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Ontario Elementary Teachers: Overpaid, Spoiled and Politically Correct

Teachers are some of the highest-paid workers in our society, yet most of them don’t even focus on their job – teaching our children the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. The following is a heart-felt story of how I stood by my son, even though my son’s teachers wouldn’t.

High paying jobs are hard to find these days. Would you like a job that provides 3 months of paid vacation every year? How about a job where once you are hired, it’s about impossible to get fired and the average salary is $90,000 per year?

Submit your resume to your local school board for a teaching position. Good teachers are hard to find. Many of those now teaching don’t belong there. Graduating from a university teaching course should not be an automatic ticket to a job. Many graduates don’t have the personal interaction skills to deal with parents or children. 

My son climbed the elementary ladder and I can tell you that I educated him. The teachers were mere babysitters trying to control raucous behavior among their classes. In fact, over the years that my son traversed the grades, some teachers stood in the way.

In the formative years when my son first entered ‘the system’, I was told he needed speech therapy. Why? He couldn’t pronounce a couple of letters of the alphabet the way the teacher thought they should be spoken. When first learning the alphabet, the way letters and words are deciphered in the minds of children goes through various stages. Jumping to conclusions can result in incorrect assessments and treatments that are unwarranted.

My son enjoyed doing most of his homework at home. One of the  teachers took exception with this behaviour. The woman thought that I was doing his homework for him. Additionally, this teacher didn’t like the fact that my son was using a printer to print out his homework since he was doing it on a desktop computer. I informed her that I only act as a resource for my son and sit with him when he does the work. I stated that when he is given a test in school, he is receiving excellent marks and I’m not there when he takes the test. Therefore he must be doing something ‘Right’.

She then informed me that his writing skills would be affected. I asked her if there was a requirement to hand-write for subjects other than ‘English’. She said “No.” My son did all of his ‘English” homework by hand as requested by the teacher and he continued to receive excellent grades.

In another incident in a different grade, I had taught my son how to do arithmetic. Specifically long division. My son’s class had yet to learn how to solve this type of problem. One day, my son came home and told me that the teacher had just shown the class how to do division. He stated that the teacher was upset with him since he wasn’t solving problems ‘her way’, which was a new form of teaching. I said to my son, “Did you get any wrong answers doing division the way I showed you?” He replied “No.” I said, “Tell the teacher that if she has a problem with you solving equations and getting the correct answer then she had better give me a call.” My son continued to use the proper method to resolve the work and suffice to say I never heard from her.

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  1. brilliant and dead on

    On January 30, 2009 at 10:47 am


    I am so relieved to see that I am not the only one currently disillusioned with the quality of teaching today and the dramatic impact this is having on our children. It has long been said that one amazing teacher can have a life altering effect on children. Unfortunately the reverse is also true, and in many cases to a greater extent. One bad teacher can have such a severe detrimental impact on a student, that it changes the course of their learning path. Often this is a difficult issue to correct. And it is so incredibly hard to establish any sort of partnership with some of the teachers today. I do mean some. There are some incredible teachers. If you come across one, count yourself as lucky. We are only, as a society, just starting to take ownership of some of our fundamental social services, like healthcare, but education lags so far behind. Today, we realize quite quickly if our doctor is not providing the best care or instilling trust in us. This is a fairly new idea. We are learning the hard way that you cannot measure the success of an individual in medicine by the mere fact that they have a degree. Its our right to demand high quality healthcare and for those of us who feel empowered to do so, we let our doctors know that, and in recent years I have left the comfort of my family doctors office and switched to another physician, because i was not happy with the service I was receiving.

    But we don’t have this fundamental right in education and it is equally important, if not significantly more important. The teacher is the gateway to the world for these children. Short of quitting our jobs and home schooling, we have no options for assessing the teachers our children are stuck with and making informed, service and performance-based decisions about who we select to take on this important role in our children’s lives each year. It’s a crap shoot. Russian roulette. And there is no recourse for a parent who experiences what is sadly becoming the norm – incompetent and apathetic teachers who are neither engaged in their jobs or focused on actual learning development. The points you make are understated..this kind of job in this economy is unheard of in any other sector. its easily the only job in our society where there is no chance of termination and that is not conducive to high quality, performance driven results. It’s healthy and natural to worry about losing your job. It makes no sense to pay teachers to simply go through the motions each year without demonstrating real progress and having change be a key performance indicator.

  2. Robert

    On February 12, 2009 at 9:30 am


    I will preface my response in every organization you will have good and bad apples, unfortunately my experience through the years led me to most of the bad ones. I won’t bore readers with symantics, needless to say I know I have not been the only one. How many readers have experienced the math teacher who tells students to “ask their neighbour” for help instead? Or how about the fact that in Ontario they still do not teach Phonics but rather the system that does not work of whole-word reading.

    The funny thing is – once they put together their cirriculum for a year – they never have to do it again with exception of some tweaks unless they change grade levels. Some argue they have to work at home. Are they kidding? Do you know how many people work extra hours or bring their work home? It’s pretty concise to say that it’s a pretty sweet deal to work 8-9 months of the years, be paid $90,000. And big deal, they pay a couple hundred dollars a year for AQ courses. They forget to mention they get a raise of a couple of thousand of dollars for completing them.

    There are alot of amazing teachers out there who probably dont’ get paid enough for the excellent work they do in the lives of Children – but my experience in the system is that many of them provide sub-par work… meaning if they were in the real world – they would likely be unemployed.

  3. Erana

    On February 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm


    Sad state of affairs. Unions are a mafia that protect these incompetent teachers. Canada seriously needs a revolution. People have kept quiet for too long

  4. Teacher

    On March 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm


    I am a teacher (secondary), and I understand your frustrations. I try my best to teach kids the information and skills that they need to become solid citizens. The problem is that the government, and its quest for a great reputation, is getting in the way. I deal with high school students who do not know how to write, read, or do simple math.

    Many schools have a “no failure” policy. If the students don’t pass, the teachers have done something wrong. If they do fail, we give them a package to complete. This package normally contains a few pieces of work that the student has done poorly on. Normally the student will get a pass if they (or their parents) complete this package. It is VERY difficult to fail a student.

    This policy makes better numbers for the government (”hey…our failure rate went way down!!!…”) but does not make better students. In fact, the students know full well that they will get this second change to pass, so many just wait for the bail-out package. I had a student just last week tell me that he didn’t need to do homework to pass, and that he didn’t do any work last semester and still received all of his credits. How do you work with this sort of attitude? We can’t grade on effort, preparedness, etc. We are not even allowed to give late marks. According to the government, a student can hand in every assignment from the course on the last day. The teachers then need to mark it and give them their credit! Seriously folks, I am not making this up.

    My point is that many teachers see what is happening and are starting to give up. Listen, I know there are bad teachers out there, just as I know that there are many great teachers out there as well. What we need to do is stop attacking the teachers and start attacking the government and its policies. It is not the teacher’s fault that they don’t do multiplication tables and spelling lists in elementary schools. A teacher NEEDS to follow the curriculum. They will get into trouble if they don’t follow the government’s plan. They are not allowed to let the “old” math slip in. Don’t you think the teachers would rather teach what they have been using their whole lives? They will get into trouble if they do not teach the “new” math. It is simple as that. Teachers are not allowed to do what they want. All lessons and concepts are very highly regulated.

    I personally plan to give up that great pay (which you don’t get until 10-12 years of experience) and the three months off (which is usually used to mark or plan lessons…come on, you didn’t think I could get through this without taking a shot at all the people who think teachers are overpaid and underworked!!!???)to go into private education. The old methods of math and spelling drills etc. worked then…and they will work now. I love to teach, but the government has taken away all the tools that I need to be able teach well. Since I am so jaded, I feel it is not fair to the students for me to continue teaching. I just can’t respect myself after passing students that have done little to no work. You can’t blame the students either. They are simply playing the game that has been presented to them. I would have probably done the same thing if I was in high school today.

    Anyway, let’s leave the teachers alone and start going after the people who can make a difference. All the complaining in the world won’t remove a bad teacher from the classroom (unions are great, eh?). Your energies would be much better directed toward the policy makers and the Ministry of Education. Good students will always do well, no matter how a school is run. The students who are “at risk” are the ones in the worst trouble today. They don’t need to be pushed through the system. Passing without giving any effort does not build self-esteem. These kids know that they got something for nothing. How does that build self-worth?

    Well, I must go and complete a whole bunch of work packages for students who sit in my class and do nothing. After all, my principal will not let me enter a grade of zero for work not completed. You gotta love our “new and improved” education system!

  5. Another Teacher

    On March 8, 2009 at 8:21 pm


    I am also a high school teacher, and I fully agree with what ‘Teacher’ wrote. I worked in private business for six years prior to becoming a teacher, and I can attest that about half of the teachers are lazy or just in it for the pay cheque. The other half are still doing excellent work, but the GOVERNMENT POLICIES are the problem. It is absolutely true that teachers can rarely fail a student today. Spelling and grammar are atrocious. There are constantly new ‘experiments’ being thrown at us from Teachers’ Colleges that are just some ivory-tower academic’s way of getting published. What ‘TEACHER’ needs to realize is this: you mentioned that we cannot easily be fired, and that’s true, so what you need to realize is trhat YOU CAN TEACH ANY WAY THAT YOU WANT! I have fully given up teaching anything that comes down the pipes and seems to be silly or pointless. When I close my door to my classroom, I am in charge, and I teach the students what I think they need to know. I probably have one of the lowest class averages because I’m tough on marking, yet all of my senior classes are overflowing with applicants. Why? Becuase students see my excitement for the subject, and they aren’t stuck doing the song-and-dance others teachers follow thanks to the screwed up government policies. Again and again, there will be government policies coming down the pipes, erasing the earlier policies. Ignore them and do what you KNOW is right. The students will be better off for it. But I do sympathize: the government is ruining all students, ruining all the good teachers, and getting the public’s back up against – not the government – but the TEACHERS! WE, the TEACHERS, will take the brunt of the public’s ire for having churned out workers who can’t read or write. So speak out loudly to your MPP, and in the staff room, until teacher attitudes change.

  6. Veronica Hogue

    On March 17, 2009 at 8:43 am


    Ok, whoever wrote this must not have ever tried to be a teacher. It is very hard to get a degree in Education no matter what kind of degree it might be. This article is rediculous! This is not at all true for all teachers. You said that the pay for teachers id 90,000 a year, and you can’t get fired. NOT TRUE!!! I have never ever been at a school that paid that much and we were guaranteed to not get fired. Students in College do too have parent student interaction its called STUDENT TEACHING!!! Thats why we sepend hours upon hours in the classroom before we recieve our degree. Whoever wrote this needs to get a life, and look into what teaching is all about. We don’t do it for the money! TRUST ME, we don’t get paid enough!

  7. under appreicated

    On May 7, 2009 at 2:49 am


    I was quite upset when I read this article.
    Needless to say that much of it isnt true, I.E. a salary of 90,000 dollars.
    As it goes in every corner of our world, we have good teachers, bad teachers, good doctors bad doctors.
    I dont think it is fair to rationalize all teachers, just as it would be incorrect to do it for anything else.
    From the sounds of it, you’ve had a bad experience, and for that I apologize. But I certainly do think it is unfair to rationalize and generalize for all teachers. Endless hours at work, many like myself think about ways we can promote and encourage and stimualte our students even when we are not at work. Many times we are not even appreciated by out superiors. But if the general attitude is that teachers are no good, what would you do if there werent any teachers left, because of the bad taste people have left in their mouths.
    What would you do then, if there weren’t any teachers, and just open schools.
    How much would you value teachers then?

  8. university student

    On June 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm


    goldfinger, you’re an idiot. 90,000? you honestly think that’s the ‘average’ salary for a teacher? get your facts straight.

    And yes, it IS stupid that your son needs a laptop in elementary school(or whatever level he is). How much ‘writing’ is required and how much note-taking is required in a gr. 5 classroom, that he can’t hand write things and MUST use a laptop?
    thats just stupid logic.
    And it sounds like the problem is your school. So don’t go generalizing from you one experience…do your research.

  9. university student

    On June 20, 2009 at 9:30 pm


    and as the abstract of your article states “the following is a heartfelt story of how i stood by my son, even though my his teacher wouldn’t”…it sounds like you had problems with his teacher, which is unfortunate. But having problems with your son’s teacher, and then declaring ALL teachers are evil,lazy, greedy and should be fired is extreme. That’s like a patient who had a botched surgery, and now declares all doctors are incompetent.

    And yes, high paying jobs are hard to find…esp if you are not EDUCATED. people like you complain and complain about how teachers are over paid…compared to what??? a construction worker? Teacher’s are university educated,and most hold a master’s degree PLUS professional certification…last time i checked, college is hard work AND expensive.
    I think what you are expecting is a babysitter,rather then a teacher.

  10. You're Kid, didn't fall far from the tree...

    On June 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm


    Ontario Teachers are NOT paid anywhere NEAR an average of $90,000 infact the average for 2008-2009 was somewhere in the $40,000-$50,000 range. Because of INFLATION, and cuts during the 90s Ontario’s teachers have negotiated a pay raise over the next 3 years. SOME of the MOST highly educated teachers with 11+ years teaching can potentially in the 2013-14 school year might be earning $90,000.

    Since you brought it up teachers earn near the AVERAGE INCOME for an Ontarian. Thats right teachers earn around $25 per hour (translated into the way your pay is calculated). Now if we include the time we spend marking, preping, going on trips, coaching sports, running clubs, dealing with parents who don’t have their facts straight… we earn somewhere close to minimum.

    Also we do NOT have paid vaction. We have our pay spread over the whole year in Ontario’s, public and Catholic schools. A number of years ago we opted to take our SAME pay that was paid out only on weeks we were in school and spread it out evenly/biweekly over the WHOLE school year. Because you are such an outstanding parent you should clearly be overjoyed to have sooo much time for you to match your own holiday time with your kid’s. Since they are such wonderful kids it would be unfair for us to keep them 365!

    I lost my job in a mill and went back to school. Do the same. Come join us! I am now a teacher!

    Honestly you are a perfect example of acorns don’t fall far from the tree.. Try getting your facts straight read to your kid… Honestly.

  11. Mary

    On July 26, 2009 at 8:38 pm


    Perhaps you should stop pointing the finger at everyone else and start taking a better look at yourself. It’s so easy to blame others and so difficult to take responsibility for your own actions. We have people in every area of work who steal a paycheque every week. Stop pointing that finger!!

  12. James

    On October 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm


    I would normally take the time to tell some stories which are pertinent to this conversation, mostly in favor of this author’s position that is teachers are overpaid for what they do. However, the comments left by readers whom admit they are teachers says it all.

    The author of the article is using a future statistic for teachers’ salaries, which sounds like absolute ridiculousness to those whom are familiar with current pay scales for teaching in elementary of high school. With that being said, at least she hasn’t made egregious grammatical errors similar to those found in the teachers’ comments. As a precondition for my post, I’ll assume they are teachers even though I have serious doubts.

    The first example is the poster with the heading “University Student”. This poster apparently doesn’t understand the concept of a period ( . ) and uses ellipsis ( … ) instead. They also cannot make the distinction between the words “then” and “than”. This can be seen in the last sentence and the last clause of that comment, which is: “rather THEN a teacher”. Sorry “University Student”, it’s “rather THAN a teacher”. I suggest that you stay in university until you figure that out.

    The second example is the comment left under the heading “You’re kid, didn’t fall far from the tree”. To begin, this poster, a self-proclaimed teacher, has a similar problem as the person from the first example–they can’t make a distinction. In this case, it’s between the contraction of “you are” which is “you’re” and the possessive adjective “your”. The heading should be “Your kid didn’t fall far from the tree”. And the use of the comma between “kid” and “didn’t” is grammatically inaccurate. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to point out all the errors in this person’s comment.

    Aside from the few smart comments from teachers who had read this article and recognize the problem, it’s quite clear that many are not only overpaid, but even if they’re underpaid, it’s still too much money. This all falls into the category of “Those who can’t do, teach”. Which is rather unfortunate for the kids.

  13. Michael

    On November 3, 2009 at 1:56 am


    I want to address one issue only, that is the concern that teachers are over-compensated for the skills and services they provide. There is a general consensus that teachers will have the following set of skills upon employment: presentation, reading, writing, quantative and qualitative. In fact, our societal filters for these skills (ie. selective admissions into university, teacher’s college, interview to become a teacher) ensure that such skill sets are well above the national average. The average salary is actually within the 40k to 50k range at this moment.

    With that in mind, here is what I have done prior to becoming a teacher with those skill sets.

    1) Salesman with a salary of $80,000 CAD working about 10 months of the year, with GREAT (I mean really really high) tax write-offs. I am also sure that most school teachers can be sales people since presentation skill is a must for teachers and it was the determining factor in my success.

    2) Import/Export business owner with a net profit of $100,000 (only after writing off huge portion of the house and the cars).

    I decided to call it quits and become a teacher because it was always something I wanted to try, and I make A LOT less with the same set of skills than I did before. In addition, it is a big deal that teachers take their work home, because we do not get paid or even get tax breaks from the government since we’re not supposed to do it in the first place. However, most teachers do because they care.

    Furthermore, teachers usually have 5 to 6 years of education, people with the same level of education often have higher salary. Just check out the average salary of Engineers, Software Designers, Nurses, and Pharmacists, all of these professions involve FEWER years of formal education and they all have higher salary levels.

    I don’t mean to make this whole thing about money, but I know from my peers from teacher’s college that no one becomes a teacher to have “an easy ride”. I did it because I care and wanted a career that was meaningful, I feel that ALL teachers are under-appreciated for what they do and most teachers care a great lot about the progress of their students. I myself occasionally spend my own time developing lesson plans, helping to start student clubs after school and coach sports. Many of us are on school property late into the night helping supervise sports or other extracurricular activities and we do not get paid and are almost never recognized for them.

    Teachers are NOT over-compensated for what they do and the skills they provide. Try taking your child out of school and homeschooling them, I guarantee you’ll change your mind.

  14. DanielB

    On February 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm


    Looking back, I can’t say that I had been taught by any high school teachers who had inspired me or stood out in any sort of leadership role. Trying to remain as objective as I can, most of them were not much smarter than the students they were teaching.
    As far as not getting fired, I had teachers who would show up half way through class…and drunk. These weren’t all teachers mind you but unacceptable nonetheless. There was no chance of them ever getting fired.
    For me, I work on average 65 hours a week, sometimes throughout nights and weekends. The odd 100 hour week. I get 15 vacation days a year. I haven’t taken a sick day in 2 years. I make about 80K per year (zero bonus and zero overtime and zero job security) which is about right in today’s economy.
    Friends of mine who used to work in the private sector who have turned to teaching tell me its a great deal. Summers off, great pay, relatively easy days, satisfying..nevermind the benefits and pension.
    These people chose to teach because they like it, which is fair. But any teacher I hear complain that they don’t have it good, make that GREAT, is probably not in it because they truly want to teach.

  15. Bailey Sweeting

    On February 23, 2010 at 12:31 am


    Absolutely asinine, the points you bring up. So, a teacher recommends for a speech therapist, to HELP your child! The teacher cares about your child! You get your back up and think you have failed as a parent somewhere and immediately blame the teacher because you feel there are shortcomings somewhere in you as a parent or your child.

    A teacher comes up with a new more efficient way of doing long division and you once again get your backup…Just because it does not matter if he didn’t get any questions wrong does not mean it was effective at all! The rest of the class could have completed 20 questions and your little Johnny finished 3 questions but got them all right! Real world, you speak of the preparing for the real world! This will not keep your child with a job, the slow long way to complete something! Everything is about efficiency these days!

    Where does the average teacher get paid $90, 000??? Please tell me so I can move there immediately!

    The teacher wants your child to hand write or print like everyone else! You once again get your back up! Real world, job applications are hand written! Do you want your child to get a job? You are enabling your child for failure! You are not helping anyone with your current style of parenting. You will lie and say you had a great childhood experience in school and received great marks and your child receives great marks etc…we know for real that is not true. If your student has an IEP and receives good marks, it is not indicative of actual grade and workload results. It is modified!

    You need to stop what you are doing right now, you are failing as a parent and your child will NOT be better off with your efforts and excuses.

  16. Bailey Sweeting

    On February 23, 2010 at 12:53 am


    Just to add…

    We do not get paid holidays, well not the way you think! Our pay is spread out throughout the year!

    We also, receive: no overtime, no time and a half days, no bonuses, no tax write offs, no gas cards, no cell phones, no company cars, the most expensive vacation prices (if we can afford to take one!), have 100 bosses watching our every move and yes we are fallible (2 parents for each student we teach, plus the principal and vice principal!).

    I coach every sport at my school and receive nothing whatsoever but more grief from parents and playing time for their child! Our so called, “breaks” for me are non existent, I am either coaching, keeping kids in to help them with their work, watching my detention students all while I just want to grab a snack and maybe hit the bathroom!

    Do not sit on the sidelines and be the most ignorant person in the world! If you think we have it so well and it is so easy, just like, “babysitting” then come do it! Quit bitching about it and SIMPLY DO IT! Let me know how you make out!

  17. James

    On March 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm


    This article makes me laugh. It amuses me how you have decided to blame everything on the teachers, the education system and the schools when in fact, the blame is at least half yours, if not more.

    First of all– the average teaching Salary is $90,000.00 per year? I’m moving to where you live! If that is the “average” then there must be thousands of teachers making A LOT more than that. What a load of garbage. Where did you come up with this magical number? Some University professors with doctorates don’t even make that much. You really have no idea what you are talking about, and you have NO IDEA how salaries are determined for teachers. We ALL make different amounts depending on our qualifications, and our years of experience. When I started teaching (in 2004) my salary was $43,000.00 in my first year. I couldn’t even afford to rent a place in the city where I was teaching and keep my car while paying my student loans on that salary. I was grossly UNDERPAID for the amount of education that was required for my job, which also necessitated a Masters degree for my specialization.

    In Canada, and presumably elsewhere in many first world countries, many salaries are determined by the following three criteria: #1. The difficulty of your job/career, #2. The amount of education required, #3. The value/importance of your job to society.

    I am quite confident in saying that Teachers rank very high in all three of those areas. The manager of my gym makes over $80,000.00 a year and she has a two year college diploma in business management. Enough said. I joke with her all the time about how easy her job is. She told me once that if I was interested in a pay raise, she would hire me. Funny.

    Let’s not even talk about how much of my OWN money I spend on buying art supplies, paper, pens, pencils etc. Can you imagine if you worked at Wal Mart and on your pay stub you noticed deductions for the rolls of paper that go into your cash register for receipts and the plastic bags into which you place customers purchases? Ridiculous. I won’t even go into all the work I do off the clock in the evening, before school, after school, and on the weekends.

    Secondly, you buy a used laptop for your son– presumably without consulting with the school first about whether it’s use would be permitted. When the teacher has a problem with your son using the laptop, you instruct him to relay a message to the teacher rather than contacting her yourself. Why would you ask your son to do that? That is quite rude. Teachers are professionals and have spent a minumum of 4 years in University. Personally, I don’t know of a teacher that has spent less than five– we all have Honours degrees in our respective fields, plus education degrees. I have a Masters degree in French and Linguistics and spent 7 years, attending 3 different Universities. Would you send your son into your doctors office to relay an impertinent message to her/him? Write a note or call the teacher. Don’t assume things then become irritated when you didn’t ask first. It is your own fault. After 6 years now of teaching, I have yet to learn of an elementary student that can type more proficiently than she/he can print on paper. I believe you lied about your son’s typing abilities in order to lend credence to your decision to buy him the laptop. Your anger with the school/teacher is misplaced. Own it.

    Fire all the teachers? Hire good parents? If by “good parents” do you mean parents like yourself? If so, I’m wondering if you will be taking a much needed pay cut, since you did mention we are overpaid…

    Thank you for this article… it was very entertaining. I sent it to every teacher in my board on my distribution list through my email client. We are all having a good laugh. :0p

  18. James

    On March 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm


    This article makes me laugh. It amuses me how you have decided to blame everything on the teachers, the education system and the schools when in fact, the blame is at least half yours, if not more.

    First of all– the average teaching Salary is $90,000.00 per year? I\’m moving to where you live! If that is the \”average\” then there must be thousands of teachers making A LOT more than that. What a load of garbage. Where did you come up with this magical number? Some University professors with doctorates don\’t even make that much. You really have no idea what you are talking about, and you have NO IDEA how salaries are determined for teachers. We ALL make different amounts depending on our qualifications, and our years of experience. When I started teaching (in 2004) my salary was $43,000.00 in my first year. I couldn\’t even afford to rent a place in the city where I was teaching and keep my car while paying my student loans on that salary. I was grossly UNDERPAID for the amount of education that was required for my job, which also necessitated a Masters degree for my specialization.

    In Canada, and presumably elsewhere in many first world countries, many salaries are determined by the following three criteria: #1. The difficulty of your job/career, #2. The amount of education required, #3. The value/importance of your job to society.

    I am quite confident in saying that Teachers rank very high in all three of those areas. The manager of my gym makes over $80,000.00 a year and she has a two year college diploma in business management. Enough said. I joke with her all the time about how easy her job is. She told me once that if I was interested in a pay raise, she would hire me. Funny.

    Let\’s not even talk about how much of my OWN money I spend on buying art supplies, paper, pens, pencils etc. Can you imagine if you worked at Wal Mart and on your pay stub you noticed deductions for the rolls of paper that go into your cash register for receipts and the plastic bags into which you place customers purchases? Ridiculous. I won\’t even go into all the work I do off the clock in the evening, before school, after school, and on the weekends.

    Secondly, you buy a used laptop for your son– presumably without consulting with the school first about whether it\’s use would be permitted. When the teacher has a problem with your son using the laptop, you instruct him to relay a message to the teacher rather than contacting her yourself. Why would you ask your son to do that? That is quite rude. Teachers are professionals and have spent a minumum of 4 years in University. Personally, I don\’t know of a teacher that has spent less than five– we all have Honours degrees in our respective fields, plus education degrees. I have a Masters degree in French and Linguistics and spent 7 years, attending 3 different Universities. Would you send your son into your doctors office to relay an impertinent message to her/him? Write a note or call the teacher. Don\’t assume things then become irritated when you didn\’t ask first. It is your own fault. After 6 years now of teaching, I have yet to learn of an elementary student that can type more proficiently than she/he can print on paper. I believe you lied about your son\’s typing abilities in order to lend credence to your decision to buy him the laptop. Your anger with the school/teacher is misplaced. Own it.

    Fire all the teachers? Hire good parents? If by \”good parents\” do you mean parents like yourself? If so, I\’m wondering if you will be taking a much needed pay cut, since you did mention we are overpaid…

    Thank you for this article… it was very entertaining. I sent it to every teacher in my board on my distribution list through my email client. We are all having a good laugh. :0p

  19. Dalton

    On March 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm


    This article makes me laugh. It amuses me how you have decided to blame everything on the teachers, the education system and the schools when in fact, the blame is at least half yours, if not more.

    First of all– the average teaching Salary is $90,000.00 per year? I’m moving to where you live! If that is the “average” then there must be thousands of teachers making A LOT more than that. What a load of garbage. Where did you come up with this magical number? Some University professors with doctorates don’t even make that much. You really have no idea what you are talking about, and you have NO IDEA how salaries are determined for teachers. We ALL make different amounts depending on our qualifications, and our years of experience. When I started teaching (in 2004) my salary was $43,000.00 in my first year. I couldn’t even afford to rent a place in the city where I was teaching and keep my car while paying my student loans on that salary. I was grossly UNDERPAID for the amount of education that was required for my job, which also necessitated a Masters degree for my specialization.

    In Canada, and presumably elsewhere in many first world countries, many salaries are determined by the following three criteria: #1. The difficulty of your job/career, #2. The amount of education required, #3. The value/importance of your job to society.

    I am quite confident in saying that Teachers rank very high in all three of those areas. The manager of my gym makes over $80,000.00 a year and she has a two year college diploma in business management. Enough said. I joke with her all the time about how easy her job is. She told me once that if I was interested in a pay raise, she would hire me. Funny.

    Let’s not even talk about how much of my OWN money I spend on buying art supplies, paper, pens, pencils etc. Can you imagine if you worked at Wal Mart and on your pay stub you noticed deductions for the rolls of paper that go into your cash register for receipts and the plastic bags into which you place customers purchases? Ridiculous. I won’t even go into all the work I do off the clock in the evening, before school, after school, and on the weekends.

    Secondly, you buy a used laptop for your son– presumably without consulting with the school first about whether it’s use would be permitted. When the teacher has a problem with your son using the laptop, you instruct him to relay a message to the teacher rather than contacting her yourself. Why would you ask your son to do that? That is quite rude. Teachers are professionals and have spent a minumum of 4 years in University. Personally, I don’t know of a teacher that has spent less than five– we all have Honours degrees in our respective fields, plus education degrees. I have a Masters degree in French and Linguistics and spent 7 years, attending 3 different Universities. Would you send your son into your doctors office to relay an impertinent message to her/him? Write a note or call the teacher. Don’t assume things then become irritated when you didn’t ask first. It is your own fault. After 6 years now of teaching, I have yet to learn of an elementary student that can type more proficiently than she/he can print on paper. I believe you lied about your son’s typing abilities in order to lend credence to your decision to buy him the laptop. Your anger with the school/teacher is misplaced. Own it.

    Fire all the teachers? Hire good parents? If by “good parents” do you mean parents like yourself? If so, I’m wondering if you will be taking a much needed pay cut, since you did mention we are overpaid…

    Thank you for this article… it was very entertaining. I sent it to every teacher in my board on my distribution list through my email client. We are all having a good laugh. :0p

  20. Nancy

    On April 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm


    James and/or Dalton, you do deserve a raise! Though not because you’re a fabulous teacher, but by your grammar — a key factor that distinguishes you from your counterparts on this blog and in the classroom. Congratulations!

    But just out of curiosity, why is someone with 7 years of post-secondary education teaching in a public high school? If I may say so, the fact that you thought you’d need that many years of education to teach the subject matter offered in a high school course, is quite silly.

    I, too, laugh now.

  21. Dalton James

    On April 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm


    Nancy;

    I’m not sure if you will ever read this… but I decided to pop back on here and see what other people have said. I’m a little horrified that my post is on here THREE times, but as I recall, I got an error message the first two times saying that my post was unable to be sent/completed. Ergo, third time is the charm!

    My name is James Dalton. Last name shall remain confidential.

    I had my career planned out by the time I was in grade 10. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and how to get there.

    Four years of undergraduate education for my Hons. B.A. Linguistics/Literature/History

    One year to complete my B.Ed.

    Two years to complete my M.A.

    Five years were REQUIRED to be a teacher. Five years and two degrees did not even put me at the top of the pay scale. The Masters Degree did though. It however, was not undertaken because it was required for me to “teach” but because it was required for me to advance within the teaching field: Department Head, Vice-Principal, Principal.

    So yes, seven years was needed and I have never looked back. I’m confident in my job, and I understand what I am doing, I understand WHY I am doing it, and I’ve never thought myself to be gainfully employed.

    I don’t think I am frittering away my talents either. I am at a great school with amazing students and staff and most days I feel like I’m not even working. It’s really THAT enjoyable.

    J.D.

  22. DanielB

    On July 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm


    If its so enjoyable then why is it so much the money? Why do teachers always complain about how bad they have it when they have it so good?
    It comes down to that famous quotation…”Those who can, do, those who can’t, teach.”

  23. teacher

    On August 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm


    Teacher bashing is awesome isn\’t it? Your son was in school for how many years and you have a few, mostly irrelevant, stories of poor teaching. If being a teacher is so easy and has such great pay why don\’t you become one and show the rest of us how it\’s done.
    Obviously there are bad teachers but there are bad doctors, lawyers and stock brokers too (and they all get paid more than teachers BTW) but most teachers I\’ve known have been dedicated and caring professionals who do all they can in these crazy times when no one wants to take responsibility when things go wrong – especially parents.

  24. Nadine Redning

    On September 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm


    Wow, talk about a load of garbage by the original blogger here. Talk about an almost equal load of garbage by the teachers posting in response. I think I can speak with a fair amount of authority on this as both of my parents are school teachers, 2 of my sisters are as well. Only 2 of them make in the 90k+ range. Both of them have at least a Masters degree, the other a Doctorate. They both have taught for more than 20 years, and both teach specialty courses (Chemistry and Math).

    On the other hand, the BS about all of the hours worked, extra prep time, spending their own money, etc. is overblown. In my family, as well as all of their friends and etc. not one of them said that they spend much more than 50 – 100 dollars per year on supplies. They rarely spend much more than 3 to 4 hours per week in extra time in preparation. They do volunteer much of their time for extracurricular activities however.

    As far as the pay scale is concerned, if they get paid 60k per year for working 8 months, that does translate to 82.5k per year if working a full 12 months with 4 weeks of vacation as is standard for most professionals. (7500/month of work).

    In my case, I get paid substantially higher than that, but I also have a job where I travel 80% of the time, am under extremely high stress, an average work week is 80 hours, the price of failure can mean literally thousands of jobs, vacation still means bringing the blackberry and the laptop, etc.

    What it boils down to for many parents in Ontario is the complete lack of control they feel they have over who is teaching their children. In fact that is how I found this blog. Today is the first day of grade 3 for my daughter. We have chosen to continue to stay at this school as my son lost his eye as an infant due to cancer and we felt that it would be easier on him socially to grow up and go to school with the same children throughout. Despite 2 promotions since moving here, we have not upgraded our house for this very reason. In his case, now that he has been assigned to a class, it seems as if they went out of their way to ensure that he was not in the same class as anyone he was with throughout JK, SK, G1, and G2. Yet most of his friends are together in another class. His marks, attitude and socialization are all either above or at standard for his age, so that is not the reason. What recourse as a parent do I have in that placement? Absolutely zero.

    I pay 10s of thousands of dollars a year in taxes. I do believe that teachers should be fairly paid. But I also believe that informed parents (unlike the original poster) should have some say in who teaches their children and in who continues to be allowed to teach. I know far too many teachers who are simply in it for the pension, job security and vacation time. They hate their jobs and admit it to those they trust.

    It is time for taxpayers to take back control of how their dollars are spent. Sadly too many taxpayers are also as ignorant as “Goldfinger”, and obviously lack even rudimentary abilities to talk with their child’s teacher or to research basic facts and educate themselves.

  25. Scott

    On September 11, 2010 at 3:43 am


    What a load of crap being posted by the teachers in this thread. Not only is my mother a teacher but many, many friends of mine are as well all in their mid to late 30\’s with nothing more than a basic bachelors degree teachers college. I know of not one that has or was required to have a masters degree. I know, for FACT that most of the teachers that I know that are my age are earning $85000-$90000 a year. One girl even gleefully laughs about how ridiculously overpaid she and her colleagues are for what they do as elementary school teachers. How refreshing, an honest teacher that isn\’t hitching about how overworked and \”underpaid\” they are. Do I have a huge problem with teachers being paid well? No. Shut the hell up about it and DO YOUR JOB. Perhaps then you wouldn\’t receive so much grief from the general public about it.

  26. Optimistic Teacher

    On October 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm


    I am a teacher and I work hard. I earn 75000 dollars per year, and I have 2 undergraduate degrees and a Masters. None of these extra credentials led to pay increases. In my school board, once you have an honours degree and one specialist, work experience is the only salary variant. I naturally love to learn and feel the more I know, the more I can enrich my students’ learning. I am also an educational specialist in English, Social Science, and Special Education in addition to my university work. I have worked full-time for eight years in an Ontario high school. I work primarily with students at the applied level. My students are often English Language Learners, or have individual education plans for special needs. Many of my students are behavioural. I have excellent relationships with these students, and by all accounts, I am an outstanding classroom manager. I am a gentle, quiet soul. People are shocked that I have some of the “toughest” kids under control in my class. However, I attribute it all to having an effective plan and well-organized regime each day.

    I am self-taught when it comes to technology, and I have created online, interactive learning tools for students. I diligently track student performance, communicate frequently with parents, and have a very high success rate in both my own tests and government-scored assessments.

    I spend $200 dollars per year to maintain a professional website for my students. I work an average of sixty hours per week. I plan effective lessons, teach these lessons, and study and reflect on the results when I engage in marking. I often teach the same classes, but I always revise the lessons and aim to improve each time rather than using the same plan from one year to the next. I know that I have a lot of professional growing to do, and I want to be the best educator I can be. I love constructive criticism, and I love to learn how to do better next time.

    I do not believe that teachers have no free time whatsoever. I think it is a very manageable career if you maximize your working time while at work. I generally lead several extracurricular activities per year, and always chair one staff committee. I do not take lunch breaks, or chat during preparation periods. It is important to me to spend time with my children, and support their teachers’ efforts from home. As a mother of four, and a military wife, I must be very careful with my work-life balance.

    When I read this blog, it made me sad. I have certainly met teachers who do not have a strong work ethic, but to be lumped into a “lazy, spoiled, undeserving of good pay” group with said people is unfair. I know many teachers who are exceptional at their jobs, and deserve high praise for their work. Overall, I agree that our education system needs to improve. I am sorry that you were unhappy with your son’s education. However, your rant is just hurtful and rude. I disagree with other commentators who recommend that you become a teacher. I do not think you are ready or open enough to be effective in this role. However, I do think you should look at how you could make a difference. You saw how your laptop enhanced your child’s education. Perhaps you can start a community program to raise money to make more available to schools serving lower income students. Other commentators wrote to critique teachers’ grammar, and another mocked a teacher’s credentials. We wonder why our society and schools are plagued by bullying epidemics. Many of you need to look at how you can help, rather than how you can hurt.

  27. Peter

    On October 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm


    Your really bang on about teachers today. I really think it is discusting how much they make for what they do. I think that they need to be exposed. $90,000 a year, and yet almost half the kids graduating today are illiterate and cant apply basic math skills? My principal drove a big brand new BMW to school everday, and most of the teaching staff drove other high end vehicals, but for some odd reason there was never enough textbooks to go around, and notes were constanty coming home asking for donations and more money. I guess they needed some gas money! Something really needs to be done about this, Especially now during this recent recession. Everyone else in the real world has had to adjust and cut back while they haven’t felt any of it. Yet they still have the nerve to complain and demand for higher wages. It seems like none of them have a concept of where the money comes from. It’s our tax dollars paying there wages. I really think it’s time for change. The teachers union needs to be deminished and cut backs need to be made. But that will never happen, they will just keep taking advantage of the tax payer’s until the province or country is bankrupt. So just remember,

    “Those who can’t……. teach”

  28. Susan

    On November 4, 2010 at 5:07 am


    I am so shocked at the author’s opinion in this article that I can’t even create a level headed response at this time. All I can say if that the author is very misinformed and I strongly disagree with the opinions and arguments presented in this article. I don’t agree with the fiction you are spreading. Please research more before you post these lies.

    Peter – You talk about how the teachers can afford fancy cars but not have enough text books in their classrooms. These things frusterate the teacher the most. That is not the teachers fault, that is where the government is deciding to spend the money. Your anger is misplaced.

    I also have very strong opinions of what a huge problem in in the educational system. You would be right when you say that teachers are having to spend more and more on classroom managment. Could this stem from poor parenting? I believe so!

    Some children are not raised to respect authority, that is the parents job to teach them.

    This article just goes to show that this author does not support the teacher. Without the parents support teachers lack the ability to have disipline in their classroom. By this rant you are furthering to hurt your child’s education.

    One last side note – teachers do not get 3 months of paid vacation time. Their paycheque from 10 months of teaching time is divided up into 12 months.

    Nadine Redning – you do have a say.

  29. Alex

    On November 7, 2010 at 11:15 am


    I tottaly agree with you! I had a teacher in elementary who said if you need help dont ask me ask the person next to you. WHY??!! that dosn’t make any sense. teachers are supposed to be there to help out. I think that if your son does use a laptop and it helps him out thats good he should keep on using it. Manitoba is like that to.

  30. Soldier

    On November 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm


    This is pitiful. Canada is a first rate country but staddled with a second rate government and third rate citizens. Come on folks, people flock to where the money is and/or a path of least resistance. Getting into teachers college isn’t that hard, but getting the job is. Same principle applies to other union run gigs, CAW anyone? Helps to know an insider. The unions are doing their job by creating artifically high wages by restricting supply. The government accepts this and so has the public for years, so quit whining. If really want to puke in your mouth, don’t forget that the ON taxpayer is on the hook for half of the teacher’s pension plan which is underfunded by 6B loonies. Try to figure that out with a provincial government deeply in debt. Welcome to taxation 101 bought to you by the letters HST.
    So if you are tired of this then do something with your pocketbook. Seek out private education and buy non union made items. Stand up and fight or leave Canada. Whatever suits you.
    Lastly, society has gotten so spun about money and material things over the last generation that the day of reckoning will soon be upon us all. Things are going to change for the worse. Pigs Get Fat. Hogs get Slaughtered

  31. Candace Hallings

    On January 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm


    There’s nothing political about a computer in the classroom. It’s a DISTRACTION for kids that age. Puh-lease!

    And for the argument of doing the long division the ‘teacher’s way’ or ‘your way’ — DISTRACTION.

    Showing your son that it’s okay to ‘get around the teacher’ is disrespectful and says a lot about why you were having so many problems with the teacher.

    Seriously, you totally undermined your son’s best interests. Sure, he got the answer “RIGHT” but since when is learning to do things a couple different ways the “Wrong WAY?”

    You get an “F”.

  32. Alex

    On March 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm


    To Candace
    Showng your kid how to do long division other than the teachers way is not disrepectfull to the teacher. It’s just a diffrent way of doing it.I say as long as the kid is getting the answer right it’s still right… So no giving out F’s to any stundents. Honestly who cares how the kid does it as long as he understands it.

  33. Alex

    On March 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm


    To Candace
    Showng your kid how to do long division other than the teachers way is not disrepectfull to the teacher. It’s just a diffrent way of doing it.I say as long as the kid is getting the answer right it’s still right… So no giving out F’s to any students. Honestly who cares how the kid does it as long as he understands it

  34. Another one

    On August 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm


    Something to think about:
    Teachers are middle management. They are constantly getting flack from parents and the public who believe they know how to educate 20+ students better than the teacher in the classroom. They are not just educating your child but at least approx. 19 others to help them improve. Then to top everything off they get flack from the people above them who are constantly telling them what they are doing wrong and how they can improve. I am not saying that contstant improving is wrong, but considering teachers are constantly thinking of ways to give your child a positive self image through praise and constructive positive criticism they are not recieving the same in return from anyone. As an elementary school teacher I am constantly bringing my work home with me. It can take hours to make 1 engaging activity for your child to enjoy in a matter of minutes. Not only do I make or surf the internet for suggestions and new ideas, but I am constantly thinking about what I can do for or try with your child the next day to help them improve. I give up my breaks to help your child finish their work, or to read with them. I love science and try to incoporate this style of hands on learning in every subject matter, but the cost can get to be ridiculous, considering I am making not much more than 40,000 per year and paying back my 50,000 dollars in student loans. I love when things are perfect and everything falls in sync in addition to all the students understanding exactly what I am teaching, but with any job that you are dealing with 20+ personalities each with a different learning style then it can sometimes be hard. Plus, don’t forget about the 40+ people that think they can do your job better than you can. As a parent you think some of this may be attributed to your lack of control in the school system?
    Think about this, in a school of 300 kids there are approx. 600 parents that you are trying to please. It is true that your child’s teacher may not know your child inside and out, but then again some children act completely different at school then they do at home (and not just negatively). I think the next time you want to negatively comment on teachers put yourself in their shoes; Do you really think you can do a better job for all 20 students in the class or just your own child because in the day we are not just dealing with your child, but Johnny in the corner that is constantly bugging Adam, Kate that is feeling sick and Abby that had fight with Charlie during recess plus opening snacks and tying shoes, etc., etc, etc. I know it sounds like I am complaining, but I am not. I truly love my job. It is the only job that I have had in my life that I do love, but instead of knocking teachers down try to give them some praise because the majority of the time they care about your child and are looking out for their best interest in the limited time they have. If you don’t like it then become a teacher yourself or simply homeschool. And to those people that are stating the quotation, “Those who can’t do teach”, I pose this question what are you actually doing?

  35. BA BSc and a Master's

    On September 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm


    From reading the comments, it is clear that many posters have a problem with the english language. I sure hope they’re not teaching english.

    In any event, this is not a surprise. I recall my undergraduate -and in some cases my graduate education – that students could not properly form a sentence. If it happens at the above level, it will happen with teachers who have a BEd.

  36. gr 5 teacher

    On January 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm


    I am a grade 5 teacher and there is absolutly no reason on why your son would possibly need a laptop. How much writing does a kid in any grade level do that they would need a laptop? I wish I was making 90,000 a year but I’m not so get the facts straight. Not all teachers are bad

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