Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Take action to honor and reward excellent teachers!

After viewing the eye-opening documentary American Teacher last week, I began to think about what both educators and non-educators can do to improve working conditions and salaries for American teachers.

Here are some ideas about what YOU can do:

1. Get in touch with your school board. -- Write your school board, and ask them to support and reward great teachers. Find ways to engage teachers in conversation with school board members and set priorities locally. To find your local school board, visit:

2. Contact your legislator and get to know your policy-makers. -- Ask candidates running for office how they plan to reward effective teaching and improve working conditions so more great teachers will want to stay in the classroom. Ask them to protect education budgets and to think creatively about paying good teachers more.

3. Learn ways to implement compensation reform in your community. -- If you are a teacher or a school leader, consider working with Compensation Innovations, a nonprofit consulting group committed to improving the effectiveness of all educators and ensuring they are fairly compensated -- at You can also reach out to the National Center on Performance Incentives at, or the Center for Educator Compensation Reform at, for support in this endeavor.

4. Start a conversation in your community. -- Invite your favorite teachers, school board members, principals, and neighbors to join you in talking about what great teaching looks like and how schools can reward teachers for providing it. Learn about models from districts and schools around the country that have adopted innovative teacher compensation models.

Ten things to know about American teachers:

1. 46 percent of teachers in public schools leave the profession within 5 years.

2. 14 percent of teachers leave the profession each year; in urban districts, 20 percent leave each year.

3. In the next 10 years, more than 1.8 million of the 3.2 million teachers will become eligible for retirement.

4. High turnover of American teachers costs our country over $7 billion every year.

5. The average starting salary for teachers in our country is $39,000. The average ending salary -- after 25 years in the profession -- is $67,000.

6. 62 percent of teachers have second jobs outside of the classroom.

7. Teachers make 14 percent less than people in other professions that require similar levels of education.

8. In terms of buying power, teacher salaries have declined for 30 years.

9. Teachers are priced out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas.

10. 77 percent of adults feel that teaching is among the most under-appreciated professions in the United States.

Ask yourself -- is this fair?? What can WE do about this??

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