Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I couldn't sleep last night...

What else is new, right?

One of the million things that was running through my head in the middle of the night was what Boy Oneder had said to me earlier in the evening. He told me that no one was going to school on the day of his Confirmation (next Tuesday). He said they were all preparing for their Confirmation. When I questioned what needed to be prepared, he said that the girls needed to get their hair and nails done (this I can understand). So I again asked what preparation was required, this time, for the boys...he had no answer. He giggled and said, "If the girls get the day off, so should the guys." I asked him what he would do if he stayed home and his answer was, "Play PS3". My immediate response was, "You're going to school on Tuesday."

This conversation got me to thinking about the teachers and how much (or perhaps how little) they actually work. I grabbed myself a calendar off of our school board's website and started calculating...brace yourself.

This is going to tick off alot of people and for that, I apologize, but I am entitled to my opinion and it's my blog and I'll bitch if I want to! ;o) I encourage you to please comment if I have written anything that is untrue or incorrect.

Here we go...

There are 365 days in a year. There are 261 weekdays in each year. For comparison's sake, I am going to compare a first year teacher to a first year full-time employee at the company I work for. Fair comparison, no?

Of the 261 weekdays in each year, a first year employee at my company is entitled to 15 days' vacation. That leaves 246 weekdays.

Of the 261 weekdays in each year, a first year teacher is entitled to the same 15 days' vacation, leaving the same 246 weekdays.

Ontario has 11 Statutory/Civic Holidays per year. At my company, we also receive a lieu day for Remembrance Day. That leaves 234 days for my employee. Teachers are entitled to a float day for Heritage Day, leaving 234 days for the teacher. We're still even.

The teacher has an additional 15 days "Board Approved Holidays" (this includes Christmas Break, March Break, Easter Monday and the Friday before Labour Day), leaving the teacher with 220 weekdays. My employee is still at 234.

According to the School Board's calendar, the last day of school for students is June 29th and there is a Professional Activity Day on June 30th, so the teacher finishes on the 30th. School next September begins on September 7th. Therefore, the teacher is not working for the summer break (a total of 45 days. I have removed the Statutory/Civic Holidays from this number so that the comparison is a true and fair one). The teacher is now at 175 days. Remember our employee is still at 234 days.

I won't even count Professional Activity Days, which to me are a complete joke. There are 7 PA Days per year. But like I said, I won't count them because they are supposedly "worked days". Whatever. I also will not go into the week before March Break and Christmas Break, nor the ENTIRE MONTH before summer break, when my kids come home and tell me they watched movies all day, played games all day or spent the day outside at the park. I also won't go into the "Fun Days" or "Carnivale Week" when the kids make crafts and play games. I truly believe that if I were to count these days, the teacher would be at 150 days, but like I said, I won't count them.

So, we are at 234 for the employee and 175 for the teacher.

As a disclaimer before my next paragraph, and in order to remain friends with my friends who are teachers, I must say that our school is greatly blessed with several teachers who continually go above and beyond the expectations of the Board. These teachers volunteer their time to coach teams, plan plays and school events, go on overnight trips as chaperones, etc., etc., etc. I am truly grateful for the time that they put in, outside of payroll, on a voluntary basis, for our kids. These teachers are the ones who are shaping our children, the ones who are making good kids better and helping kids who are challenged in many ways, better people. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. I understand that it takes a very special person to be able to work with some of these kids, especially with the rules that are in place as to discipline. I could never do what you do. Thank you.

BUT...for the rest of the teachers out there who moan and complain about how overworked and underpaid they are:

A teacher works 175 days a year...59 days less than the average employee at my company. They get the summer off to spend with their kids, to travel, to veg, to do whatever their heart desires. Computers now spit out generic quotes for our kids' report cards. I can't count how many times my SONS' report cards have said "She does..." or "Her work..." They don't even have to write out comments anymore, but they STILL mess it up. Back in the day, my teachers HANDWROTE my report card and their comments were not some computer generated nonsense...it was true, fair comments about my personal progress!

So, teachers...stop complaining about your workload. Stop bitching about how hard your job is. Come into the corporate world and work 234 days with no summer off and no "fun days" or days off before Confirmation, Graduation, Whateveration. I betcha you'd be back in your classroom the following September! Pin It


bethany said...

I don't have a problem with what you wrote, but I grew up in a home where both my parents were teachers. The difference about teachers and "regular" employees is that teachers work way more than 8 hours a day during the school year. They spend a LOT of time outside of "work" doing work. I know that many employees of companies do that, too, but many "regular" jobs are such that you leave work at the office. Teachers don't have the opportunity to do that (as much). Just my two cents! :)

mapsgirl said...

My mom was a teacher as well.

She'd work her regular class day, come home, make dinner, drive us around to all of our stuff and then at 8pm at night she'd put in another 3 or 4 hours of school work (lesson plans, marking, etc). So she worked at least 9-10 hour days.

However, she knew what she was getting into and she chose this as her career. She NEVER complained. She loved being a teacher.

Karin said...

I can totally see where you're coming from, but of course there are always two sides to the issue.

As far as the stupid comments on the report cards? Not a teacher's choice usually - they are forced to use computers so things can be "properly documented" whether it says what you want it to say or not. They don't have much say about anything in their own classrooms anymore. You can't discipline a student without major consequences and you can't try and schedule parent teacher conferences, because 90% of the parents won't bother coming (those that do are for the students you aren't having any issues with of course!)

Do teachers in Canada get paid for the summer? I know in the states they don't... most need to find summer jobs to continue to pay the bills...maybe working summer school or tutoring. I've even seen a few at Retail Stores and Fast food restaurants. Although, many times they spend the summer going to school themselves so they can keep their up their continuing education credits. I don't know of any teachers that can afford to spend the summer "traveling" around and doing whatever they please. Maybe pay scales here are vastly different than Canada?

Also, as previously mentioned, most of my teacher friends/family are always working on things at home in the evenings....lesson plans, grading papers, etc. Long hours and not much of a paycheck.

As far as I can see, you have to really love what you do to "choose" to be a teacher because I don't know why else anyone would WANT that job! LOL

Kate said...

This is gross and highly annoying. Teachers have become so lazy over the years. My children's school lets out at 3:15 and you'd be hard pressed to find a teacher anywhere on the property at 3:30. It's shameful. AND they make more money than a 40 hour/week, 50 week/year employee!

And I don't know why you only get 45 days of summer break - we have 60+.

My comments are not meant to insult any teachers that may read this - but HELLO! They've got it pretty easy.

My Three Sons said...

Hey Karin. I did a little research and found this website that talks about salaries:


In our school board, teachers are paid their salary all year, but I do know that some boards pay the salary through just the working months.

I do realize that teachers don't have a choice in a lot of things, but I just think they should realize how good they have it.

Again, there are some AMAZING teachers out there, but like Kate, our parking lot is deserted 15minutes after the bell...some may work later, but I can guarantee that some do not. Another perk...8:00 - 3:00 with two union mandated 15 minute breaks and 1 hour lunch, that adds up to 5.5 hours a day...my employee works 7.5 with lunch and breaks accounted for.

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