I was saddened by Brett Delegard’s March 3 reaction to the Feb. 15 op-ed written by Robert Archer. I think Delegard missed the point of Archer’s discussion, exemplifying the problem at hand. Archer wasn’t griping about his pay, but proving a point about public perception and equity in teacher compensation.
Delegard claims teachers earn what they deserve, but the hours never add up. This is a persistent problem. There is no such thing as a break in teaching. Teachers work, on average, 12 hours a day. After school they stay, plan, grade, make PowerPoints, make phone calls, tutor, write letters of recommendation, clean classrooms, coach, talk with colleagues and bring homework each night.
Teachers struggle against continually changing sets of rules, expectations and standards. Holidays are spent grading, planning and preparing for semester shifts. Summers are spent on new curriculum, at training sessions, at weeklong camps with students, obtaining required clock-hours to renew certificates and earning college credits in the hopes of increasing pay.
It’s a challenging but rewarding job.
Until perceptions change, teachers will continue to be revered by some, misunderstood by many and, more importantly, not befittingly compensated, which was Archer’s point exactly.