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Are teachers underpaid?

Updated on April 14, 2012

I Believe Teachers are Underpaid!

I used to be a high school teacher before becoming a stay at home mom, so I'm a bit biased on this debate. I have yet to find another job in the area in which I live that requires a bachelor's degree and pays less than a teacher. One day while paying the bills, I began to realize that if my husband and I divorced, I would lose my car because my salary wasn't enough to cover rent, groceries, utilities, and a car payment. It's insane.

There are many problems with our nation's public school system. I saw that when I was teaching. I believe that we would get more quality educators if we would pay them more. Many good teachers quit and do something that pays more money. I was one of those teachers. I quit because my salary was too small to have paying daycare fees for 2 kids make any sort of sense at all.

Something else that the general population is unaware of is that most teachers spend around 20% of their salary on teaching materials. The government does not provide teachers with money to buy teaching supplies and education materials. As a teacher, I even bought a classroom set of novels from Barnes & Noble because the school lacked the funds to purchase the book I wanted to teach.

I know that some of you will think that teachers are over paid because they get summer vacation and their workday ends at 3:30 every day. But, what many people don't realize is that teachers work way past 3:30. It takes time to grade papers and prepare lessons. Many teachers work well past 5:00 in fact. There were many times that I was still grading papers at 10:00 at night. In addition to working late, being a teacher requires participation in extra curricular activities. Some school districts require teachers to attend all of the home football, basketball, and baseball games. Many people also believe that summer vacation is still 3 months, and that's not true either. The only full month teachers get of summer is July. Many teachers work till mid June and start back up in mid August. Also, I know a lot of teachers that teach summer school during their summer break because they need the money.

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Teachers are Important to Modern Society, Pay Them Accordingly!

Teachers make all other professions possible. If it is a profession that is necessary for society to run smoothly (doctor, lawyer, astronaut, scientist, policeman, politician...you get the idea), rest assured that we would not have them without teachers.

Do You Think Public School Teachers Are Underpaid? - Sound Off Here

I know some states pay their teachers better than others. Also, tough school districts sometimes pay more because it's harder for them to get teachers. But, to give you a frame of reference when I last taught in 2005 I was paid $24,000 a year. And that's before health insurance costs and taxes. In my opinion, it is a disgrace for any position that requires a Bachelor's degree to be paid so low.

Are teachers underpaid?

Did You Have an Inspirational Teacher?

Did you ever have a teacher that inspired you?

See results

Reasons Why Teachers Deserve More Pay

Teachers Inspire

Teachers Inspire
Teachers Inspire

Teachers Work Long Hours

Teachers Work Long Hours
Teachers Work Long Hours

Teachers Care

Teachers Care
Teachers Care

Teachers Prepare Students for the Real World

Teachers Prepare Students for the Real World
Teachers Prepare Students for the Real World

Should a Teacher's Performance Affect their Pay? - Should Good Teachers Get Paid Accordingly?

Should a teacher's pay be based off of their performance?

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    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 6 years ago

      There are a number of subjects that I feel are more beneficial than traditional education. Part of me wishes I had been taught them, but I also remember the yin yang and how every moment of our lives is filled with utter perfection.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 6 years ago

      Good teachers can learn a lot from their students.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very educative and lessons well learnt. :)

    • fantasticallyfi profile image

      fantasticallyfi 6 years ago

      Fab debate!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I cannot agree with you more. As teachers are the backbone of the education system, there is a need to keep them motivated and adequately paid. The working hours like any other job stretch beyond 5 pm in the evening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I cannot agree with you more. As teachers are the backbone of the education system, there is a need to keep them motivated and adequately paid. The working hours like any other job stretch beyond 5 pm in the evening.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 7 years ago from Scotland

      Oops, nearly forgot, as I worked in education I know the work and commitment teachers give, so I support a wage rise! Blessed by an Angel!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 7 years ago from Scotland

      What a great inspiration for a Monkey brain! This was fun!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very nice lens,enjoyed my visit!

    • PhiladelphiaWri profile image

      PhiladelphiaWri 7 years ago

      great lens, thanks! giving it a thumbs up because teachers do deserve more

    • profile image

      resabi 7 years ago

      Wonderful, thought-provoking (good teacher!) lens. As you can see from my comments above, I got a little involved... Definitely blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • moonstruckmommy1 profile image

      moonstruckmommy1 9 years ago

      Lovely lens, hopefully it'll change.... soon!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Great lens. Is a subject dear to my heart. I can get by on what I make because I'm a part of a two income household. Single and new teachers scramble to make ends meet. Teachers that work a second job are not at their best the following morning, but what choice do they have? They need to eat too.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 9 years ago from England

      Super lens and hopefully it'll make the general public realsie that a teachers job isn't as easy as it's commonly thought. 5*

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Great lens. *****