Dave Eggers (who I have a huge lit-crush on) co-authors a great op/ed in the New York Times about the teaching profession. It is completely ridiculous, he asserts, that teachers are so under-paid that they often have to take on second jobs just to support their families.
There’s almost something darkly comic about it all. We place the highest demands on a profession, and not just through the teacher-quality provisions of the legislation. We have unarticulated expectations that teachers be morally and ethically unimpeachable, possessed of dynamic, compelling personalities and agile minds and capable of guiding the learning, for example, of 35 hormonally charged 13-year-olds right after lunch.
After asking that of them, we pay them so little that they have to find work selling electronics and cleaning our houses. Is it any surprise that 45 percent of new teachers leave our schools within the first five years?
He’s right; it’s about time we started paying teachers fairly.
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