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View Diary: A political issue -- teacher pay (255 comments)

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  •  While I agree with you, teacherken, (none)
    and many of the other teachers on this thread, that public school teaching is an underappreciated and sometimes underpaid profession-- I do have some problems with the tone of the article you quote, and I'm wondering if, deep down, this tone is not partially responsible for some of the "quit whining" comments that have appeared here.

    It seems as if the author of the article is most outraged by the supposed indignity of the kinds of second jobs teachers carry.

    One day they're shaping minds, a moral force in the lives of the young people they teach and know, and in some ways the architects of the future of the nation. The next day they're serving cocktails and selling plasma TVs at the mall.

    If you live in the Bay Area of California, you might find the head of Redwood High School's science department helping customers at the Plumpjack Cafe select a wine to complement the soft-shelled crabs.

    The way I read these juxtapositions: the author feels teachers are part of a class of educated professionals that are above working at the mall or in restaurants.  Low teacher income is an issue because it blurs the rightful class lines between professionals and uneducated workers.  I agree that there's no reason teachers should be paid less than other educated professionals; but I am often of the opinion that some of the other educated professionals could stand to survive on a somewhat lower income than they currently do.

    Meaning, there are lots of people in this country who work hard and long at one job, then have to take on a second to make ends meet.  It's not just teachers vs. lawyers.  Let's improve conditions for teachers, sure... but not fall into the trap of thinking they have it worse than, say, fast food workers or meatpackers.

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