Teachers are a core influence on the future of our society. During the 13 years a child’s mind develops the most, teaches are almost always present and very influential. Although educating students in academics is a teachers’ responsibility, many take on the responsibility of shaping students into well-versed socially conscious young adults. Teachers are essential in the development of our future society, yet society does not treat them as such. 

The role of a teacher is sometimes looked down upon by students, parents, and even government administrations. Not all students enjoy school, so it becomes difficult for them also to respect and appreciate their teacher’s work. Students may also lash out, resulting in consequences, which both students and parents will not enjoy. Many parents however choose to argue with the teacher, claiming they caused the issue instead of admitting their child was in the wrong. In many cases, the teacher receives the repercussions, for honestly reporting a student’s behavior. Reasons can go on for why society does not respect teachers, but creating a solution is far more beneficial. How can we change this? 

 Why are there big parades for football teams and not teachers? Teachers provide more value to society, yet we do not celebrate great teachers like we do sports heroes.  A large factor in why a teaching career may be looked down upon is that teachers are seen as a cost center and not a public benefit. Then they are paid less due to short term budgetary issues.. Recently in New Jersey, along with many other US states, teachers salaries are decreasing as health care costs increase and those costs are being taken out of their paychecks. Many teachers have to work one or two other jobs to support their basic needs. This is a large factor in the teacher shortages. College students are not going to want to choose a career where they can barely afford basic necessities. This is a difficult issue to solve because most solutions impact different areas. If the government gave more funding to schools to increase teachers’ salaries, the funding would be taken from a different area, which may suffer. If individual areas increased their funding to schools, taxes may be raised, which would then decrease net income. Teachers could be supported with more benefits, but this issue arose from schools needing to provide healthcare, lowering budgets for salaries.

 I believe that teacher can be solved through educators and policy makers conversing about the issues that each face in this predicament.  To solve the issue of teacher shortages, policy makers must coordinate with teachers. Teachers experience the problem first hand, and policy makers have the power to change the problem. Solutions will not be made immediately, but I believe that policy makers directly working with educators is the first step toward solving the problem of teacher shortages. 

A way to abate the issue that teacher currently face could be to hold teacher summer camps. Parents can send their children to a one or two week long camp where students can focus on their preferred interests, taught by teachers focusing on their specialties. Teachers can be paid year round and learn from other teachers at these camps.

Another goal is to have industries and businesses focus on the problem of teacher shortages. Businesses need great teachers if they want educated workers in the future. Businesses can have large discounts for teachers to make their lives easier. Businesses can also invest in education.

Students can send thank you letters to their teachers. They can build a website that makes the teacher “person of the year”, not a basketball player.  Kids can make this change happen.

Governments can have tax breaks for teachers. Paying teachers more is necessary. In the long term, educated students turn into dedicated workers, citizens, and taxpayers. Costa Rica invested almost all of their money from their military and put it in teaching, and are thriving from this. Providing more subsidies for teachers to live in more expensive neighborhoods will allow teachers to work at more funded schools without overspending on living. 

In order to change society, we need parents, students, governments, businesses and influential organizations like the United Nations to put teachers first.  We need to celebrate great teachers and hold the others in much higher regard so that we can educate the future leaders, scientists and citizens that are going to make the world better.  Please help us recognize teachers around the world so that we can improve the future.

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