Teacher crisis

Editorial Board

There are actually cultures in this world that respect and value teachers.

It’s true.

You don’t need to read about it in fantasy novels or religious allegories like “The Chronicles of Narnia” any more.

In Asian cultures, teachers are viewed as people worthy of high regard because they give away their knowledge to the ignorant.

Of course, in the United States, we actually will waste time arguing about how much money teachers should receive.

Where are our priorities in this country?

Teachers are far too often viewed as low-level functionaries in a society that manages to shell out millions for sports stars and film moguls.

This is unfortunate to say the least because everyone in our country depends on the teacher for their most basic skills.

Right now, the state of Iowa is experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers and it should come as no surprise to anyone who ever goofed off behind the back of a sub.

According to an article in the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners came up with a fine solution last week.

They agreed that a “comprehensive solution would be necessary” to solve the substitute teacher shortage.


That’s some definitive action.

But one can hardly blame them for not coming up with anything better.

What do you do?

Of course definitive action is required but defining the problem would be a great start so this is a stab at defining the problem.

Our very culture demeans teachers.

If we respected them, we would find the money and willingly hand it over.

We have a hard time understanding that if you want the best out of teachers, they must be accorded the respect they deserve.

It is nearly impossible to successfully teach a classroom full of students who think their mission in life is to make life hard on the one in charge while cities are forced to keep wages low while cramming more and more students in each room.

Teachers have been poorly paid for years, so it is no surprise that we are finding ourselves in the middle of a crisis right now.

We need to take a lesson from our brothers in the Far East.

Pay teachers what they deserve.

Not just in terms of financial compensation and benefits, but in terms of respect.