To the Editor:
Education Week recently reported that only 5 percent of surveyed high school students said they wanted to be teachers. Not only that, but these students preferred careers with higher salaries and higher prestige. (“Few High School Students Are Interested in Teaching. But Better Pay Could Help,” August 7). However, most teachers don’t enter the profession for the fame and money. They are driven by their passion to mold the minds of children and to make a lasting impact in their lives.
Nonetheless, that passion can burn out when teachers are constantly fighting an uphill battle and are required to do more with less. Teachers are expected to produce top-quality work and are held to high expectations from every angle. However, they often don’t receive the resources necessary to support the high expectations and quality of work that is desired.
I ask these students who don’t wish to become teachers: Would the interest of joining the profession change if you were guaranteed the support needed to be a successful teacher? When I say support, I don’t mean just money. What if we paid teachers with respect? If we gave teachers what they need to flourish as educators, their lives would once again be enriched with the passion that first drew them to the classroom. By providing teachers with the resources they need, we will attract more teachers excited to commit to a profession where they can transfer their love of learning to children.
Special Education Teacher
A version of this article appeared in the August 29, 2018 edition of Education Week as Pay Them Respect, and Teachers Will Come