The Instigator
HellKat
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
simmyjaye
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Teachers don't make enough money.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,117 times Debate No: 4253
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (11)

 

HellKat

Pro

Teachers, what would we do without them? Not a whole lot when you think about it. So why aren't they paid as much as doctors, entertainers, lawyers, etc. We would not have doctors without teachers, nor entertainers or lawyers. Without teachers the world would be, quite frankly, "in the crapper". Why then are the taught paid more than the teachers? The pupil's salaries surpass the pedagogue's.

I await for my opponent, and would in advance like to thank them, and wish them good luck.

Sincerely, Kat
simmyjaye

Con

Teachers do make enough money.

Firstly, let me state that I agree teachers do an invaluable job.

Here are my arguments for why it is fair/useful that teachers are paid less than a number of other professionals.

(1) Holidays. Teachers will generally have 13 weeks per year, compared to an allowance of perhaps 4 weeks per year for most other professionals. This discrepancy - about two months' extra time off - should rightfully impact on pay.

(2) The absence of monetary incentive to join the profession. Due to the mediocre pay scales, nobody will join teaching "for the money". People who desire to teach, generally, will be motivated by (a) a natural desire to educate, or (b) a passion for sharing their speciality subject. Hopefully this leads to a strong teaching force who are in the profession for wholesome reasons.

That's all for now.
Debate Round No. 1
HellKat

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate simmyjaye.

"(1) Holidays. Teachers will generally have 13 weeks per year, compared to an allowance of perhaps 4 weeks per year for most other professionals. This discrepancy - about two months' extra time off - should rightfully impact on pay."

This is true, but, many entertainers get very long periods of time off. Athletes generally get very long amounts of time off of work when their season ends, and while they do do training, they generally get most of it off. Also, many television actors only have to act for the show for a few months and can have the rest of the time off until they need to record the next season.

"(2) The absence of monetary incentive to join the profession. Due to the mediocre pay scales, nobody will join teaching "for the money". People who desire to teach, generally, will be motivated by (a) a natural desire to educate, or (b) a passion for sharing their speciality subject. Hopefully this leads to a strong teaching force who are in the profession for wholesome reasons."

This is all well and fine if it applies to newly graduated teachers, but experience and degrees don't even make the pay climb a great deal, unlike being a doctor or lawyer. Also, high monetary gain may not be incentive enough for people when 12 extra years of school are involved, give or take a few years.
simmyjaye

Con

In response to your point about entertainers, athletes and TV actors having lots of time off...

This is true. However, I think my point about the length of teacher holidays being relative to pay still stands, particularly when teaching is compared to jobs that (similarly) require post-graduate training of an academic nature, such as doctors/lawyers, which tend to have smaller holidays. That entertainers/athletes/actors (at least, those near the top of their game) are paid considerably more than teachers in addition to having long holidays is not a useful comparison, since these types of highly-paid jobs represent such a small percentage of the workforce. You wouldn't argue that a teacher should receive pay comparable to that of, say, a world-class footballer, so I feel it is redundant to make that kind of link. (Of course, you could probably persuade many that world-class footballers are overpaid, but that's a different argument.)

In response to your point that the pay climb is relatively poor, even with experience and degrees...

I disagree. Teachers have many opportunities to move onto a higher pay scale based on their experience and qualifications. Nowadays, in the UK, "excellent teacher" status can be acquired by collecting evidence of high quality teaching, which moves the teacher onto a more generous pay scale. In addition, in secondary education, roles such as head of department, head of year, and examinations officer can be sought out which add points to pay.
Debate Round No. 2
HellKat

Pro

"However, I think my point about the length of teacher holidays being relative to pay still stands, particularly when teaching is compared to jobs that (similarly) require post-graduate training of an academic nature, such as doctors/lawyers, which tend to have smaller holidays."

True, but teachers have an extremely difficult job, similar to doctors and lawyers. They are educator, disciplinarian, and sometimes counselor. They have to watch over children for 6 hours of the day, not to mention how much times they work before and after those 6 hours, and the amount of correcting they have to do, which takes up most of their free time.

"You wouldn't argue that a teacher should receive pay comparable to that of, say, a world-class footballer, so I feel it is redundant to make that kind of link."

I would argue that actually, but that is not the matter at hand.

"I disagree. Teachers have many opportunities to move onto a higher pay scale based on their experience and qualifications. Nowadays, in the UK, "excellent teacher" status can be acquired by collecting evidence of high quality teaching, which moves the teacher onto a more generous pay scale. In addition, in secondary education, roles such as head of department, head of year, and examinations officer can be sought out which add points to pay."

Well I live in Canada, and where I live, even with their masters, they don't get all that much of a pay raise, nor with experience.
simmyjaye

Con

Certainly, I agree that the job of a teacher is multi-faceted. This, however, does not separate it from the multi-skilled professions we are comparing it to. With time management skills and a reasonable expection of what can be achieved in a day, most teachers are able to come home at 5pm, using their contracted non-contact time with pupils to complete planning and marking (as you yourself have stated, the actual contact time usually accounts for around six hours, leaving the rest of the day for preparation.)

"Well I live in Canada, and where I live, even with their masters, they don't get all that much of a pay raise, nor with experience."

This must be an unusual situation in Canada, then. There are many opportunities for teachers in most places to move up pay scales and take on other roles and responsibilities to increase their pay.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ozzie412 8 years ago
ozzie412
My vote to Pro... why? because all the things he had said has greatly affected the kind of economy that we have here in the Philippines.... Indeed both countries belongs to above poverty levels.. How about schools in 3rd world countries where even Master teachers do not get enough salary scale.. Teacher load in 3rd world countries are 6 units or above thats why Almost all master teachers find ways to have sideline jobs at night to get extra salary... that would only mean that Teachers are really paid low here..
Posted by stevor 8 years ago
stevor
As a high school teacher, I think what a teacher is paid should depend on what they're teaching and who they're teaching. Unfortunately, somebody would have to decide that and there would probably never be a consensus.
I teach algebra 4 periods a day and computers 1 period. I used to teach computers all 5 periods but they changed the student requirements for graduation, they needed fewer computer teachers, they needed more math teachers, and I'd previously taught prealgebra 11 years in middle school so I was drafted. It's been mentioned that science and math teachers ought to be paid more. It's been mentioned that inner-city teachers ought to be paid more. It's been mentioned that teachers of students who come from troubled families ought to be paid more. I would qualify for all those "extras" but the governor of California, who made those suggestions, just said it so sound good, it seems.

Not all teachers are good. Some teachers don't get fired even though sleep in the class or come to school with a hangover or drunk (these have happened at my schools). Teachers get more pay as they have more "experience" but some teachers never were very good to start and don't really deserve more pay for more years.

It's all political and will likely never be "fair". Life isn't fair. If it were, our politicians would be run out of town on rails, but that's another debate.
Posted by Noel 8 years ago
Noel
Pro - Round 3 - Final comment about where Hellcat (Pro) lives in Canada the teachers, even with a master's degree, "don't get all that much of a pay raise, nor with experience".

Is this unique to Hellcat's Province? It seems to me that most teacher's unions negotiate directly with school boards. As I write this, Toronto separate (catholic) is trying to lower their budget and would likely look to the next round of collective agreement negotiations with OECTA.

I can't speak for other than Ontario (and only Ontario since it is getting more media coverage), but it would seem that the pay grid would go in steps with years of teaching experience and then offer an extra amount for advanced degrees. I would also suspect that collective agreements take into account cost of living -- not that this is automatic, but is an argument in favor of the union against the school board.

Overall, I see this final comment by Pro to be gratuitous, but would appreciate a follow-up. Mainly, which Province?
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