Those of us who take jobs as teachers, educators, and social workers know what we're getting into when we sign up for the degree and the job. We sign on to higher salaries than people without an education, but lower than most degreed people make. But, for the most part, making the big bucks is not our intent.
In fact, the longer I'm in education, the more my job becomes a day-by-day battle to ensure children are receiving the best education possible with the resources we are given and the systems we are working against.
I've often said to people that it amazes me how quick we are to slash an education budget. I wonder who the highly paid people slashing or voting for slashing public education budgets think they received their intellectual abilities from and if they realize they probably wouldn't be in the place they are without a teacher and a school system that pretty much raised them.
I was delighted when I read a New York Times report on The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers and how an economist has actually been able to put a dollar value on how much a kindergarten teacher is worth. Though I don't anticipate this knowledge being put into practice any time soon, it is good to know that at least someone out there is quantifying the actual monetary value of what a good teacher does for a child and how it lasts for the rest of their lifetime.
Welcome back to work, teachers. You are extremely important...to the children you teach AND to the rest of society!