence in education? Will expert teachers be able to significantly improve students' scholastic skills?

To read more about this innovative school, click on the link below, and also check the credentials sought in the school's teachers. Be sure to post your responses.

Information based on New York Times, March 7, 2008 article written by Elissa Gootman, “Charter Schools, Higher Pay.” Photo of Zeke M. Vanderhoek, creator of a charter school, due to open in 2009. Photo by Marilyn K. Yee of New York Times

Click on the hyperlink for the story.


Sharon Kirby said...

I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I were to make that kind of salary. I am still wondering how the school will be run. I agree that teachers should make more money but at what expense? What are they sacrificing in order to accomplish this new school? I am wondering will the students have the technology and the materials that are so essential for a complete education. I would also question the idea of the principal making less than the teachers. The reason I say that is because I don’t want to have to deal with someone of the principal duties, such as parental disagreements, budget meetings, and long board of education meetings. I would also question what qualifies a teacher better than another. I do have issues with the system now because I find it so unfair that as a beginning teacher I make less than other teachers, yet I do more work and care about my position much more than they do. What should we base our salary increase on? It would be ridiculous to say student success, especially for foreign language because I have some students that just can’t get it. Would we deduct pay for every F in the course? WOW…that would be insane! I could just see it; every teacher would dumb down the material in order to make sure that none failed.

Alicia H said...

This is an interesting way to approach schooling. That kind of salary for a teacher sounds great, who does not want a nice paycheck and not have to worry about paying their bills? I thought about this and wondered what the requirements are for the teachers they are hiring. Certain number of years teaching? Great lesson plan portfolio backed by outstanding recommendations? Does number of years teaching equal a great teacher? Will teachers have tenure here? As Sharon stated in her comment here, what is being sacrificed to start this school? The requirement of Latin and music is a stability factor for me-when many other schools are not receiving funding and are cutting music and art programs it is nice to see this is a requirement.
I wonder about the student body--will those be attending because this school is in their district or will they need to apply for admission and be chosen to go to school there?
I do wonder why the principal gets less pay, and it states, that one day he/she will be promoted to be a teacher. ?? Is this a new approach to administration? I would like to follow this story and track the opening and beginning of this school..perhaps this can create a positive change in schooling.

Margaret H. said...

I don’t think that more money would make me happy. I became a teacher because I love working with children and want to share fun experiences with math. I think we need to remember money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s the little things that I get every day at work that make me love my job and make me want to return to work every day. Yes of course earning more money would be nice but if I was worried that much about what I made then I would not have gone into teaching. I would have selected a field that I made a lot of money and not be happy.
Personally I would want other things to change in the field of teaching. I would like more time to work with other teachers on our curriculum, I would like to be able to take time off a little more easily, or I would like access to more equipment for my classes.
We need to remember we can’t have everything that we always want. I have to be grateful with what we have and not dwell on what we don’t.

Martina said...

Margaret, I agree with you. I am often asked that why at my elder age, I want to go and teach and not do something else. For me it is going back to my first love. I got caught up in the rat race that was coprorate america and lost myself for 25 years and found myself kicked to the curb because it became cheaper to do my job in India. The beauty of it was I was reminded that teaching is something I always wanted to do and that math was something that I was good at and I wanted to share that with others. There is not enough money in the world that can bring that kind of joy. I know, I tried it already.

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