We all know that bringing in young, energetic, enthusiastic teachers is critical to the success of American public education – especially in the future. Why? Because the law of nature dictates that nurturing youthful seeds is the way to eventually build healthy, well-developed gardens.
And yet, America is dropping the educational ball on this front. Egregiously.
When the pink slips get distributed and the ax chops, who are the first to go? Our youngest teachers. Why? Because in school today we value duration of service over quality of service. (And no, I am not usually a union basher but on this matter, they don’t really make the best case in my opinion. Quality of service should count more than years of service and it’s a falsehood to automatically equate one – time spent teaching – with the other… excellence of teaching.)
Furthermore, let’s look at some of the more practical aspects of working… like the paycheck one takes home.
Last year my district cut our pay by 3%. Next year they are talking about us taking another 10% pay cut.
A 13% pay cut in two years? Not the best way to either retain or attract talent, I’d say.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What would most people say to the Harvard Valedictorian if they informed the world that they were going to become a middle school English teacher? Not an esteemed professor. Not national leader. Not even a wretched, ink-stained author. (The most reprehensible of ’em all, when you think of it – LOL!)
The answer would be, “A mere middle school teacher? But why?”
It’s getting harder to answer that question these days and if you re-read this blog post in the year 2020, well… don’t say “We never told ya so.”