School teachers deserve better, it is time we pay up

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The media is talking a lot about teachers right now in light of kids returning to school during COVID-19. There is a lot of malice towards teachers who don’t want to teach in person and who prefer to be online.

Many think that teachers should be willing to risk their own and their families’ lives to teach students. 

The mistreatment of teachers has been happening for a long time and it’s time for it to stop. Teachers need to be paid more, be given funds for school supplies and overall be treated the way people influencing the future generations of America should be treated. 

Teachers are a huge part of our lives growing up and they definitely shape who we are today. Many people don’t seem to dispute that concept and yet, they don’t endorse the idea of paying teachers more.

The starting salary for a teacher in Texas is around $30,000 and that number doesn’t increase much over the years. Of course, the reason they are paid so little has to do with funding for public education, but when it comes down to morals, teachers should be paid more. 

Teachers have a big role in getting kids interested in subjects that influence hobbies and career choices later on in life. They can help kids grow self esteem and confidence to learn.

Not to mention that they teach us the foundations of knowledge that we need to function in society like basic mathematics, critical thinking and history. 

They also bring schoolwork home to grade and work on lesson plans, all after hours with no pay. They do so much more work than just what we initially see in the classroom. 

We cannot deny that teachers are instrumental in our society since they prepare future generations for the workforce. Their importance needs to be shown in their pay because it simply is what the teaching profession deserves.  

Some may say that teachers should just live frugally but that’s hard when a lot of teachers have to buy their own school supplies. Many teachers are given a budget for their classroom that the school can cover, but it’s usually not enough. 

So much so that teachers have to ask students to bring in hand sanitizer and tissues for the class. A lot of students are low income as well and cannot often afford school supplies for themselves, leaving teachers to pay out of pocket. Teachers sometimes can end up spending thousands of dollars just to teach. 

Why should some of the most important workers have to pay to do their own job? It’s understandable for them to use their own money to do some extra decorating in their room, but to buy essential supplies like notebooks and tissues?

That should not come out of their own pocket but more often than not it does.

Schools need to fund their teachers’ supplies. 

Lastly, we should overall respect our teachers, including their decisions to not teach in person right now. Many people say that teachers should teach right now because they signed up for this job. However, teachers did not sign up for risking their lives among potentially infected people.

They did not sign up for this and we should respect their decisions to demand online schooling. 

It’s similar to when people thought that teachers should have guns in the classroom to defend against school shooters and teachers claimed they didn’t sign up to do that. The teachers are correct! They did not sign up for a teaching job to be continuously put in danger, especially for such low pay. 

Teachers have a great importance in our lives and society as a whole, and we need to start acting like it. School teachers need to have better salaries, more funding for supplies and overall be respected for the work they do.

Anna Baker is an English junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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