More About Teachers' Pay

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

My first teaching assignment paid $5,700. That included a $300 bonus because I was on the dean's list. Twelve years later after a second degree and I was making $17,500.   

My grandfather was a school superintendent and to supplement his income to feed and clothe six children he painted houses and barns in the summer. 

Teaching is a wonderful profession and I use the profession term quite liberally.  Teachers are not treated as professionals and as for societal ranking we are somewhere around the salaries of a union electrician or a union worker at the Ford manufacturing place. That is the way it is and until teachers collectively demand more they are going to have to do more and this is where I get in trouble with teachers.  

Test scores must come up and to do so requires even more effort on the part of all teachers. The hard part is stepping away from the classroom and invite entrance into the homes of their students.  It is wrong to expect that the child that shows at the schoolhouse door comes ready for school. Test scores say they are not ready.  How to get them ready requires the teacher, the building, the support staff and the parent. The job of teaching cannot be done without all the principals at the ready.  

My early teaching experiences taught me a great deal and the more I studied how learning takes place, the environments best for learning, it was my conclusion that the schools just do not do enough to prepare its citizens for life.   

It was my experience that summers were not filled with fun and frolic but work wherever I could get it. One summer I drove a dump truck that had no doors. It ran and I picked up dirt to be dumped at a building site, for six weeks. Another job was on a survey crew redoing a state highway. I bagged groceries and carried the same to the buyer's cars.

That is the way it was and begging for more money seems to exhaust everyone, including the teacher doing the begging. 

Robert Brooks


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