Teachers, their salaries, and only working a partial year. Recently I participated in a discussion on teacher salaries. We all seem to agree that teachers are not paid enough, but the question arose, what is enough? Also, when you factor in summers off, as well as, holiday breaks, then aren't teacher salaries enough?
This is a long post, so get some popcorn, and get comfy....
What most non-educators fail to realize is the enormous time involved with teaching. So, let me lay it out somewhat for you. This example is for a high school teacher teaching 3 preps (that means, they teach 3 different classes) in a 6-class-a-day schedule for a school year of 180 days. Also, factor in 1-hour a day given to this teacher for "preparation."
The closest thing I can equate to teaching is professional speaking. When conducting a class, one is delivering information, and/or conducting a performance, per se. Most experts tell professional speakers to rehearse 5 hours for every 1 hour of speaking. So, I'll use this same analogy. Keep in mind that every day of teaching is a new performance, a new delivery of new information. Teachers don't get the luxury of one speech that they take on the road and give it over and over again. At best, they repeat any given lesson twice a year (per semester).
180 hours of teaching for 1-class for a school year x 3 classes =
540 hours of teaching time
(actually since there are 2 sections of each class, it's 1080 hours of teaching; prep once, teach twice; I'm comparing prep time to teaching time)
5 rehearsal hours needed for every 1 hour x 540 hours = 2,700 hours needed to adequately prepare versus 180 hours teachers are given
180 hours is . 07 of 2700. So you can see why teachers spend hours after school, before school, holidays, and summers to get ready. This does not even factor in the time it takes to grade student work.
Let's do another analogy...high school and college sports.
While practice hours are suppose to be limited for athletes, it is noted that many student athletes practice more due to pressure from coaches. However, for this analogy, we'll go with the restricted averages. The average student athlete practices anywhere from 10-12 hours per week to prepare for a game each week.
That's 10 hours prep to 2-4 hours performance - athlete
5 hours prep to 15 hours performance - teacher
(I'd like it noted that sometimes it's just minutes worth of performance for an athlete, as was the case for my son who was a swimmer. He prepped 10 hours each week for 2 swimming events that lasted no more than 6 minutes in the weekly tournament. (10 hours of prep/6 minutes performance)
Teaching is a work-load beyond anything most have ever experienced because we have to get ready to perform...to teach. Let me say that again. We have to GET READY to teach. We are paid a mynute amount for getting ready, which doesn't even begin to meet our needs.
So if we were paid for all this prep time, what would we make? Let's use the average hourly wage for recent college graduates, which is $18.41 per hour. We already get paid for 180 hours of prep time. 2700 - 180 x 18.41 = $46,393
Average current teaching salary $58,950 + $46,393 = $105,343
$105,343 is what teachers should be paid for the work we do.