Why teachers deserve the salary they get
While reading my Daily Herald this morning at 6a.m., I was struck by the number of people who thought that I did not deserve the salary I earn for being a high school teacher. I was reading the newspaper at 6a.m. because I need to leave by 6:15 every weekday morning to teach. I understand that teachers get ten weeks off in the summer and we do get holiday time off, however there are a number of important facts that the public does not realize regarding teaching. Although there is time off that is built into the school calendar, most teachers are going home after working an eight-hour day and grading papers, reading for class and preparing for the next day’s lesson. This is true on weekends as well. If I want to spend a minimum five minutes per essay for grading and making comments, I need to allow 625 minutes for a class load of 125 students. Furthermore, although teachers have some vacation time, that is their only vacation time. My friends who work in the corporate world are always planning vacations and traveling at convenient times for them and for travel deals. It is not possible for me to go skiing for five days during February. My day is further limited by the nature of my schedule. I am bound by an hour-by hour schedule all day long. Every sixty minutes I stand up in front of thirty people and try to inspire and teach them. No matter how hard I try and how hard I work, I will make the same salary. The businessman who puts in extra hours working hard for the company is often rewarded with bonuses, options, or commissions. There are no incentives of the sort in teaching. Our society needs salaries to motivate and attract good teachers. Teachers are people who are dedicated to helping young people become successful members of society. All teachers need a college degree with specified training in education. All teachers must continue training to keep their certificate valid. Most teachers get advanced degrees. All of this work deserves to be rewarded. And the rewards should underscore the importance and respect that teachers deserve. So, while eighty thousand dollars a year for nine months of work sounds like a lot, please consider the big picture and if you are still convinced and you think it is so easy get your degree and teach!