- Increase the Pay
bottom line there is no way around this. I personally worked two-three jobs one school year. I worked summer school as well. This is a problem. I have THREE degrees. I am a single parent. I struggled to make my ends meet. I was not living a lavish lifestyle. I rented my apartment and was one of the few people who lived in the same city as my school. Most lived 30-90 minutes away. How can we effectively and realistically build relationships within our communities that we teach when we cannot afford to live there. I get the cost of living varies from state to state city to city but come on people when you can make more money at Target we have a problem. Education is very backbone of any society. We are only as smart as our education system. We FAIL our society when we do not take education serious. You have to pay teachers more. Base salary first year teacher with a Bachelors degree $75k yearly. Base salary first year teacher with a Masters degree $80k yearly. Doctorate degree $90k. At some point within five years teachers should see $100k. Bonuses should happen especially you are gonna tie our pay to student performance. Housing stipends. Tax breaks. Student loan forgiveness without all the red tape. Childcare breaks/stipends. Paid maternity leave I’m talking 8 to 12 weeks minimum. Moving stipend. Sign on bonus. Retention bonus. You have to show people you value them. Teachers make the world go round. If we all walked out right now this whole country would shut down. Remember the fuss created about the school buildings closing for COVID…teachers can SHUT THIS WHOLE COUNTRY DOWN!!!!! Respect us. Pay us.
- Reduce class size and put a cap on it IMMEDIATELY!!!!
elementary should not have more than 15 students in a class without a paraeducator/teacher assistant. Now listen just because you add another teacher to the classroom does not mean you need to add more kids. That is insanity and that is called a loophole. Stop doing it. Preschools and daycares cannot have a bunch of kids in a classroom without a certain teacher to child ratio. Schools should have one as well. Middle school should not have more than 20 kids per class and guess what there should be a paraeducator as well. Paraeducator should remain FOREVER in the classroom. Our students have so many various needs ONE person can only do so much and in order to be effective and provide student with individualized and differentiated instruction and an another teacher in the classroom permanently full-time would go a long way. That achievement gap will finally close.
Everyone needs to held accountable from the students to the parents. From admin to the BOE. Teachers are blamed for everything and we seriously have little control over 95% of the decisions being made. Students are not held accountable to the point they are violent and aggressive towards teachers and students. There is no structure at home so they fight structure at school. Parents are also hostile towards teachers. They are degrading their children are watching and listening, which spills into the classroom. The BOE is tying admins hands which means they cannot help us when need help. So we suffer, struggle, and drown. We should not have to shelter in place ten minutes after students arrive because a student is terrorizing anyone in their path. It should not take four adults to restrain a child from harming themselves and others. Parents are not reachable when there is an issue. Students cannot be suspended. Teachers cannot fail students. So all that happens is students get passed on with files so thick it’s like an encyclopedia volumes kindergarten through 12th grade. NOTHING is happening because there is no accountability. I am all for understanding and extending grace but at some point we gotta thing a thing and stop making excuses. Why are students not getting enough sleep? Why are they coming to school hungry? Why are they living in a hostile environment? Why does it take 6 months to get the ball rolling on referrals to get help for a child with clear issues? Why are the lights off at home? Why are teachers being held responsible for things out of their control? If a child is sleepy and hungry they cannot learn but here the powers that be go telling us here is the state mandated test that is tied to your performance. Student A fails because they were sleepy and hungry. Student B fails because English is not their first language. Student C fails because they are operating below grade level. Student D fails because they have test anxiety. Student E fails because they just clicked through the test not paying attention. Now the teacher is labeled ineffective based on ONE test. Yet we don’t provide grades based on ONE thing.
The system is flawed and it is failing. The system will continue to fail as long as we keep slapping band-aid solutions on problems that need surgery. The system needs to be gutted and revamped. The system is not keeping up the research or times. I promise if you sit with teachers we can tell you what is wrong and how to fix it. We are in the trenches we see it daily. We are problem solvers by nature. We know what we are doing. Trust us and I promise it will get fixed.