Outsourcing Teachers

It's outrageous that school districts would import teachers from the Philippines rather than paying a sufficient salary to attract American teachers.

[Baldwin County, Alabama] district officials went around the world last year, with expenses paid by a teacher recruiting firm, and brought back Michel Olalo of Manila and 11 other Filipinos to teach along the shores of the Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay and in the communities in between.

The minimum starting salary for an inexperienced teacher in Alabama is $36,144. That's ten times better than a teacher is paid in the Philippines. That's good for Filipinos who may well become excellent teachers, but shouldn't our schools pay enough to make teaching an attractive job for Americans?

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    I 'm not sure that the hiring of teachers (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by hairspray on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:28:03 AM EST
    in Alabama is directly related to the salary you are quoting.  It doesn't seem like a lot of money, but that may be a living wage in that part of the country.  Is it? Is there a shortage of teachers there?  There are a lot of factors that are part of the issue.  Is Alabama turning out an abundance of teachers who are leaving the state?  If that is the case, your cause and effect argument might hold water.  OTOH if there are few teachers being trained, and they are not able to recruit from neighboring states it may be because the other states pay more or have a dearth of teachers as well.  I can't buy your argument as it stands.

    Don't Buy This Argument (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by SomewhatChunky on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:45:21 AM EST
    Sorry.  This is a very close-minded way of thinking.

    If a entire's school's staff was another nationality - that's one thing.   From the article, that doesn't seem to be the case.  It looks like this handful of teachers is being spread around among many schools.

    I think it would be a plus for the kids  to have a few foreigners on the teaching staff.  We do live in a global world these days.  Many many Americans teach overseas.

    More and more high end jobs will be either (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 02:08:51 AM EST
    out sourced abroad or converted into temporary positions to both reduce salaries and limited benefits. The people here saying they aren't buying it will be some of the those people unless they are upper level management to experience this. Basically management knows that the American electorate is now complicit in its own spiral to the bottom.

    H1-B visas (none / 0) (#13)
    by hlr on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:16:31 AM EST
    The people here saying they aren't buying it will be some of the those people

    Here's the missing link -- the outsourcing is performed through agencies like this one. The agency fee (around $12K) is paid by the prospective employee, not the employer. The reason is that foreign nationals from third world countries covet the H1-B visa. In the meantime, the employer has effectively outsourced the HR function as well, at no cost for services. Incidentally, the congressional H1-B visa cap is waived for public school employees.

    In turn, the public school systems do not need to raise salaries to fill shortages. In my area (DC metro) the starting salary is in the mid-40s. An additional agency function is to set up these (mostly) married women in shared apartment situations, much like college dorms. If they bring their families (permitted under H1-B visa), the spouse is not able to work.

    This situation should be very familiar to anyone in IT, nursing, etc.


    Yes, I've seen articles about this happening with (none / 0) (#24)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:35:25 AM EST
    lawyers at law.com. Not specifically this,b ut the outsourcing. People don't get how far reaching these efforts are occuring.  It's a little weird that no one is paying attention.

    My neighbor (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 05:03:32 AM EST
     is a teacher in an Upstate NY inner city middle school. The students, a large plurality if not a majority, come from troubled homes, and are unprepared, uninspired, and uninterested. My neighbor, after 20 years of futile effort, has taken on those same traits. His salary is about 85K, and his benefits are simply unbelievable, and have no comparable private company equivalent......by far.

     His contract calls for 180 days of work, but with his seniority, he has "earned" 40 sick and personal days; that means he works 140 days a year. It has become a ritual that on New Year's Day he comes to my house, carrying a calendar. He sits down, and with drink in hand, crosses off 40 days, making best use of standard holidays, and stretching weekends, giving him many mini-vacations.

    He says he feels somewhat guilty, but according to him, teaching "those kids" is impossible. Getting through the day is his main complaint. With 225 days off, he has started his own computer repair and design business, and with his numerous study halls, lunches, and "virtual babysitting" duties, his 225 off days are greatly supplemented.

    My sister in law is a member of the board of education, as is another friend of mine, an engineer. While starting their positions full of vim and optimism, they rapidly fell into the same malaise as my teacher friend. Two examples of teacher drug use and sex with students have cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars, and years of litigation and union bureaucratic machinations.

    Everything I've stated is completely verifiable; just google up any eastern, suburban school district, and prepare to get sick. No one, especially fixed income folks, can afford the school taxes, and a great southern migration to North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky (not just Florida) is taking place. Per student cost varies, of course, but 10-12 thousand per student is becoming the norm. The State sales tax, originally 1%, was supposed to fund the schools, making property taxes minimal. The sales tax is now 8 -1/8 %. The lotteries (Lotto), Horse racing (OTB), and slot machines (Racino) are springing up throughout the state, their revenue dedicated to education.

    In spite of all these other sources of school revenue, property tax increases have averaged 6-10% per year for the last several decades. Because only a small fraction of the public vote on school budgets, teachers, school employees, administrators, and their cadre of friends and relatives make up an unbeatable majority of voters. Even if the budgets are voted down, the "contingency" budgets are 98% of the regular budget, and the only things ever cut are the politically hurtful things like sports, bands, school trips.........never salaries. Even so, mandated salaries, benefits, and Albany programs are off limits, and they make up just about the entire budget.

    While unions are a Democratic constituency, the NEA has destroyed our educational system, and with it,  our standard of living, our futures, and our country.

    When people like you give (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 05:44:18 AM EST
    ONE example of ONE person who abuses their job, their position and then try to reflect it on the rest of the teaching profession, I find it insulting, closed minded and I ask myself: Is this person really on a left wing blog?

    You just insulted the millions of teachers, who work their arses off, for a lot less money than you mention, never miss a day, and put in hours and hours and hours and days and days and days beyond what is on our calendar.  

    Please, do not disparage an entire profession and our union (because that is what NEA is) because you have a neighbor than is cheating jerk.  
    After 40 years of teaching (two masters degrees which I paid for our of my own pocket), I am not making 90% of my salary; I am not old enough for Medicare so I am paying for my own health care and I substitute to make ends meet.

    When you give a statement like yours, you show the resentment built up toward educators by the right wing. You are painting us all with ONE brush.  Cable news sensationalizes a few crazies in the profession who account for a miniscule percentage.

    So if YOUR school district in inhabited by lazy people who do not pay attention to who or what they are voting for, and you happen to live next to one bad apple, that's your problem and is not a reflection of educators.


    You failed to mention.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Aqua Blue on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 08:24:53 AM EST
    that this teacher has probably taught for 30 years and has multiple post graduate degrees.  Maybe coaches a sport.

    Teachers HATE teachers like your neighbor. (none / 0) (#30)
    by snstara on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 01:25:22 PM EST
     -Because teachers like your neighbor are seen to be the norm, when they are the exception.  

     - Because teachers like your neighbor, who takes off every available day, make extra work for other teachers, who do not.  

     - Because teachers like your neighbor, who abuse the system, make it harder for other teachers, who do not.

     - Because unenthusiastic, uninspired teachers like your neighbor create an atmosphere that chokes the enthusiastic, inspired teachers.  The 'can't do' attitude of that school board is also lethal.

     - Because apathetic teachers like your neighbor send their uninspired, unenthusiastic students into the next classroom, where that teacher now has to work twice as hard to undo what just happened the period before theirs.

    Can you get rid of a bad teacher?  You absolutely can.  Unions don't prevent schools from getting rid of bad teachers - in fact, any union worth its membership wants that person out of the classroom.  Can you get rid of a bad school board?  You absolutely can.  Graft, apathy, lack of direction, ill-served students? Vote them all out!

    People talk a great game about bad teachers and corrupt school boards and dirty unions.  What community involvement, other than a 'no' vote on a budget, have they shown that would indicate that they care about the direction their district has taken?


    To get more teachers (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by cib on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:01:46 AM EST
     I have a friend who is a public school teacher and I've read several books and a few studies on the subject. In my opinion here's what needs to be fixed if public schools are to attract and retain talent. These are all interrelated and not in any order of importance:

    A. Money. Yes, some school teachers are paid adequately. Most probably aren't, unless they have a second job or live in a cheap area of the country. Yes, they almost all get excellent bennies, but the $ involved is not enough to attract those used to making more in the highly lucrative private sector. Note I talk about $ for the teachers, not money for the schools per-se. There's lots of graft, corruption and malfeasence in many public school systems, esp on the construction, consultance, and administrative areas. A few years ago, Baltimore city managed to "lose" track of 50 million. I know it's never been found, and I don't recall any heads rolling.

    B. Give the teachers more control over their curricula. Right now, unions are a sad, and often disgusting necessity. Not just for $ purposes, but because the public schools are so politicised teachers these days often have no control over what subjects they will teach, HOW to teach these subjects, and even what order in which to teach the material. It's ridiculous to call someone a teacher, drop all the responsibility of teaching whatever politicized non-sense the local school board or Super has come up with into their laps, and not allow them to try their own methods of getting students to learn or focus their classes on where they want to focus them. The unions also protect the teachers somewhat from monstrosities like "no child left behind". With more responsibility should come more respect and more power. Lots of people don't know this stuff and just think we have to hold the teachers responsible.

    C. Related but not the same: More discipline. Several months ago it was all over the national news: there were two school assaults on teachers by students in the Baltimore City Public schools. One was even on Youtube. To my knowledge, neither student has been expelled or disciplined in any meaningful way. In many urban schools (some in Baltimore) drug dealers and outside transients dominate the areas around the schools, and in a few cases (such as Southern High)dominated halls within the school buildings themselves. Bereft of mid-range options like paddling, bereft of parental support, many urban school distracts face stark choices with many students: Send to an even more expensive specialized school, put in detention, suspension (kids often see this as a vacation) or expulsion, many do nothing at all. A place where teachers aren't protected is often a place where they aren't respected, and while most suburban schools don't have the breadth of the problem many urban schools have, they still have the problem , if to a lesser degree.
    D. The Cover Your Ass culture.
    Due to legal concerns (to be fair, if you practically force poor kids into lousy public schools by withholding tax money and not giving vouchers their parents and communities need some way of holding you responsible) things that used to be common in my youth such as teacher/student hugging have often been banned or policed. Other things, such as male teachers having to constantly keep their doors open and their guards up when interacting with small children or female students of any age due to the suspicions cast on them, often hinder the formation of strong class -teacher bonds as well as scaring many males (professional or not) from the classroom. A teaching environment that often feels like a cross between Orwell and Nursery school even into the upper grades of high school is not the way to attract intelligent, dedicated, and imaginative people.

    These are most of the issues that affect teacher acquisition and retention. I think the fourth factor could be dealt with if the first 3 were taken care of. I wonder how long we will have (to borrow a phrase) till Judgement Day when this happens.

    Thank you (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:56:44 AM EST
    You have some decent insight.

    I spent four decades in public education as a teacher.  I could have gone into administration (where one can make a better salary) but in my heart, I am a teacher.......and working with kids is what I loved.  Administrators end up being the disciplinarians, or doing nothing but paper work.  
    Sadly, now teachers have become overwhelmed with paperwork....much of it useless.

    And yes, a lot of it is "cover your ass" paperwork.  DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.  An 8th grader in middle school calls you a "f*cking b*tch" because you kept his 6th grade sibling after school to write a note about the child not doing any homework....and to talk to him.  You report it to the admin and the discipline: the child has to write and apology.  
    You are told all and any threats by children are to be reported.  When you do, nothing happens.  

    In elementary school, thanks to George W, if you have chose to work in a poor performing school (usually these are schools in poor neighborhoods), you are constantly threatened with "this school will close if the scores don't go up).  What happens?  CHEATING....by teachers, administrators....
    what needs to be done?  INCENTIVES....NOT MERIT PAY.  GIVE signing bonuses to teachers willing to commit to five years to one school...research shows that personal relationships and TRUST are a HUGE factor in schools in poor communities. Make it competitive for the best teachers to want to teach in poor schools.  

    One school in which I am substituting, regularly scores an average of the 90%ile in the state tests for NCLB.  The parents of these kids are mostly college educated, doctors, lawyers, college professors etc. The free lunch is under 5%.  The school from which I retired is the same size but with an 80% free lunch population, and the scores are at the bottom of the district.  The turn over of teachers and students of the first school is minimal; in the latter school, unbelievable turn over.  In the poor school don't dare talk about things like poor attendance, or kids not ready to learn because one parent is in jail and the child is switching schools quite often.  EXCUSES they yell at the teachers.  In the minds of the NCLB mentality, if the teachers use the RIGHT researched materials, researched and created by text book publishers (who just happen to be friends with the Bush family) and work hard enough ALL the children will learn at the same rate and in the same way.
    No one with a brain cell believes that.  Kids are not widgets.  Kids come to school with issues, some so overwhelming I challenge any adult to deal with their problems and funtion even half normally.

    There are no magic potions for teaching.  The closest is "parents are supportive and value education."  There is no set way for kids to learn, develop and grown.  Do any of us expect are kids (even siblings) to run at the same speed, grow at the same rate, do art at the same level, compete in sports at the same level?  NO!
    So why do people think if we teach this way at age  x all children will then learn to read and will succeed?  

    I have had years when one lesson was a huge success and tried the same thing with another class and not so much a success.  WHY?  Kids are not widgets.....they are humans.

    For me, teaching is more of an art than a science.  Great teachers are intuitive about their students.... and have an ability to tell you which student is doing what, in each subject.  We are wasting time and money over testing .....because good teachers could tell you all the info you get from a child on that test without doing the test.

    But GOOD teachers are being burned out, potentially GREAT teachers are quitting because of burn out, money and the constant barrage of useless paperwork, repetitive inservices and constantly pushing of curriculum that is driven by text book publishers instead of by educators.

    It is a sad state when people who LOVE working with the kids, hate teaching because of the bs.


    You've both talked admirable sense about teaching. (none / 0) (#23)
    by snstara on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    Imagine saddling a brand new teacher with the state & regional curriculum and the pressure of getting several classes successfully through a year-end test.  Add the fact that most college education courses don't focus on the reality of teaching - lesson/unit planning, phone calls to and meetings with parents, classroom discipline & strategies, administrative paperwork - and that's a whole new level of knowledge to try to grasp on the fly. Student teaching experience is only productive when the lead teacher is invested in the would-be teacher's success.  When the lead teacher is more interested in the stipend, or in a semester's worth of class coverage & grading, then this kind of 'apprenticeship' can't be called a successful training method.  Conversely, those who would do a good job as lead teachers often don't want the additional responsibility of a student teacher.  The amount of work involved in teacher-training is huge, and districts do not lighten class loads or offer other alternatives that would be worthwhile incentives to master instructors.

    If you're in the average school, new teachers will get the class assignments tenured staff do not want - often larger classes, often academically challenged students, all creating discipline issues.  If the new teacher is lucky enough to be assigned a mentor, it may not be because that mentor volunteered for the extra responsibility. Any school, suburban or urban, can be a hostile environment when its teachers do not have support.

    Statistically, most first-year teachers don't make it. Districts once allowed new staff enough time to get their footing, given that it takes years to become a master teacher.  But now districts don't give new staff the time, or support, they need.  They have test results to consider, and sometimes hundreds of other applicants for that job.  


    You reminded me (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:00:37 AM EST
    When I was 24 in my third year, I switched to a district in a poor neighborhood in between the cities of Chester PA and Philadelphia.  I wanted to follow my dreams of "saving the kids of the world".

    Anyway, I had had a successful first run as a 5th grade teacher in a moderately middle income to high income school.  I had student taught in a poor neighborhood.

    So I get this 5th grade job, in a school with three fifths and three sixth grades. All the teachers were male...I was the first female. Maybe it was a baptism of fire attitude. I was given the 5th grade class with all the special ed kids in my room (12 of them).  They were also getting a new principal....he knew nothing.  And none of the kids were happy about getting the "girl" teacher.

    In the end, it worked out well, and I felt that was when and where I became the best I could be. I worked my butt off....but I loved it. Of course this was before NCLB.  But yea, the new teachers can get dumped on.  When I was team leader at my school, I would not allow that to happen and frankly no decent principal will allow that.

    I had a few student teachers over my career. It was extra work and the stipend barely covered it.
    What I hated most was once I got a young women who was terrible. And I HATED having to not recommend someone.  Here she was, in her last year, ready to graduate and I had to be the one to say "No, you really are not ready to teach...(and I honestly do not believe she ever would be).  After that I would not take a student teacher.


    You had absolutely the right response: (none / 0) (#27)
    by snstara on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:44:44 AM EST
    if she would never be prepared to teach, then for everyone's sake, she needed to know that.  The unfortunate thing is that student teaching takes place in the last semester - a terrible time to find out it's not for you, or you're not for it.

    I was also a teacher, and I come from a family of teachers.  It's a tough job, especially when it's done right. It would be better if potential teachers were immersed in schools and districts throughout the process, not just sometime observers and semester-long apprentices.  It would allow for buy-in and training; it would also enable grad students to realistically assess their skill sets.

    I wonder if that's a better solution for districts like the one in Alabama, rather than hiring internationally.  But they're not unique: New York City public schools have hired international teachers, too, usually in response to a dearth of applicants in specific subject areas like math and science.  


    In a middle school I worked in (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:26:20 PM EST
    after I retired (they could not fill a position so I went back for a semester)....they hired a lovely young man from the Phillipines to teach math.  

    Credential wise he looked great.  But discipline wise he was lost and the kids destroyed him by the end of the first quarter.  He came from a system where attending school, even public school, was a privilege and undisciplined children were not accepted.  He could not get past the notion that American children, especially middle schoolers, were not honored to be in school.  He taught and he assumed they would be thrilled to learn.  It was awful to see.  


    Continue the war against America (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by koshembos on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:30:17 AM EST
    Alabama doesn't want to pay its teachers a decent salary. Importing teachers from Manila saves them money they can use to pay overpaid management.

    The whole country has decided that the reason education fails our young is the last link in the chain. No Child Left Behind does about the same. It's always the teacher, it's their union. Of course it's not the dilapidated building, it's not the lack of resources, it's not the 80s computers, it's not the hot meal that many students need and don't get and if they do it's terrible, it's not the overworked parents with no time or preparation.

    Then there is the guy who knows a guy who make $85K and Sears Tower size benefits who works only 180 days a year. He of course works the system. It's not the CEO of Fannie May who drove the company into the ground and got 15 Million as a go away present.

    In Washington, DC there is a new school Chancellor. She came in with no experience and the mainstream educational concepts. First goal is to get rid of bad teachers. If you believe her and million others, our kids get a bad education because of a handful of bad teachers. Of course, when the academic year just started, she failed to have schools ready; work was still being done on them. The mayor had a marvelous excuse. The schools are in bad shape because they where not taken care of for years. How about the contribution dilapidated school have on kids education? The answer is simple: none, it's the few bad teachers.

    The bigger problem is not (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by tootired on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 07:06:52 AM EST
    recruiting teachers. It's keeping the ones we have. One third of new teachers leave the profession in the first three years. I still work in education, but I left the classroom after 10 years, and I was an "old-timer".

    That seems to be (none / 0) (#1)
    by kaybeel on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:27:33 AM EST
    That's a pretty fair starting salary.

    Here is a list of starting salaries for various grads in 2008.

    Public relations/organizational communications - $30, 667
    Psychology - $30,877
    Journalism - $32,250
    Human resources - $40,250
    Liberal Arts - $33,258

    Starting Salary isn't the problem (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lepidus on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:47:36 AM EST
    It's how much a good teacher's salary increases over time, as compared to other professions where a graduate degree is often considered a necessary step.

    The future earning potential isn't there. Potential teachers are smart enough to know that starting salary isn't always the best reason to choose a career.


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:59:38 AM EST
    And often in private industry, people are compensated for going to more education.  Most teachers I know pay for their own, even when it is required. I ended up with two MA degrees.  Though about getting a doctorate.  BUT, the salary jump to for getting a doctorate was $1000.  The cost of getting that doctorate was, at that time, well over $20000.  I was still paying off my student loans for MA's well into my forties.

    Maybe, but (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by JAB on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 07:02:01 AM EST
    My mother, a teacher in Michigan (which apparently has some of the highest teacher salaries), retired after 44 years of service, with a Master's degree, and making $72,000.  How many other professions can you think of that (now) require 5 years of college (as opposed to 4, push strongly for a Master's degree, and after 10 years, make the same as someone working there over 40?

    (And I won't even get into the fact that teachers are laid off every summer and can't collect unemployment [unlike other jobs], don't have their output considered part of the GDP, work many hours they aren't paid for after hours, supply many of their own materials without reimbursement, and add the fact that if you paid teachers for 25 kids per class, 6 hours a day, 180 days, at $5 /hour per kid, they should start at $100,000 or so)


    Prioities??? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Aqua Blue on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 08:22:52 AM EST
    Basketball players?  Football players?

    Many teachers and nurses begin at salaries that are ridiculously low.

    Some beginning teachers don't get a first pay check until they have worked 2 months.   One of our local teachers was sleeping on the floor.   He couln't afford to buy a bed.


    Pretty fair? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 08:40:37 AM EST
    Teachers are responsible for, generally, depending on grade level, 30-150 kids per day, are esstentially their supervisors, and must deal with the parents of these kids -- name one of those other professions where you must not only supervise you employees, AND be responsible for their progres, but also answer to their families (ask any teacher what merely a few demanding/unreasonable parents can do to a classroom and their ability to give all students adequate attention).  Their jobs begin before school starts and long after it ends, and there is no overtime pay.  Simply taking a bathroom break require coordination with other staff.  Sorry, but comparing other professions to teaching when it comes to wages and job responsibilities is just, well, it isn't very pertainent.  We still think teachers should shut up and be happy because we still consider them to be in the widget business.  Just churning out product.  

    Additonally, I have no problem with immigrants doing any job if they do it well, but it does become hard when language barriers come in.  My son's teacher this year is filipino, has been teaching here for twenty years, and we still have trouble decipering what she is saying sometimes.  That's just reality, and it makes it difficult for children and parents to simply and effectively communicate with the teacher when the teacher has a language barrier.  You can be fluent in English an still have great trouble speaking in a manner that is understandable easily.  And if being able to clearly comprehend every word your teacher is saying is not important, well, okay then, just say it's about saving money and shut up.

    The fact is teaching should be a profession as well respected and well paid as any in our society, it is certainly as important as any.  But, sadly, we do not believe that.  We believe it should simply be a profession where we pay just enough money to keep just enough decent teachers from quitting, and we're not even doing a good job of that.



    You could look it up, you know (none / 0) (#8)
    by cymro on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 02:12:43 AM EST
    Good ones help employers make (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 02:13:51 AM EST
    more good hires instead of more mistakes, which are extremely costly.  Costs of startup for a new employee exceed the pay for that employee these days.

    And in these days of faked credentials, there is a lot of checking for HR folks to do.  My state now requires criminal background checks for all potential employees, too -- and that's all potential employees, so more than the number of hires.  And when they're from out of state and several states, it's a lot of work just for that step on the checklist.

    There's also lots of startup paperwork to do, lots of training to do, etc., these days and more at the good employers, who know it's worth it to keep good employees rather than start all over again through an increasingly complicated process.  Just the steps in setting up benefits for those employees who get them -- well, have you had the fun of dealing with insurance companies lately?:-)

    (My daughter just started a new job at a company that does all this correctly, and it was an exhaustive process of many weeks of interviews, then many weeks of training.  In an industry with high turnover, it's a company that keeps its employees for many years.)  


    Can't comment on VA. (none / 0) (#29)
    by snstara on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:47:26 PM EST
    But generally, non-tenured and new teachers are taking on extra duties, such as sports teams and clubs, and teaching summer school.  Why?  Because they can't afford to live on the basic salary without the additional income.

    So when people talk to me about how easy teachers have it, what with the 7-2 day, and the summers off, I howl with laughter.  As an English teacher, I never had a day that ended at 2, I had hours of classwork every night and weekend, and I taught every single summer I was in the profession.

    It's pretty sad that people think so little of a profession that is responsible for educating children.


    Most professionals I know (none / 0) (#35)
    by snstara on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:07:03 PM EST
    don't bring ANY work home.  They may have to put in extra hours on the job - but when they leave the office, they are done.  They do not have hours and hours of additional work to look forward to once they get home. If they do, they are very well compensated for it.  

    Also, new doctors have decided to enter a profession that will pay them significantly more than the average wage, and they will not always have to work over 12 hours a day.  But the fact that they do as residents and students says more about the culture of hospitals and medical schools than the actual necessity of the job.  Given that their 12-hour days may kill someone, working fewer hours would be better.


    What professionals are you referring to? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:33:46 PM EST
    Most defense lawyers I know spend a good chunk of their evening preparing for court the next day, returning phone calls or writing motions or briefs they couldn't write at the office because they were in court all day.

    I believe that, other than public defenders (none / 0) (#37)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:14:15 AM EST
    and those taking pro bono work, I've covered this when I state that those who do take work home are compensated.  Are there billable hours for work you must take home?  Is the fact that you must work from home at times factored into your salary, raises, and bonuses - or into the salary for the profession?

    Drewski makes an anecdotal statement: in his experience, ALL professionals take work home and work long hours.  From my (also anecdotal) experience, there are plenty of professionals who may work long hours, but do not take work home. When they must do so, they are well compensated.

    But this all started because of a blanket statement about teachers being overcompensated for the time worked.  In years of working in other professions, and in years of teaching and being surrounded by people who taught, I've yet to encounter a profession with more take-home and overtime and less money for an advanced degree.

    I absolutely meant no offense to you, Jeralyn - my uncle is a hard-working lawyer for the USDA - but I was reacting to the statement 'all professionals take work home'.


    Just to add: (none / 0) (#38)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:42:44 AM EST
    I was replying to drewski###'s comment. I now notice that his response to me has since been removed from this thread.

    It's called IN-sourcing, not outsourcing... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Caro on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:42:07 AM EST
    ... and they've been doing it to us in the IT field for 15 years.

    Carolyn Kay