Paid summer breaks and other common myths about teachers

(CNN)As teachers in several states across the United States protest for higher pay and more funding for public education, lawmakers and onlookers are debating whether teachers deserve more money.

Here are a few common myths about teachers and their pay.

MYTH: Teachers work less than other professionals

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average length of an American school day is just over 6.5 hours. But teachers work much longer than that.
    Kristen Emanuel, a 7th grade teacher in New York City, said she regularly works 11 hours a day. Nine of those are spent at school.
    More than 3.5 million full-time teachers in the United States are required to work 38.2 hours a week on average, according to the NCES. But when taking into account all other school-related activities teachers participate in — like after school conferences, staff meetings and extracurricular programs — they actually end up working 53.3 hours during a typical work week.
    For most other professions, a typical American work week in 2017 was 42.3 hours, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Emanuel stays at the school late to work on lesson plans and prepare for the next day, she said, knowing it will be harder to get work done at home with her three kids.
    When she finally leaves work, Emanuel makes her kids dinner and puts them to bed. “And the second they’re down, I start grading papers and doing lesson plans for the next day,” she said, adding she also spends 4 to 5 hours grading papers on the weekend.
    “I love my students, but it’s also emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting and mentally taxing,” Emanuel said.
    Leslie Busch, a special education teacher in Kentucky, agrees. “It’s not a 9 to 5 and leave-your-stuff-at-work kind of job,” she said. “You live it. You breathe it. It’s there with you all the time.”

    MYTH: Teachers have a paid summer vacation

    “That’s a misconception on many people’s minds,” Busch told CNN. In fact, teachers are only paid for the days they work. For Busch, that’s 187 days a year.
    Busch said many teachers, including herself, choose to have a portion of each of their paychecks withheld during the school year so they can continue to receive a paycheck through the summer. That means about 9 months’ worth of money is spread out over 12 months.
    Several teachers in different states told CNN they choose to have their pay prorated so they can have a steady stream of income over the summer, but they’re not getting paid to lounge by the pool, they said.
    “I get a paycheck,” Busch said. “I do not get extra pay.”

      Teacher’s photo leads to outpouring of support

    Emanuel also chooses to have her pay spread out. “It’s about budgeting,” she said, “and allocating pay.”
    “I do it myself because I just like to have that steady stream of income,” she told CNN, adding that some teachers choose not to have their pay withheld, and receive the money up front. But those teachers won’t get a paycheck over the summer.

    MYTH: Teachers are given all their supplies

    Many teachers have to pay for classroom supplies out of their own pockets, further adding to the financial burdens many educators are facing.
    A 2016 study by educational publisher Scholastic found teachers, on average, spent $530 of their personal money on supplies for their classrooms.
    They’re buying supplies for students like pencils, notebooks, tissues, books, lesson plans, technology and software, the study showed.
    Kerrie Dallman, the president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), said each year she’d spend between $800 and $1,000 on average buying supplemental textbooks and classroom materials, but most CEA members pay about $650.
    Emanuel, the teacher in New York City, buys books, posterboard, tape, scissors, staplers, hand sanitizer, tissues and organizational materials, she said. “It really runs the gamut.”
    It’s gotten better in recent years, she said, with organizations like DonorsChoose.org helping teachers supply their classrooms. But she said still spends at least $1,000 each year.

    MYTH: All teachers receive an adequate wage

    Besides the teaching work they take home, many educators take on extra work or second jobs to supplement their incomes.
    In the 2015-2016 school year, 17.9% of public school teachers had a job outside of the school system, according to data from the NCES. Another 44.5% took on extracurricular activities within the school system that netted additional pay.
    Dallman said she worked all kinds of jobs to make extra money when she was in the classroom, teaching high school social studies.
    “In the past I’ve coached swimming, I’ve coached softball,” she said. “I have worked for UPS as a truck loader in the summer in 100-degree heat in a semi-truck at midnight.”
    The CEA collects information from its 35,000 members to see what additional jobs they take to supplement their salaries, and there are many examples of teachers driving for Lyft, working at Walmart or doing landscaping, Dallman said.
    Colorado teachers aren’t alone, either. Educators in Oklahoma told CNN about working 2, 3 or even up to 6 jobs to make ends meet.
    “I think it’s a real testament to an individual’s commitment to teaching when they could probably go find another job and earn more money,” Dallman said.
    “But,” she adds, “they stay in the classroom because of their passion for our students.”

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/15/us/teacher-pay-myth-misconception/index.html

    Brutal Chimpanzee War Was Likely Driven By Power, Ambition, And Jealousy

    When a new leader was crowned, it was hoped that the community would settle down and peace would prevail. But two younger pretenders had other ideas, their lofty ambitions meaning they wanted to seize power for themselves. The resulting fracture in the group led to years of brutal warfare, during which raids were conducted, ambushes set, and no one was above murder.

    The conflict became known as the Four-Year War of Gombe, and is the only known fully documented chimpanzee civil war. Now a new study has re-examined the episodes that led up to the war, to try to figure out what sparked it.

    The events were recorded by Jane Goodall after a decade of watching the community of chimps at Gombe National Park, at a time when chimpanzees were still thought to be peaceful, forest-living apes. Between the years of 1974 and 1978, she observed the extreme violence that can pervade as the one community seemingly split and the apes waged a savage war. What she witnessed truly disturbed her.

    Goodall showed that the chimps at Gombe were far more violent than thought. Ikiwaner/Wikimedia Commons

    “Often when I woke in the night, horrific pictures sprang unbidden to my mind – Satan [one of the apes], cupping his hand below Sniff’s chin to drink the blood that welled from a great wound on his face… Jomeo tearing a strip of skin from Dé’s thigh; Figan, charging and hitting, again and again, the stricken, quivering body of Goliath, one of his childhood heroes,” Goodall wrote in her memoir of her time at Gombe.

    But the cause of the war has always been up for debate. Was it a natural event that was occurring independently of Goodall, who was simply observing the apes, or was it sparked by the feeding station that she had set up in the forest, bringing an unnatural group of chimps together?

    After digitalizing all of Goodall’s original field notes from her time at Gombe and then sifting through them, researchers built up an impressively detailed picture of the social interactions and friendships between the chimps at the time, and mapped how these changed. They published their results in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

    They found that the seeds for the conflict were already there in the years leading up to the war. While at the end of the 1960s, all males were intermingling quite happily, by 1971, fractures were beginning to show. The northern and southern males were starting to spend less time with each other, and encounters became increasingly aggressive.  

    Within a year, the two sides had become distinct, with the chimpanzees staying and socializing only within their own groups, a full two years before the fighting spilled over into full-on warfare. The researchers suspect that the divide occurred after an ape called Humphrey became the alpha male, something the southern males Charlie and Hugh disagreed with.  

    By working out who spent more time socializing with who, the researchers could build up complex social webs of the chimps. Ikiwaner/Wikimedia Commons

    Over the next four years, and a campaign of skirmishes, violence, and kidnapping, Humphrey and his northern community killed every single male in the southern group and took over their territory, as well as the only three surviving females. In fact, this latest study shows that it was likely the limited number of mature females in the forest at the time that precipitated the conflict.

    The researchers suggest that – not unlike what we see in human communities today – the infighting among the males was largely driven by ambition, power, and jealousy, and as such would likely have occurred with or without Goodall being there. 

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/brutal-chimpanzee-war-was-likely-driven-by-power-ambition-and-jealousy/

    Duffer Brothers Slam ‘Meritless’ Stranger Things Ripoff Lawsuit Here’s Why The Ideas Seem So Similar!

    In case you haven’t heard,

    Now the showrunners are hitting back through their lawyer, who released a statement saying:

    “Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him. This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

    Kessler’s pitch allegedly includes a young boy disappearing, a cop with a haunted past, secret government experiments, and a monster from another dimension that looks like a child’s toy — things that might sound familiar to fans of the show.

    But Kessler even says they stole his title — because Stranger Things was originally titled Montauk!

    The Duffers have been open about the original title of their show; heck, it’s on the Wikipedia page! They even made this faux retro book cover as part of their pitch:

    So how could the two come up with a similar premise and the EXACT SAME title independently??

    Well, it’s not from out of thin air… or the Upside Down.

    Both were based on the real life Montauk Project conspiracy theory, which has been around since the early 1980s. According to rumors, a government institute in Montauk, New York, conducted strange experiments there. A parapsychologist with “repressed memories” wrote a series of books about it which included teleportation, mind control, aliens, and a hole in time and space.

    There was a documentary about it in 2014. It was even featured in an X-Files episode.

    Hmm… Seems like a lot of what Kessler is claiming as his own wasn’t even his. As for his actual pitch, we guess a judge will have to decide.

    [Image via Netflix.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-04-04-stranger-things-lawsuit-duffer-brothers-respond-lawyer-statement

    Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran

    The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

    Want to freak yourself out? Im going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

    Google knows where youve been

    Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where youve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

    Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?

    Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

    A
    A Google map of every place Ive been in Ireland this year. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    Google knows everything youve ever searched and deleted

    Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

    Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

    Google has an advertisement profile of you

    Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

    Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

    Google knows all the apps you use

    Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

    Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

    Google has all of your YouTube history

    Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether youre going to be a parent soon, if youre a conservative, if youre a progressive, if youre Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if youre feeling depressed or suicidal, if youre anorexic

    Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

    The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

    Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. Ive requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

    This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos youve taken on your phone, the businesses youve bought from, the products youve bought through Google

    They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books youve purchased, the Google groups youre in, the websites youve created, the phones youve owned, the pages youve shared, how many steps you walk in a day

    Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

    Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

    Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

    This includes every message youve ever sent or been sent, every file youve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages youve ever sent or been sent.

    Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

    A
    A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

    Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things youve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic girl).

    Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers youve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. Its just a joke at this stage).

    They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

    And they store all the applications youve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess Im interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

    (Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

    Privacy
    Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    They can access your webcam and microphone

    The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

    Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

    I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

    My
    My Google Takeout document. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    Heres the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

    data
    My search history document has 90,000 different entries. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    Google knows which events you attended, and when

    Heres my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events Ive ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

    data
    Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended. Photograph: Dylan Curran

    And Google has information you deleted

    This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my rsum, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites Ive ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

    data

    Google can know your workout routine

    This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps Ive ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times Ive recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts Ive done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fits permissions).

    data

    And they have years worth of photos

    This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos

    data

    Google has every email you ever sent

    Every email Ive ever sent, thats been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.

    data

    And there is more

    Ill just do a short summary of whats in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

    First, every Google Ad Ive ever viewed or clicked on, every app Ive ever launched or used and when I did it, every website Ive ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app Ive ever installed or searched for.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy