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Old 03-27-2010, 09:13 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
I would certainly like to know other occupations which because of developments in laws or other circumstances have in recent years gone from pretty much joy to pretty much drudgery.
  • Watching your customers move to Mexico and abroad.
  • Watching OSHA & the EPA force American manufacturers to waste millions on programs that EMPLOYEES think are stupid AND the piles of auditing and paperwork that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, OSHA and the EPA have done some very good things, but putting people in charge who've never been in industry and letting politicians and lawyers decide what is needed can be awful. I can give you examples that are completely indefensible.
  • Trying to hold a company and it's employees together with a 50% decline in business - with employees who can't understand why there should be any layoffs or other sacrifices.
  • While health care costs have gone up 10-15% a year for most of my 33 year career.
  • Competitors offering products/services at cost just to keep their doors open, and what that does to every other competitor in the industry.
  • Knowing our social safety net is going to be in big trouble or way more costly in the years ahead.
Just for starters, I could go on all day!

My father was a doctor, ask one of them about the changes in their field with who knows what ahead of them.
Ask anyone in almost any field.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:31 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
  • Watching your customers move to Mexico and abroad.
  • Watching OSHA & the EPA force American manufacturers to waste millions on programs that EMPLOYEES think are stupid AND the piles of auditing and paperwork that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, OSHA and the EPA have done some very good things, but putting people in charge who've never been in industry and letting politicians and lawyers decide what is needed can be awful. I can give you examples that are completely indefensible.
  • Trying to hold a company and it's employees together with a 50% decline in business - with employees who can't understand why there should be any layoffs or other sacrifices.
  • While health care costs have gone up 10-15% a year for most of my 33 year career.
  • Competitors offering products/services at cost just to keep their doors open, and what that does to every other competitor in the industry.
  • Knowing our social safety net is going to be in big trouble or way more costly in the years ahead.
Just for starters, I could go on all day!

My father was a doctor, ask one of them about the changes in their field with who knows what ahead of them.
Ask anyone in almost any field.
OK..... Time for a new thread.... STARTED A NEW THREAD ON JUST THIS IN "OTHER TOPICS"

Z
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:02 AM   #63
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ah, didn't see the new posts since I started typing, oh well, you're getting this anyway

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This is my personal experience in what happens to most educators. Most of the work is draining. Working with difficult people,... you have to produce a high quality product with less .... reach a point where its just not fun anymore and it just become drudgery.
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Not to discount your description of what it's like to be a teacher, but you do realize that pretty much every line of work has new challenges over the course of a career? I could provide a litany of issues I've dealt with in my line of work, but I wouldn't want to hear it myself.

Most people are confronted with .....
I'm with you Midpack. I don't doubt that a (fill in the blank - not just teachers) career is tough. But when I hear someone talk about how tough their chosen career is, a voice in my head says, 'yeah, right, it's tough all over...'. We make our choices, let's move on. The more they seem to have to talk about it, the more it sounds like rationalization to me. There are many careers that I could not handle, but conversely, those people probably would have failed miserably at my job. None of us are really in a position to compare/contrast.


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... Its just that working with older children "CAN" become a drag after about 25 years. I've never seen that situation with anyone who works with kids under the age of 8. This group is just truly youth rendering for adults and no matter what their issue, they add life to your life.
So you are saying that we don't need as generous/early pensions for those teaching the under 8 group, because they don't get hit with the same stress, and can handle a long career? Sounds like an opportunity to improve our state budget there. Perhaps you could mention this to your Union rep, and report back on the response?

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Many places have taken a wonderful thing and turned it into a nightmare.
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I recently heard of a school district in PA that was given state permission to abolish their art and music and physed curriculums to make the kids have more classes in reading and math to make higher scores on the tests. How many of you owuld have like to got to school where you had no music, art or physed and just spent your whole day on reading and math?

Z
It isn't just the NCLB causing this. In our district, when the teachers had an opportunity to preserve the art and music programs, they declined.

Like many school districts, ours was facing a deficit due to reduced funding from fewer new building permits, and lower property tax revenue. The ~ 5YO teacher union contract provided 5% annual raises (written in relatively good times). These raises were unsustainable, and unreasonable in an economic environment where the kids parents were often facing wage freezes or cuts, or reduced hours, etc. The school board asked the union if they would open the contract for negotiation, because after making other cuts the choice was to cut more programs (the only way they can lay-off teachers) or cut those raises to preserve more programs. The union refused to open the contract, so the art and music programs got big cuts. So when I hear time and time again about how much teachers care about the kids, I get a little worked up.


More relevant, and closer to that thread on the Illinois pension changes is this comment:


Quote:
I know a number right now who should retire, but cannot do so for another 3-5 years. But they cannot leave because to do that would throw away a pension that they have worked very hard to get.
This is confirming my thinking that pensions tied to jobs really need to be eliminated. It happens in the private sector too, where someone hangs on for the benefits, but would probably be more productive and happier in another job.

Of course, another difference is, if that private sector employee gets so burnt out that his performance is dragging, he may find himself being shown the door, or getting lower/no raises, or even worse work assignments. The teacher in this position has a lot of protection from tenure, which is pretty much non-existent in the private sector.

Enough about how tough one career or another is - I don't want to start a flame war over that, just pointing out that there are multiple sides to any story. We all have our stories.

-ERD50
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:09 AM   #64
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If any of us don't like our lot in life, no one CAN stop us from changing our own lives but ourselves.
I used to believe that. No more. Economic necessity and culture-enforced obligations severely curtail what we are "free" to do. Some mules just bear the yoke better than others. A few eventually break loose to run around the fields for a while....
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
I would certainly like to know other occupations which because of developments in laws or other circumstances have in recent years gone from pretty much joy to pretty much drudgery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Just for starters, I could go on all day!

...

Ask anyone in almost any field.
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
OK..... Time for a new thread.... STARTED A NEW THREAD ON JUST THIS IN "OTHER TOPICS"

Z
Z - The fact that you even had to ask makes it seem to me like you've been living in a bubble. Seriously, how could one not be aware of the stress placed on the private sector from global competition? I'm not sure we need a new thread on a subject that is a painfully reality to most people?

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:36 AM   #66
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It isn't just the NCLB causing this. In our district, when the teachers had an opportunity to preserve the art and music programs, they declined.

Like many school districts, ours was facing a deficit due to reduced funding from fewer new building permits, and lower property tax revenue. The ~ 5YO teacher union contract provided 5% annual raises (written in relatively good times). These raises were unsustainable, and unreasonable in an economic environment where the kids parents were often facing wage freezes or cuts, or reduced hours, etc. The school board asked the union if they would open the contract for negotiation, because after making other cuts the choice was to cut more programs (the only way they can lay-off teachers) or cut those raises to preserve more programs. The union refused to open the contract, so the art and music programs got big cuts. So when I hear time and time again about how much teachers care about the kids, I get a little worked up.
We had an eye-opener here. Dayton city schools are terrible. The unions and most in the school administration say money is the main problem (surprise!). So, along comes President Obama's "Race to the Top" program--a competition that awards funds to schools that make some reforms. Dayton's application was strong and the reforms were solid. Apparently, the application has to have signatures from school administrators and the teachers' union, and the Dayton teachers would not sign because of the accountability requirements. So--no money for Dayton. There has been some backpedalling of late, and the teachers might relent due to the tremendous public backlash. It's obvious that they have no idea of the fiscal reality outside of the public schools and are putting their interests ahead of the kids. It's also pretty clear that they've dealt a real blow to any prospects for school bond initiatives for a long time. The downward cycle continues, and the kids pay--and ultimately, when these kids try to find work and try to exercise their obligations as citizens, we'll all pay.

We've got some charter schools that are glimmers of hope in the bigger mess.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:06 AM   #67
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PS: Referring to all work as "prostituting yourself" is absurd.
+1

Besides if you spend all your time sitting around contemplating your fleeting human spirit and avoid all work, what are you ER'ing from, anyway?
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:28 AM   #68
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We've got some charter schools that are glimmers of hope in the bigger mess.

Not in my neck of the country. While they advertise as having all the benefits of a private school with public funding, they are really just a refuge for the rich to put their kids in a private school without paying for it. In my area, the school district has to OK the development of a charter school, and they usually won't since it takes kids aware from the public buildings.

However, one did develop because the wealthy board members didn't want their kids to have to associate with the kids who were having parents in the mushroom plants. Also, they were supposed to have a lottery entrance system. Funny how they took EVERY KID WHO APPLIED AND WAS A STUDENT IN MY WIFE'S QUAKER SCHOOL. The charter school essentially destroyed her dream of an independent Quaker elementary school, by hunting them all down and offering them a free private school education. Many of them have since left the charter, but by then my wife's school out of survival had evolved into a daycare with only kindergarten.

I'm OK with the concept of a charter school, just not the implementation as I see in in my area.

Z
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:42 AM   #69
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(taking some clips out-of-order to tie together a slight slant on this)...

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... and the Dayton teachers would not sign because of the accountability requirements. So--no money for Dayton.
OTOH, we all look out for #1, it is how things go. We should not be all that surprised, but...


Quote:
It's obvious that they have no idea of the fiscal reality outside of the public schools and are putting their interests ahead of the kids.
And the point I'd like to make to these people is... sure, go for keeping your 5% raise if you think that is right. Just don't expect a whole lot of love and support from the people who have to pay that bill, when they are not getting those kinds of raises in this environment. And I do think that love and support of teachers from parents is important to everyone (kids, teachers and parents).


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There has been some backpedalling of late, and the teachers might relent due to the tremendous public backlash.
Even if the teachers themselves feel like moving on this point, don't be surprised if the Union, looking at the bigger National picture, shuts it down. There seems to be a big 'if we give an inch they will take a mile' stance on this. What it might take is the teachers trying to get out of the Union, not very likely, IMO.


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We've got some charter schools that are glimmers of hope in the bigger mess.
What?! Competition! Free-er markets! That can only lead to trouble!

-ERD50
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:45 AM   #70
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Besides if you spend all your time sitting around contemplating your fleeting human spirit and avoid all work, what are you ER'ing from, anyway?
The work came first (25 yrs of it). Now the avoidance.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:46 AM   #71
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  • Watching OSHA & the EPA force American manufacturers to waste millions on programs that EMPLOYEES think are stupid AND the piles of auditing and paperwork that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, OSHA and the EPA have done some very good things, but putting people in charge who've never been in industry and letting politicians and lawyers decide what is needed can be awful. I can give you examples that are completely indefensible.
My father in law is a retired elevator mechanic. One of the things that pushed him into retirement at age 58 was that he was tired of how over the top and excessive some safety requirements were becoming. Obviously some of these safety regulations are good but others, he said, were just impediments to getting work done for very little, if any, real gains in workplace safety. Eventually, as more and more regulations and rules were put into place, it became harder and harder to get any actual work accomplished and he bailed out.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:52 AM   #72
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I am a teacher.....I know very few teachers who if they had the money wouldn't get out now. I always said that if I lost the ooomph I would get out as soon as possible and I plan to next year (54 at that time). To be safer I should "hang in there" another year or two.....but am not planning to. Teaching has been a good decent job...if I had to have a job. This is the opinion of pretty well everybody I know. No complaints though.... just me getting tired of what I am doing mixed with the way things are changing...
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:57 AM   #73
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I am a teacher.....I know very few teachers who if they had the money wouldn't get out now. I always said that if I lost the ooomph I would get out as soon as possible and I plan to next year (54 at that time).
My wife is a substitute teacher here and she sees some of what is going on in the classroom and in the teachers' lounge. Out here one of the standard complaints, especially from the more experienced teachers, is that the overemphasis on standardized testing has essentially forced many teachers to simply teach "to the test" rather than what they felt was most effective for learning.

Add to that the increasing inability of teachers to be able to discipline children and get parents to be "on their side" when a child misbehaves in class, and there's a lot of frustration out there.

The pay for being a substitute is pretty crummy and there's no benefits, and sometimes you think you'll have a day off and then get "the call" at 6:30 AM, but you don't generally have to deal with parents, you don't have to prepare lesson plans and you don't have papers to grade when you get home.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:13 PM   #74
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How many of you owuld have like to got to school where you had no music, art or physed and just spent your whole day on reading and math?

Z
I did, back in the 50's. It was called Catholic school, and taught by some of the meanist penguins you would ever meet (read Bill O'Reilly’s book "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" - he describes those times well )...


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..."prostituting yourself" is a conscious choice, if you felt you had to do that to have the "illusion" of a career you probably needed to move on to somewhere or something that offered what you were looking for. You had skills, and it was a job you took, not a prison sentence you received. Understand the need for a paycheck, we all worked for one, I just don't get the blame game.

It's nice to say just move on, but that's often not facing reality - based upon what life throws you...

I didn't leave that school back in the 50's (my parents had other ideas, even though I hated it) as I reached the age of 21, I stuck with jobs I hated for the good of my family (e.g. my wife/son) over the years. My wife could not work for the first ten years of our marriage to help out; her "job" was to take the major workload of caring for our disabled son in his early years.

Sometimes you have to bite the bullet - that's part of life. There were many of us that never had "careers"; we only had jobs...
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #75
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[/LIST] My father in law is a retired elevator mechanic. One of the things that pushed him into retirement at age 58 was that he was tired of how over the top and excessive some safety requirements were becoming. Obviously some of these safety regulations are good but others, he said, were just impediments to getting work done for very little, if any, real gains in workplace safety. Eventually, as more and more regulations and rules were put into place, it became harder and harder to get any actual work accomplished and he bailed out.
When my wife's school stopped being mostly an elementary school due to the charter school, it came under the DEPT of health. Those rules are unbelievably time consuming. For example, each child must wash his hand for 30 seconds using only paper towels to dray them after each meal and after everytime they use the bathroom which is a lot. Getting a 2 yearold to wash their hands for 30 seconds! And the mountains of expensive paper they are required to use let alone the time involved!

And that's not the most time consuming its just one.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:22 PM   #76
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Even if the teachers themselves feel like moving on this point, don't be surprised if the Union, looking at the bigger National picture, shuts it down. There seems to be a big 'if we give an inch they will take a mile' stance on this. What it might take is the teachers trying to get out of the Union, not very likely, IMO.
One also has to wonder why the teacher's unions even had a say in this whole process of applying for the federal grant. This was about curriculum, accountability, and improving student performance. That's all the job of the folks running the schools, not the teachers union.

But, I think we all know why this federal grant process required a sign-off by the unions. In this case it worked out well, as it highlighted for the public where the problem is.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #77
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I used to believe that. No more. Economic necessity and culture-enforced obligations severely curtail what we are "free" to do. Some mules just bear the yoke better than others. A few eventually break loose to run around the fields for a while....
Yeah..... When one is single, with no responsibilities, yeah sure...... just move on. When one has a family, a house payment and kids in college(or just kids), simply moving on, is often not in the cards.

Z
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #78
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Z - The fact that you even had to ask makes it seem to me like you've been living in a bubble. Seriously, how could one not be aware of the stress placed on the private sector from global competition? I'm not sure we need a new thread on a subject that is a painfully reality to most people?

-ERD50
Of course I know it. I just want to talk about specifics with everyone. Sorry. Knowing in a general way is not as good as "THE STORIES"! The fin is in hearing the stories. You have to know that I've been a professional counselor for 40 years. I talk to children about their stories of their lives, good and bad.

I know for most people a career talking with people about their stories is alien, it was for my father in law, but people only can move on if they can share their story.

Once a counselor, always a counselor.

Z
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:31 PM   #79
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I did, back in the 50's. It was called Catholic school, and taught by some of the meanist penguins you would ever meet . . .
Jake and Elwood go to visit the Penguin. (Audio not safe for work).

I've wondered if this stunt was "real." I'd want a lot of money to take a tumble in a school desk down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:37 PM   #80
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Ziggy, subbing is likely to be my fall back plan if we need a little extra money for some reason. After tax pay at the near by school where we are retiring is around $100 a day. Not bad and I would be able to pick when I wanted to work (not more than I have to). But not a bad way to pick up $5-10K a year working during the winter.
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