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Here’s What Would Happen if We Actually Respected Teachers


Here’s What Would Happen if We Actually Respected Teachers

We’re all guilty of creating imaginary scenarios in our heads. What if I won the lottery? What if I became famous? What if I finally took that road trip across the country? And, of course, the ultimate teacher fantasy: What if educators were shown an appropriate amount of respect?

We know how crucial education is, yet people seem to forget that teachers are the ones who facilitate that education. So join me in my daydream, and together we can imagine the step-by-step improvements that could be made if teachers were given the respect they deserved.

Step 1: We acknowledge that teachers are well-educated professionals that essentially create all other professions

Everyone recognizes that teaching is hard, and that educators are skilled professionals who are knowledgeable about content, learning strategies, and interpersonal skills. Instead of throwing doubt and blame at teachers, society respects the individuals who are responsible for the education of the next generation.

Step 2: Teachers are compensated as the competent experts that they are

Salaries rise dramatically in order to compensate these well-educated, multi-degreed professionals. And they even get consistent and significant raises for their dedication and impactful work.

Step 3: A higher number of talented educators enter the field of teaching

A role where people are respected and paid well? Count us in! Becoming a teacher shifts from being a sacrifice to a viable career option, and we see an influx of motivated, intelligent leaders in schools everywhere.

Step 4: An increase in teachers means a decrease in class sizes and workload

Every classroom has a manageable student-teacher ratio, and every teacher has more time to devote to their kids and their classes. Teachers are also given fewer preps, instead of teaching five completely different classes to groups of 30+ students.

Step 5: With more qualified staff to share responsibility, teacher stress drops dramatically

Instead of relying on nights and weekends to complete all necessary work, teachers have ample time built into their workday for planning, grading, and meetings. Now that they get enough rest, these calm and passionate teachers set the tone for their calm and passionate classrooms.

Step 6: Less stress and fewer responsibilities allow teachers to be their best selves for their students

Teachers are encouraged to give every single student the academic and emotional education that they need. Relationships strengthen, trust builds, and kids of all ages are part of learning communities that are built to meet their needs.

Step 7: With all of the individualized attention, students grow academically and personally

In these manageable classrooms focused on individualized instruction, students make significant progress as they learn to become better students and better human beings. Instead of emphasizing standardized testing, schools recognize that students can show what they know in a multitude of ways. 

Step 8: Student success encourages more (and equal) school funding

All of this incredible achievement gives everyone yet another reminder of how crucial education is, and more money is allocated to every single school. In addition to paying teachers a higher salary, schools also take full responsibility for funding a classroom that truly facilitates learning. And, since teachers are respected and their opinions are valued, they get to choose what that means.

Step 9. Teachers enjoy being teachers again, their mental health improves, and fewer leave the profession every year

Teachers feel respected: Every. Single. Day. Not because there’s a teacher appreciation week, not because teachers can wear jeans on Fridays, and not because admin vaguely encourages teachers to focus on their mental health. By this point, it has become an obvious fact that teachers, without question, deserve to be respected.

Step 10: The world becomes a better place

Every single child grows up to be a happier, healthier, and well-educated, well-rounded adult. We are constantly reminded that education can change everything. And we see that it does.

Teaching matters. It’s why so many teachers have stayed in the field despite the lack of respect, the low pay, and the unrealistic expectations. We know that what we do changes lives. And with more respect, we could make even greater change.

Come join the conversation in the #teacherlife community!

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Here’s What Would Happen if We Actually Respected Teachers

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Emmy Weiner

Veteran Member

Emmy is a 6th grade English teacher who is obsessed with stories, grammar, and middle schoolers! When she's not teaching (or thinking about teaching), you can find her reading, watching TV, eating ice cream, or shopping in the Target dollar section.

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