I read with interest the April 10 Salt Lake Tribune article about Utah’s teacher shortage. It was interesting that the article was all about teacher's pay being too low.
I'm sure that low pay is part of the equation in getting and retaining teachers. I feel that there are other things that are at least as important as pay to wooing and retaining teachers.
Respect is a big one. Parents don’t respect teachers. Students don’t respect them. School administration doesn’t and certainly the legislators don’t.
As my mother used to say, the legislators give you a raise with one hand and slap you with rules and regulations with the other hand.
Parents attack them for not doing the job with students that the parents are supposed to do. Students talk back and harass teachers in class, and teachers have no power to discipline. Administrators over scrutinize and control every moment of the teacher’s day. Legislators require teachers to maintain their license by taking classes at the underpaid teachers’ own expense. Schools are graded and shut down because the teachers have failed. (Actually, the system failed and they paid big bucks to find this out).
Teachers’ pay may be part of the problem, but there are bigger issues at work here.
Phillips W. Nelson, West Valley City