Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Teacher's Pay should be increased

When I first started in the Early Childhood field, which was 20 years or so ago. I only made $4.50 an hour and I worked in a pre-kindergarten class with a class ratio of 1:15 students. My class was so successful that I was given an aide.  Even though my class was successful, I was only given a 5 cent raise. Being compensate for a job well -done, made me feel more determine to do more. Even though it was just a small amount. I loved what I did, so the income portion of my job wasn't a big concern
because I lived in a household with two incomes. Unfortunately, some teachers make little more than that today, and don’t live in a two income household.

Imagine the teachers that work in the field today, that don’t have a second income and have to live on an income that will not support their family.  Based on a quote from the UC Berkeley News Center;  "Nobody employed full-time to educate our children during the most critical period of development should struggle to feed and house themselves.” “But their latest research suggests that many early-childhood teachers are caught in such a struggle.” Their study also showed that “46 percent of childcare workers participate in at least one of the four major support programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), Medicaid or the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

Each time I open an article about Early Childhood the first thing I see, is programs rallying for more grant money to open another Pre-Kindergarten/Preschool program. Although I feel like these programs can provide great success in getting enough schools open so that all of our young students are able to get Early Learning. I also feel it is just as important to make sure the teachers that are educating our students are not struggling themselves.

The teacher turn-over rate in a preschool classroom can be just as damaging to a student as not getting the education they need.  When a student walks into a classroom, they need to see the same teacher(s) throughout the duration of their term in school. And within the classroom they need to understand how their day will be, and what is expected of them. Some children don’t have a stable home environment, so it is important that we as educators are able to provide that stability within a classroom.

Teachers will come and go, that is inevitable, but that can be reduced if we pay teachers what they are worth. Teachers that are continuing their education should be paid more, that is only fair. And teachers that possess a natural instinct for teaching should also be compensated for what they do. What I am saying is, pay teachers based on their individual strengths and what they bring to a center and to the children in that center.

As I feel education is important to an Early Childhood educator and program, I also feel that some teachers are naturally gifted and should be compensated for that as well.

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