It really bothers me how much educators complain about their pay. I have a very simple reason why...BECAUSE THEY DONT GET PAID POORLY. Educators get 12 weeks built in vacation (thanksgiving, winter break, spring break and summer), in addition to sick leave and personal days each year. Every other job you have to take off for your vacations- in education, it's built in. So while educators may not rack up the vacation days like other people can to take months off at a time, they have it pretty damn good.
It you take all that time off- 12 weeks each year- you realize that educators are paid (starting at $40,000 a year in Virginia) for 180 days. They are contracted to work 7.5 hours a day. That is 37.5 hours a week. If you figure out how much that is per hour- it is 26 starting pay. This does not make someone a millionaire, but is much better pay than many people make after many years of work. And if you work in education for a while, you can easily get tenure (though you might have to switch schools once in a while) and under normal economic circumstances, you always get a pay raise.
Also, that friend you know that came out of college making $60,000/year in an investment job? Ya, well she also works 60-80 hour weeks, so I say good for her to make that much money. As an eductor, YOU CAN HAVE A LIFE. You get off at a decent hour, and after your first few years as a teacher, you don't need to plan as much outside work. As a counselor, I rarely have to plan outside of school. Also, you can do your work at home, unlike many of your friends who are investment bankers at the office til 1am.
So I wish educators would stop complaining. Right now no one is making great money, but at least you have a job. If you do the math, you make just as much as the other jobs, you just work less. Get a summer job- babysit, wait tables, manage a pool, teach summer school, tutor or enjoy it! We don't need to be millionaires to enjoy life.