Are teachers really paid what they’re worth?


Raegan Wyant

Money to represent the unfair wages of people who work in americas education system.

Raegan Wyant, Reporter

As I’m sure many people are aware, there’s an ongoing argument over whether or not teacher payment should be raised or not. With Covid-19 being recognized as a global pandemic in March of 2020. Schools were forced to start changing to primarily online learning around the same time, American schools have gone through a world of challenges in recent years. Even with all this happening, teachers have prevailed and continued to offer students the best opportunities that they can, yet their salaries are still somehow on the line. 

Teachers around the world have recently started showing their dissatisfaction with their job payment, with an article by Heubeck even stating, “From January through October of 2018, public educators quit at an average rate of 83 per 10,000 a month, the highest since 2001 when the U.S. Department of Labor began tracking this information.” 

It’s not a hidden fact that teachers deal with many issues in and outside of the classroom, but many people still struggle to understand just why teachers claim to be ‘underpaid’. An article by Thomas C. Frohlich puts it into perspective; “Public high school teachers in the United States earned approximately 19.2% less than other college-educated workers in 2019”. 

The main thought after reading that may be ‘wow, that’s a pretty big wage gap’, and while this gap may be large, it isn’t new at all, and underpayment towards teachers has been exercised for a very long time. Teachers and other educators in different states have spoken out multiple times in attempts to gain more support on their side of the issue, but it hasn’t been as effective as many have hoped. To much surprise, by speaking out, educators have gained equally as much hate and negative attention as they gain support. 

One of the main reasons educators aren’t gaining massive support on this issue is because of how lowly their efforts and job challenges are seen as. You could ask a random student in any school if they have a certain teacher that they aren’t fond of, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get a clear yes, along with some making fun of the said teacher. But by admitting to disliking this person, the student sort of invalidates all of the efforts the teacher puts into their job, as well as everyday life. Now imagine multiple students dislike their teachers and believe that this means it’s ok to be disrespectful towards them…how do you think parents, other students, and even their colleagues view them as a person or educator now? Not very highly, that’s for sure. As this happens in mass amounts, it affects how society views educators as a whole. Society sort of begins to paint being a teacher as easy, low maintenance, with a small workload, stress-free, etc. Now that teaching is seen as an easy job, people begin to think that their low pay is sufficient for the amount of work that they do which from lots of people’s point of view, couldn’t be less true. 

With all of this in mind, do you think teacher salaries should be raised? Or do you think they’re making what their work is worth?