Author Topic: Question about teaching  (Read 7547 times)

themagicman

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Question about teaching
« on: November 06, 2014, 10:53:41 AM »
My wife is a teacher and is thinking of quitting at the end of the school year in May (Doesn't think teaching is for her).

I wanted to know if anyone knew if she would still be paid through the summer if she quit at the end of the school year? Since she is contracted for 180 days but will not receive all of her pay by May since she is paid 1/12 of her annual salary a month.

Thanks!

Future Lazy

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 11:06:40 AM »
One of my friends just got her degree in ECE a little more than a year ago, and she had a job over the winter between 2013-2014. Her employer paid her a mass severance type check at the end of the school year, in the spring - the idea being it would be for her to pay bills over the summer before the school year picked up in the fall and regular hourly work resumed. She chose not to go back at the end of the summer in lieu of grad school, and gave notice to the school.

That's just one experience with one private school, though.

The Wife should definitely ask her employer what that looks like for their specific system, though.

red7

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 11:08:31 AM »
Most schools systems in Georgia have payroll set up to pay teachers their salary across 12 months, because apparently they can't be trusted to budget for 2-3 months unpaid.

Search the school district's main website for their pay schedule. They are typically available online as a PDF and list all of the pay periods and the dates on which the teacher gets paid for each pay period. You can check to see when her pay will stop.

As long as she works through the end date of her contract (which is typically at the end of the school year -- but you should check her contract to be sure), she should be paid through the end of the pay schedule.

tstache

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 11:14:40 AM »
Just have her call human resources.  Shouldn't take but just a minute. 

I'm a teacher and get paid through the summer.  I love my job (middle school), but I see burn out everyday.  It is not an easy job.  Good luck to her.

themagicman

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 11:21:23 AM »
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions! I will check it out! One thing, would it be wise for her to call HR about this? She is not 100% going to leave and I wasn't sure if there would be an attitude towards her if she stayed?

red7

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 11:35:07 AM »
I definitely would NOT call HR unless absolutely necessary. It may or may not get back to your wife's principal, and it may cause problems for her if she chooses to stay. It depends on the school's culture, of course, but in my opinion, it's not worth the risk when you can find so much of the information yourself without anyone needing to know about the potential plan.

Honestly, you can find most (if not all) of what you need on the district's website...and no matter how convoluted the website seems, it is probably 10x more helpful than the HR department of any of the major school districts in Atlanta.

When I was looking into being a teacher in the metro Atlanta area, I was able to find all of the pay information (scales, schedules, and typical contract dates) for Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Forsyth counties on their websites. Some took more digging than others, but I was able to find it, eventually.

Since your wife is already an employee, she may be able to find it info more efficiently by logging on to the district website and seeing if the information specific to her is in a quick link or something. (Some districts have this option for employees, IDK if hers does.)

themagicman

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 11:39:38 AM »
I definitely would NOT call HR unless absolutely necessary. It may or may not get back to your wife's principal, and it may cause problems for her if she chooses to stay. It depends on the school's culture, of course, but in my opinion, it's not worth the risk when you can find so much of the information yourself without anyone needing to know about the potential plan.

Honestly, you can find most (if not all) of what you need on the district's website...and no matter how convoluted the website seems, it is probably 10x more helpful than the HR department of any of the major school districts in Atlanta.

When I was looking into being a teacher in the metro Atlanta area, I was able to find all of the pay information (scales, schedules, and typical contract dates) for Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Forsyth counties on their websites. Some took more digging than others, but I was able to find it, eventually.

Since your wife is already an employee, she may be able to find it info more efficiently by logging on to the district website and seeing if the information specific to her is in a quick link or something. (Some districts have this option for employees, IDK if hers does.)

Thanks for the tip! I am going to try this! Yeah, I was a little hesitant about her talking to HR about it.

themagicman

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2014, 11:42:48 AM »
Also hoping that she will be able to get what she put into her teacher retirement (It's required) back once she leaves and we can roll it into an IRA

Future Lazy

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 12:07:41 PM »
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions! I will check it out! One thing, would it be wise for her to call HR about this? She is not 100% going to leave and I wasn't sure if there would be an attitude towards her if she stayed?

Well, I mean, if she calls and goes "I'm thinking of quitting!" that's obviously a bad idea.

But, if she calls and asks something more like: I am planning on doing XYZ (Taking a trip? Taking some classes? Whatever) thing this summer and want to know how summer pay is handled so I can plan this expense correctly. How is summer pay handled?

... That's lot less suspicious sounding.

themagicman

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 12:25:12 PM »
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions! I will check it out! One thing, would it be wise for her to call HR about this? She is not 100% going to leave and I wasn't sure if there would be an attitude towards her if she stayed?

Well, I mean, if she calls and goes "I'm thinking of quitting!" that's obviously a bad idea.

But, if she calls and asks something more like: I am planning on doing XYZ (Taking a trip? Taking some classes? Whatever) thing this summer and want to know how summer pay is handled so I can plan this expense correctly. How is summer pay handled?

... That's lot less suspicious sounding.


The problem with that is that they are probably going to say that the summer will be paid the same as the other months of the year. (This is how it has been in the past) But it would not let us know if it would continue to be the same even though she is not employeed there(If she quit in May) If she says the trip or class thing then they will assume she is coming to work in August, so the pay will be as normal in the summer

pzxc

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2014, 01:16:40 PM »
She kept a copy of the contract she signed at the beginning of the year, right?

Just read the contract!

TrulyStashin

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 01:22:36 PM »
She kept a copy of the contract she signed at the beginning of the year, right?

Just read the contract!

+1

The contract will state the term, start and end date.  I left teaching in 2008.  My last day reporting to work was June 8.  My contract ran, annually, from Aug.14 to Aug. 15 of the next year.  My last pay period was the one ending Aug. 15.   

Her contract should have the same start and end date which will give you the final pay period for which she will get paid.

alice76

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 01:28:14 PM »
Typical of a teacher contract, she should be paid through the summer as long as she elected "12 months" vs. "10 months" at the beginning of her contract. Summer pay for 2015 is part of her salary if she completes the 2014-2015 school year. It should not be contingent upon her return.

hodedofome

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 02:21:41 PM »
She kept a copy of the contract she signed at the beginning of the year, right?

Just read the contract!

+1

The contract will state the term, start and end date.  I left teaching in 2008.  My last day reporting to work was June 8.  My contract ran, annually, from Aug.14 to Aug. 15 of the next year.  My last pay period was the one ending Aug. 15.   

Her contract should have the same start and end date which will give you the final pay period for which she will get paid.

Same with my wife when she quit. Her last paycheck was in August of that year.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 02:36:39 PM »
The contract might also state the latest date on which she needs to give notice if she elects not to return the next year.   That would be helpful information to have so she can keep her options open as long as possible.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2014, 02:40:19 PM »
Yes, look at the contract she signed. She is most likely paid for 9 months of work, but spread it out over 12 months. If you are really worried about it you can quit August 1st instead of May 1st. If she quits May 1st, she might get a lump sum paycheck (3 months worth). If this happens, lots of taxes will be withheld that you won't get back until next February-March.

themagicman

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2014, 02:42:29 PM »
Thanks all! Just looked at her contract and it said that she was paid for 10 months worth of work over 12 months. Looks like even if she quits at the end of May she will still receive her 2/12 of her yearly paycheck! Thanks everyone!

Seņora Savings

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2014, 07:59:14 AM »
Also hoping that she will be able to get what she put into her teacher retirement (It's required) back once she leaves and we can roll it into an IRA

This is almost certainly not going to happen if it's a pension like plan and she's only been teaching for a couple of years.

If it's a big enough school district you could probably call HR and not give out your name.  You could even say that you're thinking of applying for a job.  My school district has over 100 schools, there is about zero communication between the main office and people in the schools, certainly no one would try to figure out who you are from caller ID, and then tell the principal.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2014, 09:14:11 AM »
Also hoping that she will be able to get what she put into her teacher retirement (It's required) back once she leaves and we can roll it into an IRA

This is almost certainly not going to happen if it's a pension like plan and she's only been teaching for a couple of years.

If it's a big enough school district you could probably call HR and not give out your name.  You could even say that you're thinking of applying for a job.  My school district has over 100 schools, there is about zero communication between the main office and people in the schools, certainly no one would try to figure out who you are from caller ID, and then tell the principal.

You guys are in GA, yes?   If so, go here  http://www.trsga.com/active-member/retirement-service-and-disability/determining-your-retirement-benefit.  I bet they have a page devoted to the rules of when/ how you can roll out any benefits that are vested.   If I'm wrong and you're not in GA, then just Google "teacher retirement [your state]" and you'll find the site you need for your state. 

I agree with the above poster's point that if she's only been at it a few years, she likely isn't vested and won't have much/ anything.   When I taught in Florida (mid-90's) you had to teach for 10 years to have any vesting at all.

But, if she ends up employed in another state agency, she may be able to "buy" her years of teaching at a discounted rate.  I taught in FLA for 2 years and then moved to VA.   In Fla, I had no retirement benefits to roll anywhere because I hadn't been there long enough.  But Va allowed me to "buy" those two years of Fla teaching.    I taught in Va for 10 years but my pension will be based on 12 total years of teaching because somehow I had the foresight to buy those two years from Fla.  I think it cost me about $2500 to buy both years and I spread the payments out over several years.  It was painless and will far more than pay for itself in the long run.

clarkm04

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2014, 09:56:59 AM »
Most likely 12 months.  That would be an easy question to see her contract or casually ask a coworker.

You could even find it out from her paystub and salary schedule.

Work backwards from the gross pay on the pay stub until you hit her gross salary from the salary schedule.

I know I threw out some teacher specific terms, but your wife will understand them.

My old district offered 12 month or 10 month, but 12 was the default.  Seen most districts going to that method.

I moved states, so it was nice to get backpay (which is what getting paid over the summers mean) for June and July before my new teaching gig started in August.

Good luck!


MrsPete

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2014, 06:46:26 AM »
Also hoping that she will be able to get what she put into her teacher retirement (It's required) back once she leaves and we can roll it into an IRA
Questions:  How long has she been teaching?
How long would it take to be vested in her pension?

To give some stab-in-the-dark answers, if she's been working only 1-2 years and is pretty far from being vested, I'd suggest that she take the money and roll it into an IRA.  They have to return any money that's been pulled from her paycheck. 

On the other hand, if she could be vested at five years, and she's in her fourth year -- I'd say stay 'til she could finish five years, and leave the money in the pension plan.  Obviously it'd be years 'til she could access the money, and she wouldn't have a full pension like a 30-year teacher, but she would have a small pension coming to her at some point in her life.  IF you trust that your state's pension plan is solidly financially and will last.  It's good to have multiple money-sources in retirement, so keep this in mind.
Yes, look at the contract she signed. She is most likely paid for 9 months of work, but spread it out over 12 months. If you are really worried about it you can quit August 1st instead of May 1st. If she quits May 1st, she might get a lump sum paycheck (3 months worth). If this happens, lots of taxes will be withheld that you won't get back until next February-March.
My contract states that I work ten months and receive ten paychecks during those ten months /no checks in the summer. 

It sounds like your wife has opted to "voluntarily delay" a portion of her paycheck until the summer, allowing for equal checks throughout the year.  However, she's EARNING that paycheck in the ten months she's working -- so she will receive those paychecks in the summer. 

One more thought:  The county office holds my professional teaching license.  If your wife's the same, be SURE she retrieves her license when she leaves. 

I'd also suggest that (if she's near the renewal point) she keep it active -- this does require continuing ed classes, but if she should decide to return to teaching, it's easier to renew than it is to get a brand-new license once yours has expired.  For example, back when I got my license, I needed a college degree plus the NTE (National Teachers Exam) tests.  Today the NTE is gone, and college seniors are all taking the Praxis test.  If I allowed my license to expire, I'd have to go back and take the Praxis, which would cost me money and time. 



TrulyStashin

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2014, 08:33:56 AM »
I second MrsPete's idea.   If your wife isn't vested at all, then she won't get anything from the retirement fund.  Or, she might be partially vested (20%, 30%).  If she is one year away from being fully vested, then she should seriously consider teaching one more year.

So, you need more data.   

I have been in my job for 2.8 years.  Once I hit the 3 year mark in April, I'm 30% vested in the contributions my employer made to my 401k.  I"m job hunting, but I will do my best to shift employment only after I hit that 3 year anniversary. 

On a side note, your wife might consider whether it is teaching itself that she dislikes or whether it is her school/ colleagues/ administration that aren't working for her.  The personality of an individual school plays a HUGE role in the degree to which teaching is enjoyable.   Has she considered switching schools?

amyable

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Re: Question about teaching
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2014, 10:21:20 AM »
On a side note, your wife might consider whether it is teaching itself that she dislikes or whether it is her school/ colleagues/ administration that aren't working for her.  The personality of an individual school plays a HUGE role in the degree to which teaching is enjoyable.   Has she considered switching schools?

This!  Sometimes a shift in grade level is also helpful.  I was feeling a little burnt out after a few years of teaching, and I went from older high school students to younger middle school students and felt so refreshed.  There are problems with both groups, but the problems are sooo different that it really helped me get my passion for teaching back.

Also, there are other positions in schools to consider.  I'm a school counselor, and I adore my job.  It lacks some of the things that are difficult about teaching (prep time, grading, etc.), but it has a lot of the same positives (get to make a positive difference in kids lives).

Just some things to consider--if she hates education and wants out of it entirely, none of these will really help that!