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Year 3 Day 29- Session one is in the books

by admin on September 30th, 2005

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Sorry for not posting the past couple days; it’s been really busy here. We’re trying to get kids signed up for the next session, as well as get grades entered into the computer, and I mentioned that using the new grade program was a pain in the butt… it still is… but luckily all grades, and credits are now entered.

Today was payday, and I really don’t understand. Our first paycheck of the year doesn’t have any new health insurance rates kicking in yet, or any union dues taken out… so it is larger, and I know it’s hard because most people base their monthly budget on that… then the September check comes, and all the union dues are taken out, and low and behold your check is over $100 less this month… which SUCKS, not that I mind paying for them, just deduct them every month, so I know what to expect.

Next month our insurance rates for 2006 kick in and my check will drop another $200 a month… unbelievable. I thought because I was adding another year of service, and adding more college units, so I was moving OVER on the salary schedule as well… I thought that this would mean I would make MORE money. I actually make only about $20 more a month, than last year… .and add the fact gas has gone up about 30% this year, and I actually make less.

Could a brother get a friggin’ raise finally? 5 years man, 5 FRIGGIN YEARS since we got any kind of permanent raise on our salaries. I don’t count the districts 3% one time bonus as anything other than an over taxed way of not dealing with contract negotiations. We happen to have people negotiating our contract now who take that kind of thing, and call it good.

Our district pays the highest insurance rates in the area, as well as having the worst salary schedule. That’s something to strive for. The funny thing is they talk about changing, and making it easier for us, but never do… they just find ways to spend that money. They’ve closed a school down, gotten rid of a lot of other things that cost the district money, had an overage of the kids projected for the year by nearly 200, and still we haven’t heard one thing about a raise. If I were keeping up with the cost of living, and not struggling more to live each year, I wouldn’t care… but I’m already going to be working the pole in a teddy sometime soon just to buy diapers for my kids, and gas for the car.

Our district wants us to be better than the other districts around… how about paying us like it.

I’m over the ridiculous in-service we had on Monday. My principal asked me how I thought it was, and I explained my dissatisfaction with it, while other colleagues of mine are inclined to just say… ioh fine, it was wonderful… i I’m going to be honest, because really, by lying, it just insures I get to see more of those types of things in the future, and… no thanks.

My principal’s response to my negative response to the numbers shown was something about studies showing that teacher quality is the number one factor in student success.

No kidding.

That’s an easy card to play for any administrator, and well, I think I’d play it too if I were in that position… but really it’s like saying Studies show that driver quality is the number one factor in NASCAR race wins. (I apologize for the NASCAR reference; I don’t know where it came from.) It would be just as ridiculous though, if I were to tell a NASCAR fan that… iOh studies have shown that driver quality is responsible for most successful NASCAR winners.i

If I were to say that, they’d say.

iNo. Sh**i, and then they would proceed to tell me how important the other things are like crew chiefs, pit crew, sponsorship money, the car they drive, the technology, fans, etc.. are actually really most important, because driver quality is a given.

Were professionals here in education, teacher quality should be just taken as a given, even though there are exceptions… teacher quality should be seen as a given. Then the districts and admin. should sit down and figure out how to make the other things happen, so that the quality teachers can do more.

In regards to the teachers that are NOT iqualityi, there needs to be some assessment done. How did they get tenured? They had to be quality at SOME point, or they wouldn’t have gotten tenured, so find out why they no longer have that same level of enthusiasm that they once did.

Are they doing without proper equipment, and got frustrated?
Are they ill?
Are they frustrated with a particular part of the system, and just gave up?
Are they teaching out of their subject matter, and getting bored, or discouraged?
Are they burnt out on education? Why?

I can tell you that things like that will affect your effectiveness. It did with me, and sometimes it takes something else to revive the teacher. We have a new leader here, and while I’m cautious as always, I believe he’s doing some good for me, so I’m sort of re-excited about this year… and I’m giving it way more effort. I can tell you though should things change, and I start to feel unappreciated, or screwed over, I’ll go back to feeling like I did in the past.

It’ll also go with pay… if I keep making less; it’ll make work not as fun, or worthwhile.
If our district doesn’t care about us, why should we care about it? Getting a letter in my paychecks saying, iHey keep up the good work!!!i doesn’t do anything for me… it’s not personal, and means nothing to me, plus it avoids the real concerns teachers have.

Plus I remember back to the letter I got from our superintendent thanking me for the icolorful artworki I displayed in their offices… and it was all black and white stuff. I know he doesn’t really care.

I guess everyone has to pick and choose which basket they place their eggs in, and he just chooses the sports and test scores basket.

Oh well, It’s Friday, and the official end of session one, and I really liked this session a lot. I got a lot done, I lectured every day, had great classroom behavior… so I can’t complain.

Session 2 is starting on Monday.

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2 Comments
  1. Paco permalink

    Boy… I am glad I don’t count on a union to negotiate pay raises for me… no thanks.

  2. Eduardo permalink

    I will second what Paco said.

    You’re like a piston inside a rusty old engine that doesn’t work very well anymore. You’re wondering why you can’t just get enough oil to function properly, only the problem is that the entire machine runs so inefficiently that it continually consumes more and more oil. You never get enough, even though the machine can’t function properly without you.

    This is why the argument that “if we would just give our schools even more money, they would be successful again” is a total crock. It’s like saying that you can fix a rusty old Buick with a cracked engine block just by giving it enough oil and filling up the gas tank.

    You need a new job, or you’re going to seize up and crack… just like an overheated piston.

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