Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm Probably Just Jealous

The Ineffective Last Column

I don't like looking at the pay scale very often and I definitely do not like knowing what my colleagues make, but time to time I become re-aware of how backward the system is and I get bitter inside.

I have been teaching for 11 years and I make $70,000 dollars. I am quite content with this compensation until I am reminded of how many of my colleagues are paid more than $7,000 dollars more than me for the exact same number of years of teaching experience. How is it that they are valued more than me? Do they work that much harder, longer, and effectively than I do? I'm sure some do, but I guarantee many don't. Then how is it that I get paid that much less per year?

Simple. I have a bachelor's degree and they have a master's degree.

Now, I understand the logic behind paying someone more for a higher education. The Higher the Education of the Teacher = This Higher Ability to Teach = The Higher Results of the Student, thus the compensation of the teacher must itself be higher.

Saying that, we all know this is nonsense. I would like to see a study that proves that the higher education degree gets a better output from that teacher and his or her students.

Maybe it is different in your district and among your colleagues, but let me tell you my observations of this. Most of the teachers I know are tempted by the higher pay and not the opportunity to get a higher knowledge base. Because of this, they seek the easiest and cheapest online degree to solidify the highest pay.

One of the easiest things to do is to enroll in National University and get your online degree in Educational and Instructional Technology. Below is the description of the degree:

"The Master of Science in Educational and Instructional Technology is designed for students who want to participate in the paradigm changes that technology is precipitating in both education and training, as human learning moves from print and classroom-based instruction to digital media."

Basically, once you have this degree, you will be able to know how to use an Ipad as an instructional tool. Obviously, only a professional with a Master's Degree would know how to accomplish this. Some might think to say, that a 2 hour staff training session on Ipad integration would accomplish the same thing, but then their colleagues would shoot them, thus those "some" people don't say crap.

In the eyes of the district and the union, it is ALL about the paper degree and NOTHING ELSE. I'm an 8th grade history teacher and I constantly read history books and continue to build my base of knowledge. The amount of reading on the subject I teach would far out weigh the credit earned in a Master's program. With that knowledge, I give my students a more fuller and interesting look into our past. They are constantly engaged and quickly end up loving the class and more importantly, they love our country and are prepared to be active citizens.

Though, in my bias opinion, I provide an amazing service to our students, I will get $7,500 dollars less each year than my colleagues with a technology in education degree that does nothing more to enhance the education of the students than what I already do.

I'm probably just jealous. After all, I could get the same degree, rig the system, and exploit the tax dollars just like any other.

Solution: The end of the pay scale is currently devoted to those with a Master's Degree. Fine, but may I suggest we add, "and/or merit?" If you can prove that your own abilities merits the higher pay column and you have outstanding evaluations, then you should be rewarded with the higher pay.

The current system is ineffective and a waste. Many teachers either can't afford the master's program or can't afford to modify their principles.