Other than our parents and friends, teachers interact with students greater than any other adult on a daily basis. For eight hours a day of compulsory education, five days a week and additional hours for grading, teachers are paid a mere average of $50,000.
However, for the unfortunate batch of educators who just started teaching or live in poorer districts, the starting amount barely tips $31,000. While New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts offer the highest salaries of $72,000, those states require greater pay for a higher quality of living, thus teachers are supported with one of the bare minimum of wages in comparison to the nature of the occupation.
Their salaries pale in the face of doctors, lawyers and even university professors who earn over $100,000 annually. In exchange for America's future education, teachers are simply not paid enough, all thanks to the manipulative social hierarchy.
At school as the semester nears an end, I only feel that 3/7 teachers put in their best effort into teaching the subject. While my history teachers strongly cram the entire period with extra lectures, packets and debates, others seem to pass with a short and pointless video along with a page of busy work. Which is truly worth my time? The latter, certainly not. Thus, the teachers who actually put in the work are paid the same amount as those who do not, and where is the justification in that?
While many value to level of education as a second standard of living, the highly educated men and women should be at the top, earning the most money with the experienced profession, such as that of a doctor, lawyer or businessmen? Teachers are the epitome of educational achievement, yet where do they stand?
To the hard working and passionate teachers, I applaud and appreciate. The countless hours of work placed into meticulously grading our papers and coming up with lesson plans are forever cherished by students. To those who are less willing and less initiated to put in more effort, I sympathize. The future of America is placed within their hands in areas of math, language arts, science and humanities, yet the government and sponsors lack the compassion and appreciation.
The number of teacher cuts are high, cramming more students into a single classroom and depriving students of valuable one-on-one interaction. Commonly seen are classrooms brimming with 32 or more students while other subjects of study ensure a better student-teacher ratio with a lacking number of 13. The uneven distribution of students per teachers also affects the performance of classes, which is reflected in teacher surveys, eventually determining the absence bonuses at the end of the year.
While urban areas act as attractive forces for high paying jobs, the statistics seem to reflect just the opposite. Many teachers in public counties are subjected to higher crime rates, larger students ratios and greater volume of opportunities; however, 30 percent are leaving the profession within their first five years in protest of the uneven distribution of salaries across the country. Shortages are rampant as teaching conditions deteriorate, placing more unqualified candidates in schools, subsequently lowering the quality of education students are receiving, especially in high poverty areas.
By raising the average wage of teachers to over $60,000, we may be able to close the ever widening wage gap. The liberation of budget-tight jobs for highly educated workers is simply a silly paradox. While many pursue a greater education to earn a better degree for a higher-paying job, those who have attained such status are neglected of the same sustaining salary than that of a specialized worker. This must be changed. How?
Through action, not words.