Inside there was a poll that said:
“Do you think if teachers were paid more like Doctors, Lawyers and Stock Brokers the education system would be better?”
(paraphrased, I lost the paper)
IIRC, the answers were like this:
5% ABOUT THE SAME
According to this, the average California teacher makes $59,825.
Without any disrespect to teachers, why is this not enough money to teach 21 students properly throughout a year? If you made $80,000 (i’m sure some do) would that help you teach them better? How would it do that exactly?
$60k per year isn’t exactly coolie wages, especially when you consider that they work roughly 8am-3pm every day, have summers off and don’t really have any quotas or goals— just satisfactorily teach young people the same thing you teach them year in and year out.
Also, teaching is a rewarding job that is held in high esteem. Teachers are practically immune to criticism when I know for a fact that I had many, many lazy and ineffective teachers growing up. I had others who were egomaniacs and tyrants and others who were just punching the clock. I had a handful of teachers (out of hundreds perhaps?) who anyone could see really cared about what they were doing and took it very seriously.
Of these outstanding teachers, I don’t think it being a more lucrative career choice would have mattered to them one way or another. In fact, wouldn’t keeping teacher’s salaries relatively modest do better to weed out the clock punchers and opportunists?
Teaching well is difficult. I totally agree, but no amount of money will give someone with a liberal arts degree and a teaching credential the ability to teach well. But teaching is also rewarding. So few of our jobs are rewarding in any real way. So you sell your soul to sell 10,000 widgets and get a nice bonus, that doesn’t really help you in any meaning-0f-life way whereas teachers have those kind of rewards in spades.
And yet, all you hear about is how little teachers are being paid.
To those people:
- $60,000 isn’t too bad
- Your job is rewarding. There is value in that.
- Maybe the pay scales are such to keep out people who are only interested in money, you know, the kind of people who run the Teacher’s Unions.
- You get off early and have summers off
- I think there is a higher level of stress and technical skill needed to be a doctor, lawyer or stock broker than there is in teaching elementary education
- If you care so much about money become a doctor, lawyer or stockbroker. Who told you that you’d get rich being a schoolteacher?