Do we undervalue our teachers?

On yesterday’s programme, we received a huge response from teachers around the world who felt that they were not paid their worth.

Dr. Charles in Nigeria told us  how teaching did not provide enough money to put food on the table for his family. Zikomo in Malawi also said he was struggling on a teacher’s salary. Class sizes were too high and resources were poor. But Mel on the blog responded that she was fed up with hearing teachers go about their pay, especially when they get such long holidays.

In Australia teachers have gone on strike to protest against their pay rise offer. School teachers in Washington and Los Angeles
are being warned of staff lay offs to cut spending. Teachers here are also tired with bad behaviour.

Are you a teacher and do you feel you are undervalued?  Do we take our teachers for granted or are they treated well enough?

8 Responses to “Do we undervalue our teachers?”

  1. 1 Patti in Cape Coral
    May 14, 2009 at 12:52

    I think we do undervalue are teachers, considering what other professionals get paid. Without teachers, we wouldn’t have other professionals! That being said, I know there are some bad teachers out there. It seems to be the chicken or the egg question. Do some teachers perform poorly because they are poorly paid, or are teachers getting poor pay because of poor performance. I don’t exactly think teachers are poorly paid in the US, just paid much less than other professionals of comparable education. I don’t think people become teachers for the money anyways.

  2. 2 Dale
    May 14, 2009 at 16:27

    I don’t think we undervalue our teachers. Most teachers repeat their curriculum ‘parrot fashion’ year after year.

    Too many teachers try to cling on to their youth and try to be “cool” by being companions to their pupils/students. Students really want be able to respect their teachers. Students want teachers who will be objective and remain neutral because they have enough friends.

    It’s more a question of teachers undervalueing their own role.

  3. 3 Anthony
    May 14, 2009 at 16:32

    Most teachers start off wanting to change the world. Then they see that the kids don’t appreciate them and beggin not to care. They get paid good to teach. Think about what other people need to make 50K starting off. Nurses get paid the same in some cases to clean up feces. I hate when teachers complain. Honestly, I have a lot of teacher friends, it’s not stressful, most think it’s fun, and most think it’s not hard work at all. What we need to do is change the way our school system works. After middle school they should either put the advanced kids together, the normal kids in certain classes, the not smart kids in vocational classes, and kick out the “bad” kicks and put them in a military school type enviorment.

    These teachers should try retail management, or accounting, nursing, or some other job around the same pay and see if they are complaining after that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  4. 4 Jennifer
    May 14, 2009 at 17:28

    Re: Are you a teacher and do you feel you are undervalued? Do we take our teachers for granted or are they treated well enough?

    I think we do take our teachers for granted. They are entrusted with taking care of the most precious in our society. However, I think the best teachers children could have are loving, attentive parents who actually parent.

  5. 5 rgundapa
    May 14, 2009 at 17:45

    Do we undervalue our teachers? It depends on the spciety we are look at. For example, the society i come from has a saying “If you have no hope of getting a job, become a teacher.” If there are no teachers, everybody will become a teacher, I fear. The consequences are clearly visible.

  6. 6 rgundapa
    May 14, 2009 at 18:14

    My brother is such a guy who tries to avoid paying to anyone except teachers of his daughter!! he is surely an idiot. But I forgive him for every bad thing of him jut because of the fact that he knows the value of teachers.

  7. 7 Dennis Junior
    May 14, 2009 at 23:36

    Yes, I think that we undervalue the VALUE of the Teacher…

    Speaking from the Education System in the U.S. State of New York and involved in Special Education….The funding is totally not there to do an adequate job to assist children who have needs that regular school programmes are adapted to assist in….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  8. 8 viola
    May 15, 2009 at 17:57

    It depends on where a teacher lives. Some cultures value teachers and offer proper rewards for teaching in the form of adequate pay and a high degree of respect. Japan is an example of such a culture.

    Some cultures offer adequate pay in comparison to other sectors of the economy, but little respect. Canada and the U.S. may be examples of that kind of culture.

    A frequent refrain is that, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I don’t subscribe to that particular denigration of the teaching profession.

    Some studies have shown that when learning a new subject, you know you have done so when you are able to make others understand that subject; that is, you can teach it to others. If you can’t teach it, in other words, you don’t fully know it.

    So I would paraphrase: “Those who can understand, can teach. Those who can’t understand, can’t teach.”

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