Teachers unions say they’re ready to come back to schools. I’ll believe it when I see it.

coronavirus uk schools
  • The politically-powerful teachers unions say they’re ready to send their members back to work, now that the COVID pandemic is effectively over.
  • And yet as a NYC public school parent, I don’t believe my kids will have full-time, in-person, five-day-a-week learning this September.
  • Because with the teachers unions there’s always a “but” – just as there is this time.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of the US’ major teachers’ unions has, at long last, come around to admitting its members should be back in school, full-time, this fall. It’s a huge, albeit long-delayed, development. But as a parent of three school-aged kids, count me as still skeptical.

The shift came when American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten last Thursday gave a long-anticipated speech to members of the second-largest teachers union in the country and thousands of its local affiliates.

Weingarten said plainly: “There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week.”

The fog of pandemic fear, behind which the teachers’ unions have hidden for over a year, is lifting. The miracle of the COVID vaccines have made so many questionably-effective “better safe than sorry” safety measures truly obsolete.

But as a New York City public school parent whose kids haven’t been in school in any meaningful sense since March 10, 2020 – I’ve heard these sweet-sounding words about the teachers’ unions’ commitment to “fully” reopening schools before.

Their relentless goalpost-shifting for reopening, and their gaslighting of parents with repeated claims that they have wanted to reopen schools since April 2020, have lost them the benefit of the doubt.

I’ll need to see it – full-time, in-person schooling with actual teachers in the classroom – in order to believe the teachers unions truly mean what they say this time around.

There’s always a “but”

Weingarten said all the right things in her speech, asserting that her union is “all in” on fully reopening schools. She conceded that “prolonged isolation” for young people is “harmful.” And she admitted “remote learning is not on par with in-person teaching” and “equity gaps have grown wider” as a result.

But there’s always a “but.”

The union boss said schools will need to continue to vigorously enforce social distancing, which will require schools to come up with a whole lot of additional space they don’t have. Weingarten also called for schools to reduce class size, and warned of yet-unknown risks that could complicate schools reopening or staying open next year.

And as The New York Times noted, “The devil will be in the details negotiated at bargaining tables, where local union leaders may demand additional safety measures as a precondition to a full return.”

If the past year of failed negotiations to get teachers back in schools has taught us anything, it’s that the unions get what they want without having to give much in return.

Teachers prioritized for vaccination? Done. Almost $200 billion in federal spending for COVID safety measures in schools? Done. Enormous amounts of time and resources spent on hygiene theater? Done.

The unions admitting they were wrong to hype the threat of schools becoming COVID hotspots, and thus making many Black and brown families not want to send their kids to school? Never.

We’ve seen this movie over and over again for the past 15 months

I can clearly envision the anti-reopening arguments that will begin percolating when this August rolls around:

“Too many parents don’t feel safe sending their children back into school buildings!”

“We need remote teachers to teach the remote students!”

“There aren’t enough teachers, so we’re only going to have in-person school 1.5 days a week.”

With less than four months before the next school year begins, I’m not confident that any of these concerns will be effectively hashed out in time to save kids from losing part of a third year of their education.

As vaccines proliferate in the US, the AFT and other politically-powerful teachers unions can pat themselves on the back for so successfully working the system that they keep their “essential worker” membership from going into work for the entire pandemic.

But they also should be embarrassed over the damage they’ve done.

Forget about the learning loss – which some educators say we should now refer to as “learning change” – experienced during the pandemic. The psychological tolls and stunted socialization have been devastating for children kept out of schools and away from other kids for more than a year.

And by downplaying the necessity of in-person learning for so long, they’ve recklessly undermined the value of the noble profession of teaching.

Good teachers are invaluable guides through children’s development. Pretty much all teachers work hard. The pandemic has been brutal on educators.

But teachers unions have peddled the fiction that there has simply been no reasonable compromise available to fully reopen schools many months ago. That short-sighted misstep has driven people toward private schools and out of areas with politically-powerful public school teachers unions.

There are many institutions whose pandemic comportment deserves a full accounting once we’re truly out of the COVID woods.

The intransigence of the teachers unions and the feckless government officials who bent to their will at the expense of parents and students deserves a full, independent accounting.

Denying scientific evidence in the name of members “safety” was always just a front for flexing political power.

Weingarten’s seemingly-resolute declaration that it’s time for teachers to get back into school buildings was made up of nice-sounding words, but they are only words.

I’m not holding my breath that my kids will be back in school full-time in September, because I’ve seen this movie over and over again.

Teachers unions do not deserve to be trusted on their words at this point, just their deeds.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here’s how much every US state pays its teachers and how much they spend on each student

teacher
Public school teachers made $61,730, on average, in 2018-2019.

  • May 3 to May 7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week.
  • The typical public school teacher’s salary varies across the country.
  • The following is how much public school teachers made during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
51. Mississippi

Mississippi teacher pre k

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $45,192

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -6.6%

State spending per student: $8,935

50. Florida

Florida hi five

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $48,800

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -12.5%

State spending per student: $9,346

49. South Dakota

South Dakota teacher pay

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $49,220

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 11.4%

State spending per student: $10,073

48. Arkansas

Arkansas recorder lesson

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $49,822

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -1.8%

State spending per student: $10,139

47. Louisiana

Louisiana hand raise teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $50,217

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -0.2%

State spending per student: $11,452

46. West Virginia

West Virginia capitol Charleston uncle sam

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $50,238

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -5.6%

State spending per student: $11,334

45. Arizona

Arizona principal empty classroom

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $50,381

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -10.1%

State spending per student: $8,239

44. Missouri

Missouri teacher student

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $50,817

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -6.2%

State spending per student: $10,810

43. South Carolina

South Carolina teacher student

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $51,485

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -6.1%

State spending per student: $10,856

42. Indiana

Indiana teacher slideshow

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $51,508

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -19.0%

State spending per student: $10,262

41. Tennessee

Tennessee calculators TI

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $51,862

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -6.0%

State spending per student: $9,544

40. Montana

Montana teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $52,135

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 6.8%

State spending per student: $11,680

39. North Dakota

NOrth Dakota teacher helping student

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $52,328

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 15.3%

State spending per student: $13,758

38. Kansas

Kansas teacher reading

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $52,554

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -1.1%

State spending per student: $11,653

37. Utah

Utah Salt Lake City teachers

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $52,819

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -0.5%

State spending per student: $7,628

36. Idaho

Idaho teacher toothpick

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $52,875

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -2.1%

State spending per student: $7,771

35. Kentucky

Kentucky teacher rally

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $53,907

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -2.5%

State spending per student: $11,110

34. Virginia

Virginia birds teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $53,933

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -8.4%

State spending per student: $12,216

33. Oklahoma

Oklahoma Teachers strike

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $54,038

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 13.6%

State spending per student: $8,239

32. Alabama

Alabama scholarships classroom

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $54,095

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -3.0%

State spending per student: $9,696

31. New Mexico

Arizona teacher rally

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $54,256

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 9.7%

State spending per student: $9,582

30. North Carolina

North Carolina rally public education

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $54,682

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -8.7%

State spending per student: $9,377

29. Maine

Maine teacher talking to student

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $54,967

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 1.7%

State spending per student: $14,145

28. Nebraska

South Dakota teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $55,267

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 9.4%

State spending per student: $12,491

27. Nevada

Nevada ESL teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $56,672

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -5.3%

State spending per student: $9,417

26. Texas

Texas teacher protest

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $57,091

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 0.0%

State spending per student: $9,606

25. Colorado

Colorado teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $57,269

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -1.2%

State spending per student: $10,202

24. Minnesota

Minnesota handson teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $58,663

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -3.0%

State spending per student: $12,975

23. Iowa

Iowa teacher reading

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $58,917

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 8.7%

State spending per student: $11,732

22. Wyoming

Wyoming teacher development

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $59,014

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 13.8%

State spending per student: $16,224

21. Wisconsin

Wisconsin teacher classroom

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $59,176

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -5.4%

State spending per student: $12,285

20. Ohio

Ohio teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $59,713

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -5.2%

State spending per student: $13,027

19. New Hampshire

New Hampshire teacher desk apple

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $60,003

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 4.7%

State spending per student: $16,893

18. Georgia

Georgia teacher hands raised

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $60,578

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -2.8%

State spending per student: $10,810

17. Vermont

Vermont vegetables

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $61,108

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 6.5%

State spending per student: $19,340

16. Michigan

Teacher handouts michigan

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $62,185

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -16.6%

State spending per student: $12,345

15. Delaware

Delaware teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $64,853

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -3.9%

State spending per student: $15,639

14. Hawaii

Hawaii classroom textbooks

2018-2019 average teacher salary: $65,409

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 6.1%

State spending per student: $15,242

13. Rhode Island

Rhode Island teacher lockers

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $67,323

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -5.8%

State spending per student: $16,121

12. Oregon

Oregon teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $67,685

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 5.2%

State spending per student: $11,920

11. Illinois

Illinois backpacks

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $68,305

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -3.3%

State spending per student: $15,741

10. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania teacher lecture

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $70,258

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -4.3%

State spending per student: $16,395

9. Alaska

Alaska teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $70,877

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 0.4%

State spending per student: $17,726

8. Washington

Washington teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $72,965

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 17.0%

State spending per student: $12,995

7. Maryland

Maryland school hallway

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $73,444

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 9.7%

State spending per student: $14,762

6. New Jersey

New Jersey teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $76,376

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -3.4%

State spending per student: $20,021

5. Connecticut

Connecticut classroom

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $78,247

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: -0.5%

State spending per student: $20,635

4. Washington, DC

DC school teacher

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $79,350

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 10.9%

State spending per student: $22,759

3. Massachusetts

Massachusetts teacher cursive

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $83,622

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 18.2%

State spending per student: $17,058

2. California

California teacher poster

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $84,659

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 16.9%

State spending per student: $12,498

1. New York

Teacher New York

2019-2020 average teacher salary: $87,543

Change in adjusted salary since 1999-2000: 12.9%

State spending per student: $24,040

Method and data source

Although teachers have the incredibly important job of educating the next generation of Americans, their earnings vary widely across the country. 

Nationwide, the average public school teacher salary for the 2019-2020 school year was $63,645, according to data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. While the nominal teacher salary has increased over the last couple decades, when adjusted for inflation, average salary is about 0.2% higher than the $63,523 average in the 1999-2000 school year using 2019-2020 dollars.

While many teachers earn a solid middle-class wage, the job comes with unique challenges. Many teachers across the US end up spending a not-insignificant amount of their take-home pay on school supplies for their students and classrooms.

The above slides show how much public school teachers made during the 2019-2020 school year (the most recent year for which data is available in each state) according to the NCES, as well as the total amount spent per public-school student during the 2018 fiscal year in each state, according to the Census Bureau.

Read the original article on Business Insider

47 meaningful gifts to give teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

The Sill

  • Celebrate the teachers who lead children through their education with one of these 47 gifts.
  • We rounded up gifts teachers will actually use and enjoy, from funny books to scented candles.
  • You can find more gifts under $25 and under $50 here.

Teachers are the backbone of our educational system. The best ones teach students everything they need to know in and beyond the classroom, with endless enthusiasm, patience, and compassion along the way.

It’s a difficult job – especially this year, when so many teachers had to adjust to remote learning and instructing via Zoom. So make sure to give the teachers in your life the thanks they deserve with a gift they’ll actually use and enjoy.

Three months free of learning a new language

Online learning by Westend61/Getty Images

3 Months of Rosetta Stone, from Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is giving three months of free access to its language learning programs to eligible teachers and healthcare workers. They can start anytime between May 1 and May 31, and if they have an existing subscription, Rosetta Stone will extend it by three months (unless it’s already a lifetime plan). If you’d like to gift them a program they can use for longer, you can browse Rosetta Stone’s options here.

A tablet and pen that lets them convey handwritten material remotely

graphic tablet

XP-Pen Graphic Tablet, available on Amazon, $29.99

One of the difficult aspects of remote learning is finding resourceful and convenient ways to mirror in-person tactics teachers use. This Graphic Tablet lets teachers draw using the stylus to convey information they may have handwritten before, such as math formulas or diagrams.

A funny book of the best wrong test answers

F in Exams by Richard Benson

“F in Exams” by Richard Benson, from Uncommon Goods, $8.50

After a stressful year for teachers, you may want to celebrate the funny and lighthearted side of the job. This book compiles some of the most amusing and inventive real-life wrong answers to grade school and high school tests.

A personalized embosser for their personal library

Custom Stamp

Custom Stamp, from $15, available at Etsy

This unique, thoughtful gift embosses books with “from the library of [their name]” by pressing down like a hole-puncher. It’s the kind of thing most people would never buy themselves but would genuinely cherish and get a kick out of if they received it as a present.

The best water bottle they’ll ever use

Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Hydro Flask Water Bottle, available on Amazon, $44.95

A stellar water bottle is a timeless life upgrade, but it’ll be especially useful this summer. This version from HydroFlask is the best water bottle you can buy, thanks to insulated stainless steel that keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to six. 

Delicious food from some of the most loved restaurants in the country

goldbelly

Goldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $25

Bring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities.

An insulated mug

teacher gifts 3

Gift the Hydro Flask 12 oz Coffee Mug, available on Amazon, $49.49

Whatever it is they drink in the morning to prepare them for the school day ahead, this mug keeps the beverage at the appropriate temperature for an astonishingly long amount of time. It has a comfortable handle and comes in many bright colors. 

A small, water-resistant speaker to enjoy outside this summer

Soundcore Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Soundcore Flare Mini Bluetooth Speaker, available on Amazon, $36.54

Ensure they enjoy the summer with a portable, water-resistant speaker like this version from Anker. It’s got a 12-hour battery life as well as LED lights on the bottom that they can adjust for five different lighting moods. We think it’s the best relatively cheap Bluetooth speaker you can buy.

A convenient wireless phone charger

Moshi Otto Q Wireless Charger

Moshi Otto Q Wireless Charger, available on Amazon, $39.95

Make their life that much easier with a wireless fast-charging pad that they can simply set their phone on top of in order to charge. After years of using the Moshi Otto Q, we ranked this version the best wireless charger you can buy. It’s compatible with iPhones, AirPods, Samsung Galaxy/Note, Google Pixel, and other Qi-enabled devices.

A coloring book full of phrases your teacher can relate all too well to

teacher coloring book

Gift the Teacher Life: A Snarky Chalkboard Coloring Book, available on Amazon, $7.99

There are some situations that only teachers can understand, and this adult coloring book perfectly captures them with humor and cheekiness. The illustrations are single-sided, so they can take the page out and frame it if they so wish. 

A comfy sleep mask

luxury sleep mask

Luxury Sleep Mask, available at Amazon, $13.95

Gift a comfortable sleep mask and help them get the kind of restorative, deep sleep they must need this year.

Substantial, comfortable socks

Bombas Socks

Men’s or Women’s socks, from Bombas, $12

Adulthood transforms socks from a banal, unexciting gift to a precious life upgrade. Bombas makes some of our favorite and most comfortable pairs, and we love to gift them to friends and family.

A gift card for virtual travel experiences

Airbnb Experiences review 4x3

Gift an Airbnb gift card for online experiences

Summer vacation is almost here, and though they may not be able to travel right now, they can still book online experiences that bring destinations and activities to life. There’s something for every inclination, including wine tastings, a virtual tour of Paris, Argentine Tango lessons, cooking Mexican cuisine, and more.

A tote bag

baggu tote

Gift the BAGGU Giant Pocket Tote, available at BAGGU, $34

BAGGU makes great bags and its machine-washable cotton totes are no exception. Help your teacher carry all those lesson plans, tests, and homework papers with this cute yet sturdy tote. 

An REI membership that helps them get outdoors while saving money

REI members- REI lifetime membership

REI Membership, available at REI, $20

A one-time, $20 payment will get them lifetime access to REI’s membership program for your outdoorsy teachers. They’ll enjoy special offers, 10% back on purchases, member-pricing on REI classes and events, and the host of other membership perks. Learn more about the REI membership program here.

Takeout any time they want it

DoorDash App
DoorDash App

Doordash Gift Card

Teachers log long days to support and enrich the lives of their students. Make sure their next easy, delicious dinner and relaxing night in is comped with a Doordash gift card.

A comfortable seat cushion

purple seat cusion

Gift the Purple Seat Cushion, available at Purple, from $39

These cushions can help soothe sore muscles and alleviate back strain. They’re available in a variety of designs and thicknesses. Read our full review here

A scented candle that reminds them of a happy place

homesick candle

Homesick Scented Candle, available at Amazon, from $31.26

This is a great gift that’s sure to make them feel sentimental. Whether it’s their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle — with scents inspired by all sorts of locations — will bring them back to that favorite place.

You can also gift funny, enjoyable versions of this candle — from an old book scent to something simply named “Thanks For Putting Up With My Kid.” 

Six glasses of refreshing sparkling wine

Brut Wine from Usual

6 glasses of Brut, from Usual Wines, $48

If they drink alcohol, you can send them a box of six glasses of a refreshing, light sparkling wine as a thank you.

Hand sanitizer that goes on easy

hand sanitizer touchland orange

Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Teachers can never have too much hand sanitizer. This spray formula moisturizes, doesn’t smell like alcohol or leave hands sticky, and comes in attractive packaging that’s great for gifting. Read our full review of Touchland’s hand sanitizers here.

A way to squeeze in leisure reading

teacher gifts 4

Gift an Audible 3-Month Membership, available on Amazon, $45

In between grading papers and designing lesson plans, it might be hard for your teacher to carve out time to read a book (for fun). Audible is a great way to catch up on the bestsellers everyone’s reading, appreciate the classics from a new angle, or finally dive into that book they keep falling asleep to in bed. 

Decadent cupcakes they can enjoy

Valentine's Day Gift Guides_baked by melissa review

Cupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $32

Who doesn’t love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift.

Practical, reusable silicone straws

Five Two Silicone Straws

Five Two Silicone Straws Single Pack, available at Food52, $25

Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory they can use in their classroom, at home, and on the go.

A coffee subscription

driftaway coffee gifts mother's day

Gift a Coffee subscription, from Driftaway, $44.00

Chances are the coffee in the teacher’s lounge isn’t exactly top-notch. Thankfully, Driftaway Coffee’s is, and keeps things interesting by sending new whole bean varieties every month (and improving upon the next selection based on their feedback). By the end of the school year, your teacher will have a good idea of the type of coffee they really like. 

A detailed poster of the opening lines from famous novels

pop chart lab opening sentences

Gift the Lab ‘Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels’, available at Pop Chart, $30

English and grammar teachers will appreciate this chart diagramming the opening lines from 25 famous works of fiction. After admiring the partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representations, they’ll want to read the books all over again. 

A fragrant candle

otherland candle

Gift an Otherland Candle, available at Otherland, $36

These sophisticated coconut and soy wax candles come in scents ranging from refreshing Canopy (fig, ivy greens, mint) to rich Chandelier (champagne, saffron, leather). The beautiful look, delightful scents, and personalized matchbox make this candle gifting experience special

A set of ring holders

umbra_origami_ring_holder

Origami Ring Holder 3-Pack, available at Umbra, $20

The origami animals can be used as desk decorations or jewelry holders, but either way, they’re unique and adorable. The chrome finish is easy to wipe clean, and each figurine can hold multiple rings.

A small potted plant for their desk

the sill plant

Gift the Snake Plant Zeylanica, available at The Sill, $43

Instead of gifting a flower bouquet, try an indoor plant. It lasts longer and requires less maintenance, but livens up their desk just as well. 

A heartfelt, personalized thank you card

Personalised Teacher Thank you for believing in me Vintage Style Winnie the Pooh Keepsake End of term Greeting Card

Personalized Teacher Thank you for believing in me Vintage Style Winnie the Pooh Keepsake End of term Greeting Card, from Etsy, $5.09

Sometimes it just feels nice to be appreciated. A sweet card can go a long way — and it won’t break the bank. 

A pillow massager for their neck and back

back massager

Gift the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager, available on Amazon, $49.95

If you’ve ever caught your child’s teacher looking stressed or tense, you can fix that with this heated at-home massager that feels almost like a professional massage. It has four deep-kneading rotating nodes to relieve aches, knots, and muscle tension. 

A fun tape dispenser

otther tape dispenser

Gift the Otto the Otter Tape Dispenser, available on Amazon, $16.24

An adorable twist to the traditional, ugly tape dispenser will instantly liven up their desk. 

A cute, funny mug

Watch Me Click Now Watch Me Grade Grade mug

Watch Me Click Now Watch Me Grade Grade mug, from Etsy, $13.50

A cute mug that reminds them of their grateful students can be a fun, routine moment of motivation in a busy day.

A cellphone stand

phone stand

Gift the Lamicall Cellphone Stand, available on Amazon, $9.99

The simple, sleek, and durable stand is the perfect way to keep their device upright at just the right angle as they work. While it’s a no-frills gift, it’s undoubtedly practical and useful. 

A personalized desk sign

desk sign

Gift the Personalized Desk Wedge Sign, from Etsy, from $23.99

The wedge is a solid natural hardwood while the sign is shatter-resistant fogged acrylic glass, allowing it to last through any teacher’s illustrious career. 

A note to show your gratitude

teacher thank you note

Gift the “It Takes a Village Card,” available at Etsy, $5.50

Educators are an important part of the village it takes to raise kind, thoughtful citizens. Show your appreciation with a letterpress note that shares this sentiment.

A gift card to stock up on versatile work shirts

Bonobos Organic Stretch Cotton Chinos

Gift the Public Rec gift card, from $25

Public Rec makes the most versatile polo shirt we’ve found, and many of the offerings from this athleisure brand are suitable for the classroom and beyond.

A gift card to a popular women’s workwear shop

teacher gifts

Gift an M.M.LaFleur gift card, from $50

Popular women’s workwear brand M.M.LaFleur makes excellent pants and blazers that are definitely an investment, but worth the price. Its Bento Box contains these stylish and comfortable wardrobe staples to take the headache out of getting dressed in the morning.

A custom rubber stamp

custom stamp

Gift a Custom Stamp, from Etsy, from $15

Gift the stamp they’ll always reach for first as they check and grade homework. You can get creative by submitting a picture of your teacher’s face or their favorite catchphrase. There are three different mount choices and many more size options. 

A book-of-the-month subscription for summer reading

book month club

Gift a Book of the Month Membership, from three months for $49.99

A hardcover book delivered monthly is a great way for a teacher to unplug and kick their feet up over summer break. Every month, they can choose from acclaimed fiction and nonfiction titles.

A cozy plush blanket

Nordstrom Bliss Plush Throw

Bliss Plush Throw, available at Nordstrom, $39.50

Add to their home setup with a plush throw to wrap themselves in luxury. Available in a wide array of colors, this blanket adds a cozy and soothing warmth to any room.

A personalized notebook, planner, or address book

teacher planner

Gift the Teach From The Heart Notebook, from Minted, $18

Give this one to the best teacher you know. You’ll be able to customize the cover design, interior cover, and interior format of the notebook. 

A Disney+ subscription

disney plus 4x3

Gift a Disney+ subscription, from $79.99 month

There’s no better way to start summer break than with a binge-worthy streaming subscription. With Disney+, they get unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

A novelty USB flash drive

Pig USB

Gift the Pink Pig USB 2.0 Flash Drive, available on Amazon, $13.99

A cute and funny flash drive can instantly make work more fun. Sometimes, it’s the little things. 

Gift cards

target gift card

Buy a gift card from: Amazon, Target, Staples

At the end of the day, teachers will always appreciate a gift card, especially if it’s to a store where they can stock up on supplies. 

A smart home device

Echo Dot

Gift the Amazon Echo Dot, available on Amazon, $24.99

For work or leisure, the small smart home device is endlessly useful. They can play Jeopardy, ask for recipes, listen to the news, turn lights on, play music, reorder products, and more. 

A personalized key ring

leatherology hotel key

Gift the Leatherology Hotel Keychain, available at Leatherology, $15

The full-grain leather keychain is a perfectly composed accessory that they’ll love to carry, especially if you personalize it (for only $5) with a monogram. 

Beautiful note cubes inspired by an American artist

the met desk cube

Gift the Louis C. Tiffany Favrile Note Cube Set, available at The Met, $36

Known for his stained glass work, Louis C. Tiffany lends his colorful and delicate designs to these trays, which hold 500 loose paper sheets and 50 color paper clips. 

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From cafeteria workers to principals, here’s what everyone makes in a public school

Elementary school teacher
Elementary school teachers earn a median wage of $62,050 a year.

35. Fast food and counter workers earn a median of $25,510 a year and 121,970 are employed by public schools.

school cafeteria workers preparing food

34. Institutional and cafeteria cooks earn a median of $26,130 a year and 116,220 are employed by public schools.

school cafeteria school cook

33. Childcare workers earn a median of $28,560 a year and 88,280 are employed by public schools.

preschool

32. School bus monitors and protective service workers, all other, earn a median of $29,120 a year and 58,930 are employed by public schools.

FILE - In this March 15, 2013, file photo, teacher Astrid Barrios, center, listens as Milford police detective Carlos Sousa, left, debriefs participants after a lockdown exercise at Milford High School in Milford, Mass. The actions of students who died tackling gunmen at two separate U.S. campuses a week apart have been hailed as heroic. At a growing number of schools around the country, they also reflect guidance to students who are told, at least in some situations, to do what they can to disrupt shootings. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate protective service occupations that are not included in other occupational groups. 

31. Teacher assistants earn a median of $29,320 and 963,030 are employed by public schools.

teacher

30. Substitute teachers earn a median of $29,510 a year and 414,660 are employed by public schools.

teacher

29. Coaches and scouts earn a median of $30,890 a year and 39,440 are employed by public schools.

high school football coach

28. Education instruction and library workers, all other, earn a median of $31,410 a year and 50,940 are employed by public schools.

library

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate educational occupations that are not included in other occupational groups. 

27. Janitors and cleaners earn a median of $31,950 a year and 276,360 are employed by public schools.

janitor cleaning garbage Urige Buta
Olympic marathon hopeful Urige Buta pushes a cleaning cart as he works at a high school in Haugesund, west of Oslo on March 19, 2012.

26. Office clerks earn a median of $33,330 a year and 94,600 are employed by public schools.

office worker laptop plant

25. Bus drivers earn a median of $33,900 and 189,570 are employed by public schools.

Bus driver

24. Security guards earn a median of $35,720 and 28,890 are employed by public schools.

school security guard in New York

23. First-line supervisors of food prep and serving workers earn a median of $36,440 a year and 32,890 are employed by public schools.

cafeteria

22. Secretaries and administrative assistants earn a median of $38,260 a year and 205,820 are employed by public schools.

receptionist

21. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earn a median of $42,400 a year and 28,940 are employed by public schools.

bookkeeping accounting spreadsheet

20. Maintenance and repair workers earn a median of $44,440 a year and 53,340 are employed by public schools.

classroom repair ceiling

19. Teachers and instructors, all other, earn a median of $47,250 a year and 87,550 are employed by public schools.

teacher

This is a catch-all category used by the BLS to designate class-room occupations that are not included in other occupational groups. 

18. Computer user support specialists earn a median of $48,000 a year and 30,370 are employed by public schools.

computer teacher with students

17. Preschool teachers earn a median of $53,550 a year and 48,640 are employed by public schools.

preschool teacher with kids

16. Registered nurses earn a median of $58,810 a year and 48,800 are employed by public schools.

nurse

15. Kindergarten teachers earn a median of $59,300 a year and 101,900 are employed by public schools.

kids storytime reading teacher kindergarten students

14. Kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers earn a median of $61,090 and 170,250 are employed by public schools.

special education

13. Middle school teachers earn a median of $61,780 a year and 529,600 are employed by public schools.

middle school teacher robotics

12. Child, family, and school social workers earn a median of $61,790 a year and 39,900 are employed by public schools.

social worker

11. Middle school special education teachers earn a median of $61,980 and 74,930 are employed by public schools.

autistic child
Six-year-old Gwendoline, an autistic child, works with Professor Gilbert Lelord at Bretonneau hospital in Tours, France.

10. Elementary school teachers earn a median of $62,050 and 1,199,550 are employed by public schools.

elementary school teacher

9. High school career and technical education teachers earn a median of $62,340 and 66,140 are employed by public schools.

shop class woodworking apprentice

8. Librarians and media collections specialists earn a median of $62,690 and 42,900 are employed by public schools.

Librarian

7. High school special education teachers earn a median of $63,060 and 123,160 are employed by public schools.

Special Needs Education

6. High school teachers earn a median of $63,400 a year and 847,900 are employed by public schools.

english school teacher
English teacher Radka Tomasek speaks to the class at the English Center June 16, 2006 in Miami, Florida.

5. Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors earn a median of $65,840 a year and 126,500 are employed by public schools.

guidance counselor

4. Instructional coordinators earn a median of $70,210 a year and 70,420 are employed by public schools.

Teacher
In this May 13, 2010 photo, English teacher Nicholas Melvoin walks around his classroom as he teaches at Edwin Markham Middle School.

3. Speech-language pathologists earn a median of $71,120 a year and 53,960 are employed by public schools.

Speech and Language Pathologist

2. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn a median of $77,500 and 41,320 are employed by public schools.

child psychologist

1. Education administrators, such as principals and superintendents, earn a median of $99,690 and 214,110 are employed by public schools.

Arizona principal empty classroom

Method and data source

Public schools employ a wide variety of workers, and salaries range from well below the median wage to very high-paying.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program offers data on employment and wages across different occupations and industries. According to that report, there were about 7.27 million Americans employed by public schools owned by local governments in May 2020, the most recent year for which data is available.

The median annual wage across all public school occupations was $49,680. The salaries for occupations with at least 25,000 employed within the sector range from $25,510 for fast food and counter workers to $99,690 for education administrators.

Teacher salaries also vary between grade levels. For instance, high school teachers earn a median wage of $63,400 a year, while middle school teachers earn a median wage of $61,780. 

For our analysis, we looked at all the occupations with at least 25,000 employees in the local-government-owned school sector in May 2020. We then ranked these occupations from lowest to highest wage. In addition to the median annual pay, the above slides also include the number of people in that job within this industry.

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