The starting pay of a teacher in Manatee County with a four year degree is $32,000, the exact say pay of a manager with a high school diploma at Walgreens. The amount of time and effort put into developing your craft in the classroom and becoming a successful teacher should require a higher salary that what is currently offered. Teachers need to be paid more for their occupation because of their time spent in attaining a four year degree, because of the increasing cost of living in the Florida area, and because teachers are the ones who are educating our future doctors, lawyers, and presidents.
Without teachers our society would not be educated and people would not be given an opportunity to become all they can be. The teacher profession is a prestigious occupation that requires a lot of time and effort. In order to become a teacher you must attain at least a four year degree and complete a series of certification tests in the area of study you want to teach. The criteria people must meet in order to become a teacher is difficult because you must also complete a lot of core requirements from other subject areas before you are given a degree.
In order to become a teacher you must complete a four year degree that usually takes five years of your life to finish. Those five years are filled with student loans and personal debts that are accumulating due to the heavy schedule at school. With all this time and effort put into becoming a prestigious figure in our society you realize that the amount of pay you will receive is the equivalent to a person coming right out of high school and working as a manager at your neighborhood Walgreens drugstore.
This loan statistic irritates me, a future teacher, because of all the sacrifices I had to endure in order to finish school on time. I had to pay my final two years of school because my Pelt Grant expired after the first two years. Instead of stressing myself out with all those classes I need to graduate and stressing myself out about repaying all those loans I could have been working 40 hours a week at Walgreens receiving the same amount of pay I would have gotten if I went to school. The cost of living in Florida is rising at a high number.
The magazine U.S News & World Report had a story in their December 6, 2004 issue about the increase in real estate in the nation. The homes in Manatee County have increased 40. 7 percent from 2003 to 2004. This 40. 7 percent increase now pushes up the price of started homes in Manatee County to $172,700. If you do the math you will see that a teacher coming out of college will have to pay a high mortgage, pay back their student loans, and also must deal with all the bills that come with living in the real world. $32,000 doesn’t seem like all that much anymore when you look at the big picture of what you have to pay and live with.
Back to the Walgreens comparison, a manager with a high school diploma will make the same amount as the teacher but the manager doesn’t have to pay back loans. By the time your four year degree is completed the manager has already put in four years of work at Walgreens as is has received numerous raises for their work and loyalty. Our society would absolutely not be able to function without teachers. The service teachers provide for our nation is high above any other occupation out there. Sure, a doctor saves lives but who teaches that doctor how to save lives?
Who teaches that lawyer how to argue well in order to receive that ludicrous settlement from a cheating husband? Teachers ultimately are the ones who make our society function. With such power a teacher has in shaping our future it is ridiculous that they one of the lowest paid professions. First year Bartow High School Math teacher Javier Mattos also feels discouraged that other professions are earning larger incomes that the teaching profession, yet the teaching profession made it possible for those other professions to stay alive. “I hate to see lawyers, doctors, etc…
make more money than teachers do because without teachers there would be no doctors and lawyers,” Mattos said. At times I don’t know why I made the decision to become a teacher. After researching and interviewing teachers about the low pay, the stress, and the disrespect from other professions I feel as if I should have spent my money on another profession that does not compare to a high school diploma manager at Walgreens. It does not seem fair that a teacher receives such low pay for the job that they do. In Florida everyone is entitled to a free education no matter where you live or your ethnicity.
Teachers are giving your children a free education in order to better themselves and to give them an opportunity to live a fulfilling life. And this is the way society pays back one of the hardest working professions! Even if I have to count my pennies when I graduate and start my teaching profession I will continue to strive to be the best teacher I can. Hopefully more people will realize the job that a teacher is doing for this society and finally show the respect teachers rightfully deserve and provide us with a salary that is compatible with the job we are doing.