Do the math: If teachers were paid like babysitters, we would earn $200k+ per year #teacherproblems

At the risk of sounding like Rodney Dangerfield, teaching really is a job where I get no respect.

Not from the kids—the kids respect me plenty. Mostly because I talk to them like they’re actual people, have high expectations for them, and really care about them. Which is also probably why most of them call me “mom.” But that’s a story for another day.

So where does this lack of respect come from? Well, the answer is society.

We’ve all heard variations of the expression, “Those who can’t do, teach.” This is the single most condescending thing you can say to a teacher, because there isn’t a successful person in this world who would be where they are without their teachers.  

Does that mean that all teachers are wonderful and deserving of Michelle Pfeifer to play them in a movie? No. There are some terrible teachers out there too. Remember those ditsy girls who twirled their hair around their fingers and said, “I’m going to be a teacher when I grow up”? Yeah, they are. But there are also some pretty amazing people in schools today, and let me tell you, we’re not doing it for the money.

Let’s do some basic math here. (And yes, I understand that I am an English teacher, but I can still do basic math. But I’ll use round numbers to make life easier for everyone.)

A babysitter earns about $10-$15 an hour to watch 2-3 kids as the little darlings watch tv, pick their noses, and play with Legos. (Side note: do kids still play with Legos or is everything digital these days? Because my kids are definitely going to play with Legos. If for no other reason, they’ll play with Legos because they need to understand the pain of stepping on one in their bare feet. I’m not raising soft-footed wimps in my house!) Which works out to about $5 per kid per hour.

I watch 30 kids an hour. But my kids aren’t watching tv and stepping on Legos in their bare feet (although that would be an AWESOME punishment for misbehavior. Hmmm…). No, my kids are learning, and I am held accountable for that learning. If I just plopped all 30 of them down in front of a tv every day, I wouldn’t have my job much longer, tenure or no.

But let’s assume for a moment that I was paid babysitter rates for teaching my students. This would mean I’d be making $150/hour, which at eight hours a day, 190 days a year translates to roughly $228,000 per year.

We can quibble over some finer details of that, as I do have two planning periods in my day and don’t actually clock 40 hours in the building at school every week, but I do spend more than eight hours a day working when grading is factored in. But a babysitter isn’t actively involved with kids during the entire time either assuming that the children have a bed time, so using round numbers, the $228,000 a year model still applies without having to add in extra days for the summer, winter break, or spring break.

Living large, huh?


In reality, I’m making about $1.50 per kid per hour. And I work in one of the highest paying school districts in the country.

Starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree in my district is $51,128. Ending salary for that same teacher working 25 years or more in the system without obtaining additional degrees is $96,966.

This means that a 25-year-veteran teacher with a master’s degree in education is making less than half of the per-kid, per-hour rate that the 15-year-old girl who watches your kids on a Saturday night, then raids your fridge while watching pay-per-view movies on your account with her boyfriend, is making.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Now I understand that even teacher salaries follow the laws of supply and demand and therefore know that parents are willing to spend extra money to gain the freedom that comes with paying a babysitter to put their kids to bed so they can go to the movies and feel like normal people for an evening instead of just “Mom and Dad.” But if you want to know why school systems around the world are consistently outperforming American schools, that de-prioritizing of educational necessities is a huge factor.

And while there are many extremely gifted teachers who are slogging through the meager-salaried days to do one of the most noble and thankless jobs out there, there are an abundant number of people who would be just as or even more amazing, but who opted out of anything resembling teaching in order to make a more comfortable living.

The moral of my story is simple: If you want to complain that teaching is for those who can’t do, then start paying us what those who are out there “doing” are earning. Because I can promise you that if you raise teaching salaries to even just those bare bones babysitter rates, you’ll have one of the most competitive job markets around.



I’ve found my dream job: Charlie Sheen’s intern. If I get it, I’ll DEFINITELY be #WINNING

I recently applied for the best summer job in the world. Well, okay, I guess the SECOND best summer job in the world, because the position of Bruce Springsteen’s wife is filled. So I had to settle for applying to be Charlie Sheen’s Social Media Intern.

What does that mean?

Well… um… it means… hmm… I have no idea. But I know it’d be awesome. Because as I understand it, I’d basically be getting paid to talk about how great Charlie Sheen is these days. And I’m doing that for free now, and they say the BEST careers are when you can get paid for doing what you love.

And Charlie, I do love you. Way more than is probably normal or healthy. I mean, it’s been a couple of weeks since #winning and #tigerblood entered our vocabulary (and yes, the hash tag is necessary. Without it, you’re not using officially licensed Charlie Sheen language. And who wants a knockoff Charlie Sheen? No one, that’s who. I mean, in theory, John Stamos COULD play the part on Two and a Half Men. But he’s Uncle Jesse. Not Charlie Sheen. It’s not like when they replaced Darren on Bewitched and no one really noticed. People will notice with Charlie gone), and not only do I not know how we would live without these terms, I’m not even a little sick of Charlie Sheen. Which is how I know it’s love.

Of course, he’s actually a far more prolific actor than most people give him credit for. Did you know that he’s starred in some of the greatest movies of all time without even taking credit for his parts? It’s true. Because that’s just the kind of guy Charlie Sheen is. I mean, YOU thought he was just a crazy, drugged-out, prostitute-loving alcoholic. Which just shows how ignorant you truly are.

Luckily, I’m here to enlighten you.

For example, did you know that Charlie starred in three of the four Indiana Jones movies? No, he didn’t transform into Harrison Ford or anything like that. But without Charlie Sheen’s role in the movies, Indiana Jones could never have succeeded.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof. Watch this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Did you spot Charlie?

That’s right, HE is what is actually contained inside the Ark of the Covenant! Think about it—what melts faces? Only one thing I can think of, and that’s Charlie Sheen.

And in fact, George Lucas loved Charlie’s work so much that he hired him again for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In this scene, Indiana jones drinks water and is fine. The bad guy, however, drinks from a cup that was secretly coated with—yes, you guessed it! Charlie Sheen. Therefore, his face melts.

He chose poorly?  Understatement of the year, dude.  If the Indiana Jones movies have taught us nothing else, it’s that Nazis are NOT prepared to handle Charlie Sheen.

Then, many years later, when they decided to make Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, they realized that they HAD to hire Charlie Sheen again. Because the only movie that they didn’t put Charlie in, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, kinda sucked compared to the others. I mean, it was okay. But it didn’t have Charlie Sheen. Meaning that it was automatically NOT #winning. So at the end of the fourth movie, when the aliens give all of the knowledge to Cate Blanchett, what they’re REALLY giving her is Charlie Sheen. Which results in—say it with me now—face melting!

(I wanted to put the clip here.  But embedding is disabled.  Damn you, George Lucas!  You ruin everything!  But click here to see Cate Blanchett’s face melt on YouTube.)

But that’s only a small percentage of Charlie Sheen’s uncredited appearances in movies. Remember the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? It had that gold glow, but we never saw what was in it.

The reason? Because it was Charlie Sheen! And if we saw what was in it—pure, unfiltered, genuine Charlie Sheen—our faces would melt and our children would weep over our exploded bodies. And while Quentin Tarantino likes to shock people, if he caused his entire audience to melt/explode, who would see his other movies? Well played, Mr. Tarantino. Well played.

Of course, not everything Charlie has done in Hollywood has been as beneficial as his performance in these films. I’m pretty sure that it was exposure to Charlie that caused Robert Redford to look like his face has started melting.

Why him, Charlie? He looked so good when he was young!

Why did you have to melt HIS face? I mean, I guess it’s not YOUR fault, it’s Robert Redford’s, for not being able to resist the awesomeness that is Charlie Sheen. I get it. He’s not the first one to suffer from loving you too much. And I doubt he’ll be the last.

So with that all said, why should you hire me to be your Social Media Intern for the summer?

Well aside from my belief that you deserve recognition for all of the work you’ve done in the film industry, I have lots of great ideas about how we can keep you on top so that you can continue to wave machetes on top of buildings and drink your tiger blood.

For example, we need to make an energy drink called #TigerBlood. Hash tag and all. But here’s the brilliant part: the universe has thrown a unique opportunity our way in the last few months. Four Lokos is no longer being made, leaving a hole in the energy-drink/alcohol market and YOU, Charlie Sheen, are just the man to fill it. I mean, we probably couldn’t put REAL tiger blood in the drink (the animal rights people would be all over us… damn treehuggers), but as long as it has the hash tag, everyone will know that you have approved it, and it will fly off the shelves.

I’ve got other ideas too, but I’m hesitant to post them here because I don’t want people stealing them and marketing their own non-hash-tagged version of a Tiger Blood energy drink.

So Charlie, pick me. I’ll do a great job and help you keep #winning.

Not that you need help when you have #AdonisDNA and #tigerblood. But I still want the job.

#TeamSheen all the way baby!