Teaching is not an easy field. Teaching means snarky comments behind your back, it means late work and pulling teeth, it means hours of work that you don’t get paid for, hours of grading homework at the dinner table and answering emails from students about things they would have learned in class, if only they listened. Teaching is not a field of glamour. It does not attract people who do not have a desire to teach. No raise, unless it more than triples the current salary, will make the field a home for greed.
At Reagan, as of last year, the head football coach made $104,434— the third highest coach’s salary in all of San Antonio. In NEISD, a new hire principal has a maximum salary of $110,384. Teachers make little more than half of that, with a new teacher having a minimum salary of $50,000 and maxing out at $60,665. Despite these large pay gaps, I have never heard my English teacher express any desire to move into the sports field purely because she wants a new purse, or my math teacher plotting to take on the principal position solely so he can afford a trip to Cancun.
The truth of the situation is that a larger pay will encourage people who already have an interest in the field to go into teaching. That’s not a bad thing. If someone already loves calculus, there’s nothing wrong with them choosing to teach it rather than become an actuarian because the pay of a teacher appeals to them. They have a love for math, something worthy of passing on. What an increase in pay won’t do is make those with no interest in math choose to become a bitter, money-hungry Algebra II teacher. More likely than either of these, an increase in pay will make an existing teacher feel a little more comfortable sending her daughter to an expensive college.
Even if a few money-seekers slip through and take up teaching, they won’t corrupt our youth. Seeking money does not inherently make someone evil, and it doesn’t mean they’ll stand in front of a class and preach about the power of the dollar–unless they’re teaching economics, of course. More than that, they won’t last. Those who join the field for cash will either find a passion for education, or find a different job. Teaching is not for those who don’t love it, and a pay raise won’t completely dismantle education as we know it.
This was a rebuttal in regards to “A Thought on Teachers” which can be found at http://newspaper.neisd.net/reagan/?p=18427