Which profession gets three months of straight vacation time each year? Which profession gets one week off for Thanksgiving; two weeks off for Christmas and New Years; a week off for Easter/Spring Break; and myriad days scattered here and there? Which profession lets you leave work by 3:30 p.m. and is union?
Which profession typically gives you an annual starting salary of $30,000 and you don't even work a third of the time?
The common argument is, "It's a calling for these teachers. They are educating our children -- the future of America."
First, I'll agree that it's a calling for some
. For others it's a profession. Much as I chose a profession in sales, my father in the chemical industry, my friend a lab technician and so on.
Even others still, it's not a job they chose. For them, it's the only job they could get or, better yet, chaos theory occurred and teaching is where they landed. I wanted to be a writer, my father a photographer, my friend a chemist and, again, so on.
Second, they may be teaching your children; however, in my household, my wife and I teach our child. The teachers and subsequent education system only assist us in our responsibilities.
That's an interesting word, responsibilities.
re•spon•si•bil•i•ty n. pl. re•spon•si•bil•i•ties
1. The state, quality, or fact of being responsible.
2. Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.
Responsibility is often something that we, as parents, seem to lack. Sure, I shirk my responsibilities at times for one reason or another as does my wife. As do you.
However, far too many people utilize the school system as the central (and single) source of education for their children. I would not want my child to grow up believing everything taught in biology class is correct or that the history book is the solid truth. Yes, I want my child to have a more rounded understanding of all subjects: music, art, math, science, history, English, etc.
My child (fingers crossed) will grow up with the freedom to think for himself, to make his own mistakes, to question the system (which includes my wife and me) and to have his own opinions. Yes, even if they are 180 degrees opposite of mine.
More than likely the only experience that teacher has on the subject(s) they teach is a few years in college and any time spent at the front of the classroom. I would rather have someone who has been a chemist teach me chemistry than someone who spent four years in college and then went straight into teaching. There is something to be said for practical, on-the-job experience.
So, quit the crying about teacher pay raises. They knew going in what the pay was like and that it's sometimes hard. I say find something else that pays better, but you'll also soon realize that no job is always easy.
To really help the children, improve the schools and the tools in them. It's important to also hold the teachers accountable as well. Students get graded on their performance and so should the teachers.
This, of course, is in my humble opinion.