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About bigjohn

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    Block and Tackle
  • Birthday 05/20/1970


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    Albemarle, NC

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  1. bigjohn

    Houston school shooting, at least 8 dead

    Yeah but let's keep cutting school counselors and have so much bullshit testing that the few counselors we do have don't get to actually counsel kids and maybe head some of the poo off. Goddammit.
  2. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    Not arguing here-- your point is well taken. But if you leave your job you can keep contributing to that 401k. If a teacher leaves before 10 years experience, they don't get a dime of the 6% each month they have invested. And if you die that 401k still has value to your beneficiary. If a teacher chooses max payout, when they die that pension carries no value to their beneficiary. I still would go pension all the way-- certainly one of the clear advantages teachers have.
  3. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    Everyone's insurance (well most) is worst in the last several years, including teachers. That used to be one of the big rallying cries-- your salary isn't great, but your benefits are. That's not as true as it used to be, but it still isn't as bad as some. And yes it is pretty hard to get fired as a teacher right now, and a huge part of that is there is no one better to replace you! Talk to your principals and ask about the talent pool of teachers interviewing for jobs. It is horrible. I have sat in on a couple of those interviews. Now, how do we increase that talent pool? It's going to get worse. Fewer teachers than ever are majoring in education in this state.
  4. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    You CAN! Join us. There are PLENTY of openings. And there will be more. If you have a 4 year degree, you can pretty much choose what subject area you want to teach. You'll have to pass the Praxis and take a few other courses along the way, but come on. If we keep the status quo, there will be even more teaching positions. Call your friends and invite them into this cakewalk of a career.
  5. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    I had a doctor's appointment today with a hand specialist (love that $94 co-pay!) and one of the nurses started a conversation with me when she found out I was a teacher. Ended up chatting with her, another nurse and a PA and it was nice to hear their support for teachers. Then saw on social media on of our county commissioners talking about teachers "having it made" and he should go be a teacher because it was such an easy gig. Life is all about balance I suppose.
  6. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    Although I do get a bonus for the number of my students that pass the Microsoft Certification test (which is separate from the final exam). This is paid by Microsoft though, not by our state.
  7. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    Nope, not by the state. Not sure if any individual LEAs do.
  8. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    I have no problem with an audit looking for waste. I have a HUGE problem with the rhetoric from our legislators. They aren't listening to teachers. They aren't in our schools. They call us thugs. They take away longevity, roll it into our salary and call it a landmark raise. This legislature has made it a true "us versus them" situation and again I hate this.
  9. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    This is really a strong opportunity for our legislators to LISTEN and stop political posturing. Take care of your veteran teachers Provide funding for more teacher assistants Add money for textbooks Give a solid plan to get teachers to national average (ALL TEACHERS) within 4 years Put together a bond referendum for school facility improvements Stop bad mouthing the profession ******** By the way, another remark on my social media page today: I want the person who teaches my kid to read to make more money than the dude that installs my cable.
  10. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    To quote one of my teacher friends, "It's a movement, not a moment". NCAE is going to try to work with out general assembly to fund some of these issues. Here are the goals: Per-Pupil Spending to the National Average in Four Years A Multi-Year Professional Compensation and Benefits Plan for ALL Educators that includes: Ending Experienced Educator Pay Discrimination Average Teacher Pay to National Average in Four Years Significant and Livable Raises for ALL Public School Employees Restoring Advanced Degree Pay Restoring Longevity Pay Annual Cost-of-Living Increase Enhanced and Protected Health Insurance and Pension Ending Pay for Performance Based on Test Scores, Including for Administrators Reinstating Career Status Real Dedicated Planning Time and Lunch Time Investing in the Health and Well-Being of our Students and Making Schools Safer including: At least 500 additional school nurses, social workers, and counselors this year Improve health options for our most vulnerable students by expanding Medicaid Fix Our Crumbling Schools and Large Class Sizes With a $1.9 Billion Statewide School Construction Bond No Corporate Tax Cuts Until Per-Pupil Spending and Teacher Pay Reach the National Average As for myself, I am going to contact my representatives and try to articulate to them the importance of improving funding for public education.
  11. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    Here's some more thoughts (sorry I haven't been able to reply yet-- been a crazy day). I am really trying to keep from absolutely blowing up on social media at some of the misleading posts by our legislature. I really hope most people can see through the bullshit. That 6.2% they are rolling out for next year? It was already in the budget, and they advertise it like all teachers are getting that raise. Nope. Not at all. In fact, teachers with 25 years experience will get no raise ever again. Moreso, they are pretty much maxing out teacher pay at the 15 year mark. $45000 at year 15, compared to 51,300 at years 25-30. How many of you would stay in your career if you knew at year 15 you would only get that type of increase the REST OF YOUR CAREER? (Note these figures are for a teacher without National Boards Certification or Masters bonuses). Look, it's too late for me. I will teach 4 more years and then collect my retirement and go do something else. Most likely either go to SC and teach or hit a private school closer by (if I am not completely burned out by then). But I REALLY worry about the future of public education in NC. I am telling you, it is tough to find good teachers, and this job is tougher than ever. I think most of the public has no idea. Example: I am currently teaching 2 classes in one class period. I have a combination class where I teach advanced digital media to half of the students, and multimedia and web design to the other half. This will really bake your noodle-- part of the students are honors, part are standard. So the amount of planning alone for that one class period is crazy. I have caught mice in my classroom every year. Our gym roof leaks and they can't seem to get it fixed (we actually had a rain out for a basketball game a few years ago). Our system is so pour the school board mandated teachers can not have a dorm sized refrigerator or microwave in their classes to save electricity cost. This summer we can't use the gym after 5 in the afternoon or Friday-Sunday at all, against to save electricity. The computers in my lab are 5 years old, my teacher laptop is 6 years old and woefully slow. I could go on and on. And I cannot tell you how much harder this job is compared to 10-15 years ago. I still LOVE the kids, and damn I love to teach and I hate having to advocate for my profession. Sorry to ramble. Just frustrated.
  12. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    I guess finally it was decided "enough is enough".
  13. bigjohn

    NC teacher march Wed. 5/16

    I just wanted to start a thread here for some discussion and a little perspective because there is a lot of misinformation out there. I am a public high school teacher in NC, registered independent, with 24 years teaching experience. I am good at what I do, and have worked with teachers from across the state. I don't think the general public really knows the frustration level most of us are at, and yes a lot of that has to do with salary but there are many other things involved as well. If you look at some of the responses from some of our legislators, you can see the level of disrespect shown and that I believe is at the root of the matter. Many of our current lawmakers simply do not respect public education, or are badly out of touch with what is going on in our classrooms. I have been doing some research this evening to share with my representatives. We are 39th in in the nation per pupil spending, and 21st in per inmate spending. For me personally, if NC had kept the old salary schedule (2007-2008), I would now be making just $2700 (ish) more than a teacher with 23 years experience back then. Adjusting for inflation, I would be making $7800 more now than I would have had that salary schedule been kept and just included cost of living adjustments. This is what teachers are referring to about bringing salaries back to the pre-recession era. Granted, as a veteran teacher I am hit harder because the raises received the last couple of years pretty much ignore teachers with 20+ years experience. The amount of support personnel is woefully low. Teacher assistants, guidance counselors, school nurses, technology support.... not nearly enough. 30% fewer students majoring in teacher education in our universities. Serious teacher shortages coming-- already happening in many places. Talk to any principal and ask what the talent pool is like right now. It is almost impossible to recruit math and science teachers, and exceptional children teachers in many places. Most of our best and brightest aren't even considering going into public education. Our healthcare benefit used to be a major plus. It's still better than a lot of folks have, but isn't near as good as it used to be. And they are taking that retirement benefit away as a recruiting tool for new teachers starting next year I believe. There are so many facilities that are in such horrible shape. Several schools across the state closed early today because of heat and no working air conditioning. Our gym leaks after a big rain-- and has for years. I wonder how many classes across the state are being taught in 60+ year old buildings? Funding for textbooks has been slashed--pretty much gutted. We can make strides in public education but it's gonna take resources. The great recession set us back tremendously, but NC has been horrible at getting us back to pre-recession levels. There are lots of other things that I could add in here, but I will stop for now with this-- the job is harder than it's ever been, our resources are fewer, and the attitude towards teachers from many of our lawmakers is so disrespectful it's hard to have a sensible conversation without turning into an argument. So yeah, this is why teachers are marching. Even if you don't agree with them, some of the misinformation and twisting of facts that you're bound to see.
  14. Shula is gone. Hurney has done a decent job so far this go round. So let’s bash Rivera for some coach speak in May, with no one on the roster proven to be better at that position. Huddle gonna Huddle.