Teachers have an extremely important job. They wear many hats throughout the day. They are responsible for our precious children for about 7 hours. Know that once the students leave, their job is not complete. Often, they stay late or bring home their work. They write lesson plans, plan activities, prep activities, grade papers, complete report cards, etc. I will not even discuss the mounds of paperwork that a Special Education teacher is responsible for. I have had teachers call me at night to discuss my child. Teachers come in during the summer before the school year starts, to prep their rooms and be ready for the first week of school. Please remember as they have to bring their work home, they have their own families they need to tend to. Yes they get a planning period, however often that is used to make phone calls and respond to emails or notes from parents or talk to guidance counselors about their students. A half hour to forty-five minutes is not enough time to complete everything that is required of them. In my opinion they are highly underpaid! Can you imagine being responsible for twenty to twenty-five students for a whole day? At the middle school and high school level it is even more students they are responsible as they have multiple classes. I know many people are saying, “No way. I could not do that.”
Know that I do not believe teachers are babysitters per say. I use this for an example. They are so much more. If teachers were paid per hour per student a flat rate of $5.00 an hour and let us just use 25 students, then their salary for the year would be around $146,250 ($5.00 * 25 *6.5 *180). However, that is not even close to their actual salaries. The lowest starting salary is Montana at $27,274 a year and the highest being New Jersey at $48,631 (http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/). I did not even include the time teachers are at the school before students arrive and after students leave. Do not forget that there is lots of faculty meetings they attend that is not part of the total from above. Here is where I get upset, professional athletes make tons more than our teachers who are the ones that are really shaping our future. The average NFL player makes $1.9 million, MLB players average is $3.2 million, and NBA players average is $5.15 million. The lowest paid NFL player makes $420,00 a year. It is probably a huge reason why I could care less about professional sports. I would rather not waste my time watching overpaid athletes who are not making a difference in this world.
I ask you to think back when you were in school. Is there one teacher or perhaps more than one that really made a difference for you? Did you ever tell them? Is there a teacher in your child’s life that made a huge impact on them? If so I encourage you to tell that amazing teacher how wonderful they are/were. Know that although you move onto higher grades, students always still remain a special part of a teacher’s heart. Teachers do wonder how their past students are doing. Teachers, who work hard for their students often our children, deserve to be cheered on and uplifted. I challenge you to reach out to those teachers today!