Teacher pay has always been up for debate, but is often overlooked and brushed under the rug. After the tolling year we’ve had, more and more teachers are experiencing burnout. We’ve all heard about self-care, yoga and mindfulness, but one substantial contributor to teacher burnout that hasn’t been prioritised is compensation and a teacher pay increase!
Teacher pay increase
Money is uncomfortable to discuss and asking for more money doubles the discomfort. There is a stigma against teachers that says we have super cushty jobs and we have no right to complain. There is also an expectation for teachers to be selfless and generous with their time and energy, which leaves us completely drained and exhausted.
You’ve probably heard that teaching is one of the most underappreciated and underpaid professions in the world and – it’s true. There is a huge disparity between the amount of money teachers are paid and the level of investment they have to put in. It takes a lot of education to become a teacher, then a bucket-load more training and planning to be good at it. At minimum, teachers have to complete four years of education before they are allowed to supervise a room of students on their own.
The educational investment is just one of the many reasons teachers should be paid a lot more. Here are five more reasons that prove teachers deserve a big, fat salary.
1. We have one of the most influential jobs in the world
Everyone can agree that teachers play a vital role in the development and progression of society. We literally have the minds of the world’s future leaders in our classrooms – if that’s not influential I don’t know what is! If we were fairly compensated for our work we would be able to do a better job, which means our future world will be better because our students will get the best teaching. The value of a teacher should be recognised.
2. Teachers aren’t just teachers, we have like 10 other job titles rolled into one
If you’re a teacher, a family member of a teacher, a friend of a teacher or even a distant obscure associate, you know teachers aren’t just teachers. Teachers are expected to wear several different hats (most of which weren’t disclosed in the job description, mind you). We are educators, therapists, surrogate parents, mentors, peace-makers, prison wardens, emotional support providers and the list goes on. We have to make sure our students are happy, fed, well-behaved and progressing in their education. If we are expected to do all of these jobs why aren’t we getting paid for them?
3. Work-life balance? Never heard of it
Teaching has always been challenging but this past year has brought about a new breed of work: we had to plan, teach, mark and communicate with colleagues and parents from our homes; we were answering emails and messages till God-knows-when, and our home life suffered and so did our loved ones. Schools and governments expected us to just soldier on even though many of us were sinking.
4. Teaching is energy zapping work
The early mornings bundling ourselves into school, and late nights planning and marking aren’t easy. We are required to be positive, cheery, welcoming but firm educators, and we are bombarded with a classroom full of lively teenagers we somehow have to tame and teach! Teaching zaps so much energy that coffee and chocolate always have to be within reach. In a classroom near you, there is an exhausted teacher shovelling in sweet, caffeinated treats to get through the day. We are soothing our pain with copious amounts of sugar and caffeine and we deserve to be compensated for it!
5. We are constantly navigating changes
Teachers are thrown constant curveballs and we find a way to catch each one. From exam criteria changes, to adapting our lesson plans, to last minute schedule changes, to a global pan-dem-ic! We literally cannot get into a routine without something new popping up. But, alas, we hang in there and keep on going.
The case for a teacher pay increase
I hope these five reasons have convinced the powers that be that there needs to be a hefty teacher pay increase in 2021. If you’re in need of some time-saving material, please check out our amazing resources.
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