Should teachers/rebbis get a full time salary?

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  • #1566012

    Curiosity
    Participant

    For all those people using their offended feelings as opposed to facts as a response to my initial question, please be advised I am not condemning teachers at large.

    My initial $50k example was in reference to teachers whose full-time job consists of teaching 1 or 2 classes a day and who take 3 months off every year. I’m not saying we should pay actual full-time teachers who work 8-9 hours a day less than $50k, or trying to create a wage scale for teachers nationally. That would be silly, considering wages shift by geography, experience, education, school, etc.. All I’m saying is that I think teachers undervalue the amount of time off that they get when/if they complain about their salaries – and there’s no question that some teachers like to complain about their salaries.

    That being said, I think everyone should fight to earn as much as they can. But from the perspective of a potential future tuition payer, I also have a right to question the exorbitantly high tuitions in Jewish schools and seek a fair distribution of that which I will have to contribute to.

    #1566020

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Your backpeddling is very interesting. Twice now you have said that your only point is such and such but that wasn’t what you had said at all. You are complaining that people are not responding with facts and yet your whole fact presentation was that you had whiney teachers in school.
    The responses you are getting are emotional because you are condemning a huge group of klal Yisroel with nothing more than petty complaints. I believe that if you had any accurate, valid and rational comments to present, you would get responses to them. Is there even such a person receiving 50k teaching 1-2 classes? Are those 1-2 4 hour a day 6 day a week classes or 1-2 45 minute classes. I think thinkingclearly answered your question with fact that you are off on the hours put in, and I answered with fact regarding your 3/4 year off theory is wrong. Which was your 2 biggest points debunked. But you seem to hold that you got no responses. Emotional bias can run in many directions.

    #1566023

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    ” I just also think they’re compensated fairly based on how many hours they work.”
    Regarding public school teachers (as you said) I definitely agree. Not because they work less hours, but because they are paid a lot and get regular yearly raises with opportunities to move tracks and earn even more.

    #1566041

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Most cheder rabeim i know would actually not want a major raise because then they would lose out on section 8,heap,obama phone,food stamps,medicaid,jerseycare etc. and the list goes on and on.

    #1566074

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Another issue, which is also related to salary: shidduchim. In our age of money-obessesion, how many rebbeim can afford to offer to support a son-in-law? A friend of mine who was a rebbe virtually wept when he told me how difficult it was to find a shidduch for his daughters when he couldn’t offer any support. And he wasn’t the only one I’ve heard this from. Is this how we reward those whose hands literally hold our future?

    And no, I’m not a rebbe or girls’ school teacher.

    #1566073

    Joseph
    Participant

    “Most cheder rabeim i know would actually not want a major raise because then they would lose out on section 8,heap,obama phone,food stamps,medicaid,jerseycare etc. and the list goes on and on.”

    All those rebbeim should be given raises so that they are no longer poor. The raise must be big enough to take them out of poverty and make them unqualified for welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc.

    No rebbi should be given a wage that leaves his family indigant and needing or qualified for government welfare programs. Our rebbeim need to treated much better than that. How would YOU like to work on a wage that forces you to collect government welfare, food stamps and/or medicaid??!

    #1566072

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Neville, and all the others here who think that teachers “have it easy.”

    I know rebbeim and girls’ school teachers, and I can tell you that the average teacher works close to a full day. Besides the actual class time there are many, many other responsibilities. A teacher must prepare lessons, mark or evaluate students’ work, prepare written lesson plans and class rosters, plus other paperwork. They have to continually evaluate their students’ emotional wellbeing, and recommend them for special educational help or counseling.

    And most important of all, a rebbe or teacher must be there 24/7 for his/her students. They think about their students and their problems when most people are relaxing at home or schmoozing after the daf yomi. They hold events for the children at their homes. I live on a block with two rebbeim, and both have gatherings at their homes for their students. They also give personal advice and encouragement. And frequently this intrudes on the time they need for their own families.

    And then we must talk about how much time and effort they must spend interacting with parents. They respond to parents’ concerns, and frequently weather their (frequently unwarranted) criticism.

    And then some of them spend money out of their own pockets for things for class, or spend hours online searching for and printing out new classroom material. Do you know that there are special internet sites sponsored by frum teachers groups (try Torah U’Mesorah) to provide supplementary materials for teachers to access on their own?

    We put the future of our children and all of Klal Yisroel in the hands of our teachers. Shouldn’t we at least pay them a living wage, so they can concentrate on their jobs instead of wondering whether they’ll be able to pay the rent?

    #1566068

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “And, by the way, my comment wasn’t meant to demean teachers. I’m not the one saying they’re doing a poor job. I think they do fine; I just also think they’re compensated fairly based on how many hours they work.”

    So, you agree the baseline entry level salary and benefits package posted on the teachnyc website, is valid fr full time rebbeim and moros too?

    How many yeshivos or beis yackovs offer salaries on that scale?

    #1566149

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Joseph says:

    No rebi should be given a wage that leaves his family indigant and needing or qualified for government welfare programs. Our rebbeim need to treated much better than that. How would YOU like to work on a wage that forces you to collect government welfare, food stamps and/or medicaid??!
    ———————————–
    Joseph,
    No one is forcing any rebi to do anything. If they choose to go for a low paying job that is thier perogative.
    Nobody should tell anyone what to do but dont come crying after you make your decision on the job you chose.
    Like i said before, many rabbeim i know are simply not intetested in a major raise because they know they will lose some major government subsidies ie: hud , health insurance etc. They also know that no yeshiva will pay them enough to make up that differece they get from the government.
    Its sorta catch 22. for this same reason its simpler to stay in kollel all your life because uncle sam has you covered. Its a messed up system but this is reality. Thanx to obama.

    #1566203

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Most cheder rabeim i know would actually not want a major raise because then they would lose out on section 8,heap,obama phone,food stamps,medicaid,jerseycare etc. and the list goes on and on.”

    Takes2 – you just can’t bring yourself to go without throwing this trash in to every thread it will stick to. What’s your issue? Personally, your obsession with their finances (which I’m sure you have free access to considering you mention you speak for most of them) is more depressing than their use of government funds.
    And to add to the head scratch is the other side of the fence we’ll hear about next – they are deliberately poor by choice so that they can qualify for these monies BUT – they simultaneously not qualified for them and are fudging the papers, right? bit of a pelah.

    #1566225

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Do rebbes get formal teacher training? Learning in kollel doesn’t count. Being able to learn is a different skill set than being able to convey knowledge to a child.
    In my 12 years in yeshiva, I had some awful rebbes. When parents complained, nothing was done. The same rebbe who punched and kicked 2nd graders in my son in laws class was still assaulting 2nd graders in my great nephews class.
    Are there excellent rebbes? Absolutely. They undid alot of the damage done to me, my sil and my great nephew.
    Imagine what could be accomplished if the bad rebbes were weeded out.

    Without question, the good rebbes should be well compensated. Where does the money come from?

    #1566236

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Yes, many rebbes have formal training, mentors, supervisors and ongoing training.

    And by the way, psychology school doesnt make you a good psychologist, paramedic school doesnt make you a good paramedic either , its all in the experience and the personal talents. I dont know why people keep throwing in that line about kollel not counting, nobody says it does.

    #1566245

    Toi
    Participant

    Syag nails it, again.

    #1566277

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    syag, so you make it sound like anybody can be a teacher without training. I mention kolel because, becoming a rebbe for many is the next step. I agree a professional school does not guarantee excellence, but they spend years learning skills. Does kollel give a teaching degree or certificate, certifying that the bochur has learned how to manage a class, deal with unruly children, convey ideas?

    #1566289

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    It sounds like you.may not have read my response. I said many rebbes DO have training, and i said that kollel is NOT a prerequisite and nobody said it was, yet it keeps getting brought up as a poor indicator of a good teacher.

    Here’s where i think the kollel piece is confusing people, just my thoughts. People are not in kollel instead of having other professional talents, they are in kollel despite having other professional talents. They choose to learn full time because that is within their reach. When they leave kollel, they are not like dentists suddenly looking for a career in real estate, they are individuals with talents or propensities for certain fields who just finished feeding their spiritual side for a time. Whether or not their interests can be converted to a parnassah or not is its own issue, but a seperate one.

    Additionally, when someone builds a home while learning full time, it is not hard to understand a desire to stay in a Torah world when leaving kollel. If he then gets hired and is unqualified, that is on the hiring committee, not the kollel.

    #1566287

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Paramedic training doesn’t make a person a good paramedic, but it can help identify the bad ones.

    #1566284

    Midwest2
    Participant

    For those worried about teaching skills: Torah U’Mesorah has started a seminar program for kollel yungermen OOT who want to become mechanchim and want formal training. The program has been conducted in Chicago, Detroit, several other cities and currently Baltimore.

    The idea that if you can’t do anything else you become a melamed is way out of date. People going into chinuch nowadays realize that it’s a profession and they need training (perhaps because they remember suffering themselves from untrained rebbeim?).

    Anybody who thinks teaching is an easy job needs their head examined. If you think so, try working as a substitute rebbe/teacher in middle school, and see how many days you last (assuming you even get throught the first one).

    #1566317

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Syag lachachma says:

    you just can’t bring yourself to go without throwing this trash in to every thread it will stick to. What’s your issue? Personally, your obsession with their finances (which I’m sure you have free access to considering you mention you speak for most of them) is more depressing than their use of government funds.
    And to add to the head scratch is the other side of the fence we’ll hear about next – they are deliberately poor by choice so that they can qualify for these monies BUT – they simultaneously not qualified for them and are fudging the papers, right? bit of pelah
    ————————————.
    Syag, perhaps you should emulate your screen name.
    Maybe you should read what you write before pressing that send button because u make less then zero sense.
    Until that happens ill just assume its your every type humor.

    #1566320

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    huh?

    #1566347

    Toi
    Participant

    Takes2- He busted you. Where’d you not see how you’re arguing against yourself?

    #1566387

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Exactly how was i busted?
    By sharing facts ?

    #1566427

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think kollel is (or should be) a prerequisite, just not the only one.

    #1566451

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Midwest, the ability to “last” has nothing to do with the ability to teach.

    #1566460

    no nonsense
    Participant

    Chevra, this is definitely an interesting and important topic.

    As a Rebbi and Secular Studies Teacher in a NY Yeshiva, I would like to present the ‘other side’ of things. I am forever grateful to Hashem for the incredible Zechus to teach your children, the next generation of Yidden.

    Although it is becoming more difficult to teach in a world where we are up against so much, it is immensely rewarding especially when I am invited to their Chasunas and other Simchos.

    Before I began teaching, about 22 years ago, I took the famous Merkaz Teaching program for Rabbeim, and got a dual BA degree in psychology and education. Every year aside for teacher training days during the year, I attend workshops after the Yeshiva year is out.

    I work a 52 hour week during Yeshiva and countless hours after, guiding and consulting with parents, marking exams and homeworks, creating new material or taking used material and turning it into more updated versions. I modify many of my lessons and exams to be able to reach every one of you precious children.

    The truth is, that we get paid our salary based on a 10 month year. Most of the Rabbeim I know, work part or full time over the summer months. So to say that we have ‘off’ during the summer is misinformed. Additionally, when we need a sick day we do not have the option to work from home.

    Yes, we chose the profession we are in knowing that our starting salaries would be less, however, our raises are almost non-existant. We do not get a pension, life insurance,nor medical insurance. However, thanks to an amazing organization, Chasdei Lev, we are able to make Yom Tov in a honorable way. It is with tremendous Mesiras Nefesh of the Board and parent body of Yeshivos who ensure that I be paid on time. This is not the case in many Yeshivos.

    I have just one request, the next time you meet your child’s Rebbe/teacher, (past or current) thank them.

    Thank you for listening.

    A 22 year Rebbe and Teacher.

    #1566476

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    As a former child, I believe teachers should be publically funded so that they can get paid time off, because a burnt out teacher is not a good teacher, even if he started off as one.

    #1566514

    Joseph
    Participant

    no nonsense: Thank you for your well thought out and explained comment. It was very thoughtful and meaningful.

    You mentioned you work 52 hours a week as a Rebbi and Secular Studies teacher. But do most rebbeim also do secular studies? I would’ve guessed not, thus they likely don’t work as many hours as yourself.

    #1566541

    no nonsense
    Participant

    Joseph,

    Great question.

    Many of my colleagues work in the afternoon as a Teacher, Social Studies Principal or Tutor. So, in short, yes.

    Hatzlacha.

    #1566546

    no nonsense
    Participant

    *Secular Studies*

    #1566548

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Same here. Many of the rebbes teach the afternoon shift because there arent many males available for all or part of a 2:15 to 5:15 shift 4 days a week. And because they need the extra income.

    #1566559

    Curiosity
    Participant

    No nonsense. We need more teachers like you. The quality teachers/rebbes who work as hard as you do deserve raises and commendations. You’ve convinced me. I guess that settles it. Thanks for answering my initial question with menchlechkeit. Hatzlacha to you!

    #1566560

    1
    Participant

    For pragmatic reasons, yes. We don’t live in a time when Rabbeim would do anything to teach Torah to kids. Houses and apartments in the NYC area are very expensive. If Rabbeim are treated well, then the kids will benefit from it.

    #1566562

    1
    Participant

    Should be noted that Rabbeim only have to withhold for social security and medicare, which is 7.65%, whereas someone making 50K give about 30% in taxes.

    #1566564

    1
    Participant

    Many Rabbeim get jobs in summer camps.

    #1566570

    unommin
    Participant

    It’s quite simple economics, really. How hard is it to replace that 4th grade rebbi, for example. If the position was suddenly vacated, how long would it take to get a replacement, and what hard and soft skills are necessary for it? Aren’t there quite a few people clamoring for such jobs, and therefore, the salary is deservedly low.

    #1566610

    Joseph
    Participant

    unommin: Good rebbeim are not so easily available.

    #1566622

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The discussion became one of rabbeim, when in fact they are not the only ones who educate our kids. There are moros and assistants in the preschools, English teachers, and in the basis yackov s moros across all grades.

    #1566633

    Circle
    Participant

    Of course you can replace a 4th grade rebbi with a lower paid rebbi. Just remember, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
    You can also easily replace a MLB pitcher for a much lower salary. You must pay for quality. What a rebbi is getting paid today to somehow teach today’s kids (not to mention, dealing with the parent) is a massive bargain for parents.
    God forbid a teacher speak harshly to our kid or lose his cool in class and we go nuts. But they should get paid like a guy flipping burgers because after all, no one told him to be a rebbi.
    Only in chinuch should the Rebbi be moser nefesh for our kids. Our laywer, airline pilot and starting pitcher better be top notch and we are happy to pay top dollar. Our kid’s Rebbi, the lowest asking price gets the position. Then we complain.

    #1566637

    Joseph
    Participant

    APY: Rebbes are by far the most vital of all you listed.

    #1566749

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Excuse me midwest, but what program from Torah Umesorah are you referring to? To my knowledge, the only training program for teachers that Torah Umesroah has is Aish dos in Lakewood which places 80-85% of their Rabbeim in Lakewood and the rest in Yeshivishe places in the NY/NJ area. What training program do they have in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and several other cities for aspiring Rabbeim? What are those other cities praytell?

    I think you might be about 40 years behind on the news.

    #1566754

    ModernChassid
    Participant

    There is another side to this as well. If we make the salary more competitive, the schools can be more selective regarding who they hire. Unfortunately, there are many stories being posted here by former talmidim who feel victimized by unqualified rebbeim. If the schools have the upper hand, perhaps more training and sensitivity courses can become mandatory to “deserve” the higher salary.

    #1566912

    The little I know
    Participant

    As critical as I am, the availability of training in chinuch has progressed greatly. Merkaz has existed for a really long time. Torah Umesorah has their summer institutes, plus the additional trainings done with their annual convention. TU also conducts other workshops and continuing education events during the year. In Brooklyn, there are a few programs, catering to the Yiddish speaking community. The picture is far less bleak than it once was.

    Yes, but. With all the available training, what percentage of the population of rebbeim and teachers have this background? Are there any schools or yeshivos that make this training a mandatory requirement for eligibility to serve in that capacity? No car service would hire a driver who is not licensed. Chinuch is a profession, much should go into it, and this background should be required. It should then deserve appropriate compensation.

    Aside from programs to train, we have a wealth of resource by way of seforim on the subject that derive their material from purely Torah sources (not that the secular education world has nothing to teach a teacher). Are any of these seforim required study for the rebbe or teacher entering the field? Should the role of the rebbe, who serves as a link in the chain of mesoras haTorah from Har Sinai be guided by the Gedolei Hador of the many generations that preceded us? Sadly, way too many in the field barely know of the existence of these seforim, and are arrogantly obsessed with their “great knowledge” to hear that there is another approach that just might be more Torah based. Visit your favorite seforim store and discover the treasures there.

    #1566919

    Joseph
    Participant

    TLIK: Do you think Klal Yisroel’s many wonderful rebbeim in Europe and the Ottoman Empire, for over the past thousand years, had training programs?

    Were our zeidas and bubbes over the last thousand years worse off than the kids today who have rebbeim that underwent training?

    #1566954

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Rebbes are by far the most vital of all you listed.”

    With the advent and rise of the beis yackov movement, which has the full support of the gedolim of the last almost 90 years, I have to disagree with you. chinuch habanos is just as important. you cant write off the chinuch of 50% of the children, or consign them to underqualified, underpaid, overworked moros.

    #1566957

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Were our zeidas and bubbes over the last thousand years worse off than the kids today who have rebbeim that underwent training?”

    Oh please, Joseph. Even for you this is a lame stretch. c’mon.

    #1566959

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Apy don’t waste your breath. He’s just excited that someone brought up women so he could put them down.

    #1566966

    Joseph
    Participant

    APY: Teaching Torah to boys in mdoraysa. The others are not. No comparison whatsoever.

    #1566967

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There may be a “moral” obligation for yeshivos to pay their faculty a “living wage” (where that term varies between metropolitan areas} they are ultimately operating in a market environment where supply/demand dictates compensation. If a rebbe cannot earn a parnassah by teaching, he may want to pursue another career or marry a wealthy woman who can support the family. Likewise, we shouldn’t expect our yeshivos to function as a gemach and allow parents to pay substantially less than the actual cost of educating their children. Schools are a business, not a charity and its up to the parents to find supplemental financial assistance if they cannot afford to pay. Otherwise, you are in a downward, unsustainable spiral of schools lacking the funds to hire the best reebaim and morot because they are not recover their costs from all the students, the quality of instruction suffers and the better students leave for schools with better teachers, further worsening the schools’ financial condition.

    #1566995

    Phil
    Participant

    Joseph,

    “All those rebbeim should be given raises so that they are no longer poor. The raise must be big enough to take them out of poverty and make them unqualified for welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc.”

    Pray tell, where do you propose finding the tens of millions of dollars it would take to essentially double rabbeim’s salaries? I can also tell you from having served on the board of a cheder that every opening for a rebbe position attracts literally hundreds of resumes, many from highly qualified applicants. I’ve checked and this is the case all over the country so it’s not all that hard to find excellent rabbeim.

    #1567024

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Phil- Unless you are referring exclusively to yeshivishe and chasidishe chadorim you are grossly mistaken. It is not the “case all over the country.. that it is not hard to find excellent Rabeim”. It is extremely hard to find Rabbeim outside of the large Jewish metropolitan centers such as NY, NJ, Baltimore, LA, Chicago etc. Please tell me where are all these droves of Rabbeim and Moros that are willing to teach in day schools across the country?

    #1566986

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Joseph, you do realize that the phenomenon of children attending full time yeshiva is a post war reality on the US and pretty much never existed in the alte heim. Every boy went to cheder to learn aleph beis and how to daven. Those who were identified as brilliant were selected to go on to learn with individual rebbes to develop their skills. For centuries, everyone else went to work! Since the welfare state didn’t exist, if you didn’t work you didn’t eat. You didn’t need numerous quality rebbes for cheders and Rabbonim taught the exceptions

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