Monday, October 1, 2007

‘Fry Guys’ paid more than ‘Glorified Babysitters’…..

The weekend was, well a weekend. The other half was feeling a little better. Despite going on a job interview to find the potential employer was offering her less than what she got from unemployment.

Every once in a while, I hear something about teachers not getting any respect. If that’s true, then preschool teachers must get the least respect of all. At least in California it seems so. Think about it. The average preschool aid has to get a minimum 6 ECE units and be working on the next 6 ECE units to get hired. Even if they already have the full 12 (basically a full teacher), the average starting salary is $8.50 an hour. Assuming you just get those units at the community college, that means you just shelled out about a grand on the low end. That’s $240 and up for the units, plus cost of books (you can hopefully buy used), parking fees, medical fees, gas, etc.; including your time of course. This can be offset by state & federal aid. However, that does not count the cost of fingerprinting and background checks to get a clearance to be hired. That cannot be offset by aid, with the exception of employers who offer to reimburse you for the cost (rare in SoCal).

What does the average team member at In-N-Out Burger make? $9 an hour – no college required. Come on, you know the song – ‘IN-N-OUT, IN-N-OUT….That’s what a hamburger’s…all about’ …okay I’ll stop. But man, doesn’t a Double-Double sound great right now? Let’s not forget most large fast food chains have college assistance programs now. Some managers of your local McDonald’s or Taco Bell make more than some electronics techs I know (damn h-1b’s….I’ll talk about this another time). If I were 17 or 18 again I wouldn’t go through the trouble to get into such a field. I’d work the fast food place and major in something else at college. Something that actually paid.

Let’s get back to the subject. Today if you actually think about it, how many quality people is any community of semi-professionals going to recruit – when the low end of the pay scale is not even in parity with occupations mainly filled by non-college educated workers? Not many, and eventually those will get fed up and go to another career field. I’m not in favor of a union, but you have to admit this is ridiculous. I know probably more than most people who don’t teach preschool. In addition to my other half being one, I was on a school board for a few years. Of course, there’s always the uninformed jacka** who says, “They’re just overpaid babysitters.” To those people I say BS. The babysitter babysits. The preschool teacher if they’re doing their job is teaching your kid how to read, count, spell, tie their shoes, mind their manners and several other skills. In other words doing the things that a mother or father would be doing with their child. If not for the fact that damn near every couple in SoCal has to work two jobs to keep above water.

My other half has it worse. She’s ‘too qualified’ to just be a teacher. But she’s ‘not qualified enough’ to be a director, never mind the fact she’s filled the position several times. In other words though she certainly doesn’t want the director’s job (she just wants to teach), her combined experience and education make some think she does. This is because in fact, she can do the job. It galls me. Believe me if I made more, she’d just go back to college. Unfortunately it’s not an option right now. I mean hell, look at the title of the blog people. Before I lapse into expletive, if anyone’s looking for a Pre-K with 41 ECE units (9 admin), with ASL, current CPR/1st Aid, and some Spanish, drop me a line. Please. She’s looking for $11 an hour ($10 is less than the unemployment). We can use all the help we can get. I’ll be right back. I have more on my mind, but I’ll put it in a separate post.

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