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Financial Aspects for New Teachers

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Educational philosophers have said teaching is a mode of living because teachers are so passionate about their craft and students. This passion can lead new teachers to forget that teaching is also a profession. Like all other professionals teachers should consider several financial aspects when determining which school or district is the best fit for them. There are three key areas that teachers outside of salaries that must be considered before accepting a position.

                The first area that should be considered is total compensation. Total compensation includes the value of salary, stipends, bonuses, retirement, and employer contributions to health insurance. Stipends and bonus can vary as much as 20% of total salary between districts and schools. Many public school districts participate in state pension plans which can be very generous in retirement. Employer contributions to health insurance premiums can vary by thousands of dollars and can make a huge difference in actual take home pay.

                The second area new teachers should consider is professional development. Ongoing professional development is required to maintain teaching certification. Some districts provide professional development in house or pay expenses for teachers to attend conferences and seminars. Some districts even pay teachers additional stipends for attending professional development outside normal work hours. Other districts require their teachers to pay for all professional development themselves. Registration to a seminar could cost as much as $700.

                The third area that should be considered is funding for classroom materials and supplies. This also can range from where a teacher gets any funding needed for instructional supplies including a laptop to use for planning at home to having to buy all instructional supplies out of pocket.

                New teachers should be clear about the financial expectations and benefits associated with any job offer and should even begin asking these questions during the interview process.  

Shaun Feinberg

Assistant Principal

East Baton Rouge Parish School System

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