Teachers are the gatekeepers of anyone interested in the rewards of hard work and dedication. They are the watchdogs of our children’s academic and social growth, the disciplinarians of unruly pupils away from home, and most importantly, teachers are directly linked to a nation’s fortitude and resiliency.
I find it incredibly ironic that these professionals carry nearly the entire weight of all who have ever become anything worth recognizing, yet they remain the underdogs in the workforce. On top of struggling with the blatant disregard for their significance, teachers struggle with a plethora of uninvolved parents, disorderly students, insufficient teaching supplies, lackadaisical administration and unions some have stated they cannot trust. Driving the nail even deeper into the coffin, teachers are underpaid for all of their troubles.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools in the 2010-11 school year is $56,069. My mom, who is an exceptional student education teacher at Sunset Sudbury School in Davie, Fla., said the amount of money is not sufficient to support a middle-class lifestyle. With the cost of living on a steady incline and a daughter in college, she said it is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet. My mom has been forced to borrow multiple loans and describes her life as hand-to-mouth.
It seems quite unfair and, quite frankly, useless to pay to belong to an employment organization such as a teachers’ union, which doesn’t protect and fight for the rights of its members. In some ways, it would even seem as if board members have forgotten the true purpose they ought to be servicing. Instead of standing vigilantly in defense of its members in the fight for pay raises, teachers’ unions resort to incessant compromises. Rather than offering job security as a basic benefit, the teachers’ union has left room for worry.
Regardless of how mistreated and misrepresented they are, teachers remain the backbones of this nation. I believe any country without impactful educators will be forever stagnant. The very continuum of life depends on the delivery of educational material by a caring instructor. With all the botherations inflicted upon teachers, a decent pay raise is the least that could be done.