Teachers should be paid for all those extra hours they work on their own time. As a part-time instructor I probably put in around 10 hours a week on my own time, but of course, no pay. I know that I am not the only one, as my best friend is an elementary school teacher. She spent weeks planning her room for opening day, buying so much of the materials on her own.
I am thrilled to be in a profession that I feel, changes lives. I love what I do and feed off of the energy of my college kids. I feel that I am supposed to be doing this and feel it is the perfect profession for the gifts that God has chosen to grant me. How many others have begun this profession with this same optimism and energy, only to have been discouraged that their jobs did not stop at 4:00. When they go home, another 4-5 hours of school related work is awaiting them. For some teachers I know, this adds up to a 60-70 hour workweek but only getting paid for 40. How many other professions have this kind of schedule and willingly put up with it? Doctors? Lawyers? Possibly many more, but you can bet their paycheck does accomodate their lengthy hours. Can we say the same of our public school teachers?
Some may argue that teachers are adequately paid because they get summers off. But do you realize how short that summer has become? Do you realize how many of these teachers are required to attend month-long seminars during their "summer vacations"? I know that my neice and best friend both were in month- long seminars to retain their certification this past summer and my neice had to pay for it out of her own pocket, not to mention the additional child care that was needed for her son. Just as she finished that seminar she had to begin to put her lesson plans together and decorate her room, all of which occupied weeks before school started. That was a "fun" summer.
I don't know of any current legislation that is offering to increase teacher salaries, but when it happens ,please support it. Teachers pick this profession for all the right reasons, but are leaving it for all the wrong ones.