Friday, March 07, 2008

$ 125K For Public School Teacher Salaries? Sounds Like A Good Idea To Me

I'm very much in favor of paying teachers 125K per year, particularly if the school year expands to a full year operation rather than this silly notion that kids these days need a summer off.
I would much rather put a phenomenal, great teacher in a field with 30 kids and nothing else than take the mediocre teacher and give them half the number of students and give them all the technology in the world, - Mr. Vanderhoek.
Sure kids need breaks, but not a full three months. That was a nice agrarian philosophy which was fine when every one had to be around to pull the crops in (which oddly enough happens mainly in the fall). But as some one who taught for a while at a school with a very active FFA, I know that life on the farm is much more challenging than the gift of summers off offers in terms of output on the farm. I recall students falling dead asleep in class because they spent the night birthing sheep in the tail end of October. But I digress.

Paying teachers what they are worth rather than the paltry sums they now receive is a long overdue notion that aught to be highly supported by our capitalistic oriented society. Bonus as well, for performance? Good idea. How many people are pissed when they don't get their annual bumps in the business sector or the bonuses that match their sales performance? Why should you expect less for a teacher?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.


Anonymous said...

The disconnect

No one can identify a good teacher is until long after the student has left the system.

Students from stable homes might profit from highly paid teachers. Or highly paid teachers might be wasted on them since they have their own resources.

Students from unstable homes might benefit from schooling from the age of 1 1/2 - 2. Three hots and a cot, and avoiding household insanity (drugs, alcohol, violence, unemployment, indifferent day care). An environment with books and magazines, and without television, where adults care for and interact with kids.

Suppose your $125k teacher merely hands out age-appropriate reading to his class and asks them to a) read whatever they want to themselves for pleasure all day, or b) leave the classroom. Is that 'good' teaching or not? Is the system getting its money's worth or not? Will this teacher be remembered as a game-changer 20 years later?

Radio was the answer to education. Then television. Then computers. Now its high-priced teachers?

Too little, too late. The twig is bent. $125k day-care providers are worth 10 times more than $125k teachers.

Mary Ellen said...

I agree with you on all points. Teachers need to get a real salary, not the scraps that they are receiving now, and I think the school year should go all year round. It will help in many areas...our kids will get a better education because they aren't gone for three months where they vegetate and forget all they learned, only to come back and review what they forgot for the first two months. It will also be helpful for parents who have young kids and need to be put in camps or daycare because their parents aren't getting three months off to care for them all day. Also, with more pay, we get quality teachers.

My daughter is a teacher and she is so fed up with the whole system. She quit teaching high school this year (she moved to another state in a very small town---no teaching jobs available). She's now going for her Masters degree while she's waiting to move. Teachers need to be shown some respect for the job they are being asked to do and if it doesn't come soon, our country is going to continue to decline in education compared to the European countries.

Mary Ellen said...

Ooops...forgot to tell ya, Windspike, I'll add these new blogs to my blogroll. Glad to see you are still out in the blogosphere.