How much do you make?

Going into education, I’m sure it’s obvious that I have been questioned. The money is not big. The fortune is pretty limited. Personally, I understand that $50,000/year might not be much in today’s society. It is definitely an income that can get families many things they want. Think about the families who work 12 months out of the year and are only making a mere $20,000. As teachers, we know the benefits: summers off, weekends to relax, a few days off here and there. That’s why I do not see an issue with the salary of a teacher. We are working 9 – 10 months (maybe more) and getting paid more than some professions that work 12 months. The biggest issue I hear is the phrase, “Teacher’s do not make a lot.” Well Mr. Taylor Mali has a few words for you.

I think all educators can agree that we aren’t doing this for the paycheck. What else can we make as teachers? I think one of the most important things to make is a safe environment. Students will not be able to pursue their dreams if they do not feel safe at the start. We talk a lot about how race can affect classroom situations, but what about gender and sexuality? There are many hidden queues especially within math problems that discriminate against LGBT+ youth such as having a male and female being together rather than a male and male, or female and female, or even those who don’t identify with either binary gender.

When these safe environments are not created, students’ lives are in danger. A staggering statistic coming from the LA Times is,

“A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in their lives, nearly nine times the national average, according to a sweeping survey released three years ago.”

This is what needs to stop. Bullying and cyberbullying is a huge issue in American schools and schools across the world, but what can we as teachers do to help lower that rate? I believe it starts in a safe environment. Teachers can create a safe classroom by being more inclusive, while being respectful. The training we receive on how to react to religious issues, LGBT+ issues, gender issues, etc is vital in order to create a classroom where all students are welcomed.

Teachers have a large influence on their student body and any slip up can be detrimental to building a lasting relationship with students. This lasting relationship is crucial so for the entirety of the students career so the students always knows they have a safe place to be within their school.

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2 Responses to How much do you make?

  1. Ellen Fee says:

    Michael– I love that Taylor Mali video. I’m glad you posted it and reminded me of it. I agree that what teachers make (create) is much more important than what teachers “make” (earn), and I think pretty much any effective teacher would feel the same. Though we cannot really control what happens outside the classroom, we can work our hardest to ensure that our classroom space is a safe space, and you are right to emphasize that. (And we’ll see how relaxing our weekends really are…I’m not so sure about that (: ).



  2. Karla says:

    I, too, am thankful for your posting of the Taylor Mali video — it’s a good one! You did a nice job of working your way around to the topic of gender identity and the need for safe spaces in classrooms. (I like how you have included your Twitter feed on your blog).


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