The teacher shortage in Arizona has been well publicized. What’s lesser understood is the impressions held by our youth about teaching as a career. Truly, the teachers that have stuck it out this long love to teach and do so at great sacrifice. It is likely that we have some of the most amazing teachers ever in Arizona, right now. Yet, students that research the connection between education and earning potential (salary) do not consider education to be a viable option.
The following was posted on the Arizona Educators United Discussion Hub. I found it to be profound and moving. I contacted Kate Peters Guymon and asked if I could use what she wrote in a blog post. She graciously, and eagerly, agreed.
By: Kate Peters Guymon
I had a conversation this week with some students about teachers….
We are an AVID school. That means we spend a lot of time talking about the importance of education and how education can pull you out of poverty. Kids research careers and college and earnings A LOT. They know all the levels of college degrees and how long it takes to earn them. They research careers they are interested in and discover what it takes to get there. But no child wants to grow up to be be a teacher anymore and I guess we don’t talk about our profession enough because many of my honor students thought that teachers only need to have an associate degree! 😳
Why would they think this? Because we’ve taught them that education equals earnings and they know that we struggle. They notice our off brand shoes and our limited number of work outfits. They know what activities our own kids can and cannot participate in. When I informed them of the levels of education of the teachers and staff in our school, they were astounded. They could not reconcile it. They asked me why I even do it. And wondering again if I am just foolish for following this path, I spoke around the lump in my throat and told them that do it because I love it, because it’s important, I do it because of them.
And then they asked if they could wear red on Wednesday too.