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View Diary: This is all so wrong. (91 comments)

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  •  Actually, doc, it's sister. (1+ / 0-)
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    too many people

    You're so right about the rest, though. Teachers who haven't been taught much themselves have very little to pass along, and that's a problem.  But really, who would want to start out as a teacher in the current  climate? No respect, no money, and six years of college/debt to get a license. Not a great prospect for a bright young person.

    •  I'm a contrarian on that subject. (1+ / 0-)
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      too many people

      I think teaching is actually a pretty good gig. Far better than, say, being a lawyer.

      If you're smart and capable, you'll easily weather the first couple of high-attrition years of teaching. And if you're good and love the work, you'll rapidly advance in most school districts, if only because the competition is so mediocre on average. Incomes suck up front, but in most districts teachers with 10 years of experience are pretty well paid. My sister in law is a middle school science teacher who's approaching retirement. Her income is more than 50% of mine as an 80 hour a week family doc, and she's got a great retirement program waiting for her next year. Running the numbers, she made a better economic choice than I did.

      Lawyers by comparison graduate into a brutally competitive work environment, where only the top 10% of grads at most have a shot at a decent income, and they have to climb over each other's bleeding corpses for advancement in the firm.

      •  It was a good gig. (0+ / 0-)

        I can no longer recommend a career in teaching given our society's growing wrath towards the profession.  If you have a masters degree in physics, computer science, math, statistics, etc, and you are competent, you can do much better financially in industry.  

        As you correctly note, the ignorant have been leading the ignorant for far too long.  Our lack of competent teachers is the result.

        If we want better education in this country we, need to attract the best and the brightest (among many other things).  I don't think we are willing to make that investment anymore.

        There is only one planet suitable for human habitation in our solar system.

        by too many people on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 04:24:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your sister in law is approaching retirement! (0+ / 0-)

        So is my cousin, and because they started teaching when they did, they've done all right.  That's less likely now.  Salaries have been stalled for awhile; permanent positions are scarce; the glorious array of benefits bequeathed by old-time powerful unions have been trimmed (way) back and the retirement system is going into adversarial mode with its own constituents.

        Getting out of a masters program at 24 or 25 with $60-80,000 in debt, needing a car and a place to live (or no car and a big-city rental) makes $40,000 a tight squeeze.  Even ten years out. And that's the picture for the ones who get full-time jobs.

        I think the professions are being eroded across the board. Law school, med school, and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences cost a fortune, take forever, and the investment may or may not turn out well, financially.

        It's part of this mediocracy rules trend; what's rewarded/respected isn't brains or perseverance, but opportunism.  Ben Casey, Atticus Finch, Mr. Chips?  No. Try The Social Network.

        •  Opportunism less than leverage and connections. (0+ / 0-)

          Opprtunism made folks like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs fabulously wealthy. All had a narrow but real talent which collided with a lot of dumb luck.

          But most of today's millionaires have much less claim to real talent. Instead they're mostly parked at the nexus of paper-pushing pseudo-wealth on Wall Street, receiving $25 million bonuses for moving 'product' like toxic mortgage backed securities. Their "talent" is being a junior fund manager at Goldman-Sachs, whose political connections and hammerlock on capital markets mean a blind squirrel could make money in that job.

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