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[Susan notes: In an article about the six-figure teacher in the New York suburbs, Richard Graham, member of the East Islip TaxPac, stated that "the people who couldn't do the engineering, and anything else that required some brain power, became teachers, and they now have $100,000 salaries." Here is one of many responses to that remark.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re "Rise of the Six-Figure Teacher" (May 15):

I am in an accelerated teacher credentialing program where most of the students are second-career professionals, many with advanced degrees. We are unanimous in our belief that teaching is by far the hardest job we've had - and this is from a group that includes writers, paramedics, computer programmers, business executives, war veterans and, yes, even engineers.

Anyone who thinks teaching is an easy job with short hours and summers off has not spent any significant time in a classroom finding out what it really takes to be an effective teacher. If Richard Graham and the East Islip taxpayers think of teaching as a fall-back profession for people who lack "brain power," then they deserve the teachers they're willing to pay (nothing) for.

Heather Cianciolo

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