Posts Tagged ‘Teachers Salary’

There are a Lot of Bernard Tomics Among the Teaching Fraternity

July 5, 2017

“This is my eighth Wimbledon or ninth, I think. I’m still 24, and it’s tough to find motivation, you know,” he said.

“Really, me being out there on the court, to be honest with you, I just couldn’t find any motivation.

“It was definitely a mental issue out there.

“Yeah, I just tried to break a bit of momentum but just couldn’t find any rhythm and, you know, wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform.

“I don’t know why, but, you know, I felt a little bit bored out there. You know, to be completely honest with you.”


Above is from a candid post match press conference given by Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic.

He is getting slammed for these comments, and it’s not hard to see why.

But, if you think about it, teachers all over Australia could sympathise. Many of my fellow teachers have expressed the same levels of disenchantment and have admitted to going through the motions.

I don’t blame them, really.

Any industry that takes incentives out of the equation, leads their workers to do nothing more than just enough. By refusing to pay teachers based on their worth and instead paying them according to their experience, the Government have set up a system that will lead to Tomics, not Federer’s.

There is nothing worse than seeing a natural talent squander his or her potential. But before we judge a sporting star who refuses to try his best, we have to ask;

Are we trying our best?



Click on the link to read Why Many Teachers Leave

Click on the link to read The Countries Where Teachers Are Paid the Most

Click on the link to read You Can Get Paid Like a Monkey Without Being One

Click on the link to read Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers

 Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!

Why Many Teachers Leave

August 15, 2016

Megan Webb


I would continue to be a teacher even if my pay was substantially cut, but I am very much in the minority. Teachers get paid better than some might think, but not as much as they deserve.

One teacher penned a very thoughtful piece on why she chose to leave the profession:


Heartbreaking – it’s the only word that can describe how it feels to walk away from something that was once your dream. The one job you always wanted to do, the person you wanted to become.

For the first time in 10 years, I am not anxiously preparing my classroom, anticipating the arrival of twenty energetic children and a new year full of learning, laughter and excitement.

Instead, I am preparing myself for a new career in the business world. And not because I wanted to. I absolutely loved my teaching job at Equestrian Trails Elementary. But sadly, love just isn’t enough.

Why am I leaving? I am being forced to make a decision between the absolute love of teaching and living up to my potential to support myself. Since graduating from college, I have been fortunate enough to focus on my work, and ignore my stagnant income by living with my parents.

It has been a very comfortable living arrangement that’s worked well for my family and me, and I just assumed I would move out when I “met the right guy.”  But, that hasn’t happened yet, and at the age of 32, I decided it is time for me to move out on my own and become a fully independent adult.

There is just one giant obstacle standing in my way: I simply cannot support myself comfortably with my current income.

A year’s experience worth just $274

I’ve always known that education would be far from lucrative, and I have always been accepting of that. However, I never anticipated that my salary would not grow along with my years of experience.

When I started teaching in the Palm Beach County School District a decade ago, I made $33,830. Today, I make $43,239.

While that’s a lot more than I made in my first year of teaching, it’s just $2,464 more per year than an incoming first-year teacher today, or an additional $274 for each year of experience.

When I began my career, the hope for a more comfortable future seemed attainable. The pay scale in 2007 reflected a more sizeable difference of $6,600 between a first and tenth year teacher.

Unfortunately, since I began teaching in 2006, we have seen serious changes to our pay structure, and a lack of substantial raises.

Compound that with an inflation rate of 19.6% over the past ten years, rising healthcare costs, and a change to our state-funded retirement pension (requiring a 3% deduction from our paycheck), and we as a teaching class have gained very little ground in a decade.

Discouragingly, the prospect of meaningful increases in the future seems dim.


To read more of her fabulous essay click on this link:


Click on the link to read The Countries Where Teachers Are Paid the Most

Click on the link to read You Can Get Paid Like a Monkey Without Being One

Click on the link to read Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers

 Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!

You Can Get Paid Like a Monkey Without Being One

February 8, 2015


They say that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but great teachers don’t teach for the peanuts.


Click on the link to read Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers

Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!
Click on the link to read The Overwhelming Responsibilies of the Modern Teacher

Our Pay Isn’t the Problem

August 22, 2012

Teachers have more to complain about than their pay. Sure, it would be nice to get paid more, but let’s face it, our nation can’t afford a substantial pay rise and we are not being completely ripped off. No teacher enters into the profession with the intention of making a sizeable income.  We know that we will always be paid less than the ideal amount.  

It is the conditions we face that we should be most concerned about. The obsession with changing curriculums every two years without any apparent reason, the increase in planning paperwork that robs us of time to devote to other aspects of our job and the crazy overregulation which has shifted the focus from quality education to lawsuit damage control.

Rita Panahi is right to point out that a teacher’s pay is no reason to strike:

Why, one wonders, do presumably intelligent people study for four years to enter a profession where they find the pay so unacceptable?

It’s akin to buying a house near an airport then complaining about aircraft noise.

If money is what motivates you then teaching is probably not the job for you.

Higher pay comes with greater scrutiny but teachers have fought hard against attempts to link their wages to their performance.

Under the current system, which the Australian Education Union desperately wants to retain, almost all teachers automatically move up the pay scale every year regardless of their ability, effort or suitability for the job.

This absurdity helps to explain a 2009 survey of teachers which found that nine out of 10 of them don’t believe their school would acknowledge improvements in the quality of their work, while seven out of 10 believed their consistently underperforming colleagues were in no danger of losing their jobs.

Actually, despite the persistent whingeing we’ve grown used to from teachers, they are hardly surviving on the breadline.

A first year teacher can expect to earn around $57,000, which is more than graduate paramedics, accountants and substantially more than nurses. This can rise to more than $90,000 at leading teacher level.

Not bad for a job with enviable hours and holidays of which most of us can only dream.

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One
Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!
Click on the link to read The Overwhelming Responsibilies of the Modern Teacher

“Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!

June 18, 2012

I believe that teachers deserve better pay. This shouldn’t surprise you as I am a teacher. But what I don’t agree with is the often used argument that if we paid teachers more we would attract a better standard of teacher. I have yet to have met a potential teacher who decided not to enter the profession based on the pay. I have also yet to have seen any difference to the quality of teachers after a pay increase.

A recent report finds that salary is a huge factor:

Several reports from the Australian government indicate that, although many high achievers consider teaching important and challenging, they do not pursue a career in teaching because salaries, promotional pathways and status are limited relative to other professions.

The research is clear that annual bonus pay schemes are ineffective in improving the quality of teaching or student outcomes or in making teaching a more attractive career.

There are some professions which attract based on promotional pathways and pay and others that attract based on the rewarding aspects of the job. I don’t want to teachers come in to the system based on pay and promotion reasons over passion and eagerness to make a difference.

Click here to read my post “If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One.”

The Overwhelming Responsibilies of the Modern Teacher

March 26, 2012

I just read a brilliant piece by teacher Daniel Cohen.

Whilst I differ from the author of this article in one key area, I believe the article presents a most accurate account of the day-to-day challenges that face working teachers. I don’t agree with the premise that for all the hard work we put in, we receive little in return. Yes, we are underpayed. But what we do get back from our students can not be easily quantified.

Even still, his assessment on the daily rigours and insane paperwork and planning requirements is captured brilliantly in the article.

I BECAME a teacher to help children learn.

I’m now working with at-risk children who do not cope in a mainstream setting.

They have emotional and behavioural issues affecting their ability to perform and succeed within school.

They, like all students, need a strong teaching profession.

I see the role of teachers as both educating students and preparing them for society as adults.

A lot of the focus is on literacy and numeracy.

As a teacher, I believe there are a lot more skills that students need than just reading and writing.

It’s my role to help them develop into adults.

Teaching is the closest thing you can get to being a parent without having children.

Like parents, teachers form relationships with children that are central to a child’s learning and development.

We help them sort out personal problems and friendship issues.

We help with knowledge in an academic sense. But we also help them learn to interact and deal with people and how to get along.

They can’t learn subject content if they can’t work with others.

And they can’t learn to work with other people in isolation. That’s part of a teacher’s role as well as a parent’s.

Day to day, students attend classes between 9am and 3.30pm.

When the students are at school, the teacher’s whole focus is on working with them.

Preparing lessons, correcting work, organising meetings and other duties associated with being part of a workplace all happen outside of class time.

A teacher’s legal and professional responsibility to students does not end when students aren’t around.

A lot of that happens during a teacher’s personal time.

Our tasks – attending staff meetings outside of class, correcting and checking work and so on – cannot be properly completed within normal, paid allocated time.

Because teachers are in a workplace, we have Occupational Health and Safety obligations to fulfil, such as ensuring that the school is safe and correct procedures are followed in classroom safety.

We are required to provide supervision and ensure that the classroom is a safe environment.

Also, we must formally report on any issues involving child welfare.

These are just some of the very serious responsibilities all teachers assume.

Watching students is difficult.

When you have 27 students, ensuring they are all safe and within sight at all times can be quite time-consuming.

The pay situation as it is now makes me feel really undervalued by my employer – the State Government. I’m disappointed and upset that our pay negotiations have not been progressing.

The work we do is essential.

To have the Government stall undervalues our work and undervalues the education that children deserve.

Failing to pay us properly means we’re not given the resources or time we need to do the best for our students – Victoria’s children.

We’re using our own time to do more for the students because we think it’s important. Teachers want what’s best for students.

Without proper pay, my worry is that the profession will suffer and good teachers will leave.

Those who stay may suffer ill-health because they are not given enough time to properly do the job.

We already have a shortage of teachers.

Without proper pay, we will struggle to keep the ones we have or to recruit new ones.

Teachers put in the extra time because they’re doing what’s best for their students.

But without support from their employer, it is increasingly difficult for teachers to keep on doing that important work.

The Government wants more productivity.

That will be achieved by giving teachers the resources they need and by supporting the profession.

If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

March 20, 2012

Another year, another impending strike. I know I am a lone voice on this  one, but I find the notion of teachers striking very distasteful and selfish. The job of a teacher is to support and nurture their students. When a teacher decides not to front up to work, they are robbing children of a day of school.

I have never met a teacher that went into the caper for the money. It is a well-known fact that teachers don’t get paid vast sums of money. Partly, this is due to tradition and partly it is due to the fact that Governments simply cannot afford to offer large pay increases across the board.

Am I suggesting that teachers should not be paid more? Absolutely not. I think I work hard enough to justify an increase of salary (currently 3% less than a public school teacher). There is enough wasted money spent on education, I think it would be quite appropriate for some of that misspent money to be allocated to teachers.

What I don’t agree with is the argument that teachers should be given a marked increase. If that was to happen before I started my teacher training, I never would have become a teacher. A large wage increase would have led to a greater popularity in teacher enrolments. The flow on from this would have been that to get into a teaching course, the tertiary rank (based on Year 12 results) would have been much harder. I simply would not have had the grades to get a place.

Some would see that as a positive. Teachers should, according to many, posses outstanding academic credentials. After all, the smarter the teacher, the better the teacher, right?

Not necessarily. I was a late bloomer. I struggled throughout school. My teachers found me very frustrating. No matter how much I applied myself, simply passing was a huge challenge for me. And yet, it is this struggle that has made me become a decent teacher. It has provided me with patience and it allows me to understand the struggles of students with learning difficulties and confidence issues. I try to be the very teacher I felt I needed, but never had.

Whilst I believe that teachers do a wonderful job and they deserve to be paid accordingly, I would like to reach that point without strikes and without Education Unions (they shouldn’t be allowed to be called the Education Union – they aren’t representing what is best for education). I would like potential teachers to join this wonderful profession more for the passion and dedication they have for the job than the money.

I expect that I will be critcised roundly for my stance. I look forward to reading your take on this.

Study: Teachers Are Overpaid

November 3, 2011

I am not writing this in the guise of a victim.  I did not become a teacher for the money, nor do I ever expect to be paid a great deal more than I am currently getting.  But let’s not fool ourselves here.  Teachers are not overpaid.  To call them overpaid
is absolutely ludicrous!

Despite the public perception that public school teachers in general are underpaid, Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of “Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers,” says “the reality is that it’s just not true. There’s no way to look at the data and conclude that they are underpaid. They are certainly paid more than they can get if they work in the private sector…” In fact, Richwine found that “public-school teachers receive compensation about 52% higher than their skills would otherwise garner in the private sector.”

When working out how much a teacher is making an hour the following assumptions are normally made:

  • Teachers work a 9 to 5 job – This is certainly not true.  Unlike many professions a teacher’s job is not done at the end of the workday.  We have to take our essays and tests home with us.  We have to write reports.  We are also required to do our planning in our own time.
  • Teachers get generous holidays – Whilst this is essentially true, many fail to realise the amount of work we do during the holidays.  From setting up the classroom, attending handover meetings and planning, much of my vacation time is dedicated to preparing for the following term or year.  In the holidays, I write-up yearly planners, term planners, literacy planners, numeracy planners and integrated unit planners.  Most professionals would hate to do any job related work over their vacation time.  We have no choice.
  • Teaching is a fairly undemanding profession – Teaching is known to be an exceptionally stressful job with the highest reported rate of bullying of any profession.  Teachers can be bullied by a number of sources; from parents, students, bosses, administrators to fellow colleagues.

You can’t afford to give us a pay rise? Fine.  But don’t you dare call us overpaid!

Teaching is Worth It!

October 5, 2011

People who don’t know me well assume that I fell into teaching because it pays my bills.  They look at a male primary teacher and think that I must have been low on choices to pick a profession that the average man wouldn’t opt for in a million years.

Their impressions are all wrong.  In fact, I did have choices, but all I wanted to do was to teach.  It’s hard to explain to those who associate teaching with low pay, long hours, high stress, immense pressure and classroom management headaches.

I read a brilliant piece by student teacher Stephanie Vincent, entitled Why I Really Shouldn’t Be a Teacher. She lists 3 reasons why she shouldn’t go down the path she is going – the workload, lack of recognition and the challenges stemming from difficult parents.

Yet, with all those detracting factors, she is very happy with her choice:

By becoming a teacher I will be lucky enough to spend every day doing something that I’m passionate about. From the first day of my teaching practicum I felt as though I had entered a sacred world, and I can confidently say that I want to spend my future there. Quite simply, I love teaching and children.

Luckily, I don’t seek recognition or a prestigious job. I want a job that excites me. Every day students remind teachers why they teach. This was made clear to me throughout my practicum experience. When I was able to connect with students or when I saw students’ eyes light up when they finally understood a difficult concept, I felt deeply rewarded. Students are why teachers teach.

But what about those difficult parents I mentioned? Although I have not yet had to deal with upset parents, I did deal with an upsetting experience. I worked with one student in particular in a one-on-one setting, and we developed a close bond. During my practicum her entire life was essentially flipped upside down, and she reached out to me. It was devastating to know what she was going through. I was helpless and questioned my ability to deal with it. I discussed my fears with my teaching associate, and as always, she was amazing. She reminded me that, as a teacher, I could help this student. Teachers are in a unique position in that they can provide every child in their class with a positive environment, for at least part of their day, and show them that someone cares.

Suddenly those three reasons I talked about above for not becoming a teacher seem far away. I cannot think of anything that I would rather do. I want to learn how to teach so that I can spend every day with students and so that we can learn from each other. Each and every student brims with energy and unrealized possibility. I want to help them release that energy and realize their potential. In the end, teaching is the most rewarding and enjoyable job anyone can do.

This was just a pleasure to read.  There is so much negativity surrounding this great profession, it is a joy to read from a passionate and driven teacher.  I wish Stephanie all the best during her training and beyond.  She presents as the type of teacher you’d want looking after your child.  She reminds disillusioned teachers that if they don’t feel the same way as she does, they should perhaps consider a change of career.

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