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5 Things Teachers Need More than a Pay Raise to Keep Teaching

Teachers continue to establish themselves as the most influential figures in the education of children and teenagers. In contemporary society, many students obey and look up to teachers more than their parents. During the school year, teachers work to develop their students' mental, emotional, and physical strengths, helping them open future paths for growth and achievement.

Despite our deep need for teachers, here are five things teachers need more than a pay raise to keep teaching.

1. Increase School and Classroom Safety

The increase in classroom violence has been unstoppable in recent years, with the United States being the country with the highest rates of teacher and student deaths in academic buildings. According to reports issued by the Gun Violence Archive, at least 308 mass shootings occurred in 2022, and many have occurred on academic campuses. 

The danger of classroom and school shootings has increased the US teacher shortage, who refuse to work for fear of being killed. Teachers demand safer schools, better mental health counselors, and on-duty officers to patrol campuses. 

Violence in American classrooms is not just limited to shootings. Other forms of aggression and mistreatment occur daily in academic centers. School violence is on the rise—just read the news about the increase in bullying and suicide rates among children and adolescents in the US. 

To combat all types of violence, educators must get close to their students on an emotional, social, and sentimental level. The priority must be to educate with love to increase school safety, but this is only possible with supportive resources.

2. Encourage Classrooms Without Cell Phones

Cell phones have become a distracting element that constantly interrupts teaching and learning. Students pay more attention to their phones than to the lesson or learning from their peers.

Not only are cell phones distracting in the classroom environment, but they are harming the mental welfare of students. Bullying, self-image problems, etc., all stem from the availability of information accessible at students' fingertips. 

Removing or limiting cell phone use at school allows for greater attention in class and more in-person communication among peers.  

3. COVID-19 and Other Disease Protection

The coronavirus pandemic directly affects academic work and puts teachers' and students' health and lives at risk in classrooms worldwide. The virus's rapid spread has killed many teachers, children, and young people. Educational centers must provide teachers with protective measures to prevent more teachers from illness and death caused by COVID-19 and other diseases.

Educational centers must apply effective sanitary measures to protect teachers, including: 

  • Adjusting class schedules
  • Reducing classroom attendance
  • Increasing adequate ventilation in classrooms
  • Limiting access to academic facilities
  • Encouraging continuous cleaning of hands with alcohol or antibacterial gel

Deep cleaning and disinfection of all spaces will help minimize the risk of infection in academic communities while increasing staff and students' well-being.

4. Allow Teachers to Obtain Professional "Updates"

Teachers are professionals and deserve to be treated with the same respect as other professionals and learned people. Teachers, regardless of rank, should be encouraged to attend conferences, seminars, and other events to increase their knowledge and understanding of current educational principles.

While the administration often travels to events, the teachers who impact students most are left to fend for themselves. With better-educated teachers, students will benefit from new teaching techniques.

5. Increase Understanding and Acceptance the Societal Changes

Today's society faces abrupt changes, sometimes incomprehensible to many, especially older teachers. An older teacher might find it difficult to understand, for example: 

  • The formation of same-sex couples
  • The legality of abortion
  • The rights of LGBTQ+ groups
  • The increase in immigration
  • The degradation of human values, currency devaluation, and discrimination

Colleges and universities must constantly hold forums and debates to train teachers about the sudden changes that impact contemporary society. Support from academic centers through seminars and forums is essential to help teachers better understand all these sociological processes and, therefore, better train them for teaching in an evolving world. 

Final Thoughts

The absence of quality teachers in the classroom can cause students to lack motivation. But without teachers, teaching cannot even take place. With an increase in teaching desertion, school districts need to do all they can to recruit and keep teachers in the classroom. 

To do this, teachers want to feel safe, they want cell phones banned, they want protection for their health, they want professional updates, and they want to be better informed about the world. If we do these things and more, teachers will begin to feel valued for their work.

Written by Maribel Torres
Education World Contributor
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