If you read my first post, you’ll know that I loved being a teacher and I spent forty years of my life doing it even though it didn’t pay the bills.
At one time in my career, I considered leaving the classroom. I went to get my Principal’s license. At the time, the school I worked for had a new principal that wasn’t listening to teacher needs. Because that principal left and a new principal was introduced, I was able to stay in the classroom…where I really wanted to be. I knew staying in the classroom also meant keeping a lower paying position.
In my time as a teacher, I saw many great teachers leave the school for higher paying jobs and also leave the profession for the same. If experienced teachers are given room for growth, it would help increase their pay while giving them the ability to mentor younger teachers all while staying in the classroom. In my time, I mentored a lot of teachers and I believe this helped their careers, classrooms and the students they served. I was not paid for this though and it wasn’t a way for me to grow in my career.
I also believe new teachers need to come in feeling prepared for their classrooms. I hope that state leaders also invest more in teacher residency programs. When I think of the word “residency,” I think of doctors. Doctors are very well respected. I believe offering teachers this same type of option will not only prepare a teacher with a year full of lesson plans and classroom experience, but will also help our societies’ perception of teachers, garnering them higher respect.
The real price of becoming a teacher is knowing upfront you’ll be sacrificing a pay check while you pay back student loans for the good of your community and for a calling you feel in your heart. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you also believe our teachers deserve more pay, residency options and career ladders, please email Indiana State leaders and make your voice count.