Do teachers make the (pay) grade?

Education advocate Barnett Berry swears: “Teachers need to transform teachers.” In order to do so, we must first transform our opinion of teachers which has devolved to the point that teachers now serve as under-paid, under-appreciated baby-sitters despite the fact that many deserve battle pay… and credit for saving lives. Yes, like firemen and police and doctors, teachers save lives, daily; the best teachers just do so quietly, without the histrionics that might lead to a Dick Wolf-produced tv series about them.

I have taught at every level over the course of twenty-five years and I confess the rewards must be gleaned from one’s interactions with the students, not the compensation provided. That said, it would be less stressful — and probably far more productive — if teachers were paid competitive wages commensurate with their experience and effectiveness, so that their focus could be on lesson-planning not second-job-hunting.

Ninive Calegari, head of The Teacher Salary Project and co-founder of 826 National, visited The High Bar earlier this year to discuss how else we might empower instructors so that they are as respected, if not more than, bankers and brokers and billionaires, all of whom may have skill sets and private jets but far less impact on the betterment of future generations.

After all, if we want to Think Responsibly®, we need to start learning how to do so from the time the first school bell rings.

** To learn more about what Barnett Berry has in mind for his imagine “teacherpreneurs,” check out this article from Participant Films’Take Part mission.

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