A while back I decided that a good part of my possible book buyers would be teachers.
So on Monday I spent some time researching about teachers. Found out some rather terrifying information. Apparently teachers should be getting combat pay. In the 2011-12 school year 209,800 teachers were attacked by students. With an average of 1,175 teachers being attacked each day of the school year. (CNSNEWS.com) What the heck is happening?
While I am sure these statistics apply to teachers of older kids it is still shocking. What do you do with that kind of information? Where do you go with it?
I started my query into teachers as part of building my “persona” image for my ideal book buyer who I was thinking would be a 3rd – 4th grade teacher. Not a rosy picture. I found out that almost 50% of teachers leave within their first five years -20% of these are in high-poverty schools but that still leaves a shocking 30% leaving from other schools.
I knew from talking with my sister-in-law who is a teacher that not only does their workday not end when the school bell ends, they take home work to do (homework grading) every night and weekend as well as spend time planning and preparing for classes for the next day/week. Add to that many teachers spend money out of their own pocket to fill in places where their allocated budget doesn’t reach.
So now you have teachers who are at risk for their lives with disgruntled students. You have class room curriculum that is unable to be funded in many cases for classroom projects and surprise here comes perhaps the number one reason teachers leave. Parent and government expectations that are unrealistic. The pressure to make every classroom experience, warm, fun and educational with kids who are stressed out from home situations that are stressed.
The last several weeks we have seen national coverage of the horrible conditions of school buildings in Flint, Michigan. My bet is that they are not alone.
Obviously the change that needs to happen cannot be laid on teachers alone. Dollars won’t fix it though it might help. Basically the whole research session left me feeling that yes, teachers really do need to be receiving combat pay.
I ended by asking myself what can I do to show appreciation to teachers? What can society do to encourage and reward teachers?
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