Teacher Salaries: Are You Earning What You’re Worth?
Mrs. Leela is a teacher loved alike by students, teachers and parents at her school. But, unfortunately, the school management had a different opinion about her. They termed her as “greedy” and “selfish”, which forced her to resign. I tried to find out what exactly caused Mrs. Leela to quit her job, for she loved her students and enjoyed teaching them.
The reason I discovered was not entirely surprising, but it was unexpected.
Despite her immense contribution to her school for over a decade, Mrs.Leela was being paid a meagre amount for her services. The school management has not bothered to hike her salary one bit and Mrs. Leela, being a single mother, was finding it difficult to make ends meet and to pay the fees for her children’s college.
This is not just the story of Mrs. Leela but also of several other teachers around the world. Teaching is a highly respected job, since no one else can mould the best generation for future than teachers. Teachers have largely influenced the lives of people right from ancient times. They are responsible for building a civilised society, introducing you to the world of knowledge and preparing you to face the world.
Most teachers have chosen the career path due to their love for children and the joy they find while imparting education. But, for all the efforts they put, do they really earn what they are worth? No one bothers to ask.
Let’s have a fact check:
If you are a teacher, you may agree how the figures given above are true, even if you teach in a private school or a government-run school. Job satisfaction alone won’t feed the teachers’ families; for that, they have to be paid better. Also, for the teachers to stay committed to their job, they should be paid what they are worth.
Now, when people who are equally qualified get paid better, why are teachers still underpaid? The answer is simple!
Their efforts go unnoticed
The average school hours may be from 9 to 5. But it is a fact that teachers work beyond those hours, which often goes unnoticed. Most teachers take their work such as notebook correction and evaluation of answer papers home. Also, they spend many hours at home, preparing the lessons to be taught the next day, or pondering over innovative teaching methods. And, it’s not just teaching that the teachers do, but any job that can be advantageous for the school. In most schools, teachers are also involved in encouraging the students to participate in various cultural events and making the school proud by winning laurels. But they are never acknowledged for their efforts. If it is a corporate job, you may get paid for even every moment you think of work. But for teachers, they are paid with 1 question:
What big work have you done after all?
It’s time that school managements recognize the efforts put by the teachers for the betterment of the school, adding to its reputation and pay them deservingly.
There are various software such as the Work force Management System by Edsys where teachers can enter their daily activities, that helps the school managements to understand their efforts and pay them better!
As for school managements, better paid teachers would be happier and more productive. The staff retention rate would also be high. At a time when getting quality teachers are getting harder, it would make sense to retain existing talent.