Improving Education for the Good of Our Nation


Emma Padelford

Teaching is a job that is becoming less and less valued. There is currently not enough time, money, and effort going into our educational systems. According to an article written by The Guardian, Switzerland is the country with the highest average teacher salary, bringing about $68,820 per year. The United States comes in 12th place with an average salary of $45,477 per year. Within the United States, New York is the highest teacher paying state. In 2016, it was found that New York pays their teachers $77,957 per year. Looking at our own state, we come in 47th place out of all the others, averaging around $41,460 per year.

When we look at other countries, or even at other states in our own, the differences are extreme. Because of these statistics, roughly 2,000 Arizona classrooms are without a teacher, and about 3,400 teachers are unqualified to teach. Teachers not just in Arizona, but everywhere, are greatly underappreciated. I believe that this problem could be fixed by rethinking about what we invest our money into.

If we take a look at athletes, actors and actresses, and musicians, we can see that they are some of the top paid professions in the world. According to Forbes, the typical professional athlete makes anywhere between $2 million-$6 million per year. Successful actors such as Dwayne Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence make between $35-52 million per year. There is also lots of money thrown into the production of music videos, albums, and soundtracks. It is possible for a Youtuber to earn one million dollars in just one year depending on their popularity, which is about two times the amount teachers make per year. Most of this stuff is important to our society, however we may be investing too much money into our entertainment, and not enough into our education. And I know that there are amazing teachers and coaches that stand strong behind these successful people. Where we invest our money shows where society places its values.

I personally believe that it is completely unnecessary for these people to be making so much money. And with that money, we can see how people with fame waste and abuse the power of money. According to Cracked, actor Nicolas Cage has bought a haunted murder mansion, a private island, and a collection of shrunken heads. However, the most interesting item that he purchased was a $276,000 on a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skull. Clearly this demonstrates how low the values that people possess actually are. If people invest so much money into these things, it shows that they value their personal entertainment over their personal well-being. There are so many other ways this wasted money could be used. Improving yourself shouldn’t come above helping others. People need to start valuing what is going to last over what isn’t. The jobs that essentially further the positive outcome of the human race are the things that will last and are what will push us towards our future. What does it mean when we are valuing our amusement over our education? What does this say about us? People like doctors, police officers, soldiers, and teachers are the types of careers that should have an abundance of money. They are the people who give or devote their lives to the well-being of others.

The subject of teacher pay is one of the top issues in the news right now. Teachers everywhere are asking for a higher amount of pay, not just for their own gain, but for the students and their futures. There is so much that goes into being a teacher. Teachers form relationships with their students and work extremely hard to prepare them for the future. Whether it’s staying up all night grading papers, or spending their summer break preparing for the next school year, teaching is a year round job. They have to deal with many different obstacles in and outside of the school, from challenging students, and parents, to in-class observations and preparing students for standardized testing. Teachers help turn people into doctors, lawyers, business managers, and so much more. I would even go as far to say that teaching is most likely one of the most time consuming jobs there is. Which is why it is so important that teachers should be paid more. For the sake of our generation and the generations that follow. Teaching should be a career that’s just as important as being a doctor, a lawyer, or a government official, because important jobs like these deserve to be paid well for all their hard work.

Not only should teachers be earning more, but it is also important that we have money poured into our campuses. Once more money starts getting poured into our schools, the educational systems will improve. There will be better extracurricular programs, more advanced learning systems, and more qualified teachers. Right now, one of the main issues is student violence. According to CNN, there have already been 17 school shootings in 2018 alone. Teen suicide statistics are at an all time high, reaching the highest point in 40 years, in 2015. According to Huffpost, suicide rates in the U.S. have increased by 24% over 15 years.  According to The Recovery Village, Young people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the U.S. And according to Project Know, there are two million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 that need treatment for drug addiction. This is why it is so crucial that we begin investing more money into the students. If they are cared for at a younger age, and are properly taught right from wrong before they reach adulthood, these things will be prevented. By creating better and safer schools, the violence we have been seeing will decrease. If the students are being invested in, there will be a decrease in teen pregnancies, drugs, and alcohol use. If the students are invested into starting at a young age, then we can prevent them from doing the things they will regret later in life. More money will bring about better programs, more qualified staff, and more care for students.

School will become better for everyone when more money starts being invested into what really matters. Right now, teachers and students deserve that investment the most. With a better education system, the teachers as well as the students of America will improve, and we can get higher up on that list. Teachers deserve it, students deserve it.