Friday, November 30, 2012

To my teacher friends

I love you, I do. You do important work and you make a difference.

But can you please please please just admit how good you've got it rather than going into full howl?

At a party recently, a teacher friend of mine lamented loud and long about being bullied by the province over teacher contracts and the right to strike. She also told the story of how one of the four year olds in her junior kindergarten asked her to check his little backside after he used the loo.

After about 20 years on the job, I estimate she gets paid just under a hundred thousand dollars for ten months in the classroom each year.

Would you wipe a kid's bum for 95K?

A couple of years ago I estimate my lovely friend was paid about $70,000 during an entire year off work because of an arrangement called 4 for 5. She took a 20% pay cut for four years, the school board held on to the money and during that whole year off, she was paid the reduced salary. She spent half the year travelling the world and got paid the whole year with benefits. At the end of it, her job was waiting for her.

When was the last time you had a paid year off?

A cousin of mine has been a high school teacher for more than 20 years, and she tells me she has somewhere around 350 sick days 'banked'. When she retires at the age of 55 with a pension of about $60,000 a year, she will not actually 'retire' for the first year. She'll be at home, being paid nearly a hundred thousand dollars while she 'uses up' those days.

Is this how things work at your house?

Damn, I wish I'd gotten in to teachers' college.

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