The following "chain-status-update" has been floating around over on facebook for awhile:
"Over 23,000 teachers were given pink slips in CA, 14,000 in NY & 17,000 in IL. NJ & Florida are cutting teacher jobs & reducing salaries. We need to get our priorities in order! Athletes get paid millions, but teachers who we trust to help raise & educate our children get no respect! In honor of ALL teachers, copy & paste this to your status."
One of my cohortmates posted it on his status, and he got the following comment from someone:
"The comparison to professional athletes doesn't work either. Teachers know what they're signing up for when they get started. Getting paid through the tax and spend system is always going to be inferior. as it should be. I will never buy a professional sports ticket or merchandise but i also think club owners should be able to pay their players whatever they wish to pay. The point is... complain about superintendent pay. not an unrelated field."
I commented with this little number:
"I agree that club owners should have the freedom to pay their athletes whatever the hell they want.
However, the call is for respect, not really for increased salaries. Athletes do not have to buy their own equipment when playing for their teams. Yet, teachers supply paper, pencils, books, and other school and cleaning supplies for their classrooms out of their own pocket.
Athletes are still endorsed and maintain a fan base when they make mistakes in both the game, and in their public image. Yet, teachers are blamed for their student's low test scores, when said student is a truant because their parent "forgets" to take them to school; or because their student does not have academic support at home; or for any other reason that is completely outside of a classroom teacher's control.
Athletes are given time to develop their skills, their club and their fans support/invest in them as they become better athletes. Yet, teachers are expected to start out "perfect," doing everything right, all the time.
Salaries are not the only - nor the most - indecent thing about how teachers are treated."
I also want to add this:
Yes, teachers do know just how deep/wide the stinking pit called the teaching profession can sometimes be. They know what they are getting into. That doesn't mean they don't deserve the professional decency that is owed to any worker, of any field of work, in America - or anywhere else, for that matter.
At least the comment about superintendent pay is valid.