Education is a large employer. Over 3.8 million people in the United States are educators. Around 2.6 million are kindergarten through 12th grade teachers.
Teachers are over the age of 50 years old.
Teachers leave the profession before their fifth year of service.
Each year is the cost of teacher turnover.
This yearly investment represents a 30% salary increase which would make teacher pay competitive with professions which require similar education levels.
Teacher salaries do not adjust yearly for inflation.
More than 65%
Teachers buy supplies for underprivileged students in their classrooms to create an even playing field for all students. They purchase supplies school districts will not to create interactive, stimulating and memorable teaching environments.
Student performance is directly proportional to the quality of teachers.
Make a Difference
The best way to keep down the cost of teacher turnover is to divert the money to maintain teachers. There are some simple ways to raise teacher satisfaction levels which reduce turnover and the associated costs.
1. Identify a teacher.
- One of your child’s teachers
- A friend who teaches
- A neighbor who teaches
- A teacher at your local school
- A professor at a local college
- One of your teachers
2. Show your appreciation for the dedication the teacher has to education.
Send homemade baked goods to school. Cookies, breads and pies (baked from your own fruit) are all good choices.
Bring flowers from a florist or (even better) handpicked. Arrange silk flowers or buy an artificial tree for the classroom to bring cheer yearround.
Volunteer in the classroom to help read to students or help with projects, experiments or field trips. Offer to organize or clean supplies.
Give a gift to your teacher, such a book on a topic of interest or send a gift card for a store or activity your teacher likes. Movie passes, book store and restaurant gift cards are all great choices.
Sponsor a program which offers additional education to teachers to keep their skills up-to-date and competitive. Ensure students are being taught the most current information.
Make an appreciation jar. Have students write on paper why their teacher is special to them. Cut them apart, fold them and stuff a jar with them. The teacher can open a new one each morning.
Write a thank you note. Let the teacher know you appreciate the dedication to the future. Send a letter to the school board highlighting what good work is being done in the school.
Have children create an art project for the teacher. Students can draw portraits of the teacher. Older students can write essays about the teacher to accompany their portraits. Children can draw the world they see in the classroom.
Nominate a teacher for teacher of the year. Many contests reward teachers with money, classroom supplies and/or continuing education opportunities.
Donate books and supplies to the classroom. Art and writing supplies are always in demand. Ask your teacher what would make the classroom more successful. Calculators, classroom decorations, furniture and maps are excellent choices.
Sponsor additional curricula. Simple additions like computer software and plants strengthen the practical application of education. Teachers are not in a position to advocate for these supplemental teaching aids.
Sponsor or facilitate field trips to help teachers augment the learning experience.
Offer your services or goods at a discount to a teacher. You can make a difference in the teacher’s life, even if you cannot directly increase limited salary, by offering needed things at a discount.
Your child spends more hours with a teacher than with you. Well-supplied teachers are only half of the battle. A teacher who is satisfied with the rewards of the job impact students far better than the underappreciated who are merely going through the motions.
Even if you do not have a current student, maintaining satisfied teachers in the classroom is making a difference in your life. The students of today will be the doctors and nurses, police, firefighters, nursing home attendants, drivers, pilots and military of the future. All of them will impact the quality of your life.
Teachers change the world.
Show them you appreciate their positive influence.
Have you done something to appreciate a teacher? Can you MAD by choosing more than one thing from the list to show appreciation for a teacher? Are you going to Make A Difference?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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