Most educators don’t pursue their profession for the money. That’s a no-brainer these days. But that also doesn’t justify low pay, especially for a profession that makes such a profound difference in young people’s lives. And the sad reality is this: Many teachers are shortchanged with salaries that fail to keep up with inflation. Meanwhile, their workloads have grown with heightened demand from the law to elicit better student performance.
It’s no surprise that the high turnover rate within the field has been likened to a revolving door. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth of all newly minted public school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year. And almost half never last more than five. But besides inadequate compensation, other problems persist in the academic environment.
Teachers, especially novices, move to other schools or abandon the profession “as the result of feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and unsupported,” according to the ASCD. And without good teachers who are not only paid reasonably but also treated fairly, the quality of American education suffers.