Increasing Your Salary
How much money can you expect to earn as a teacher? That depends on how much education you get. You don't have to work long hours just to earn some extra money; instead, maximize your salary. Even the most optimistic teachers agree the system is flawed. When I stopped trying to change it and began to work with it, my stress decreased and my wealth increased.
Although I’ve attempted to replace memories of my first year teaching with more pleasant experiences, (such as racking my groin on my bike frame during a race in the sixth grade, or being forced to eat dirt at a football practice in middle school, or having the engine in my minivan catch fire at a busy intersection on the hottest day of the century), there’s one memory that has paid me thousands of dollars per year. While walking through the office, with the standard “Why on Earth did I choose to take my students to the courtyard fifth period on the Friday before Spring Break?" look, the principal pulled me aside. Hoping he was about to fire me, I listened patiently as he pointed out all the teachers in the school who worked half as hard as I did and got paid twice as much. He kindly patted me on the back, told me to get to the top of the pay scale, and walked away. I now give that same advice to you:
- Go back to school.
- Get a Masters Degree.
- Get to the top of the pay scale.
- Become a Better Teacher
We all had those teachers when we were in school: the one who showed movies every other day, the one who passed out worksheets and read Sports Illustrated during class, or the one, although no one could prove it, you suspected of having inappropriate relations. Bad teachers discredit the entire profession and destroy teacher credibility.
When you become a better teacher, you raise the stature of everyone at your school. Becoming an expert at your profession also gives you flexibility if you need to transfer. Instead of smuggling in a book, engaging in a tic-tac-toe tournament, or text messaging your college roommates, pay attention at the next teacher in-service day. If you don’t feel any of the sessions are worthwhile, then volunteer to conduct one. You’ll learn a lot more preparing and teaching than you will sitting there dreaming about hitting the lottery. In addition to taking advantage of the free training most districts offer, listen to CDs and read books on leadership, dealing with people, time management, and any other areas in which you need help.