Zaire A. Davis
Doctors, surgeons, and professional athletes are just a handful of the highest paying positions in this country. Educators should be among this list. Teachers who work from grades K-12 make an average salary of $40,000 to $50,000 per year. The National Education Association claims that the average public school teacher’s salary was $58, 353 in the 2015-2016 academic school year. Children rely on teachers from the tender ages of four and five to teach them how to read, write, and have basic communication skills.
Teachers are the foundation of school systems. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an educator is a person skilled in teaching and is a teacher or administrator in the field of education. Contenders might argue that higher pay could result in the hiring of low quality teachers. However, educators provide mentorship, guidance, and protection to children when they are not at home and should be able to be paid for the time they put in while inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers display polite manners and give a foundation of professional skills to students. They have to mandate a mannerism of right and wrong in their classrooms. They are also singlehandedly responsible for keeping a clean, safe environment even when they are outnumbered by students in the classroom.
Teachers have to dedicate their personal time to prepare lesson plans, grade assignments, and meet with students and parents before and after classes. Some are willing to take time away from their personal lives and their families to help with extracurricular activities, such as coaching sport teams, chaperoning school events, and attending field trips. Educators also are required to come in a certain amount of specified hours during their summer break. Their contract determines their number of sick days, vacation time, and allotted holiday breaks. Teachers often have to cut into their own low budgets to provide proper school supplies for students. Frequently, primary students have to take standardized tests and teachers will provide snacks for their students. This is not a requirement, but an act of the compassion and generosity that most educators have and show to the children that they treat as their own.
Transparency is another factor that teachers must adapt when being in day to day activities with other coworkers, students, and parents. This is another difficulty that reflects why teachers should be paid more. Political affiliation, sexual orientation, and personal religious views must be kept discrete to ensure a safe and positive workplace. This is essential to keep educators from being attacked from people who have different viewpoints as them.
If there is no change and teachers are not treated properly, there will be a lack of development in educators for the future. Students in college will not want to pursue a degree in education when they know that they will make a low salary coming out. College students will shift towards majors that will lead them to high paying job positions such as business, law, and engineering. Education majors are required to do extra work such as passing the praxis test and doing a specified amount of student teaching while taking their required undergraduate courses. They are expected to be proficient in various subjects.
Along with dealing with hostile parents, bad attitudes, and low pay, being a teacher is one of the most important professions a person can hold. Educators set the building blocks of every individual’s education who has ever set foot in a school. They gift children knowledge, install hope and inspiration, and give love and care to kids of different backgrounds. Educators also have families of their own. Most people who attended college aspire to have their children attend as well. If teachers were paid more, it would be an easier task for them to send their own children. Teachers put children on their path to success and should be respected, cherished, and appreciated more. If educators were paid more, there might be more hope for the future leaders, innovators, and decision makers of tomorrow.
*This editorial is personal and important to me because I was raised by educators. My mother is a principal at an elementary school and my father is a vice principal at a high school. Being raised by parents who have several degrees and a background in education has taught me to always keep my education as my first priority. Administrators work endlessly to create brighter futures for students and they deserve to be paid properly for the work that they do.