Time to be less thankless to our teachers!


Having seen this close at hand for a couple of decades( my mother is a retired teacher) where she would unfailingly beat the 4 am alarm, day after day, prep the morning breakfast and lunch routine for the entire household and get going to her school to be on time, come hell or high water. While it would be tempting to assume that economics made her get up from bed every morning and scream ” wow another day at work “, it was on the contrary her passion and intrinsic motivation for her profession that made her go when ideally it should have been ” Oh, another day at work? “. Given the emoluments that was doled out every month that constituted her ‘ salary ‘. And the absolute lack of co relation between effort, emotional labour, time and dedication invested. Needless to say, teaching offers the lowest ROI of all professions( maybe nursing might match it or come a close second).


For all the education fads of the past 50 years, that we are obsessed about( read fancy swimming pools, high tech computer labs, state of the art auditoriums, air conditioned classrooms, cafetaria serving sushi and what have you) researchers have found that what matters most for student learning — far more than reducing class size or handing out iPads — is a high-quality teacher. Without a shadow of doubt.

If we are at all serious about hanging on to and attracting capable, willing educators, then we damn well be prepared to respect them as true professionals. And teacher’ compensation constitutes a vital cog in the wheel. No disrespect meant here but an insurance agent selling motor or health insurance, calculating premiums from a pre set default deck( no effort or brain power required), gets better paid than the average teacher. Common, we can all do better than that. It is a shame.


A lot of the teachers are doing back to back classes( most of the time without a bathroom break), staying after school hours to lead some extra curricular initiatives, get back home do grading(including on weekends while compromising on family time) and prepare for the next days’ classes, manage unreasonable parents and the PTAs..its incessant and high pressure. And a lot of the schools do not even have a good pantry where the lunch they carry from home can find some heat, so that it is still good enough to eat, if and when they can.


The report card on how teachers are cared for and compensated looks very shabby. Nobody will sign it. It is an F Minus.


Administrators, government entities, educational institution owners– whose bell are you ringing? Because the people who matter are not hearing it! And they are not being heard either. The lame cannot lead the blind.



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