Teachers pay

Posted by dark_star 2 years, 7 months ago to Politics
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The article talks about one of the biggest misconceptions in America today.
SOURCE URL: https://fee.org/articles/no-teachers-are-not-underpaid/


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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 2 years, 6 months ago
    Education is a racket. Much promised, very little delivered. The thing no one ever points out to these teachers is that none of them are in bonded servitude. If they think they are poorly treated, they should quit and take their fabulous skills and go in to the private sector......where results are measured!
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    • Posted by $ Solver 2 years, 6 months ago
      I think your first sentence should have read, “Government funded education is a racket.”
      We need good educators. But the incentives for good educators in this racket, is not good.
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      • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
        I really wonder about the need for education as its done now. The premise behind "education" seems to be to ram down the throats of generally uninterested students a pre programmed set of "knowledge", rather than provide an atmosphere in which a student learns what he/she WANTS to learn at the time. The whole concept of "teaching" I think is wrong. The emphasis should be on encouraging "learning"- like little kids do as they grow up.

        Personally, I never had YOUTUBE when I was growing up. That said, I have learned so much more from YOUTUBE in the past 5 years or so, and at the pace I wanted to learn. I learned C++ programming, wireless power transmission, and many other things which have let me sell over a million dollars of products into the marketplace- and all from YOUTUBE. I learned those things at the time I learned them because I WANTED to understand them, not because someone TAUGHT me.

        If I had a kid today, I would NOT send them to public school, but would find ways to help THEM learn what they are interested in.
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        • Posted by $ Solver 2 years, 6 months ago
          I agree to a point. Each individual is different. Each individual develops different interests and values. We still need teachers/educators to teach the basics, especially how to learn. After that is done, the world and the web is an open book. Or should I say ebook.
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          • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
            Not sure that we need to learn how to learn. I think its wired into us from birth. Kids today are taught how NOT to learn in public schooles. Leave them alone and the desire to learn takes over. You learn things that you feel the need to learn.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 6 months ago
    In the lower photograph of the article, me dino is very amused by the pay protest sign that states, "Our students deserve better."
    Is that teacher implying that she (or is that a long-haired he) will teach better if paid better?
    That teacher must have tenure. If me dino ran a board of education of a college, methinks I'd want to fire teacher who would wave a sign like that.
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    • Posted by rhfinle 2 years, 6 months ago
      The American Teachers Association has a monopoly on control of "public" government schools. Unions want money, employers provide money but ultimately it's the customer that gets the short end of the stick.In this case the customer is the student. My kids have gone through private schools. I will not inflict the "public" school system on them.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 2 years, 6 months ago
    Money can not solve the problems in education. And the problem with many initiatives that seek to boost teacher pay is that the money ends up either in the pockets of the teachers' unions or merely inflating administrators' pay. This has happened the last two times in my state, and it has made a lot of people upset - at least the ones who pay taxes and care.

    The biggest problem with today's schools is a lack of student discipline - which is tied directly back to parental involvement, which studies repeatedly demonstrate is the single biggest determining factor in educational success. (It is the largest factor in explaining why Utah has the highest return on education dollars spent.)

    Between the free meals and the reprimands to teachers who attempt to rein in bad behavior, schools have become publicly funded daycares. My mother-in-law taught Kindergarten until health issues forced her retirement. All it takes is one bad apple to disrupt things for all other students and she had plenty of stories about the bad apples. The problem is that it was nearly impossible to get the rowdy ones kicked out of the school. And because the teachers aren't allowed to discipline the students (which is what the students need), the problematic ones just bounce around from class to class and school to school.

    This can all be solved by allowing schools to choose who they are going to allow as students. My son's charter high school does it and there is a one-strike policy: if the student gets a D in class, they're gone and can never come back. Same thing for disciplinary issues: you disrupt class seriously and you are gone.

    The sooner we stop treating education like a mandatory public option, the sooner parents will be forced to either take an interest in both their own and their childrens' lives. Only then will education in this nation improve.
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    • Posted by redison 2 years, 6 months ago
      I agree that when parents are involved in the schools, that the students do better. I also believe that if there were more choice like private or charter schools and vouchers would pay for the students, the parents could move to better schools. I accept that if there are disciplinary issues that the students should be forced out and find a new school.

      Teachers are continuing to ask for more pay for only working less than full time. It may be an admiral job to teach our children, but if they want a full time salary, they need to work full time. Currently they get school vacations, summers off, MEA during the school year, and want full time salary. We need to end the summer vacation time off so our children can catch up.

      If there is an option to provide free college education, then we only extend the problem from High School levels where we need to pay again to teach the same thing to them again and again. Only when the student has some skin in the game and need to pay for it themselves will they value the education that the are getting.
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  • Posted by Jstork 2 years, 6 months ago
    Just about everyone I talk to or listen to (including such blogs) says pretty much the same thing. The question I have is that in a supposedly properly working system: how can we have so many people being ignored by the powers that be who regulate the public education systems (so few people)? With government dictated curricula, legislation and regulation, the natural process of education is soiled and inefficient. That goes for many other facets of our society.

    If teachers don't like what they are being paid, they are free to work somewhere else. No one is pointing a gun at them and forcing them to work as teachers. The province where I live is pushing the minimum wage up to $15 pr hour. In essence, they are pointing a gun at business owners thus forcing them to pay more while no one is forcing the workers to work for more or less. A job at lower wages is better than no job at all.
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    • Posted by $ Solver 2 years, 6 months ago
      Many have been taught that being educated is some natural right, just like being fed or being provided a safe space. Mostly it is an excuse to grab more resource to boost their system to indoctrinate more kids even faster.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 2 years, 6 months ago
    In any other career, the interview conversation will be something like "how many days of vacation per year are provided?" - in teaching it is "how many days a year do I have to work?"

    Teachers on average will work 171.5 days per year. Their compensation plus their pensions - normally 30% of the salary cost... it is very generous for less than 6 months of work each year.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 2 years, 6 months ago
    As a teacher I am a bit biased on this subject and would certainly prefer higher wages.

    With that said I accept the wages offered knowing full well what I will be bringing home. If for some reason I don't find the wage acceptable I am free to move to another industry.

    Honestly, the greatest benefit that could and I believe should be offered would be for the system to make a teachers student loan payments while the teacher is teaching. This would also attract better people (at least as long as those loans are over their heads) to the profession as many cannot afford to be teachers and pay their loans.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 6 months ago
    Teachers are not underpaid?
    Damn it, doesn't anyone tell the truth anymore?
    Underpaid teachers are as often talked about as Trump's Porno affair.
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
      First of all. Students are forced to attend certain schools. They are forced to absorb the things the teachers are forced to teach. There is little free about the whole system. How could a teacher be judged and rewarded or punished? Certainly not by what a student learns, since that is up to the student. The whole system is ridiculous
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      • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 6 months ago
        We have become so used to compulsory state education that we tend to forget we are forced to send our children to it just as we were forced to attend ourselves. This entails assignment to specific schools whether or nor we choose to attend the one chosen by the government.. We are allowed to let our children or ourselves to attend certified private schools if we can afford it. The public schools are paid for by taxes, part of which we pay for ourselves.. No credit is allowed for the taxes that we must pay if we send our children to private schools.Included in the private system is the desire to choose the best school for our children and their particular desire to learn a specific art or science, which may or may not be available in the public sector.
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
          I am beginning to think that a student would learn more by choosing from the offerings in the internet (google, YouTube) and cable tv ( history channel, discovery channel, a & e) and netflix. Than forced monotony in a government indoctrination center
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          • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 6 months ago
            If you don't mind the indoctrination.
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            • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
              When I was a kid I was indoctrinated into. Thinking I had to do “good” in school or I was a bad person. The report card was the determiner of my worth when I got home. So I parroted back what they “taught” me, without knowing why i needed it for my life. Somehow I survived it all, although I hardly remember anything I was “taught” before I went to a private college, where I they showed me I could learn anything I needed on my own

              Since college I have “learned” a lot, because I needed the knowledge and sought it out when I needed it. I wish I would have had the freedom to learn when I was a kid in public school.
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              • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 6 months ago
                Y'know, upon further though, you can hardly go anywhere for an education without indoctrination. You'd have a better chance by selecting a school after doing a little research, and it most likely will be a private school. Don't know what I was thinking.Everything I have learned since the 5th grade I have taught myself. Thanks for the incentive I needed to come to this realization.
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                • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
                  I have a little trouble these days with the concept of “teaching” and “teachers”. It strikes me as backwards. It’s top down like one is having information crammed down the throat. When you absorb information you are opening the door to your brain- which is what I call learning. I can watch someone do something and catch on without him/her actively “teaching”.

                  Perhaps People learn on their own when they open the brain door because they want to know, and then look around for a way to understand things so they can fit it into their brains in some coherent way that can be retrieved when needed.

                  So we shouldn’t think “teachers”, but rather “learning facilitators” who help others to understand what they want to understand when they want to know.

                  I have learned more from YouTube and Netflix than I ever did in public school
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                  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 6 months ago
                    I began having realizations of how ignorant I was by reading.I picked up the Fountainhead at age 14, then The Universe and Dr. Einstein, Schroedinger's Cat, and off I went into philosophy, history (John Adams) quantum physics. So much to learn, so little time.. Then I discovered my 1st cousin wrote a great book on Quantum Physics called Quantum Enigma Physics Encounters Consciousness by Fred Kuttner.
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              • Posted by $ Solver 2 years, 6 months ago
                Students wanting to do “good” is exactly why leftist English teachers can and do mark students down a grade when using such words as “mankind.” To leftists, that’s wrongthink.
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                • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
                  I guess my parents were trying to help me by insisting I absorb the party line in public schools They didn’t have the funds to send me to private school AND pay taxes for public education at the same time. They never said a word about thinking for myself tho. I was a “good” boy. Getting away from home at college freed me from the slavery of public indoctrination

                  No wonder the leftists want to control education The hidden agendas become obvious only later, and maybe never
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  • Posted by rbunce 2 years, 6 months ago
    The Government Education Industrial Complex loves the argument to be about government school funding in general and teacher pay specifically. Takes the focus off the dismal school performance metrics.

    So the argument on teacher pay leads to one of two conclusions. Either the current teachers are purposely under performing until they are paid more OR the current teachers will be replaced with better teachers (from somewhere.) The GEIC proponents will never acknowledge either conclusion.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
    When asked if you should work for the government or work in a government-controlled market, Ayn Rand offered this standard. If the work is a product or service that would be offered in the free market but was co-opted by the government, then it is moral to pursue such a career. On the other hand, if the work is something that no one should do, then doing it for the state is wrong. Teaching is a moral profession. It has just been co-opted by the government at all levels from the township board of education to the federal agency of education.

    If, through the political processes of elections, etc., you decide that teachers deserve the "average" wage (however defined), then you cannot complain when you get only "average" teachers who provide your children with an "average" outcome.

    In point of fact, many people choose where to live based on the achievements of the school district in which they buy (or rent) their home. Those districts tend to excel and continue to excel.

    In areas, neighborhoods, cities, states where people do not care, they get the result of that choice, also.

    One aside: I have been a judge at our regional science fairs for seven consecutive years. My experience only underscores what I learned some years before elsewhere: it does not matter how much money per student is invested, but whether the parents have a strong interaction (good PTA or whatever) with the school. If the parents care, the kids do well. I see this year after year as the Jewish and Muslim kids from Austin's private schools out-perform the kids from small towns in the surrounding counties. That rural anti-intellectual tradition is common here in the Gulch where it is an easy win to put down liberal snowflake social justice warriors. We place laurels on the heads of engineers because they are "practical" i.e., not intellectual.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 6 months ago
      Actually, the reason rural schools underperform is most often because there is no local competition from charter or private schools. The local school boards are often the biggest hurdle to establishing a charter school, pressured by teachers' unions to block requests from parents for such schools.

      Oklahoma has a "back door" method to allow wanted charter schools. If the local board refuses to grant a charter, the parents can petition the state education agency for approval. One county recently succeeded in getting a charter school permit from the state, after the local board and teachers' union opposed it.

      It isn't that rural folk are anti-intellectual so much as the fact that they lack influence with government centers where the money decisions are made. Oklahoma should be applauded for giving them the chance to have an even stake in the game.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
    Another way to look at this is by the prices offered by the buyers of the actual service offered. (All so-called "goods" are just services. You could build your own car or refrigerator, but you pay for the service of having one made for you.)

    Now, the free market theory is that the buyer is informed. I want to avoid much of that false argument because I believe that there is no such thing as "insider trading." All buyers think that they have special knowledge. So, too, with public schools. The people who set the wages do not actually teach and they do not actually shop for educated partners (employees, etc.). When you buy a car or a refrigerator, you might not actually know much, but we accept that you know what you want.

    With education, that is not the case. "We" don't know what "we" want because "we" are an anonymous personification called "the public."

    You can demand that kids today should know algebra and American history. But how do you shop for that? It is not like going to a couple of appliance stores looking at fridges or visiting car lots and kicking tires. My daughter broke up with a guy because they both wanted cars at the same time; and she read Consumer Reports while he asked his friends what they were buying. They broke up over their different information models, but, again, we do not have that with education. People here complain about "public education" but if you put the words "refrigerator" or "automobile" in there, you see the weaknesses.

    Wherever you live, you can choose the Chevy Volt or Dodge Ram, a Mercedes or a Hyundai or whatever. But we do not have that with education. There is no differentiated market competition available across geographies. Whatever competing theories of education may exist are not branded and sold that way. (Montessori is an exception, though it is abused.)

    Asking whether teachers are paid too much or not enough would make no sense if it were like asking if refrigerators cost too much or not enough.
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
      Teachers get paid what it costs to hire and keep them. No more; no less. I am surprised that there are so many teachers working in public education. It sounds like a rotten job dealing all day with students who arent interested, and bosses who force you to adhere to strict rules. It must be that in fact thats its a cushy job with a lot of perks and time off and benefits.

      If it was up to me, I would get rid of public education in its entirety, along with the taxes that fund it. Let the parents choose how to let their children learn what they need to survive. I bet they do a better job.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
        Every job comes with headaches, or else you would pay them for the privilege and it would be called "entertainment." But if you talk to teachers, you will find that commonly enough, they put up with the unruly children and their unruly parents as well as the over-ruly administration in order to do what they love: teach.

        You certainly must have had a range of teachers yourself, most fair to middling, some great, a few awful. How is that different from bus drivers or brain surgeons?

        We all agree here that tax-funded mandatory public education is the wrong model. An open market would be better.

        The fact that teacher salaries are set by publlic policy forces them to address their issues in public forums. In a rational market, individuals are paid differently even when the same person does the same work. Teachers do not have that opportunity. See my earlier reply below https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post....
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 6 months ago
      This is one huge problem of having the gov't control a sector of the economy. Gov't has real things to do, but it gets bogged down in questions over whether schools should offer algebra to kids under 13, how many mammograms we should pay for, under what level of risk to the mother do we pay for abortion, and which foods are nutritious enough for nutrition programs. I actually agree with nutrition programs that help the poor buy food, but every time gov't gets involved in something one cost is we end up in public debate about personal decisions.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
        That happens of necessrity because government improperly co-opts personal decisions.

        As for welfare, while I can see the Rawlesian argument, it remains that there are other agencies in society. During Hurricane Sandy, the Baptist Men made one million sandwiches (truly), which they delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution to people in Red Cross shelters. Those are all supported with voluntary contribuitions. I don't know about where you live, but here one of the Salvation Army stores is dedicated to reselling donated computers and peripherals.
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 6 months ago
          "while I can see the Rawlesian argument"
          I had never heard of Rawls until now, so I'm not educated on this. I read a blurb about him, and it seems like I disagree with him because his theories relate to just distribution of wealth. Distribution implies wealth is like a fixed deck of cards to be doled out, but wealth is created through people's work. If you make something, it seems to me you have a right to keep it.

          My support of nutrition / welfare programs is based on the idea that when people live together inevitably they have to deal with the effects of people problems, i.e. mental illness, lack of jobs skills, abusive parents, untreated diseases. I'm intrigued by ideas of having unbiased policing and criminal justice funded without taxes, but the only model I've seen is we all pay taxes to fund a criminal justice system. Even if someone says she doesn't really need it because she lives in a remote place and provides her own protection, she cannot opt out of taxes because there is no practical way to opt out of the benefits of having criminals behind bars. If we accept all that, I see no reason not to accept "positive" actions aimed at similar goals, such as providing help that reduces the risk of criminal behavior and increases the chance of someone being a productive member of society.

          I see the dangers of this turning into alms, calls for selflessness, and so on. Gov't powers to punish people, however, have their own set of dangers. I see nothing worse about constructive "helpful" approaches.

          I too have seen how religious organization do a great job of helping the needy. They generally do not seem to be like those nuns in AS who were basically the same as Jim Taggart. At least as far as I can tell, they're cheerful people who just like living life, helping themselves, and sometimes helping others.
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          • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
            What I liked about John Rawls's theory of justice is the way he framed the question. "Design your perfect society. Explain how it works, what the rules are. But before we put you in that, you have no control over where I drop you." Most people want some safeguards, whether guaranteed minimum wage or a system of objective courtoom justice.

            That gets back to the problem of taxation, the only model we all know. Even Ayn Rand said that while government is the servant of the people, it is not the unpaid servant.

            *Uncle Sam the Monopoiy Man" by William C. Wooldridge chronicles working historical alternatives to public services, including private police and courts.
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            • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 6 months ago
              I learned about this in Macro. I later dismissed it because it's utilitarian. It's saying you can find some function for an individuals wealth vs. utility. If we accept stealing, we could maximize utility in the world by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. But stealing is wrong, I thought.

              Suppose, though, we lived in an agricultural society and wealth was tied to arable land. Maybe stealing is just in that case, compared to feudal lords passing the wealth down within the family and everyone else subsisting working for them. I think this is why the world's religions often promote socialism. Many people ask, how can people be foolish enough to support socialism? The favorite answer is "pat yourself on the back because they're idiots and we're so bleeding smart." But I think the right answer goes back to societal and religious traditions that developed before industry and information technology.

              Now that we have ability to create unlimited plenty, the reasons for the ancient religious support of socialism are no longer valid.

              But you have me thinking about this. Even though individuals can now create unlimited wealth, it's hard to do it if you start in a troubled background, say in a family struggling to pay for basic medicines. But the idea of taxing people's money to provide those things can easily metastasize into gov't buying most healthcare expenditures. The same cam happen with housing or any basic need.

              It takes me back to the non-utilitarian self-interested argument that we tax for policing protection from troubled people why can't we tax to help troubled people? You have me thinking, though, suppose we knew that a particular type of trouble would never hurt others. It would just result in a child being born into a unpleasant situation and eventually dying without harming anyone else. Suppose further we had a reliable way to help that person. Should an individual do it? Should the gov't use force to steal other's money to do it?

              I'm realizing my non-utilitarian self-interested case is a cop out that avoid the Rawls' question.
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              • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
                We could go back and forth on all of that. I have to disagree with as much as I nod to. One thing is that all of the "social justice" solutions involve taking from those who are productive and giving to those who are not. At best, it is an investment in their future success, but that cannot be guaranteed -- and it would not justify the initital taking from the productive in the first place.

                Voluntary charity rests on the assumption of personal self-ownership. There is no way to contradict that and still be moral, rational, and real.

                (More later...)
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago
    Well, actually, much is not discussed. First and foremost, the narrative is about public school teachers. How do private schools rate, and what are the ranges and mitigating factors?

    With public schools, the salaries are set by law by political process, not by the marketplace. In particular, every teacher is paid the same. Tha can be adjusted for seniority, perhaps. And it varies by states. And it can vary within a state by independent school district, if they have those. But it is still a political decision, the result of an elected board or an elected legislature; and it is all paid for by bonds voted for in open elections.

    On the other hand, as a technical writer here in Austin, Texas, since 2012, I have worked for $50 per hour on a 1099 for a big company and $28 on a W-2 contracted to the State. (The state dodged the higher $38 per hour by classifiying me as a "document specialist" rather than a "technical writer." But I chose to work for $28 rather than not work at all.) This time around, I was offered $38 and $45 and a couple in between. I chose the lower rate, but it comes with an easier commute and a good learning experience. Money is like Number 5 on my Maslow Hierarchy. I have other needs: I am really big on self-actualization. Whatever my values are, though, I can shop for them, job by job. Since 2012, I have had ten different contracts. Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn not only bring me job offers, I can see the pay rates posted by others.

    Teachers get none of that. It is a different world for them. And it would be for me, too, if my work were defined by law, and my wages were set by the government and approved by the voters.
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