Congratulations to the teachers in Marysville, Arlington and Lakewood for the big raises you received this year.
We know you didn’t get into teaching for the money. Historically that has been a lost cause. You got into it because you wanted to make a difference.
So better pay isn’t going to make you a better teacher. You already were doing your best. But higher pay certainly makes you feel better appreciated.
Sure, some of the money was owed to you for low pay in the past. But much of the money is to inspire you to go beyond in helping kids be successful in life. Teachers with decades of experience making $80,000-$115,000 and more a year need to prove to the public that that’s a smart investment.
Expectations from the public are high – not just for teachers but for administrators, too:
•We want the high school dropout rate reduced. Dropouts become a bane on society. We have to have programs so all students can succeed, no matter what their interests.
•We want the trades to be more of a focus. The trade industry locally needs workers. They offer family wage jobs. Some students that just aren’t into academics for whatever reason might excel in the trades. Give them the chance. There needs to be more Career Technical Education classes and apprenticeships so kids can figure out what they want to do. Partner with businesses so students can get hands-on experience.
•Change the state requirements. It’s ridiculous for kids going into the trades or some other jobs to have to pass so many science, math and English and history classes. Teach them what they need to know to be successful at what they want to do. A well-rounded education is great for someone going to college, but why hold others to that same standard when it has no use to their lives. It just sets them up for failure, and that’s not what school is for.
•Hold kids accountable. A few troublemakers can ruin it for an entire class. Take them out of the equation. Move them until they change their behavior. Take advantage of that opportunity with some important counseling that will help them. Find out what makes them tick. See if there is another program, such as online school, that might fit them better.
•Show kids methods to succeed. Everyone should be taking Advanced Via Individual Determination. It’s amazing that it has to be its own curriculum. That’s the stuff that used to be taught in every class. Kids need a focus. They need a goal that they believe they can achieve. They need to be successful to continue toward that goal. Through individualized instruction help them be and continue to be successful. And do it early. Don’t wait until they’re juniors and seniors. Have them focus early on. They can always change later, but get them looking to the future when they get into high school. •Teach compassion. Bullying has to stop. They put others down to put themselves up. Show them positive ways to put themselves up. If students have better self esteem they won’t need to put others down. In this “me first” society we need to teach students about caring for others. Community service is great. But let’s start with compassion in the schools first.
Teachers can’t overcome all out-of-school factors that cause learning problems for students. But with this huge increase in pay, society is expecting them to do as much as they can.