Dear Mr./Mrs. President,
Teaching is one of the most essential professions in America. In a society that places great emphasis on the education of our children, it seems obvious that teachers should be paid hefty salaries, similar to those of doctors and CEO’s. However, according to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, teachers only make an average starting salary of $30,377 -- about $15,000 less than the average starting salary for Americans. Due to low salaries and long hours outside of work, teaching is less than desirable for many people. By increasing teachers’ salaries, education would be a much more desirable profession and competition would be created to attract only the most top-notch teachers.
Many people believe teachers have no reason to complain about their pay due to short work days and summers off. However, this is far from true. Most teachers put in an average of 50 hours each week, including 12 hours of uncompensated school-related activities, like grading papers, club advising, and individual instruction with students (National Education Association). Long hours often lead to exhaustion, which causes “burn out” for many teachers. Fifty percent of teachers leave the profession in the first five years because of this. By increasing their salaries, we would give teachers more reason to remain in education because they would go into the job with more incentive to stay.
Increasing teachers’ salaries would be an easy fix to get rid of bad teachers. When a profession pays well, positions in that field are envied much more and competition is created. When competition is present, applicants for a position must improve their skills so that they can be more qualified. This would mean that only the best, most qualified individuals are the ones in charge of teaching America’s youth, and national rankings for test scores may increase. Higher salaries could be the key to improving education for all children.
Teachers are one of the most influential - if not the most influential - people in a child’s life. They are the ones who help kids inspire young minds to think outside of the box and prepare children for successful futures. The skills they provide America’s youth are what will help guide our country in the future. According to a study by Eric Hanushek, “an excellent teacher (one a standard deviation better than average, or better than 84 percent of teachers) raises each student’s lifetime earnings by $20,000.” Education provides children a better basis for their future, which leads them to better jobs and income, thus fighting issues like poverty and homelessness. A proper education will lead students to be productive individuals in society who help make positive changes in their community and in the world as a whole. In order to receive this education, children need to be provided with exemplary teachers. By increasing pay, people would be more attracted to the field of education.
As a future educator, this issue is very important to me - not only because I would like to be paid better in the future, but because I have witnessed the difference teachers make in kid’s lives and still seen them worry about finances. Even though my desire to teach will remain regardless of pay, I am worried for my future. If I want to get the best education possible to prepare me for the classroom, I will need to go to a great school. To pay for this school, I will owe student loans well into my adult life. This will have to come from my earnings as a teacher, which is already relatively minimal. Raising earnings for teachers would decrease this common worry among many future educators so that they can focus on being the best teachers possible.
So, Mr./Mrs. President, I challenge you to look into this issue and determine a plan that will most positively affect our nation’s youth, who will eventually be our future.