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I had to comment on your reply. I teach in an elementary school in North Carolina where I arrive at 6:30 every morning (leaving my residence at 5:45 a.m.) and usually do not leave the school until 5:30-6:00 p.m. due to the free tutoring I offer my students after dismissal. I also spend my weekends lesson planning and the few hours after I arrive home from school grading papers and revising lesson plans. I graduated my university programs with three degrees including a Masters that in all cost me $180,000.00. The money I am paid including the benefits I receive in comparison to the time I put in works out to barely more than minimum wage. I live frugally, shop the clearance racks, carpool, and pack my lunch to save money. Still, it is difficult to make ends meet with all the bills we must pay. Least you think I am in this job for the money I would point out the amount of time I spend planning for individual students, contacting parents, creating out-of-the-box ideas to help my students learn, and the hundreds of dollars I spend out of my own pocket (money I don't really have) to bring good books and supplies into my classroom. Before you generalize,as you have with your comment, remember that teachers are professionals. For the money we spend for our degrees, we are underpaid professionals. Compare us to other professionals such as doctors, lawyers, nurses, computer programmers, scientists, etc. Privatized companies pay enormous sums to their valued workers who expect their large salaries. Teachers here are not asking for a hundred thousand dollars a year. We are asking for a salary comparable to the work we put forth. Money becomes an issue for us (as it does with any worker) when our paychecks mean we can not support ourselves or family.

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