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WeAreTeachers: A Site Worth Checking Out

August 25, 2018

While surfing the web, I found an interesting site, WeAreTeachers, which describes itself as follows:

WeAreTeachers is an online media brand for educators committed to one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs out there.

Our mission is to inspire teachers and help them succeed by sharing practical classroom ideas,the best freebies and giveaways, and teacher-to-teacher advice and humor.

We publish daily articles, videos, and giveaways right here on our website as well as our social media channels on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest.

Think of us as your virtual teacher’s lounge where you can find support and encouragement from your colleagues, a great idea for your next reading or math lesson, and a laugh when you need it.

We always like to hear about what you want to see on WeAreTeachers, so please contact us if you have an idea to share.

Interested in writing for WeAreTeachers? You can find more information here.

A Note On Sponsored Content

WeAreTeachers occasionally works with companies, nonprofits, and brands who support our mission of inspiring and helping teachers. These sponsorships help us to maintain our vibrant community. Thank you for supporting the companies that support WeAreTeachers.

Learn more about becoming a WeAreTeachers sponsor.

The parent company for WeAreTeachers is mdreducation.com, “A Dun & Bradstreet Division.” In turn, Dun & Bradstreet is “a company that provides commercial data, analytics, and insights for businesses.”

MDR Education is an education company, and in the age of market-driven ed reform, I am leery of any entity that combines education and business (and especially,education, business, and data, as it seems Dun & Bradstreet might do via MDR Ed). I do not agree with all of MDR Education’s offerings/positions (see MDR Ed’s site map here), but I do not see the footprint of corporate ed reform on this site. Also, there is no requirement for individuals to sign in or otherwise submit personal information in order to access the site. (Note that access to certain info does require sign-in, but not all.)

WeAreTeachers is not a nonprofit; as such, it does not need to disclose its sponsors (which it chooses not to do). Even so, the site does not read like a conduit for corporate ed reform and offers a number of interesting and useful posts.

I read the following four, all of which have to do with money:

33 Legit Ways Teachers Can Make Extra Money

This one is just sad but true– the reality that teachers must often scrounge to make ends meet and are often seeking ways to supplement their salaries.

Still sad. An excerpt:

4. Make money by flipping furniture.

Have you ever been to a thrift shop and come across a gorgeous piece of old furniture that needs a little (or a lot) of love? Well, with the right redo, this piece could earn you $1,000! This is a legit teacher side hustle, and we love this article with great tips on how to flip furniture.

5. Sell your stuff.

Chances are, most of us can stand to clean up and clean out. You can go the traditional route and hold a rummage sale. Or get it listed online using sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.  …

8. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

Whether you prefer Uber, Lyft, or one of the other “earn money on your own schedule while driving” services, this is an easy gig to try this summer. Be aware that some cities are being inundated with drivers, so make sure to do a little research on which one to sign up for in your area.

One of the suggestions on the list its to write for WeAreTeachers. I followed that link:

Write for WeAreTeachers

WeAreTeachers welcomes submissions on a wide range of topics pertaining to education and teacher life. We also accept submissions for our sister site, School Leaders Now. If we publish your submission, you will receive a $100 honorarium. Plus, if you’re a blogger, we’ll include a link to your blog or website.

Before submitting, we recommend reviewing the WeAreTeachers blog to understand our style, format, and tone. Most of our blog posts run between 500–700 words, although some are much less, particularly articles written in list format.

And here is one that might interest starting teachers:

11 School Districts with the Highest Starting Salaries

Here’s how the post opens:

No matter how wonderful your teaching job is, that paycheck every two weeks is important. Not to mention, there’s how much you make—and then there’s how far it goes. We created a list of districts with the highest starting teacher salaries. To create our list, we looked at the districts with the highest starting salaries and aligned them with state’s the cost of living. (The cost of living index is calculated with an average score of 100, any score lower than 100 means that it is cheaper than average to live in that area. Higher than 100 and its more expensive than average to live in that area.)

These districts will give you the most bang for your buck as a new teacher.

Those top new-teacher-salaries range from $42,606 (Bismark, ND) to $50,452 (San Antonio, TX).

The district where I teach made the list:

9. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, Covington, LA

Starting salary: $44,284

Cost of living index: 102.3

On Lake Pontchartrain, St. Tammany is the North Shore of New Orleans. The schools rank high, and teacher pay is $6,000 higher than the state average.

I’ll close with an excerpt from this post, which captures the reality of time spent on the classroom outside of the classroom:

I Tracked My Overtime, Weekends, and Summer Hours, and Here’s What It Looks Like

This has been a tumultuous year in the media for teachers. For every story where we heard about teachers advocating for more pay and better working conditions, there were legions of keyboard warriors stating that teachers have it easy and should stop complaining. It makes my blood boil!

However, my role as an educator is to, well, educate. Many people outside of the profession truly don’t understand the amount of teacher overtime most of my colleagues put in. So just how many hours are put into my year as a teacher? … This is based on a 39-week schedule, which aligns with most school schedules. …

There’s an old adage, “If you are five minutes early, you are already 10 minutes late.” This couldn’t ring any truer for teachers. Most contracts ask teachers to be in school five minutes before class begins. However if you ask any teacher who is in a classroom, they’ll likely tell you that if you don’t get to school an hour early, you can forget about being ready for the day.

There’s no way you’ll get access to the photocopier before it runs out of paper or, even worse, toner! Most teachers begin their day an hour before the students show up. This is the calm before the storm, when we can arrange desks, make copies, write out our boards, and have those last few precious, quiet moments. …

Most of the time, the days off can be seen as time to catch up with the ever-growing mound of papers. …

…[My] grand total [of the time I spend on teaching] is 2,200 hours, or 42 hours a week, working year-round (52 weeks a year).

To read many more posts, check out the site.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

3 Comments
  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Late and Long
    I think that the WEARETEACHERS website is strictly about marketing. As you note, “The parent company for WEARETEACHERS is mdreducation.com, A Dun & Bradstreet Division.”

    There is more. MDR stands for Market Data Retrieval which, in February 2009, acquired Quality Education Data (QED) from Scholastic, Inc. The price was about $29 million and below the amount that would have required both companies to notify U.S. antitrust authorities at the FTC before finalizing the deal. The deal gave MDR a rear monopoly (90%) on the K-12 educational marketing data. But the FTC raised red flags and took legal action.

    In 2010, the FTC case was settled when selected MDR assets were sold to MCH Inc., a company that sells catalogs of data for markets in education, healthcare, government, and churches. See the list of categories here https://mchdata.com/data-counts/

    If you are interested in the legal settlement between the two for profit data farms see this: https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/2010/09/100910dunbradstreetdo.pdf

    Dun & Bradstreet is “a company that provides commercial data, analytics, and insights for businesses.” The minute anyone signs on to the platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, their internet service provider has all of the personal information for that computer connection. Because net neutrality has been killed, a user of any of these favored four platforms for Dun & Bradstreet education operations is saying, in effect, “target me for any all marketing” based on my clicks and profiles you have collected.

    The mdreducation.com site “map” is chock full of links to profit seeking and reform operations. The About Us says: “Whether you’re on a mission to build a brand, champion a cause, or make a difference, MDR gives you the know-how to engage with teachers, parents, and students. As a division of Dun & Bradstreet, we are the marketing experts who have connected educators and brands for nearly 50 years.
    Brands come to MDR because we know educators. They’re ideal consumers, active purchasers, and powerful community influencers. We not only help you define the right educators to connect with, but how best to reach and engage them through all the right channels.”
    “MDR is a full-service school and community engagement partner. A division of Dun & Bradstreet, MDR is a different kind of integrated marketing services agency that combines rich data with unique digital, creative, and branding capabilities. We’ve been connecting brands through data and marketing services to educators, youth and parents for nearly 50 years.”

    AS you have noted, MDR’s education business are not limited to WEARETEACHERS. There are three others. You have noted one of these: SCHOOLLEADERSNOW. This appears to be a place for promoting books, Ted Talks, and products likely to be attractive to school administrators. One section recycles Twitter feeds, some of these dating to 2017.

    Add SCHOOLDATA, with this pitch: “Educator data quality matters to education marketers and it’s MDR’s priority. We use rigorous third-party accuracy audits to certify our data and we’ve invested in people with the skills and tenacity to deliver on our promise. (Our) passion for data shows in our process that takes crucial steps to provide you with the most recent school market data available all year long. Reach the right educators with the right offers and messaging with our dynamic data collection and verification.” “https://mdreducation.com/connected-data/data-quality/

    WEAREPARENTS is a private child support and consulting agency offering child support and co-parenting assistance and contract consulting to government agencies as analysists, enforcement case managers, and in other roles.

    In addition to these four programs MDR has marketing schemes with the prefix “Ed” Here are current programs.
    EdNET Conference is a system of annual one-day conferences held in several large metro areas for “service providers, nonprofits, associations, corporate foundations and other groups who want to reach and engage educators, youth and parents, with highly actionable tactics and strategies.” A sample of the 2017 program is here http://ednetconference.com/september-25-new-york-city/

    There are spin-offs from EdNET. These seem to be “unbundled” services of MDR.
    EdMarketing https://mdreducation.com/archives/edmarketing/
    EdNET Insights https://mdreducation.com/archives/ednet-insights/
    EdReports https://mdreducation.com/archives/edreports/
    EdServices https://mdreducation.com/archives/edservices/
    EdTech https://mdreducation.com/archives/edtech/
    EdTrends https://mdreducation.com/archives/edtrends/

    A brief inspection of these spinoffs suggests these categories are no much more than different tags for much of the same content.

    EdDATA is a marketing service of MDR. The data catalog spans preschool to college, includes public libraries, has over 300 building-level indicators, more than 400 K-12 job titles, 5,000 college courses, 35 demographic characteristics, and “persona” selections (customer profiles) “to help you precisely define your desired audience.” An infographic is here. Notice the categories that allow marketers to have personal information about you. https://mdreducation.com/education-database/educators-in-the-community/
    It is worth noting that a huge amount of MDR data is gleaned from federal and state sources. MDR is not the only game in town. Here is another, and with its own partners and promises. https://agile-ed.com Regardless of pay and benefits and workloads teachers and other educators are alucrative market. It this has alsways been true, but never so clearly subject to differentiated marketing and with information we have provided on internet platforms.

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