Author Topic: Teacher Discussion  (Read 7545 times)

Teachstache

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2016, 02:16:42 PM »
I hope this isn't too off-topic, but I am currently weighing up whether to keep struggling as a university tutor/adjunct teacher in my obscure field (which I love), or to get a diploma in education so I can teach high school.

I know I'm good at teaching undergraduate adults, but the university feels like a sinking ship these days. On the other hand, I keep hearing teachers (on here and elsewhere) say things like 'so glad I'm leaving teaching, it sucks, I wouldn't recommend anyone start it now!'

The negativity in both places is really crippling my decision-making process; I'm a mustachian-science-type, and I want to optimize this decision, but it seems like most advice says 'stay away from all teaching.'

Does anyone have experience teaching at both the university and high school levels? Which would you choose?

(should I make this question a new thread?)

I have experience in both. For me, public schools K-12 are the best option. More job security, and far fewer politics than higher ed.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2016, 06:28:01 PM »
I hope this isn't too off-topic, but I am currently weighing up whether to keep struggling as a university tutor/adjunct teacher in my obscure field (which I love), or to get a diploma in education so I can teach high school.

I know I'm good at teaching undergraduate adults, but the university feels like a sinking ship these days. On the other hand, I keep hearing teachers (on here and elsewhere) say things like 'so glad I'm leaving teaching, it sucks, I wouldn't recommend anyone start it now!'

The negativity in both places is really crippling my decision-making process; I'm a mustachian-science-type, and I want to optimize this decision, but it seems like most advice says 'stay away from all teaching.'

Does anyone have experience teaching at both the university and high school levels? Which would you choose?

(should I make this question a new thread?)

I have experience in both. For me, public schools K-12 are the best option. More job security, and far fewer politics than higher ed.

I have a few ideas on this but am on bedtime duty so have to be fast!

1) I would start the new thread, yes.  You'll catch more ideas.

2) I am from Minnesota, and that will color my answers.  Every state has different rules for teacher licensing, and different levels of demand for teachers.  Given that, and the fact that you didn't disclose your obscure field of study, I'd approach this question in the following manner:

- Because you're working in higher ed, I'll assume you have at least a Bachelor's degree.  In Minnesota that's enough to substitute teach without a teaching license IN SOME districts (if they are full up with licensed people, some won't take what is called the short call license here - but many districts will).  This is the fill-in for the sick teacher for a day or two or five option, in any kind of classroom.  The advantage to this is that you can start making money now (IMO it's decent for a temp job, around $120/day here).  It would also be flexible so you could work around your adjuncting gigs, accepting or turning down jobs as your schedule permits.  You'll start to get a feel for buildings you like, ages you like, classroom management techniques, etc.  It won't always be easy, but you'll be able to see if you at least enjoy it.

- As you are doing this you can start to check out licensure programs.  In this state, except in very unusual circumstances, you need a teaching license.  And the universities will evaluate your transcript to see what coursework you need for that license.  And if your undergrad major was weird enough, you might have to start over.  For high school teaching here, you major in your area of study, NOT education, though you do plenty of education coursework to get the license.  But let's say you have a psychology major, well, there is no psychology license for high school teaching.  KWIM?  It's more generic types of majors.  But they will know how to advise you on this.  And you wouldn't really have to completely start over, just fill in the gaps to get the major and go from there.  At least as of a few years ago.  ;)

- You'll also be able to figure out if there is another area of education that would attract you.  My girlfriend decided she wanted to teach, but not in the major she did in college.  She decided since she was going to do a licensure program anyway, she'd do one in special ed, where there is more demand and she felt a greater calling.  Lots of times there are people who would be fine special educators (an in-demand license area) who just don't think to go into that area because they have had no contact with this kind of programming or population.  You'd be almost guaranteed a job.

If I knew your area of study I might change my advice.  But there it is FWIW!  Good luck!!

P.S.  In MN K-12 is going to pay you a SHIT TON BETTER than higher ed.  And with better job security and I'm guessing better bennies too.

westtoeast

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #52 on: July 13, 2017, 03:10:45 PM »
Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread with a question. I'd love to crowdsource a little bit and get a sense of what states are the best and worst for teachers. I'd define "best" as high salaries, minimal layoffs, low-ish or medium cost of living, and collective bargaining. Maybe I'd throw in a generous pension plan too. "Worst" would be frequent layoffs/budget cuts, low salaries compared to cost of living, and poor pension plans.

I'm currently in Mass. We've got high salaries, well-funded schools and a great pension plan (80% after 30 years). However, cost of living is steep enough that the high salaries are offset.

teacherwithamustache

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #53 on: July 13, 2017, 03:37:34 PM »
I am in Texas.  The pension is more financially solvent then most states.  Teacher funding is lower relatively.  Starting salary is 45K with a low cost of living. 

15 years exp
14 more years to go

Both wife and I are in education.  Me 55k her 100k.  Side gig 1 20k.  Side gig 2 5k.  Max out our Roth's.  Looking to buy a rent house this year.

Catsmeow

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #54 on: July 13, 2017, 06:39:25 PM »
Fellow Wyoming teacher here. Great state for teaching. With a master's step one I get paid 54k. My district pays 85% of pension costs as well as FICA, and I am in complete wilderness mountains in 30 minutes.  Although with coal and oil price collapse the gravy train may be ending.  Work in a brand new school with great technology too!

GoConfidently

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2017, 06:57:54 PM »
Hey y'all! Former teacher, current admin in Texas. I have 10 years under my belt, but only two of those at the Admin level. I'm late to MMM so masters degree stu loans will be done in December and then I'll reassess my options. I'm hoping to move fairly soon either out of state or to a better location in state. TRS says I can't think about retiring until I'm 62, which is 28 years away and not a reasonable option IMO.

Cost of living is low here but quality is also low considering what I want. I'm looking at options to maximize as soon as I'm debt free, and kicking myself for wasting those amazing summers before I took this job. I'll gladly go back to the classroom for the right location. Good to see so many teachers on this board!

aceyou

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2017, 08:53:50 PM »
Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread with a question. I'd love to crowdsource a little bit and get a sense of what states are the best and worst for teachers. I'd define "best" as high salaries, minimal layoffs, low-ish or medium cost of living, and collective bargaining. Maybe I'd throw in a generous pension plan too. "Worst" would be frequent layoffs/budget cuts, low salaries compared to cost of living, and poor pension plans.

I'm currently in Mass. We've got high salaries, well-funded schools and a great pension plan (80% after 30 years). However, cost of living is steep enough that the high salaries are offset.

Couple questions:
- Do you get social security on top of that 80%?
- How much comes out of your paycheck to go towards your pension? 


jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2017, 09:49:09 PM »
Adult ed teacher :)

And wanted to mention the book Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. Teacher, ER. His book includes the story of what prompted him to start sharing info with his fellow educators. Wonderful book, wonderful guy!

westtoeast

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2017, 04:30:29 AM »
Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread with a question. I'd love to crowdsource a little bit and get a sense of what states are the best and worst for teachers. I'd define "best" as high salaries, minimal layoffs, low-ish or medium cost of living, and collective bargaining. Maybe I'd throw in a generous pension plan too. "Worst" would be frequent layoffs/budget cuts, low salaries compared to cost of living, and poor pension plans.

I'm currently in Mass. We've got high salaries, well-funded schools and a great pension plan (80% after 30 years). However, cost of living is steep enough that the high salaries are offset.

Ah, good questions! We do not get social security (this definitely stresses me out). We contribute 11% of our paychecks to the plan. So I guess it's a really good deal for those who will stay in the system until their 60's but not great for anyone else.

Couple questions:
- Do you get social security on top of that 80%?
- How much comes out of your paycheck to go towards your pension?

Vindicated

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2017, 09:22:28 AM »
I thought I'd add my experience for anyone interested.

I worked at a local charter school in Indianapolis, teaching 8th grade Project Lead The Way (3D Modeling & Robotics) mixed with Physics.  This is a school that primarily hires 1st year TFA teachers, or similar.  I was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.  Turnover was very high.  I made it the whole school year, but wasn't invited back the next year.

The starting pay for all teachers was $35k.  However, since I was coming from engineering, they bumped me up to $40k.  I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and a MS in Engineering Technology Education.

The average for the public schools in the area is slightly higher pay from what I've heard, and the public schools don't have such long school days.  Our classes started at 8:00am, and "Targeted Instruction" didn't end until 5:00pm.  I had one prep period.  We also had to have 3 grades entered each week, and a progress report sent home with kids to be signed by their parents each Friday.  This resulted in 60 hr work weeks most of the time.

I plan to go back into teaching when I'm closer to FI and debt-free.  It's sadly just not worth it for such little pay at this point in my life.
 It was very rewarding, but by far the most difficult job I've held.  I sure do miss it though!
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

aceyou

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2017, 05:16:12 PM »
Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread with a question. I'd love to crowdsource a little bit and get a sense of what states are the best and worst for teachers. I'd define "best" as high salaries, minimal layoffs, low-ish or medium cost of living, and collective bargaining. Maybe I'd throw in a generous pension plan too. "Worst" would be frequent layoffs/budget cuts, low salaries compared to cost of living, and poor pension plans.

I'm currently in Mass. We've got high salaries, well-funded schools and a great pension plan (80% after 30 years). However, cost of living is steep enough that the high salaries are offset.

Ah, good questions! We do not get social security (this definitely stresses me out). We contribute 11% of our paychecks to the plan. So I guess it's a really good deal for those who will stay in the system until their 60's but not great for anyone else.

Couple questions:
- Do you get social security on top of that 80%?
- How much comes out of your paycheck to go towards your pension?

Thanks, I have a friend in Mass. who teaches and wondered those things:) 

My particular plan in MI gives me 45% of my average of my highest three years if I teach for 30 years...or 25 since I bought 5.  I pay 7% towards the pension.  I also get SS, but pay towards that.  So I guess I'm at like 14% if you put those two things together, and I get about 65% or so if you add them together.  That on the surface sounds worse than the Mass. plan, but I can peace out after 25 years, and I likely have a lower COL, so it probably evens out.  I'm happy with my current setup. 

The wild card for me is that Michigan legislature is gutting our pension through some shady things, so who knows what will actually be there:) 

tfk9164

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2017, 06:41:06 PM »
13 year certified, have worked in schools for about 20 years.  Thinking I wanted 'adventure' (read: mid-life crisis/empty nest syndrome) I left a tenured position in CT for some fun in the DC burbs...it wasn't bad, but I took a pay cut.  Then decided to move in with SO after a year of long-distance, and wound up in this teacher-hell also known as Florida.  Damn, I didn't know a whole state could hate teachers so much.

After a year of this nonsense (let's put it this way...I currently make less than I did 13 years ago and I got another master's in the intervening time), I'm looking to go back north.  Good things about teaching in Florida: no dress code. That's about it.

Speedracer

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2017, 06:57:29 PM »
After 4 years teaching in public school in FL, (both wife an I are teachers) we are moving to Saudi Arabia!

Drastic I know, but FIRE is difficult on FL teacher salary.

chrisf

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2017, 03:06:54 PM »
13 years of independent (mostly high) school teaching.  Age 36.

This past school year I was finding myself in a malaise at work.  So this coming year I am going to be part time, half teaching load for half salary (though the benefits are gone).  I was living on about 30% of my salary, so I should be able to easily live on my paycheck and save a little to boot.  Not certain what I'll do with the surplus time.   My 'Stache is sufficiently large that I don't have to worry about scrambling to replace the lost income, so I plan on being patient and only doing things that interest me.

Teachstache

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Re: Teacher Discussion
« Reply #64 on: July 31, 2017, 01:05:52 PM »
Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread with a question. I'd love to crowdsource a little bit and get a sense of what states are the best and worst for teachers. I'd define "best" as high salaries, minimal layoffs, low-ish or medium cost of living, and collective bargaining. Maybe I'd throw in a generous pension plan too. "Worst" would be frequent layoffs/budget cuts, low salaries compared to cost of living, and poor pension plans.

I'm currently in Mass. We've got high salaries, well-funded schools and a great pension plan (80% after 30 years). However, cost of living is steep enough that the high salaries are offset.

I'm in the second largest district in Nebraska. I'm beginning year 13 of teaching and I have an EdD. My district offers a 7 hour workday with 100 minutes of plan time, 191 day calendar, with 5 of those as duty free prep days. State offers an 80% pension of the highest 3 years of earnings after 30 years (I can take benefits at 55 if I stick with it until then). I pay 7.5% toward my pension for that benefit.

District pays 85% of family health insurance. I get 14 days of no questions asked leave per year. We are also eligible for social security.

I sold one of my planning periods, serve as a department chair, and as a mentor for new teachers. I can top out @ $85k after 35 years. Most teachers in district add an extra $5-10k on top of the base salaries with extras.

My district hasn't had layoffs in 20+ years. The district is growing by 1,000 kids per year, in a city of about 270,000 total. No charter schools here...yet.

We do have collective bargaining, but we are a right to work state. I love being involved in the professional development of the state teachers association (union).

Cost of living:

 You can purchase a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom 1,500 square foot mid century home in my city for $160k.

There's only 1 school district in my city and it allows open enrollment city wide (not based on geographic location within the city).

The citizens in my city pay 2.5% property tax, which is quite high, in addition to state income tax. 80% of those property tax revenues support the city's school district. The schools are very well funded.

While there are hard days, I love my job. In the event that I don't love it, I can go part time. Maybe this seems smug, but I really think that teachers in my district have a great deal. No district is perfect, but mine is pretty great, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 01:18:24 PM by Teachstache »