Can You Pass THIS Arithmetic Test?

Felt like being a little creative today, so I whipped up a slide based on teacher spending data found this Horace Mann Teacher Survey from June 2013.

(click to enlarge)

Slide_EducationalArithmatic

Download: Slide_EducationalArithmatic

Does it bother anyone besides me that teachers are (1). ponying up their own cash to pay for classroom experiences and/or (2). having to cancel learning experiences because there’s not enough cash to go around?

#sheesh

6 comments

  1. Kylie

    Hi Bill, firstly I would like to say it is evident from what you said you understand the challenges associated with working with disadvantaged students.
    I worked in a secondary science in Australia where 66% of the students were considered to be living in poverty. While the school received some additional funds, these funds did not adequately address the great economic divide that exists between schools considered disadvantaged and schools in affluent areas.
    While at this school I was head of science. The budget allocation equated to $10 per student for science per year. Each year I applied for grants to bring in additional funding. This often meant I was doing large projects which took me away from my students.
    I ended up working for the dept on special science programs. Unfortunately I realised we as teachers are battling against political agendas, people in education depts doing everything they can not to be placed back in a school and people who just want to advance their careers. Case in point, the state government appointed a high profile science expert to meet with a number of stakeholder groups to determine what can be done to get students to study maths and science in their senior years of high school and weren’t going to talk to any teachers.
    I have recently gone back into a school which has a high percentage of students who are considered disadvantaged. While it has been challenging, there have been days when I have been rewarded for my hard work in ways I could have never imagined. I wasn’t able to change the system and realised I could do so much more actually working with students.

    • Bill Ferriter

      Kylie wrote:

      While it has been challenging, there have been days when I have been rewarded for my hard work in ways I could have never imagined. I wasn’t able to change the system and realised I could do so much more actually working with students.

      – – – – –

      You know, Kylie, one of the things that I’m ashamed of is that I’ve only spent a year working in a school with a high percentage of disadvantaged students — and a part of the reason for that decision was strictly financial. As a science teacher, I spend TONS of my own money on lab supplies and materials simply because my school can’t afford to buy them for us. Working in a school with middle to upper-middle class students, I can at least count on parents to send in the majority of the supplies we need.

      Isn’t that sick?

      As to your second comment, I’ve been working to “change the system” for the better part of the past ten years and I can honestly say that I think I’ve had almost NO real impact whatsoever on the decisions made in my system and/or state. You’re right that affecting change is A LOT easier when you concentrate on your kids and the teachers closest to you. That’s discouraging, but true.

      Anyway…thanks for stopping by….
      Bill

  2. Lee

    It’s the same all over the world! Here in Australia staff are currently buying $10 raffle tickets to raise funds for a dishwasher in the staffroom!

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hey Lee,

      As sad as it is to say, I’m actually thankful that you are underfunded too! I thought us folks in the States were the only ones living in a ridiculous educational dream.

      Hope you’re well…
      Bill

  3. Sonia

    I always wonder to myself what would happen if businesses were run like schools in this respect? We are always being compared in terms of competitiveness and profitability, but I have yet to hear of a business that requires its employees to buy their own desk, chair, and bookcase. I have yet to hear of a business where employees have to bring their own paper to make photocopies. How about a business that wants to innovate asking the employees to hold a car wash to finance the project? Yet this is the norm in schools.

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hey Sonia,

      I’ll take that one step further: I’ve worked for about a dozen companies in part time roles beyond the classroom and every time that I do, I’m blown away by the way they reimburse their employees for stuff. I would buy something to make my work station more functional — a laptop stand, a fan, an extra lamp — without expecting reimbursement at all. The management would LITERALLY get mad at me for not turning the receipts in. “You’re not working in a school, Bill. We DON’T expect you to pay for those things yourself!”

      Crazy, isn’t it — especially because half the crap that I buy for school isn’t even for me. Instead, it’s for my students to use.

      #sheesh

      Bill