At one point teachers were as respected as bankers. The world has changed - Now, are they as reviled as bankers? What do you think?
You have a point. Some people are tired of seeing teachers making $70,000+ for nine months of work.
Where i live, very few make that...and any that do , deserve it....noone has any idea what it means to be a teacher. Nor do they have any idea how much of their own personal money is spent on needs for the children in the classroom...indluding paying for lunches, buying clohting, not to mention all of the othere expenses. My suggestion...walk in my moccasins before you criticze what i do.
Teachers work ten months a year and do not get overtime for all of the work they bring home. When I was a full-tiime teacher, my colleagues and I went in during August for two weeks to set up our classrooms and plan for the year-all unpaid.
Teachers who make that kind of money live in a HCOL area AND have 20+ years of experience with a Master's Degree, required by many states.
Many teachers, myself included, has side businesses to earn extra money. The ones that did not had husbands who earned enough for them to not have a second business or job. Most teachers work during the summer because they do not get paid during those months.
Those stickers and pencils and rewards and books and all of the extra stuff your kid brings home came? The money for that came from my own pocket.
The comment about people being tired of teachers making $70,000 a year speaks directly to the disrespect people have for teachers. I challenge any person to spend a week in a classroom and see the hard work teachers perform. I bet most would not last a day, even though the bells rings at 3:00.
Easiest retort to the $70,000 argument is that if it's so easy and the pay is so high, why aren't you a teacher?
I was married to a teacher. He wasn't a particularly conscientious one, but he still worked pretty long hours.
One - kids get homework, someone has to mark it, and the teacher does it on the kitchen table at night and on the weekends.
Two - you can't just stand up in front of a class and wait for inspiration! You need to have a plan mapped out for what you're going to teach, you need to have visual aids, and so on. And you can't necessarily use last year's plan, because kids progress at different rates and the syllabus changes. Once again, that's done on the kitchen table at night and on weekends.
Three - here in Australia, kids do Saturday sport - teachers are expected to "volunteer" to supervise. When I was married to a teacher, we could never go away for a weekend.
The long holidays just make up for the complete lack of free time during term, IMO.
tomarriedwithdebt: "The empty vessel makes the loudest noise." Get it?
I'm reading Alistair Cooke's book on America and he comments that the hippie movements of the '60's marked the beginning of a gradual loss of respect for all figures of authority right across the Western world.
I think that's at the root of many of society's problems today. Let's face it, how can one ordinary person control a crowd of others, of any age, without weapons? They can't, really. Policemen and teachers - and parents! - have always relied on the fact that the crowd respects their position, and their right to command. Once the crowd realises that the teacher/policeman/adult is just another person, it's all over.
Well, I am a teacher and I've written many a hub 'in my head' about what teachers really do and what every teacher wishes parents knew. I'm in the Early Childhood field, so I have the younger ones, and it's challenging, extremely rewarding work. I think any decent teacher realizes that respect is earned, and it starts with respecting our own students.
A teacher making $70,000 yearly, in my opinion, has earned every cent because it takes a lot of dedication and education to reach that salary.
When I was in France, I noticed that the teaching profession was more highly respected than it is in America. I think education was more highly valued in the US generations ago because it was a major goal and educational achievement to be able to get into good colleges/universities.
Teachers should be among the highest paid professionals. Our priorities are so messed up when we pay celebrities and corporate executives their ridiculous salaries.
How dare someone say that a person with a undergraduate degree, a Master's Degree and a teaching certification doesn't deserve $70,000. a year? Just what do you think business people with those type of credentials are making in the private sector? I went to school for 21 years of my life- that's 12+4+5 in case your math is rusty. The five represents night school, which I attended while working full time and raising two young children. I graduated magna cum laude, student taught in the inner city (Philly) and I can tell you, I have more than paid my dues. I have been teaching now for 11 years. I am not making $70. I am not making $60. My briefcase is bursting at the seams with grading I have to do this weekend, on top of all of the many things we women handle in a typical weekend, and I assure you, I am making less than anyone in the private sector with like credentials. Plus they're not dealing with the level of disrespect most teachers contend with, day in and day out, from kids whose parents share the same uninformed opinions some have expressed here. Believe me, there aren't enough real state taxes in all of Christendom to pay the salary a seasoned teacher REALLY deserves to be paid.
I hope not. Teachers are hugely important to our society.
There's one thing that's cause for disrespecting some teachers' actions, however, and that is that they (some, not all) have resorted to being political activists instead of sticking to proper teaching. In all the grades including college professors, but mainly in grade schools/high schools.
Teachers are not treated fairly anymore. They have their retirement funds drained when the state deems it useless... most teachers in Maine cannot retire because LePage took it away and even raised their taxes.
I have found that respect for teachers depends largely on demographics.
As a teacher and a parent I realized a long time ago that you have to earn your respect it is not something that can be forced on people. It is not a missing respect in children in Western democracies that worries me, it is the mistrust of their parents. It often happens that parents boycot the learning process without even realizing it, especially with students with behavioural and learning problems it is in their big disadvantage....teachers need to earn their respect, but parents need to realize that teachers are here to help their children to grow and learn and they need parents' trust and assistance in order to succeed...
Thanks to all for engaging with this topic. I too have been on the end of the 9-months a year, work until 3:30 argument a number of times. The prevailing thought seems to be that teachers are not as respected as they should be, and not as respected as they used to be. Many parents see us as free childcare and do not engage with the learning process. My follow up question is:
Why has this respect been lost? How can (some) parents be so disinterested in their children?
I already answered your first question here:
For the second - I wonder if we're just emerging from an atypical era. In the 20th century we got used to the idea that children are a gift to be nurtured and educated by their parents. Look back to the 19th century and before, and you see a very different picture - anyone with enough money handed their kids over to wet nurses, nannies, governesses, boarding schools. We've now made it possible for everyone to do the same - it's called school.
I have thought a lot about your first question. I think the reasons are multi-various. Firstly respect is earned, no longer assumed. Authoritarian style teaching leaves little room or respect for the student. An educator can and should be an authority on her subject(s), but needs to balance being both a teacher and a facilitator. The best teachers allow for an active learning environment, not simply a classroom where students have no outlet for discussion and questioning.
Most of the parents I've had have been respectful, but I also see parents from two extremes, the helicopters and those who can't manage to get out of their pajamas to drop off their child. The helicopter parents basically send a message to their child that they're not competent enough on their own, and that teachers don't have their best interests at heart. The other extreme send an unspoken message that school is just another chore, something the student has to do, and for those who bring Johnny to school in their pajamas, I'm sorry for that child.
When my sons were attending school, anytime I attended the school, I dressed respectfully, especially if it was a school function or a parent/teacher meeting. It wasn't just a pair of jeans and a tshirt. And my kids aren't that old, so this wasn't ages ago. I'm not sure if this came directly from my upbringing, or if it has more to do with expectations. I don't have time to continue now, but will come back later to finish some thoughts.
I appreciate the thread and the responses being offered. It's an important subject.
Well said, rebekahELLE. "respect is earned, no longer assumed." Luckily, most of my kids' teachers have earned our respect. There are wonderful teachers out there really dedicate their time and efforts to help kids learn. And they have my highest respect.
I'm not going to respect a generic teacher. Some teachers deserve my respect and admiration and some deserve nothing but scorn.
Let me start by answering the question. NO! Not by general society, not by parents, and not by politicians who make laws that directly impact the job that we do. Are there poor teachers that don't deserve respect? Absolutely, just as in any profession.
I had a parent come to my classroom this past Monday and yell at me "What are you stupid?" in my classroom doorway with my students sitting in my classroom listening to her. When I asked her to set up an appointment to talk, she just kept screaming at me. When I looked down at her 9 year old son and politely asked him if he was coming into class with me or staying with mom, she responded with "he's not coming into your class Bi#&@!" Would you ever walk into a drs. office and treat a physician that way because you were upset with a diagnosis? I don't think so.
Why did she yell at me? Because her "honor roll son" was "given" all Es by me. She failed to take into consideration that he missed 22/45 days of the second card marking and did no work to make anything up. He missed the entire month of December and not even a phone to let us know why. Yes, we have truancy involved and all of that but this teacher was just doing her job, just like drs. and lawyers and bankers. No, we do not get respect.
As far as the "time off" and pay. I will not repeat all that has already been said about that but we also have to take classes to renew our licenses. That comes out of our "big salary" paychecks too.
Here's a quote that I get in an email every once in a while that pretty much sums it up.
Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan -- that equals 6 1/2 hours). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.
Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations. LET'S SEE.... That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 15 children X 180 days = $140,400 per year. Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here!
There sure is! The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is around $50,000. $50,000/180 days =$277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!
Wow, that was a scary parent you had there. Very rude indeed. It reminded me one of the parents from my kid's class. This parent complained about the teacher giving too much homework and leaving no time for his daughter to play. As a result, it made his daughter gain a lot of weight. Strange and weird people we have in this world. By the way, this teacher is one of the great teacher in my kid's school. She has earned my respect for really teaching and caring for her students.
I don't think they are as respected and some do not necessarily deserve to be respected.
When I was a child certain teachers went out of their way to help and make a difference in your life and they will always be remembered and respected. However some teachers now look at children as a number and do the minimum to help get them by.
But on this note...
I think some teachers are losing the will to teach as they have less control over students and can find it increasingly difficult to make a difference dealing with abusive behaviour by some youth.
I agree. It is very disheartening to go to a job that you are very passionate about and not be able to do it because of circumstances beyond your control and then get blamed for those things because you are not making a big enough gain in student learning.
It depends on the school system. My daughters boyfriend works in a suburban school system where teachers are respected. In the city itself, I know that the kids have little respect for teachers. I have seen it firsthand Teachers spend time trying to gain control. The situation is sad in today's schools. Many parents have little control. Then again, we know of some teachers who have performed miracles as in "Freedom Writers".
I think our teacher are among our most important professionals, and they are certainly under paid and under appreciated.
YOu really need to ask this question???? Not even close...not by anybody--students, parents administrators, politicians or the media. Teachers have become the whipping boy/girl/person of American society.
I asked because I am not American and want toknow if this trend is international.
I guess the fact that many theories that are supposedly pro-child are being advocated making students world over think that they can do anything they want.
I student killed a teacher here in India a couple of days ago, the reason, he did not like her. My friend told me a student once asked her if her should get the media to witch hunt her, implying that he would harm himself and tell that the teacher caused him so much trauma ... All she did was warn him to get his assignments done on time.. This used to be the land where teacher were considered Gods and this is what we have come to.. I honestly wonder what we are doing to our kids?
Wow, I am shocked and saddened by that Sofs. It is really scary to know that children have the power to manipulate a situation to blame someone else and potentially ruin their lives because of it. It is amazing to me that we as teachers get slammed on every angle for doing our job.
No, teachers do not receive the respect they once did. The world is a smaller place than it was back then. Twenty four hour news lets us all hear the stories of teachers who make bad choices and never tell us of the thousands of teachers who go the extra step for their students. I do not think that teachers are the only profession that are respected like they once were. It is pretty much across the board. In fact, I think people do not respect themselves like they once did. Sad state of affairs, huh?
Respect is a word that got lost over time in society itself. And watching the children of this time era with the technology they have now are becoming even more disrespectful. Teachers I agree are disrespected and do not get the praises for their efforts put forth for teaching our children and dealing with the children who refuse to be respectful to them. Its a terrible thing to see the children of today be so rude and lazy as what is was years ago when the child would be disliplined for their actions without a lawsuit.
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