Its never only about the salary, though yes, it should definitely be increased. Its about how a Morah is valued by the administration and society. When I first started teaching, over 25 years ago, there was pride in being a teacher. Mitzva notes were full of thanks and cute anecdotes that the child repeated at home. Hanhala was sincerly interested in curriculum and how the children where doing. Planbooks were given feedback. Nowadays a bagful of Chanuka projects, and a child well prepared for the chag, elicited just one thank you note out of a class of 20 - just one parent cared enough about her child's chinuch and the Morah behind it to write a note? The PTA collects 10$ per a Morah for a Chanuka tip, I know with large families it adds up and living on a very limited budget myself I understand that finances are tight, but, $10 for teaching their preschool son 7 hours a day and then spending hours in the evening on prep and parent-teacher communication all year long? From families that all manage to tip the delivery guy $2 on a weekly basis, adding up to $100, for shlepping their delivery box? Its like a slap in our face. And Hanhala, being preoccupied with making sure that we're complying with government requirements so that they don't loose 3k, UPK or headstart funding, no longer give Morahs the feedback, PD and thanks they need and deserve. My daughter recently went into teaching in a local elementary school. Capable, hard working, passionate and knowing how to relate to people she looked forward to a successful career. All was well until a month into the school year when as a first year teacher she may, or may not, have given a bit too much homework. A mother posted a complaint on the class' parent body group chat, another responded in kind and within a day a well liked teacher was turned into mince meat. Mothers, you want good teachers for your child? Support them. That doesn't mean you cant voice a complaint or suggestion. That does mean you have to voice complimentary feedback as well and nip negative 'hock' at the bud.
I feel everyone should do what works for them. If you get your degree in special education and work for a school you can get paid decent. I recommend a Jewish college like Touro request separate classes, Sara Schenirer or Raizel Right. You can work under the board of ed in a Jewish school as a provider. You can be a literacy teacher, with that masters program and get compensated via an agency. There are many options. For Jewish schools, I would honestly recommend as many of them ALL TOGETHER to team up to request funds from the mayor, senators, councilmen, anyone influential with fairly compensating teachers and tuition reduction. Presenting influential letters from rabbis to the government with a lot of prayer should help. The right contacts have to be made. That to me, is the answer. We can start this initiative under the direction of rabbis with Torah Umesorahs help and then start advertising that we need to work on this project. We have to mention to them that the students quality of education isn't what it should be and this is affecting their future. WE NEED YOUR HELP! In turn, all the funds the government invests will be repaid tenfold by having students being given great educational opportunities and that will positively affect society.
I went into chinuch because I love teaching. When my school couldnt pay me, and even told me to ask my parents for help, I went to work for the public school system. Now, years later, I am still owed over 50,000 dollars in back pay.
'Feeling underappreciated or undervalued' is rated as one of the top eight causes of teacher burnout. (choosingtherapy.com) Underappreciated? Undervalued? Yes. The teachers and moros of today have been struggling to let their voices be heard. This can't go on. Once upon a time, teaching was
Chaya* feels like a hamster on a wheel. Invoice paid, invoice closed. Email received, email sent. Time clock in, time clock out. It's the never-ending slog of her office job that gets her down every single day. It's the joy of discovering the right path to a student's heart. The triumph of
'There are no applicants! I am the beggar- I made seventy humiliating phone calls...' 'I open the community directory and cold call people to BEG them to consider the position...' 'We hired a post-seminary girl who seemed to have potential...we can't ignore the fact that she has zero