Breaking News: Teachers Deserve Better

Teaching goes far beyond the classroom- and unfortunately far into debt.

Teachers are the backbone to the advancement and education of the country's citizens. So why are they paid as if they aren't?

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Teachers are the backbone to the advancement and education of the country’s citizens. So why are they paid as if they aren’t?

Grace Hills, Social Media Coordinator

It’s not breaking news that teachers are underpaid. From spending their own personal money to rejuvenate the cell-like classrooms, to working second jobs to cover the expenses, it’s become disrespectful. Some of the most impactful people in childhood development are ignored in favor of other government expenses- and it’s time for a change. 

Teachers reenforce the idea that education is power. They lead students to grow their minds in a collegiate setting, yet their own personal education is largely ignored. According to the Economic Policy Institute, teachers are paid 11.1% less than other workers with comparable education and experience. They’re expected to lead children to college yet they face the hard truth that an education doesn’t always lead to financial equality. Yet as the population grows, so does the continuous need for teachers. But as the layers of injustice teachers face are slowly being torn back, the amount of people willing to do the job is decreasing. Though teachers do some of the most noble work on the planet which impacts students far beyond the classroom, the painful truth of the job is turning college students away. And the truth it out- teachers do not make a livable wage. 

Photo by Julia M. Cameron for Pexles.

Enough about the teachers, let’s talk about the kids. The kids who are entirely looked over in this whole debate. Kids need consistency, a warm familiar face to greet them each moring. And with 8% of teachers leaving the profession entirely every year, according to the Learning Policy Institute, that consistency just isn’t there. According to a study done by Stanford, when teacher’s pay is increased class sizes are smaller and the quality of the education increases. Higher quality classes are the start of a chain reaction for these students- what starts as a better teacher leads to a better future. In a study by the National Education Association, a 10% increase in teacher pay lead to a 5-10% increase in overall performance. Debatably, the raises would eventually pay for themselves. Students who earn high grades eventually earn high salaries, and pay higher taxes. Think of it as an investment. 

But teachers do far more than teach. Sometimes, they act as make-shift therapists for students. They create stimulating curriculum to help students understand themselves better and expose them to every aspect of the world. That takes a lot of emotional strength. According to the National Education Association, 20% of teachers have to work a second job, which is 30% more than the average job. After working 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at school and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at a second job, emotional strength is spent. Yet they still show up the next day. 

Teachers form the building blocks for society. It’s unethical to pay them as if they don’t. It’s unethical to deprive students of the education they deserve. It’s unethical to deprive teachers of the pay they deserve. 

 

Photo by Christina Morillo for Pexles.