Teachers are overpaid. There, we said it.
As former teachers, it pains us to say this, but we here at ThinkFives, have looked at the teaching profession in-depth and compared it to many other employment opportunities. Teachers get so many other benefits from the teaching profession that it’s hard to understand why they are paid so much.
Our conclusion is clear: In some cases, districts should consider charging teachers to work there.
After studying this thoroughly, we arrived at these Top 5 Reasons Why Teachers are Overpaid.
No Need to Focus
In many professions, you’re asked to do a few things well, and you have the ability to focus. Teachers are extremely lucky since they get to wear multiple hats on top of multiple hats. Each day, you get to be a teacher, counselor, friend, safety officer, nurse, manager, public relations specialist, data analyst, assessor, presenter, comedian, singer, interviewer, and social director, among many other possibilities.
For this type of variety, teachers should just volunteer for these experiences.
No Limit to When You Can Work
Many professions force employees to take 15 minute breaks every two hours and then take an hour for lunch. Timecards or lights out also let them know when they’re off work and need to leave. Teachers are lucky because they get to work as much as they want for as long as they want.
Work begins early in the morning with prep for school. Then you get to work with students all day, not bothered by those mandatory breaks that other workers have to take. Lunch can be enjoyed while meeting with students or parents or just running in the hallway. No forced hour for alone time or having to socialize with friends.
And thankfully, there is no after-school. A teacher can stay in the classroom as long as they want, take a quick break and work all night.
We haven’t even begun to talk about weekends and holidays. Teachers have so much prep and corrections to do, they can still work when others are forced to take time off. Now that’s a nice benefit!
Not Forced to Sit Still
Many jobs anchor employees to chairs, desks or lonely offices. You lucky teachers get to move around all day long, gaining valuable hours of exercise. Running from teacher lounges to classrooms, patrolling hallways, monitoring recess and leading after-school activities are just a few of the ways that teachers keep healthy and happy.
Even in the classroom, teachers get their steps in. They move up and down aisles, run to the back when there’s a disturbance, or stand on their feet all day. Teachers are lucky to be pulled in so many different directions to stay aerobic and work up a nice healthy sweat.
Not Limited to Working with Similar Personalities
If you’re an engineer or coder you spend most of your time working with people like yourself. The same is often true of police or fire officers, and many other workers. Not so with teachers. They get to experience the full cornucopia of personalities in our society.
Without even taking into account the many types of students in the classroom, teachers get to experience the exuberant parent of the smartest child in the world. Or the angry parent who believes we coddle children too much today and that education has gone to pieces since their day! Or the over-stressed parent who confuses which of their children are in your class or even who you are.
And don’t forget the micromanaging administrator; or the assistant Superintendent who has all the answers; and the school board member who wants no special treatment but calls you daily to make sure you’re doing what they talked about!
Reaping the benefit of meeting all these different personalities in one job is another reason why teachers are overpaid.
Make Too Much of a Difference
Teaching is one of the professions where a month, a semester or a year of a relationship can have a life-long impact on a child. While teachers are modest, any seasoned teacher can cite a long list of students and parents who have expressed their heartfelt appreciation for their teaching and counseling.
Sometimes they appreciate the skill acquisition in academic areas like reading or math. But many times, it’s the development of a child into a young adult, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. Impacting that type of growth is a regular experience for a good teacher.
Teachers can see that light bulb go on. They are affirmed when a former student returns to visit with a success story and a thank you. There is objective evidence of success each and every week.
That affirmation — and that confidence that you’re making a difference in this world — is a reward in itself. Anything else is over payment! [Or maybe just an overly-generous stipend to cover all the materials the teacher has to buy out of their own pocket].
Do you agree with our insights? Isn’t teaching the most wonderful and under-rewarded Professional?