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What Is Our Future Worth Essay
Our Future, Worth, Essay
Whether we liked every teacher we ever had or disliked a few along the way they each offered us the greatest gift one could have, an education. Teachers play a very large and important role on what kind of education we receive. This is vastly important because a person’s education creates the steppingstones not only for their own future but ours as well.
When most people think about being a teacher, they assume it is a simple Monday through Friday job with weekends and summer vacations guaranteed off, which would all sound great if it was true. Teachers put in many hours of work outside the classroom, but their pay would show otherwise. For a job which has such a large impact on society and our worlds future, teachers are highly underpaid workers.
It goes unnoticed by most that today’s teachers are underpaid, this is important because proper pay can not only help reduce the high turnover rate for this job, but teachers also put in more hours if not ultimately days of work than just what is seen by the public that they do not get proper pay for.
While receiving my education up through high school it was very normal for me, being the youngest of 3 children, to be placed in a class where the teachers already had an idea about me because of teaching my siblings. However, this is very different now as many schools suffer from not having the proper funding needed to supply teachers with basic materials to do their jobs.
With a lack of help from the school this causes teachers to have to pay more out of pocket expenses to help ensure the ability of a creative and proper education of their students. It has been shown through research that “According to Allegretto’s most recent teacher pay study, public school teachers’ weekly wages in 2015 were 17% lower than those of comparable workers—compared to just 1.8% lower in 1994” (Guerra).
With the continuous decrease in teacher pay while still having to procure their own supplies this makes living off an educator’s salary a difficult task. Teachers enter this position for the love of what they do, but improper pay levels make it very hard to stay. As it has been found that “The profession has a national attrition rate of about 8% annually, and research shows that the number of teachers leaving each year accounts for close to 90% of annual teacher demand” (Carver-Thomas).
This high percentage of turn over effects the schools in many ways from added hiring expenses for new inexperienced employees, to having larger classroom size, and leaving students at a learning disadvantage.
The job of a teacher is commonly defined as a Monday through Friday job that starts when class is in session and ends when that final bell of the day rings and gives you the freedom of having summers off. This is a large misconception about their line of work, because teachers put in many more hours between planning, grading, and office hours amongst other basic duties.
The typical teacher contract is set up for 180 days or 39 five-day work weeks of time which they get paid for. However if you were to sit down and sort through the duties of a teacher and figure out a basic estimate of the hours they spend doing each part of their job, you would easily realize they work many more hours than they get paid for.
As McLoud states in her article based on this exact type of research she found out that “Our grand total is 2,200 hours, or 42 hours a week, working year-round. (This is more than most full-time employees.)” Based on a normal work contract for 39 weeks figured at working 40 hours each week that only amounts for 1,560 hours of the average 2,200 hours of work teachers do.
Ultimately this information given about how teachers are an underpaid workforce and why they deserve to be paid more is only a look into the tip of the iceberg on information regarding this problem. While all this information amongst much more can easily be found on the internet by anyone interested in joining the teaching profession that does not mean it is right or should not be fixed.
It can be argued that if you’re just in it for the money then you are not right for the job anyways, however no job should be paid part time wages for full time hours. Teachers as much as anyone else deserve to be paid for all their hard work and time not just a fraction of it. In the end, since education is such a vital part to everyone’s current and future lives the people who have the heart and ability to continue it for the world should be important as education itself is.
-The Thesis Workshop
Word Count: 811 words
Carver-Thomas, Desiree, and Linda Darling-Hammond. “Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About IT.” Teacher Turnover-Learning Policy Institute, Aug. 2017, learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Teacher_Turnover_REPORT.pdf
Guerra, Jennifer. “Here’s How Teacher Pay Stacks up to Other Comparable Jobs.” Michigan Radio, www.michiganradio.org/post/heres-how-teacher-pay-stacks-other-comparable-jobs.
McLoud, Shannon. “TOPIC: School Culture & Colleagues Career Advice I Get Paid for 180 Days of Work Each Year, but I Actually Work More Than 250.” We Are Teachers, 10 June 19AD, www.weareteachers.com/teacher-overtime/
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