Teachers in this country are financially under-valued, and it needs to stop, says Nínive Calegari, a former classroom teacher who is the founder of The Teacher Salary Project. In a column in the Washingtost Post, Calegari writes:
“What does it mean when we live in a society when those who are trusted to take care of our future professionals are a part of our newly minted working poor? What does it mean when our fellow citizens believe that a teacher having a second job is a great idea? A teacher is the most important part of any school and undermining her financially is not allowing her to do her best work. And, her work matters deeply as she prepares her students to participate in our communities and in our shared civic life.”
“Now, more than ever, if we want to fight global warming, racism, illiteracy, poverty, sexism and homophobia, we need to elevate the teaching profession to the financially viable and prestigious one it deserves to be. Elevating teachers is our chance to show what our values truly are. Let’s pay teachers what we think our students, democracy and future are worth.”
Read Calegari’s full column as shared by Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss:
Teachers have it easy, right? They get summers off, go home in the middle of the afternoon when students leave campus, and are paid well. Actually, for most teachers, those are all myths, especially the last one. Many teachers are paid so poorly, in fact, that they have to take second jobs to pay their bills.