Many years ago, teaching was considered one of the noblest professions. I say “many years ago” because in today’s day and age, being a teacher no longer brings the respect it once did. Unfortunately, there seem to be more reasons not to become a teacher in today’s society rather than in becoming one. It says a lot about a civilisation on how they treat their educators.
No Money, More Problems
Everyone knows teachers do not make much money. I remember my first year of teaching and I was looking at my pay cheque. I was making less money than I did the previous year when I was working two part-time jobs and finishing up on my Education classes. One of the veteran teachers noticed me doing the math in my head while staring at my pay cheque. She commented that she did not get into teaching to become rich. It was easy for her to say because she was not the primary income earner in her family.
Too many teachers have part-time jobs on the side just so they can pay their bills. Student loans are astronomical and could cause a recent college graduate to have to live with his/her parents for a few years to be able to survive. Secondary educators are paid on average 20 percent more than primary teachers. Why is this? The pay alone will have most of the best and brightest not touch teaching with a ten foot pole.
Public schools are funded mostly by the government. Schools are forced to hire fewer and fewer teachers as a way to save money. This means that the class sizes are growing bigger and bigger. It can be difficult to control and teach 20 students in a normal classroom. Now imagine the nightmare scenario that teachers are now experiencing with having 30 students in their classroom. Trying to educate 30 students in a cramped classroom is not the ideal situation no matter how great of a teacher you are.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past where teachers were thought of quite highly in their community. A certain amount of respect followed them wherever they went. People would look at them approvingly for their knowledge and wisdom.
Unfortunately, in the world we now live in, the teaching profession has become a punching bag. All of a child’s problems can be placed on the teacher. If a kid does not know their multiplication facts, the parents come to the educator and demand to know why their kid is falling behind. Parents aren’t working with their children at home on school work. Behavior issues are not dealt with at home as well, since it seems rarely do the parents know how to act properly themselves. Teaching has become a thankless profession.
Is there any doubt why there is a teacher shortage almost across the globe? The amount teachers are paid does not equal the time and the effort they have placed in their craft. The class sizes are growing, but the supplies are becoming more limited. I truly believe the number one reason there is a teacher shortage in areas is because of the lack of respect being shown to the educator and the profession. Teachers seem to be under attack by the students and the parents.
Is it worth all of this to become a teacher? This can be a tricky question. Let me answer that question with more questions. (Total teacher move there.) Have you dreamed about working with kids and providing them with much needed knowledge? Is teaching a calling for you rather than just a job? Do you believe you can teach effectively with a positive attitude for the next 30 years of your life? Do you think you can enter the teaching profession knowing what is now facing you? These are all questions that should be asked continuously to Education students at every college and university. If you can answer yes to all those questions, we definitely need you in the teaching profession.