It is no lie that for a long time now teachers have come to the spotlight at various points in time and salaries is always a hot topic of conversation.
As a teacher, I stay away from the comment sections of social medias in order to not get too discouraged. There is a lot of people that believe teachers should be teachers just because they love it, that they get summer off, they get paid enough... etc...
Why would we pay these people more?... Stay with us!
What is often left out is that teachers really are professionals in our field. To become a teacher you must first get your degree, pass student teaching, and then do continual professional development to keep up your certificate. Here are some alarming statistics of our education system:
55% of educators indicated they are ready to leave the profession earlier than originally planned
78% of teachers say that low pay is a serious issue for teachers
Only 10% of educators would strongly recommend the profession to a young adult
The average U.S. public school teacher’s salary is $65,090
If estimates hold true, the U.S.’s demand for teachers will outpace its supply by more than 100,000 by 2025
In Fargo, North Dakota, a short-term substitute teacher would make more money a day picking up a shift at the local McDonald’s, which is offering a starting rate of $17 per hour.
In a 2021 national survey of 1,200 classroom teachers conducted by the Teacher Salary Project, a nonpartisan organization, 82% of respondents said they either currently or previously had taken on multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Responses that will cause negative affects
In response to what is quickly becoming a large issue there are some states responding in surprising ways. Instead of trying to make teaching a more desired and supported profession, most states have lowered requirements and in some states such as Arizona, they will no longer even require a teaching degree to become a teacher.
We believe that lowering the requirement to become a teacher will have even more detrimental effects to our education system. Less people will go into teaching because they love it - if it is easy to get into then people will enter the profession for a quick salary. Even people that might love the profession will have less training to deal with difficult situations in the classroom. There will be more mistakes made in classrooms creating a more widespread disregard for teachers as professionals.
Why should we pay teachers more?
Teachers actually go through extensive training and schooling. They get courses on being a teacher and educator as well as extensive training in their specific content area. This makes teachers professionals in a specific content area as well as in the content area they teach. Along with this, most teachers go beyond the bachelors level to masters or get national board certified - (In fact, this used to be required to keep the profession rigorous). Along with this teachers are required to get 150 hours of professional development in order to continue to renew their teaching certificate. Teachers are educated professionals who are burning out at a high level. But the level of burn out, expectations, and the way they are spoken about is enough to have any teacher leave.
Paying teachers more is investing directly back into our kids, and the future. It will result in a few positive outcomes:
More educated professionals in the field & More people entering the field
Recruit the top talent
Employees won't want to leave
More focus on the job at hand and the students - When money is less of a concern, workers can more fully focus on their projects. They will have fewer worries about staying financially afloat at home or about being unfairly compensated. That can make them more present in the office, leading to higher levels of productivity and better quality of work.
The benefits outweigh the cost
This is where we need our education system to go - forward - not backwards. When we invest money into our teachers we are investing money into our students.