One of the most frequent complaints that I hear from educators is that they don't get paid enough. Inevitably, a comment will usually follow that entertainers don't deserve to get paid millions of dollars when people like teachers, police, firemen, etc. get paid very little in comparison. I have some thoughts on this topic.
*Teachers know what they are getting into before they join the profession. It's not like teachers get their degrees and then say "Waaaaaaait a minute! Lebron James gets paid 20 million dollars a year, and what I am doing is more important, so I want 21 million!" If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, I strongly recommend that you look at the salary structure in your area before making that commitment.
*It is hard to measure quantifiably what makes a good teacher. Even if we did want to pay the greatest teachers huge sums of money, what exactly makes a great teacher? Is it someone who can inspire the best test scores? Is it someone who prepares their students for college? For life? It seems like a lot of people are so quick to jump on the test score answer. Personally, I would rather learn more skills than just test taking if I was a student.
*If teachers should make more money than entertainers, then where would the money come from? Teachers, firemen, policemen, etc. are government employees. The government is likely going to choose to spend most of its money in other places. Teaching is not a money making enterprise. Entertainers, on the other hand, are paid based on what the public is willing to pay for their services. There are large amounts of money being made. Somebody has to get it.
So, if you want to say that teachers should make more money than entertainers because they are doing more important work, I can't really argue with that. There is not really a practical solution if you look at it this way (without getting into flat out Communism/Socialism, and I don't think we want to do that).
If you look at it from the amount of money that is generated by their work, however, then teachers are actually being paid more than they should be. Your opinion on this issue depends on which perspective you take.
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