Do teachers deserve more respect?

Being a teacher in North America is not considered to be a career on the same level as a scientist, lawyer or CEO. That is a simple fact. However if you think about it, a teacher helps develop children’s minds which enables them to become scientists, lawyers and CEO’s. Without teachers our economy would diminish because we would not have some of the basic skills needed to compete with countries that have better educated populations. So why do we not have greater respect for teachers and teaching in North America?

In Canada and the U.S. we have a problem with the entire institution. It starts with pay. We do not pay our teachers enough. When you offer a mid-range pay scale, you attract mid-range quality. Now, I’m not saying every teacher is mediocre because there are some very good ones, but the majority of teachers in North America, at least in public schools are average at best. Just as important is the training and the standards that we hold teachers to. We do not train our teachers well enough and have standards that are too low. If these factors all changed then being a teacher would demand much more respect than it does currently.

Teachers are one of the important pillars to an economy and society. Sure, Entrepreneurs and CEO’s are crucial, as are scientists and many other occupations. However, those career paths are already well respected (as they should be). Teaching needs a change from the top (government) and until this happens they will never have the same respect level as other top occupations. The public is not to blame for this lack of respect. Quite honestly, in its current form, teaching and teachers don’t deserve more respect than they are receiving (aside from a select few that are truly great at what they do). People want to have a higher respect level for them, but respect needs to be earned and the governments of North America are not doing enough to make that happen.