Staff Editorial

According to the National
Education Association, the average
starting salary for teachers in
Virginia is $37,848 annually. Of
course this number doesn’t factor
in raises and potential promotions,
but it does reflect the incredibly
low pay that American
teachers receive.
Unlike many low paying careers,
teachers require at least a 4
year college degree, and many go
even further by pursuing graduate
school.
It would seem that this amount
of schooling and effort would pay
off in the long term with a higher
salary, but as the average starting
salary shows, this is not true.
Many careers that don’t require
any college education provide
comparable salaries, such as
electrician and mechanic, with
electricians making a mean salary
of $53,560 as of 2013, according
to US News. And this comparison
isn’t to knock blue collared
workers, but to emphasize the
surprising salary similarities between
two jobs with vastly different
education requirements.
The gap in education requirement
and starting salary isn’t the
only problem with teachers’ low
pay. A teacher’s job is to educate
children so that they will be able
to enter the world with as many
skills as possible so that one day
they will be able to make a difference
in the world.
In this way, teachers are responsible
for molding future
generations, and thus shaping
the future of the world. With
this being said, how does it make
sense for teachers to be paid
poorly? It doesn’t.
With teaching salaries being as
low as they are, some individuals
might not want to become teachers.
Thus people that could have
been used to educate future generations
are employed by companies
that will be able to pay them
considerably well for their work.
Instead of focusing on improving
the quality of education
through teacher workshops and
benchmark requirements, it may
be smarter to take a step back
and look at the lower desirability
of the teacher occupation due to
low pay.
Of course there are still plenty
of teachers in the US, making
the job field competetive, but by
making teaching more appealing
by raising salaries, becoming a
teacher suddenly becomes even
more of a competitive career
path. And with competition inevitably
comes a higher quality.
One common goal of most
countries is to better educate the
future generations, and the only
way to achieve this is by bettering
teachers and by making
people want to pursue this career
path.
The education career path
should be highly desirable, because
of salary and because of
work environment.
It shouldn’t be difficult to hire
teachers; teachers should be in
competition for such a great job.
Competition created through
higher salaries is the only way
to ensure that more people will
want to become teachers.
4/4 managing editors agree

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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