Instructors are not paid enough for the work they do. The average teacher earns $25,012 a year, and, even after 20 years, a classroom teacher rarely makes over $50,000. When compared to other jobs that also require a four-year degree, teaching has one of the lowest starting salaries. The Education Department estimates that America will need 220,000 new teachers a year for the next ten years – compared with 150,000 a year in the recent past. Twenty percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. Students are ultimately left with a stream of new and inexperienced teachers.
Typically, teachers try to resolve salary disputes through collective bargaining and unions. Some areas, like the Toronto school district, have passes back-to-work legislation that prevents the process of collective bargaining from occurring because it forces teachers off the picket lines and back into the classroom while issues that lower morale continue to exist. Despite overcrowding, rising violence, less authority and more responsibility, and other issues typically making the list of teacher complaints when it comes to factors that lower morale, salaries and pay-scales still remain the number one factor de-motivating teachers. Some industry experts argue that teachers are traditionally paid lower wages than industry counterparts because they are more often female “People’s views about how much teachers should be paid have a lot to do with the fact that classroom teachers are overwhelmingly female” (Chadwick 2).
Further, in the past, teacher salaries were often considered adequate in relation to the overall economy and comparison salaries from other fields. However, over the past thirty years the economy has rapidly expanded and in today’s booming economy many teachers recognize they are able to earn more income in a different profession. In a society that is materially oriented, low salaries often decrease morale “For the new genera...
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