Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers
The bestselling call to action for improving the working lives of public school teachers—and improving our classrooms along the way.
Since its initial publication and multiple reprints in hardcover in 2005, Teachers Have It Easy has attracted the attention of teachers nationwide, appearing on the New York Times extended bestseller list, C-SPAN, and NPR's Marketplace, in addition to receiving strong reviews nationwide. Now available for the first time in paperback, this groundbreaking book examines how bad policy makes teachers' lives miserable.
Many teachers today must work two or more jobs to survive; they cannot afford to buy homes or raise families. Interweaving teachers' voices from across the country with hard-hitting facts and figures, this book is a clear-eyed view of the harsh realities of public school teaching, without chicken-soup-for-the-soul success stories.
With a look at the problems of recruitment and retention, the myths of short workdays and endless summer vacations, the realities of the work week, and shocking examples of how society views America's teachers, Teachers Have It Easy explores the best ways to improve public education and transform our schools.
Educate yourself about what teachers go through with this book
By Robin Orlowski "political activist" - August 22, 2005
This book combines statistic and qualitative data to give readers a frank and unsparing portrait of American education. For all of the talk about 'standards' and 'accountability' America expects its teachers to do so much with very little.
Teachers are horribly paid for all of the work which they are expected to do--and their responsibilities keep on growing. This is madness.
In my own home state of Texas, school teacher salaries are determined by the local property tax paid in individual districts. The 'local control' which is promised under this arrangement sounds great until we realize that teachers are also expected to be a counselor...etc but do not get any extra compensation for these assignments. Well-heeled school districts and schools are the exception and not the rule inside public education.
That America presently has the amount of public school teachers which it does is more testament to their idealism of wanting to make the world a little... read more
From the front lines
By A. Costa - June 29, 2005
I've developed a deep appreciation for Dave Eggers and his work ever since I first stumbled upon A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Since that time, his credibility has grown on a national level, and this current book should only bolster his reputation as an advocate of teacher and the teaching profession.
Most critics have pointed out that this book's biggest asset is its use of actual narratives from today's (and yesterday's) teachers. Though the argument of the book is clearly one sided, the whole thing is much more palatable when you read of the struggles and roller coaster rides of teaching through educators' mouths.
Although I felt it my duty to read this book as a teacher, I would strongly encourage any person who is involved with politics or public office to read this book too, and furthermore, to get really angry over what you read. This book may be biased in that it doesn't even so much as mention the slew of bad teachers in our workforce,... read more
By Nancy Diane Mierzwik "Diane Mierzwik" - September 8, 2005
Any of us in teaching understand how difficult a job it is, how little recognition for our efforts we receive and how little respect from our peers we garner, yet it is difficult to argue with comments like "you're done at 3:00" "you have the entire summer off" "I'd just treat those kids like my own."
Finally a book that explains that none of us are done at 3:00, we need the summer off to recoup and reenergize and those kids are not our own. Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers allows teachers a forum to describe their day, asks experts in a variety of fields to explain exactly what teachers do and how, and examines ways schools are changing to validate that teaching is a profession worth paying quality people to go into.
Especially illuminating is the chart in Chapter Seven: "A Day in the Life" in which a teacher's day is compared to the day of a salesperson making twice the salary. No where have I found such... read more
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