Emily C. Utah

Teachers' Trouble

"If we paid our teachers what we pay our celebrities, maybe one day we'd be smart enough to know better..." -Sir Ken Robinson

Many people wonder about the future of America. One of the biggest worries is about the future that their posterity will have. Will the world turn polluted, like Wall-E? Will robots be slave-masters with human servants? Not as extreme, but just as concerning: How will the middle and lower class families be able to pay for anything, especially education? Education is, and always will be (until it is fixed), a big question in politics and with all people in the country. How can test scores be improved? How can all levels of education be more affordable, not just for those getting an education, but for those giving it? How can the number of good, reliable teachers increase, so my student can get an education from a teacher who knows what they are doing? These are questions that are asked much too frequently because education has many flaws. The answer to improving the education system in America is higher teacher pay.

Truthfully though, most people know that this should happen. It seems like it is just a fact of life. The reason why teachers do not get paid more? Everyone is worried about the effects that it will have on the economy, such as the sum of money that would go into paying the teachers higher. But wouldn’t that money be put to such good use? Improving the education by paying teachers more money would greatly make up for the money paid to them.

More money for teachers means that they will be more hard-working. I know that some people would immediately question this and say that it would actually make teachers more lazy. That is not true. To make this effect occur, teachers would get more money after being evaluated. They would not get more money based on test scores but would get more money after evaluations. The evaluations would ask students what they think about the teacher, someone would watch a couple of their lessons to watch how they teach, and so on. Getting more money for working hard would create a stronger group of teachers, who care about teaching well and having students like the ways that they learn.

More money for teachers means that they have more time to work as a teacher and not have to get a second job, which helps their family. They are able to focus on creating lessons while at home, which would be more fair because they would be getting more money during the day which would make up for having to work at home. Most teachers express frustration that they teach all day with only about an hour break and then have to go home to adequately prepare lessons for the next day. But only the teachers who care about teaching will take time to plan lessons. The teachers who do not care do not plan lessons. They have to fill a day with teaching, taking care of their families, planning lessons, and then usually going to a second job. This is too difficult. If teachers got more money, they would have more time to prepare lessons and not have to get another job. Having more time to prepare lessons would create better teachers, who, after being evaluated, would then deserve more money. This would create a chain reaction of teachers who continue to grow in their teaching abilities, thereby creating better students, and from that, a better group of citizens.

If teachers get more money, they are able to get more supplies for students, which means that students can get more hands-on experience. It has been found that most teachers spend their own pocket money on 77 percent of their school supplies. The already strained pay that teachers have to live is being pushed to its limits by having teachers spend money on supplies. If teachers got more money, they would be more able to buy the much needed supplies to help their students learn. Teachers that are passionate and care about their students will spend money on supplies. This in turn stresses their own family budget. Teachers that care less about their students, or don’t care at all, will keep the money for their family and not get anything for their classes to use hands-on.

Teachers who get more money are superior teachers because they would be evaluated to see if they deserve said money. If teachers are thought to deserve more money, that means that they work hard enough and teach well enough to increase education standards in America (therefore they are superior teachers). Bad teachers would not be hired and not get more money, which would then mean that they would be the ones leaving the schools to find new jobs, not the amazing teachers. Evaluations would not be based on student test scores, rather on the teacher’s ability to teach and how they teach when supervisors are not known to be watching.

Most people realize the problems of our current education system. One of the main things that happens is with the good teachers. Good teachers realize that they would be able to earn more money in a district job or just not teaching. So they leave. The bad teachers know that they cannot get a higher-paying job and stay at the schools. So what happens? Good teachers leave behind a plethora of bad ones.

America: the Land of the Free. The best country in the world. Why is our education so poor then? It is because teachers are not held in high enough light. Teachers deserve more money for all the work they do shaping the next generations of American citizens. More money for teachers means better teaching. It is as simple as that. So why do we wait? Why have we not fixed the education system long ago? The time is NOW that we must make America as amazing as it can be. It would take time, effort, and money, but it would be worth it. Students, teachers, parents, and everyone else in America deserve the education system to be improved, because America is forged from its citizens.

Spanish Fork High School

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