We Can’t Afford To Not Treat Teachers Like Superheroes

Imagine dropping your kids off at school and they go into a lab to sit in front of a computer screen. No human interactions, no laughter, no real face to face communication like we had in grade school. Instead, Amazon’s Alexa is teaching them communication skills. Just a single screen for 12 years of grade school.

Are you prepared to have your children and grandchildren taught by robots? I’m not here to inform you about technology advancement. I’m here to tell you that no one wants to be a teacher anymore. Being a teacher used to mean being a person who helps others to develop knowledge, competence or values. But the new definition of a teacher is a person who buys supplies, textbooks, calculators and sneakers.

Teachers are now mothers buying uniforms for students who can’t afford to replace ones that don’t fit anymore. Teachers are now fathers who break up fights between frustrated teens in gangs. Teachers are protectors who die in school shootings while trying to defend students. Teachers are the last ray of hope students have that stops them from committing suicide or killing someone. Teachers are heroes, social workers, counselors, nurses and parents. Often, they work two or three side jobs to afford to be the superheroes they are.

It’s no secret either. Everyone is well aware of the sacrifices and hardships teachers face. Teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. I’ve heard teachers say that they’ve taken in homeless students and kept food, water and supplies in their classrooms for needy ones. And don’t get me started on forcing standardized testing on kids who are hungry, sick or tired from working two after-school jobs.

Everyone is also well aware that newer generations are not majoring in education. How many of your friends want to be a high school or middle school teacher? Not many people want to risk taking out loans and using their financial assistance to become a teacher who ends up on food stamps.

No one wants to be a teacher anymore because the government doesn’t want to pay people to teach. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Education owns a 40 million dollar yacht. Superiors who are born into money can’t possibly understand the plight of public school teachers. Bills that have been put into place to pay teachers more have been split by people who aren’t teachers, like resource officers who already get paid by the city.

Teachers are the foundation of society. The doctors and lawyers you see had teachers who had to make extreme sacrifices to teach them. It doesn’t make sense that those teachers aren’t getting paid the amount they deserve as professionals who have families of their own to raise.

Any bill passed for the increase in teachers’ pay should be just for teachers. The reality is that people of our generation who come from low-income or middle-class families refuse to watch our parents struggle to put us through college, while we major in education, only for us to end up being handed an empty class and told to produce lawyers and doctors.

Let’s face the facts. The economy is growing and so is its technology sector. Have you ever noticed how toll booth employees have been replaced by cameras that take a picture of your tag and send you the toll fee in the mail? One technology advancement made millions lose their jobs. As technology continues to advance, many of us will be replaced.

This is especially true in jobs that people don’t want. No one wants to be a teacher anymore, because under the job’s current conditions, it’s almost impossible to do. If we’re not willing to supply our teachers with what is needed to produce greatness in their classrooms, Alexa will end up doing it.