25 January 2011

Why I hope teachers stop getting applauded

One quick side note from tonight's State of the Union address: If you find yourself in a profession where people applaud you all the time, it's a sure sign that you're getting screwed.  Teachers and soldiers, I'm talking to you.  

Don't get me wrong: as a former educator, I fully respect the work that teachers do in classrooms around the country.  But the fact is, teachers are dramatically underpaid--and that one sure way to improve America's educational system is to dramatically increase teachers' salaries. (The best way, of course, is to break the government monopoly on education--a measure which would coincidentally result in higher pay for quality educators.)  Instead of larger paychecks, there is a rush to congratulate teachers on the huge sacrifice they make on behalf of the community.

Doctors, computer scientists, accountants, businessmen--the list could go on and on--all do valuable things for society too, but we don't feel the need to applaud them because they are compensated monetarily.  Less clapping, bigger paychecks.  I look forward to the day that teachers don't garner extra applause because people would think: "Yeah it's a tough job, but they are compensated for it."


kel said...

Wow, I never thought of it that way, and you're completely right. What an insightful and sad observation. Also, when you say "break the government monopoly on education" are you talking about school vouchers? If not, then what? (This topic has fascinated me ever since I took an economics of education class my last semester at BYU.)

bec said...

That's exactly what I thinking about during the state of the union (I only caught part of it, not the applauding teachers part) It would improve so many things in the country by paying our teachers better.

theriddle said...


The Old Song and Dance said...

From your cousin (who you barely know), I will add an amen. After 33 years of being applauded, I still love what I do, but I can't afford to retire.