Layla A. California

Underpaid Teachers

Lower pay is lower appreciation!

Dear Future President,

Each year, my mom, little sister, big brother and I use our last moments of summer to go into my mom’s kindergarten classroom to set up for the oncoming year. We’d spend entire days going through the cabinets preparing lessons, creating samples for activities and re-configuring the classroom. I remember the first year my mom began to teach kindergarten and how many long hours she spent after school re-organizing her classroom in order to repair the damage done by her students, making copies and setting up for the next day’s lesson. She’d get home at six or seven at night carrying a huge roll of laminated papers tucked under her arm and four pairs of scissors that we would cut together on our living room floor while watching Jeopardy.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has recently brought to light the fact that elementary school teachers, like my mother, are only paid 67% of what an equally educated person in a different field earns, and for high school teacher, the percentage is only 4% larger. The starting salary for teachers is also significantly lower than those with an equal educational status in a different field. The starting salary of a teacher averages at $36, 141, while the average salary for a college graduate is $50,219. This is mainly due to lack of district funding which is caused by lack of funding from the state.

Teachers are the educational guides for future generations, and essentially the future of America. They are the foundation of all other professions and they each play an important role in their students’ success. Without teachers, people would not have the opportunity to learn and study a certain field in order to build a career out of the knowledge gained in school so that they can earn an annual salary, which is probably larger than the salary of a teacher. Teachers are evidently unappreciated due to this significantly low salary for the magnitude of their job. However, it is arguable that the lower salary is justified due to the benefits teachers are granted such as long vacations and a retirement package of pension. However, while these benefits do exist, the amount at which is underpaid is greater than these benefits, therefore I propose at least equal pay for teachers as other professions of equal educational status because they contribute just as much, and possibly even more, to society than other professions.

Works Cited

Johnathan Berr. "Are teachers in the U.S. underpaid? Depends on who you ask." CBS News. June 23, 2016.

Rebecca Klein. "More Proof That American Teachers Are Underpaid And Deserve More Respect." Huffington Post. November 24, 2015.

Newbury Park High School

IB Lang & Lit HL 1 - Period 3B (Lilly)

Learning about language and literature in Newbury Park and the World!

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