Do teachers need higher pay?
I'm afraid that people would start viewing teaching as a career or a profession. True, that it what most of us consider it to be, but we all consider it something else as well. If we didn't teach.... what would we do? If there is nothing you'd rather be doing than teaching, you've been called. If you have multiple career choices and are only looking at the highest paid, keep looking.
Now, for the hard part. Yes, teachers need to be paid as professionals. Not minimum wage earners. Some might find this harsh, but without teachers where would every other profession be? Exactly. Teachers put up with many things: not being treated like professionals, long hours, donating their $$$$ to their own classroom, not being paid like a professional, and the list goes on and on.
Some will argue that other professions have pitfalls. I'm sure this is true but I can only speak about what I know. Some will argue that teachers get the summer off. If you really believe this you don't know a teacher. Summers off is a myth. Something that you see on TV or read in a fiction novel.
Did you know that many teachers supplement their income with second or third jobs? Many teachers do seasonal work during their summer or winter breaks. I've had an administrator that preferred that the teachers in his building didn't work anywhere else. I think this was because I wouldn't have time to work a second job, during the school year, unless it was on a week-end. Many school days lasted from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm. Not much time to squeeze in another job!
Many teachers work online from home. Some have opened teacher stores. And we come under attack for that. Someone suggested that teachers should not be selling their original curriculum. They should be giving it away. How many lawyers offer free consultations and services? How many doctors will perform a surgery without charging? Do you tip the server at your favorite restaurant? Why shouldn't a teacher offer her original lessons to others on a paid site? We spend hours creating lessons to challenge our students. Is there any reason why we shouldn't charge for our resource? I do give my friends lessons. I wouldn't dream of charging them. But, I also sell resources in my teacher stores. It is another source of income, not just for me, but for many other educators.
What do you think? Would higher pay attract more people to education or more teachers to education?
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing, check out her blog, Chocolate For The Teacher.)
Some of my best writing on educational issues and my experiences in the classroom, Let Teachers Teach is available locally at Changing Hands Book Shoppe and Always Buying Books in Joplin and Pat's Books in Carthage and in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon at the links below.