Saturday, January 8, 2011

Teacher Terms

I realized the other day when Jolie commented, that I do throw around a lot of educational terms and lingo on this blog. And when she said it was unfamiliar (but also fascinating...thanks!), I realized that even teachers outside of California might not know what I'm talking about, much less you non-education people. So, here's a glossary of terms I talk about most.

Salary Point: Basically I can get a raise when I take continuing education classes. Most of them are college classes where one unit=one point. But there are other classes through the district or other places that are not measured by units. Those are worth salary points as well. In LA you max out on units at 96, and you have ten years to get to the top of the salary table. Raises are given in increments of 14 points.

National Boards: This is something across the whole US for teachers. It's completely optional, but many districts do give a raise if you certify. LAUSD gives 7.5% automatically and another 7.5% if you complete hours mentoring other teachers, providing PD, etc. The process involves four portfolios (2 of which involve videotaping your lessons) and six assessments. Only 40% of people pass the first try. You have three years during which they bank you scores so you can keep trying. I'm in year three. Also, you are credentialed in any state in the US. It's a really reflective process, and as frustrating as it is not to pass the first (or second) time, I've really learned a lot from the process.

Furlough Days: California has no money. Therefore my giant school district (2nd biggest in the nation) also has no money. Basically, furlough days are a pay cut. We get extra days off throughout the year (eight of them), but don't get paid for those days off. They space out the pay cut throughout the year even when the days are clustered in one month (like the three days of Thanksgiving week). I have a love/hate with furlough days.

Stipends: Stipends are a semesterly token amount teachers may be given for various above and beyond type tasks. I get a stipend for being the yearbook adviser. It's taxed as a bonus, which means I lose about half of it.

Coverage: As a middle school teacher I get a conference period everyday. When for whatever reason another teacher needs a sub for just a few periods, they ask one of us to cover during our conference. We get an hourly rate for doing this, which works out to over $40 a pop for me. And since my conference is at the end of the day I get asked more than others, which is nice.

Any other edu-speak I use that people don't know? :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks!! I loved hearing what all those mean. None of those exist up in my land. If a colleague needs coverage for a class/period, we just do it and hopefully they can return the favour one day. If not, ah well. There is no remuneration for it.

    For above and beyond (your stipends) we can earn up to 2 days off with pay in a year by doing extra curricular activities with the student. Some areas keep diligent track of how many hours one does; others not so much. There is no extra pay per se for coaching, leading clubs, being an advisor etc.