In 2018, teacher protests swept the country with educators speaking out against widespread public school upkeep cuts and wage stagnation. Those protests led to strikes, including the Los Angeles teachers’ strike in K Park on Jan 22, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. At that place, thousands of teachers — and supportive parents and students — celebrated a seeming victory when the United Teachers Los Angeles union and the Los Angeles Unified School Commune struck a deal that included capping class sizes, providing funding for schoolhouse nurses and increasing educator pay.
While this victory was significant, it also serves as a testament to the ongoing issues plaguing the Us’ education system. If waves of protestors aren’t enough to convince yous of the issues surrounding teacher pay (and other concerns raised by educators), then maybe these shocking numbers will. Salary.com listed $44,926 as the average starting salary for public educators on Baronial 27, 2021. On the other stop of the pay scale, pinnacle-paid U.S. elementary schoolhouse teachers make $71,000 annually, while elevation-paid high school teachers make betwixt $71,000 – $81,000 a twelvemonth on boilerplate. Meanwhile, in Grand duchy of luxembourg, the highest boilerplate salary for elementary school teachers is 114,000 euros (or $133,316.16) annually.
Looking at things on a state-by-state basis, New York teachers come out on top, making a median salary of $85,258 (via
United states Today) — though New York also requires teachers to earn a master’south degree within their start v years of beingness on the job, a caveat that tin create more than barriers for fledgling educators. Other states that compare to New York’due south payscale include California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Alaska, but so many others land on the reverse terminate of the spectrum, including Oklahoma, where “half of all teachers are [made] less than $33,630 a yr” in 2019.
Teachers Spend Their Ain Money on Supplies and Concord Second Jobs — merely This Shouldn’t Be the Norm
EdTech Magazine asked, “If yous were offered a job that paid an average annual salary of $49,000 and required you to work 12- to 16-hour days, would you take it?” Sounds crude, doesn’t it? Well, sadly, that’s the norm for the majority of teachers in the U.S. Teachers spent an boilerplate of $745 of their own money on classroom supplies during the 2019/2020 schoolhouse twelvemonth. Teachers likewise paid approximately $252 out of pocket on distance learning materials during the spring of 2020.
To make matters more frustrating, the National Education Association (NEA) constitute that roughly 16% of teachers held 2d jobs over the summertime, while 20% relied on secondary income year-round in 2019. If at-schoolhouse secondary jobs are counted — coaching sports, teaching actress courses, helping with extracurriculars — that effigy jumps to 59%. The bottom line? Public schools should exist funded fairly; teachers should be compensated adequately for all they do. Despite all of this,
Teaching Week legislators scaled back or outright nixed plans to raise teacher pay when the initially pandemic hit.
Educators were abruptly thrust into a public health crisis in March 2020. Despite teachers’ best efforts, nearly schools, particularly public schools, didn’t have roadmaps to deal with all-virtual learning scenarios. In fact, plenty of universities and otherwise privately funded schools with seemingly huge endowments weren’t well-equipped either. Betwixt technological roadblocks and the fact that many students don’t take admission to computers, tablets or the net at abode, the novel coronavirus pandemic certainly spotlighted discrepancies and shortcomings in the American education system.
In August 2020, the White Business firm formally declared teachers essential workers, noting that they are “critical infrastructure workers” — or, in other words, critical to the infrastructure of reopening the country and bolstering the economy. Yet, unlike other essential workers, teachers practise not always have the training and background to mitigate all of these public health concerns. Funding for PPE and other essential, virus-combating supplies is not always available or particularly arable. Despite this, educators must potentially risk their wellness, their families, and their lives to teach their students.
Information technology’s indisputable that teachers are essential members of our communities, but they are also people who, just like all of us, are navigating the horrors of this pandemic. Oft, they go beyond the call of their chore descriptions — even outside of the classroom. “My students have lost family members, and there’s a lot of trauma nosotros are not addressing,” Jessyca Mathews, an English instructor at Carman-Ainsworth Loftier School in Flint, Michigan, told
Time. “When COVID hit, I had kids who were texting me in the middle of the night, and I answered them every single fourth dimension.”
Mathews is not alone in her dedication to her students. “My colleagues and I have been stressed since leap break because we care, and we’re worried and we know the ins and outs of our jobs,” Kara Stoltenberg, a language arts instructor at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, told
Time. “And nosotros know that what the CDC is recommending for in-person learning but isn’t actually viable, considering the lack of funding that we’ve had for a decade.” In states that were more severely impacted by the COVID-nineteen pandemic, teachers drafted wills and obituaries ahead of the school year.
This is pinnacle dystopian-level disturbing, but, what’s perhaps most disturbing of all is that none of these issues — from teacher pay to how we value teachers’ lives and health — are new. Instead, the pandemic has revealed every scissure and fault line in the U.S. pedagogy system. Information technology falls on united states to reverberate on the lessons we’ve learned amidst the COVID-nineteen and strive to amend American education for teachers and students.