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Would You Consider Teaching If It Paid $125,000?

A new charter school called Equity Project is sending shock waves through the teaching system. According to the New York Times, the school is "premised on the theory that excellent teachers — and not revolutionary technology, talented principals or small class size — are the critical ingredient for success."

One of the questions experts are hoping to answer is if offering six-figure salaries is the way to attract a collection of superb teachers. The search for the eight teachers that will staff Equity Project yielded 600 applications, and 100 of those were interviewed in person.


Join The Conversation
TabbyG TabbyG 8 years
With the idea in mind that teachers are the most critical ingredient, school districts should consider where they are budgeting their money. I'm a teacher, my salary, though not nearly as much as what celebrities and athletes make, is sufficient for me because I love what I do. However, it frustrates me when every two years or so, I return to school to find that the district has purchased yet another new program to implement. It would be much wiser to spend that money where it counts, on the teachers, since programs are not what makes the difference.
esk4 esk4 8 years
one of the teachers from my HS was selected to teach at this school! she was an awesome teacher!
actionandy actionandy 8 years
Everyone entering the teaching field knows they will never rake in the big bucks. Being a single lady with relatively inexpensive tastes the salary is fine but eventually supporting a family may be difficult. A very large pay increase would be wonderful for many reasons. I also believe more men would enter the field. A male teacher can impact their students, simply by being a man, in ways a female cannot. A good, stable and safe male roll model is something many children are without and would benefit from.
c4rolin3 c4rolin3 8 years
obviously money may sway people into going into teaching if it paid that much. but i have to agree with everyone else- if you're going to be a teacher you really have to be passionate about it, be interested in children and investing in their future. there's nothing worse than when a teacher say something like 'i don't get paid enough to deal with this' ..... if a teacher doesn't want to be there or resents their career, students pick up on it and their teaching and in turn learning isn't as successful. yes you have to have the desire to each, and most teachers do have that! you'll always have people who fall into teaching and aren't passionate about it- that's life. so if offering more money attracts more educated people who could earn more money in another profession then that's what needs to happen. the sad fact is that if someone got a 1st in maths or science for example, they could earn a very high wage doing another job. if offering more money would attract them into teaching then it's only going to be a good thing. in the uk a survey was carried out recently which showed a lot of people went into teaching with 2:2 degree classification and didn't have above a b in the subject which they went on to teach. this is probably as their other options were limited. if you offer more money you'll attract a higher calibre of teacher.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've always thought a lot about going back to school to get my teaching certification so I could teach high school chemistry, but I've put that off because I've always figured it'd be really tough to get a job teaching. My brother-in-law teaches high school math and he loves it. My husband has often thought that he should have been a teacher, too. Too bad he never went into that...he would have been a really good teacher as well. We both tutored kids in college and we loved it. Heck, if I could make that much money teaching, I'd do it in a heartbeat!
medenginer medenginer 8 years
I've never had the desire to teach for any amount of salary. I admire those who have the passion to do it. I think of teaching as kind of like nursing it's something not everyone could do or would do. I don't get to choose salary but both would make more. You get to change lives and what could be more rewarding than that.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
That's more than 3 times my current salary!
brilliance13 brilliance13 8 years
absolutely, I wanted to do this as a second career...
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I just finished the article, and it already included "my idea". I know people without a college degree who make more than I do. My boyfriend makes 80 grand a year, his 2nd year working at this company, soon to be raised to 90k. No degree. Good for those people! I wish I was one, haha.
queenegg queenegg 8 years
I would love to be a teacher, but when I went back to college, I had an Associates, so it would've taken 4 years to get certified instead of just 2 to get a bachelors. Now I make more money than a teacher, but I would love to be a teacher. I just can't afford to make less money. I have a ton of student loans and a baby on the way.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
That's an interesting concept, having teachers do some admin work as well as teaching work. Maybe a better idea would be to start with people already in administration, such as the vice or assistant principals. Have them do that work, and teach a few classes. Killing two birds with one stone. Of course this wouldn't work in an elementary school setting, but you get the picture.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
...I wanted to add that if I did get paid more, it would be a huge benefit to get paid more money, but also, when it comes down to it, my job is a little more forgiving than some others. Okay, I might be screwed if I have too many sick days, or the sub list is dwindling, but I get a lot of vacation time...more so than others do. 2 weeks during the year (give or take a few days because of workshops and such) and I have two months in the summer. It's not glamorous, but compared to say, my boyfriend, I think I got a good deal. I don't make much money, but if you want to be a teacher, you don't become one and expect to be rich. I was between teaching and becoming a doctor, and decided that I'd rather make little money, love my job and influence someone, rather than work crazy hours, make lots of money, and think of my job as so-so, or downright annoying. If someone offered me that much money to teach, I'd tell them to keep their money, and put it towards the schools budget for building, tech, books, etc. That is where that money needs to be going.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's always been something that i'd consider - but making more than i make now to do it - sure i'd seriously put some thought into it.
J-Rabbit J-Rabbit 8 years
I have an Education degree, but I haven't taught since college. I've actually been thinking about teaching, even without the six-figure salary. I read this NY Times article a few days ago. The program sounds really interesting, but it's definitely not for your average teacher. The average teacher probably wouldn't even qualify for the position. And even if he/she did, the position requires that the teacher go above and beyond in ways that aren't typically required in an average teaching position. It'll be interesting to see how the theory pans out.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
Teachers as a whole need to get paid more given how difficult their work is, but as others have said, it's definitely a passion. Even if you offer salaries in the six figures, that may not attract the right kind of people and you are bound to get people who are only in it for the money. But then again, you might also attract truly talented people who would make great teachers, so I think it's worth the risk.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
nope. i would be a horrible teacher. i wouldn't do it even if the money was great. while i do believe that teachers need to be paid more, i agree with the above in that it might be a good idea of paying based on student performance. that way the best teachers get paid the most, hopefully weeding out the crappier teachers.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I agree with jessy777. I feel that quality teachers and products (i.e. books, technology, and supplemental instructional materials) benefit students in the long run. I do not think this experiment will just be taking bad teachers, I am sure that these teachers have to earn their keep per say and that they have evaluations based on how students perform. I think all teachers should be paid and paid well, they are educating the future.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I am already a teacher and money isn't my motivator. Education is my passion. However, I truly believe that if salaries were raised it would bring in quality educators and keep them there. Every year hundreds of highly qualified teachers leave the field to pursue careers that pay more. If salaries were raised the level of standards would have to be raised to justify the pay and teachers would have to do their jobs well to make that kind of money, just like any other industry. A lawyer isn't going to make 6 figures if they are bad at their job. I do not believe that people would stay simply for the money because teaching is a whole different kind of stress than anything imaginable. Education is the most important indicator for our future and from the looks of public school funding it is suffering. That needs to change. A say this is an interesting experiment.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
No, that is awful!!! There are enough horrible teachers out there now, I couldn't imagine the horrendous people who would sign up for teaching if they knew they could make that much money. I doubt they would care about the kids or anything. Bad bad idea.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I'm already a teacher and don't make nearly that much. I never will. But, also, my hopes got shot even lower since I moved to the south, and people don't make as much money as they do up north because everything is so cheap. It's quite depressing, actually. But when it comes down to it, teaching is a passion. If you're a teacher just for a job, not because you love to bring information to our youth and have an impact on their lives -- then to me, that is ridiculous. It's not like this is the most lucrative career. If MONEY influences you more than anything, then you're in for a real surprise with any job you take. If you don't like your job, if what you do is not what you enjoy to do, then you're screwed.
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