Bachelor’s degrees are becoming a more basic qualification. To become a teacher, one must need a Bachelor’s degree, a teaching certificate from an accredited institution, or a combination of both. As mentioned in Higher ROI for Less Education, the average cost of tuition for a Bachelor’s degree is nearly $40,000.
By reviewing the average salaries for different Bachelor’s degrees, one can see that a degree in education is not valuable at all. In fact, it seems nearly impossible to pay back $40,000 of debt when an individual only receives $35,000 per year, especially if he or she is trying to support a family.
A Job Nobody Wants
I do declare that teachers have the worst jobs for a position that is supposed to mold and prepare future generations, and our education system proves that. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, states that the median salary for high school teachers was $58,030 in 2016. Not bad, right? Now think about it.
Keep in mind median is not average, it is the middle. The average may be a lot lower than that. The BLS states that “High school teachers prepare students for life after graduation by teaching lessons and skills students will need to attend college or enter the job market.” That seems like an important job, yeah? But hey, importance does not mean satisfying. Our country is constantly short on teachers. In 2016, there were over 1 million teaching jobs available and nobody wanted them. Why is that?
A Colorado school district, District 27J, has recently enforced a four-day school week in an attempt to save money and retain overworked and qualified teachers. Let me clarify once again, THE SCHOOL MUST TAKE A DAY OFF, BECAUSE TEACHERS DO NOT HAVE AN ADEQUATE AMOUNT OF TIME TO PREPARE THEIR LESSONS. What! Insane in the membrane!
A Dangerous Position
In addition, teaching is now being viewed as a more dangerous position in the wake of all the school shootings. They may not be on the front line of danger (like a fire fighter or police officer), but schools certainly do not provide enough protection for teachers and students.
I have a friend who is a teacher at a high school in St. George, Utah. Over the weekend, she expressed how many of her students and fellow colleagues were concerned about their safety while attending the school. There needs to be a better handle on safety and security within schools. Does that mean better gun control? Not necessarily. Does it mean that teachers need to conceal? Nope, not that either. (How many teachers would be brave enough and willing to shoot an intruder in room full of children, anyway?) However, there are little things like:
- A pull-down shade, so intruders cannot easily see into classrooms.
- Moderate classroom sizes, so less kids are crammed in a small area.
- Accurate school records, so administrators know when and where students go.
Some of these might be available within the wealthier districts, but the poor districts are the ones that need the most attention. It is incredibly naive for a country that has recently taken the motto of “Make America Great Again” to show no support for teachers or the safety of our students.