When you are thinking about what career you might want to go into what’s the first thing you look at? That’s right, the bank you’re going to be making one day. Being a college student, it’s normal to change your major several different times, so looking at future salaries becomes a regular for most. There are so many things one can become, but money is a very important factor especially if we’re going to be doing it for a long time. With elementary education as my current major, the concern of teacher’s salary is already making me wonder about how I’m going to support myself and a family one day. The salary that these teachers are making aren’t leveling out to the hours, responsibility, and the roles they play in the life of the everyday students each year.
Some students go to college for an education degree because they have to decide in a major program and education comes off as being the easiest one, but teachers believe deciding to become a teacher is truly a calling, especially with the younger ones. Teacher.org states, “We need great teachers who can go above and beyond basic expectations.” Everyone could become one, but that doesn’t mean that they would be good at it or anything better than basic. This world needs teachers that want to influence children and teach them the importance of an education, not teachers who are there because they think everyone can do it and it’ll be the easiest. Teachers go through their 4-year bachelor’s degree, many Praxis test, certifications, and some even go back to school to get their Masters. A benefit of going back or getting your Masters degree is you get a higher salary. By doing this teachers can continue to improve themselves to be better for the students during summer breaks and throughout the school year, on top on their job.
Some believe that teachers work less hours than any other person at their daily job. They do not realize all the work that has to be done to be prepared in the classroom. Teachers get paid to work an eight to three o’clock job. The National Education Association says, “While seven hours is the contracted work day, teachers must do significant amounts of work such as grading papers and revising lesson plans on their own time, after school and on the weekends.” Teachers also have after-school meetings, parent teacher conferences, assignments, and activities. So, the eight to three o’clock job turns into a seven to five-thirty job.
The annual salary varies on whether the school is public or private, the grade(s) you teach, and the location and state where the school is at. In Arkansas, elementary teachers make an average of 48,000 dollars a year. It is totally understandable to have to have to start off low just like everyone else does, but over years of experience in the field you would think higher pay would be steadily increasing. Second grade teacher, Andrea Coker in an interview said, “Teaching is an extremely stressful job with impossible expectations from administration, the state department, and parents.” Teachers have to be able to control twenty-five students, teach them, and protect them every day. Keep in mind that every single student is different each with different learning styles and home lives. Could you imagine teaching twenty children every day? Most would say they would lose their sanity.
Coker also stated, “Teaching is the most important job there is. We wouldn’t have doctors, lawyers, or scientist without teachers.” Teaching goes beyond just the academic level. Teachers spend seven hours a day five days a week with these students, so they also get to help teach their students life lessons as well, such as sharing, kindness, and patience with other classmates.
Preparing to become a teacher isn’t cheap. Many teachers have thousands and thousands of dollars of student loan debt, but without the pay they deserve they don’t just get to pay those off easy. Some teachers have to work multiple jobs, and some end up having to leave the teaching field to help provide for themselves and their family.
There are plenty of people that think teacher’s salary is fine just like it is, but just like Coker said, “Teaching is the most important job there is.” Nobody would be where they are today if it wasn’t for teachers. We should consider this and hopefully see and change in the future.