Today’s teachers face uncertain financial situations

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Today’s teachers face uncertain financial situations

PHOTO BY UGA CAES/CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO BY UGA CAES/CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO BY UGA CAES/CREATIVE COMMONS

By Allison Pelland, CONTRIBUTOR

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From as early as four years old, children embark on their educational journey. They learn how to read, write, learn, socialize, and most importantly, they learn who they are. Without the help of teachers, children would not be able to receive a quality education, allowing them to follow their dreams and pursue their calling.
The role of a teacher is crucial to students’ success in school and in life, but somehow, society is oblivious to the fact that their teachers are to thank for their success.
The teaching profession is usually entered due to one’s desire to give back to the community they grew up in, while no one enters for the salary.
Many teachers, ranging from kindergarten to higher education have to take on second jobs in order to pay the bills. This takes away from teachers’ focus and energy, and results in students not having complete access to one of the most important people in their life.
This is especially apparent in higher education, specifically here at CSUEB, where the cost of living is through the roof. When looking up teachers prior to the semester, students often find that their upcoming professor teaches at multiple institutions in the area.
“Increasingly, higher education has depended upon so called part-time labor. They are actually not part-time because they work at multiple places which is collectively more labor than a supposed full-time employee. In reality they are double time employees,” said California State University, East Bay professor Nolan Higdon.
This takes away from the time our students deserve with their professors. They already spend time outside of work grading papers and making lesson plans, but to add another job on top of their current one because they can’t pay the bills is absurd.
These professors put in much more work than their school day pays for, and no matter where they are, teachers deserve to be paid a fair, living wage.
Teachers should not have to commute long hours to work to afford housing. Teachers should not have to get a second job just to pay the bills. Teachers should not have to spread themselves thin just to pay rent and have food on the table. Just because it is known that this profession does not pay well, does not mean the teachers do not deserve a fair wage.
It is ironic how everyone goes through school, yet many fail to recognize the hard work and dedication that has been put into them by their past teachers. Somehow, in the midst of adulthood, people forget how they got to where they are, and they refuse to care about such a problem because it does not impact them.
The truth of the matter is, teachers are essential to the development of the new generations, and without them, the world would not go round. Students should get involved, help advocate for teachers, join them on the picket lines when they are not getting what they deserve, and most of all, vote.
Teachers teach students to write. Teachers teach students to work hard. Teachers teach students to learn. Teachers teach students to work together. Teachers teach students to be social. Teachers teach students to be respectful. Teachers teach students to love one another. Teachers teach students to tie their shoes.
Without a teacher, you would not be able to read this. Teachers are much more than teaching students to take a test. The role of a teacher moves beyond what meets the eye and includes being a mentor, friend, and a hero to all the students they encounter. They will always deserve a livable wage for all they do for their respective communities.