Teachers – The Under-appreciated

Teachers - The Under-appreciated

Teachers across America are grossly underpaid. Here in FCPS, teachers may be above average on the pay scale in comparison to other districts, yet their pay was frozen during one of the most challenging times. With their workloads larger than ever, society has proven that teachers are underappreciated.

Think about this: Would you be able to read if it weren’t for teachers? Would you be where you are if it weren’t for teachers? Teachers dedicate their life and their career to helping students. Maybe you’ve never had the time to think about what they actually do. Here, let me walk you through it: They plan lessons, go to meetings, teach their lessons, help students, assign work, check the work, give students feedback, grade the work, which by the way takes hours, especially for middle and high school teachers since they can have around 125 students. This is not including extra-curricular activities, office hours, and just little mistakes and delays they make along the way. At FCPS, they only get paid 51,000 dollars a year on average. They were also supposed to get a raise this year if it wasn’t for virtual learning, but they ended up having to do twice the work for the same amount of money! I can understand that the county had to use taxes for other things, but in my opinion, teachers should’ve been one of their priorities. This was not in FCPS, but my mom was a teacher about 10 years ago, and she had to quit due to the little amount that she was getting paid.

Entertainers and professional athletes make millions and sometimes even billions of dollars, don’t you think that’s a huge gap? From what I’ve seen, teachers have a lot on their hands. Who made them become entertainers or athletes? Let’s see, teachers! They do so much to help children with their futures. Without teachers, there is nothing. They should be getting as much appreciation as entertainers and athletes get, considering that they do as much work and more. Here are some quotes from teachers at Glasgow Middle School that have been interviewed:

  • “I’m working from home now. There is no off button to when I should stop thinking about work, I’m always thinking about work now.” 2. “Yes and no. I’m surrounded by really awesome people that understand the importance of teaching. I do think it’s crazy that other jobs get paid a ton more when I’m doing a lot of work. It’s frustrating” -Anonymous teacher
  • “We use the classroom itself and we can’t do that as well virtually. A lot of us don’t have those technology skills because it hasn’t been part of our job until 6 months ago.” 2. “Everything is harder now because it’s online and because we don’t always know how to do it. So, that’s stressful because we want to do our work well for our students.” -Amelia Waters, Science 8 teacher
  • “Right now, in this typical school year, teachers work much more than the contracted hours that we’re getting paid for. What I make compared to other people who have the same level of education, there is a gap.” 2. “At the end of the day, I just want to be a teacher that helps my students make some meaning from what we learned. I want everyone to at least, maybe now or maybe when they’re older, be able to follow the news and maybe hear about politics.” -Rachel Audant, Civics teacher
  • “I think it’s safe to say that this type of teaching is not what any of us really signed up for. We all want to be in a classroom with our students. There are things that we are not doing because we can’t. So, I don’t feel underappreciated, I just feel like I’m in a whole new world of teaching that I’m still trying to navigate through.” 2. “When my students leave my class, I really want them to know that I’m their biggest supporter and I will continue to be their biggest supporter.”-Erica Willing, Geometry and Math 7HN teacher.

 

Here are what students at Glasgow MS thought about teachers:

  • Laura Stoker, 8th grader: Horrible! They are literally amazing! They are heroes and people are so mean to them and don’t realize that without them they wouldn’t have a purpose.
  • Safa Touri, 8th grader: Without their teachers, entertainers would’ve never been where they are today. Considering they are paid very little, I think they deserve to get paid more.
  • Misha Speede, 8th grader: There are bills that people have to pay, groceries to buy, and the basic toiletries. That’s a meager amount to buy all of this and have an extra amount for oneself and their kids.
  • Sameer Ahmed, 8th grader: Is 51 thousand enough to pay rent, pay utility, wifi, food, and any optional luxuries like furniture? NO, it is not.
  • Amel Benhamouda, 8th grader: Teachers work overtime, respond to students who are having trouble, and they are probably always stressed. Entertainers earn more money every year, but teachers are the ones inspiring people and teaching people to do good things.
  • Alisa Oden, 7th grader: Kids were being loud and wouldn’t be quiet no matter how many times the teacher asked them to stop. They (the teacher) looked really overwhelmed. Our teachers don’t deserve that.
  • Katherine Bille, 8th grader: A teacher’s day is not as long as the school day. They have to spend their own time grading papers, planning lessons, etc.
  • Maya Campbell, 8th grader: 51,000 is not enough for teachers. They work very hard and are very underappreciated. Without teachers, no one could learn. This is why this makes me feel awful about this issue.

Here are some of the graphs/numbers that show what Glasgow MS students thought about this topic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On other questions:

About 87% of Glasgow students that responded said that they think teachers should get paid as much as they work. 13% said that they can understand the county’s decision. About 96% of Glasgow students that responded said that they think teachers do a lot of work, while 4% said that they don’t do that much. About 55% of Glasgow students that responded said that they feel like teachers are underappreciated. 23% said that maybe they’re underappreciated, and 22% said that they are not underappreciated.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem like teachers are getting the right amount of appreciation for what they do, and making teacher salaries higher would definitely attract more teachers and make their lives easier. Teachers teach because they love to teach, not because they are getting much of a reward out of it. The wealthy should be paying more taxes. I would also recommend giving bonuses/gifts to teachers who perform exceptionally. There should be awards or trophies given to teachers who show individuality more often, and maybe paying teachers by how they perform individually can be a long-term goal, since that would be hard to do at the moment. In addition to all of that, there should definitely be more Teacher Appreciation Weeks! Lastly, just remember, whether you like a teacher or dislike a teacher, they’re not there to be your friend, they’re there to help you and prepare you for life. Now that you’ve learned all this information, next time you see a teacher, show them some love and tell them that you appreciate them. They’ll really appreciate it!