What Does He Make?

A good friend of mine recently resent this video to me. He, his partner, and I had recently had a talk about teaching at a local munch.  And after I said something (witty, I’m sure), he chuckled and asked me if I had seen this video.  He couldn’t tell me the name, but said he would email it to me.

Now I remember it.

Why do I like it?

Because a good teacher – a good teacher makes students who want to learnt, who want to remember what they have been taught, that rise to a challenge and meet it head on.  A good teacher knows how to deal with something that a normal adult can’t – they know how to deal with a kid who is frustrated and lost – and they don’t do it by spoon feeding it to them, they do it by making them find their own way.

I could never be a teacher.  I often look at what G does in awe. There are bad teachers out there, but the good teachers – they are there.  And they are the ones that we always look back on fondly.  And I can guarantee you – they challenged you.

Yes, the Chicago teachers are on strike.  And while I’m not a proponent of unions, I am a proponent of paying people what they are worth.  Teachers (at least in Oregon) require a master’s degree.  They require a certain number of college credits each year to keep their license.  Outside of being a doctor, what profession requires that educational commitment.  And don’t give me the bullshit about how much time they get off.  I’m married to one, so I can tell you how many hours a week they work – and I can guarantee you – it is more than most people.  Do the math (that a teacher taught you to do) and you’ll realize they don’t make that much.

I recall the first contract G signed when he started in public education.  We looked at what he would make in his final year of teaching – and it was what I made 13 years ago. At 30 years of employment, he could make $55K if he was lucky.  And don’t give me the BS about their benefits because his benefits aren’t that great.

I guess, for me, we cannot take this job that most admit they could never do – and we can all agree is incredibly important – and pay them a salary that does not reflect it’s importance.  How fucked up are we as a society that we are willing to make sure divorce attorneys make a good salary but we aren’t willing to pay our educators a decent salary.

What do you make in the course of a day? Is it as important as the person educating the youth of America?  Sure they aren’t perfect – but educators are no longer the unmarried women who are happy to be able to live with a roof over their head with a periodic meal.  It’s about time we move from the time of the pioneers in our thinking and put our money where our mouthes are.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lev says:

    oh man! I have never seen that before. I have now watched in 3x. It is awesome. While I have never asked that particular question, or even really thought much about it, I was so well reminded of what they *do* make! thnx

    PS: I’m a public servant. and I’m never quite sure if we’re viewed barely a notch above or below teachers

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