2 years ago
While teacher protests are spreading across the USA and teachers in Oklahoma are demanding bilingual education, there are still misconceptions about US educators. According to CNN, there are four absolutely unfounded myths about teachers. Let’s bust those grave misconceptions once and for all!
Myth #1: Teachers have shorter work day compared to other professions
The data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics suggests that an average school day in US lasts a little over 6.5 hours. However, most teachers claim to be working up to 11 hours a day, 9 of which are spent at school.
There are over 3.5M teachers in the United States working full-time who are required to work 38.2 hours/week. In reality, the number is 53.3 hours/week, if school-related activities like after school conferences, staff meetings, and extracurricular programs are taken into account. And this is excluding 4-5 hours of grading papers on the weekend!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, other US professionals work up to 42.3 hours/week. Evidently, a dedicated teacher often lives their job.
Myth #2: Teachers have a privilege of a paid summer vacation
Another serious misconception concerns summer vacations. Very few people know that teachers are only paid for the days they work, which is about 187 days a year. CNN suggests, educators choose “to have a portion of each of their paychecks withheld during the school year to receive a paycheck through the summer.” In other words, roughly 9 months' worth of money has to be spread out over 12 months!
Even more, teachers get no extra payment but salary. Those who choose in favor of not having their money withheld, receive the whole sum up front, but don’t get paid over the summer.
Myth #3: Teachers receive all classroom supplies from school
One of the pains faced by many teachers is buying classroom supplies for their own money. This surely adds up to the financial burdens experienced by educators. According to the study conducted by Scholastic, teachers spend up to $530 on classroom supplies out of their own pockets. The study revealed that educators purchase notebooks, books, lesson plans, stationery, technology and software.
Some educators have admitted spending up to $1000 a year on supplemental textbooks and classroom materials! Educators have to turn to charities and urge people to make donations in order to have enough money for school supplies.
Myth #4: Teachers get the wage adequate to their professionalism
That is the worst myth ever! Turns out, teachers not only take their work home, but also work a second job to earn extra money. The research from the NCES suggests that in the 2015-2016 school year, 17.9% of public school teachers had an extra job outside school. 44.5% of teachers took on extracurricular activities within the school system to get extra payment. According to CNN, Oklahoma teachers have admitted working 2, 3 or even up to 6 jobs to earn their living.
The research by the Economic Policy Institute, in 2015, public school teachers in the US were paid 23% less than other college graduates. The average weekly wage of a public school teacher equalled $1,092. Meanwhile, college graduates had a weekly wage of $1,416. Due to this fact, the percentage of college freshmen interested in teaching has been steadily declining.
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