Distressed with perception of teachers’ ‘not-in-the-classroom’ time

To the editor:

As a retired teacher, I hope Victor Wendl, who wrote to the Call on Thursday, May 31, has a nice vacation, too.

However, I am distressed with the misunderstanding of what teachers do with their “not-in-the-classroom” time.

Those who believe teachers only work when there are students in front of them must think ministers just work one hour a week or that professional football players work four, 15-minute quarters a week.

Teachers continue to hone their skills with coursework, usually enrolling in graduate classes, two or three a year, with each hour of a graduate school class costing from $325 to $800. A three-hour course meets three hours a week and requires six or more hours a week of preparation.

Ultimately, the coursework will lead to a degree for which the teacher will receive a raise. Most master’s programs will end up costing the teacher from $15,000 to $30,000 and more than 340 hours of time on task.

Oh, and according to the Mehlville School District’s salary schedule, the financial reward is on average $4,616 when completed. Well, maybe we don’t do it for the financial rewards. It could be that we care about educating children the best way possible.

In Mehlville, this provides an education in today’s dollars of $111,436 — $8,572 x 13 years — which results in an employable member of the community or prepares one to own and operate businesses themselves.

Wayne Muehlenbeck