The minimal salaries received by U.S. educators negatively affects the quality of education they give. The limited resources teachers are offered by the state and the schools themselves force teachers to think creatively about how to teach their students in the most cost effective and interesting ways possible.
However, this ideal can become a problem when teachers are not given a strong income incentive to keep educating creatively at a high-quality level.
In the article “How Bad is Teacher Pay?” the Washington Post writes, “All three states have struggled with acute teacher shortages, which unions link to the low pay and difficult working conditions — including the fact that some teachers are forced to take on second jobs.”
Forcing many educators to take on a second job is a true struggle when it comes to how much work is already on their plates. A teacher not only teaches but must also act in a counseling and nurse role at times. Teachers can almost never leave their work in the classroom, and it can easily become too much when it comes to giving quality education to students.
As a result, many school corporations are having a difficult time finding teachers to fill roles in their classrooms. This may lead to schools having to employ unqualified substitute teachers to fill the role of an educator until another teacher can be hired.
The New York Times article titled “The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries” goes on to say, “They are rightly seen as the solution, not the problem, and when improvement is needed, the school receives support and development, not punishment”.
Teachers go into education with high hopes to make a difference. But instead of thanks, they are only greeted with angry parent emails, poor treatment from educational administration that is under pressure from the state and a barely livable wage.
However, when teachers are given less of the blame and pressure for their student’s success, they can focus more on the specific needs of their students.
Financial stability allows teachers enough of a foundation to be motivated to give their students a quality education while also fighting for their rights as a teacher and human being. Teachers should never have to be viewed as the problem since they are the ones doing all the work. If a teacher is not doing their best work, then allowing them extra resources for their lessons may be what they need.
Adeline Gonzalez, who attended a small, private high school, viewed the educational system as needing to pay teachers more since they are educating the next generation, and better salaries would give teachers an incentive to produce higher quality lessons.
The importance of education in the United States is highlighted fairly frequently. However, the importance is never rewarded in any monetary means. Since educators are educating the next generation, it makes no logical sense that more taxes do not go to the educational systems.
Abby McCormic, who also went to a small, private school, said that teachers need to be paid more than they are. However, the quality is affected in minority schools, but not as affected in private and public schools.
This belief also expresses the need for more major funding in the education systems. Even though private schools tend to get less funding and a significantly lower salary than of those in a public school, schools in minority areas tend to receive less funding for the needs their communities possess. This opinion is a prime example of teachers being blamed for the quality of the education system, rather than the system allowing them to have more creative incentive in the form of a livable wage.
Meghan Cary, an elementary education major who attended a large, public high school, says “Money would be a great foundation to start with, but also having people in the education system who truly value their jobs.”
Money is always going to be necessary for the success and development of any type of business; operating under the notion that the education system works and forms as a business. However, no teacher is going to thrive as an educator if they do not love their job. To truly allow the education system to thrive, we need both increased financial support and teachers who would love to teach regardless of the daily emotional and physical struggles.