Monday, August 18, 2008

The Salary Discussion

I've heard the argument about teacher's salaries before. I know the camp that says teachers are underpaid no matter how much they make and I have a colleague who says you will never hear him complain about his salary because he makes $70,000 a year working only nine months a year. I also know my mom makes a little more than that working four day weeks eight and a half months a year--the corporate world has many perks.
I've been listening to the conversations about changes in teacher salaries, and releasing the step and lane system, and Dan's comments about Michelle Rhee make me feel nervous. I understand that there is a lot to gain when you look at the system one way--there's no doubt that a six digit salary is something to crow about. However, as a young teacher, I am extremely wary of cutting unions out of the process.
I like where I work, and I work there because I consciously chose the type of school. I wasn't built for urban schools, or for the country.
Where will this money come from over time? Is it possible that moving teachers around will leave successful schools with bald spots?
Part of what makes me successful is the people I work with. We collaborate, we discuss, and we make each other laugh. Without my support system, I might lose some of my oomph.
I want to know more, and like some of Dan's commenters, I'm just glad I can watch from afar for awhile.
There are problems with the current system, but I'd like to see more different ideas across the board before we embrace one idea.

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