Teachers who work in early childhood education, whether it be working for a state owned establishment or privately owned one can often feel undervalued in the work they do. Unfortunately this isn’t restricted to one particular country, instead it is felt across many countries around the world. From here in China to the UK. So what’s going on…?
I chose to write about this topic after seeing numerous articles across various news outlets and countries evidencing this feeling amongst teachers. It is indeed a worldwide issue.
It seems that the biggest issue is pay. For instance, teachers in early childhood education in the UK earn less than the average salary. In my view, pay for teachers shouldn’t be standardised across the board (e.g. being all on the same salary when they start). Rather, the individual salary of teachers should be different from one another. After all, every teacher brings varying amount of experience and knowledge to the table. To attract the best teachers, salaries must be flexible enough to compensate them more. That way, children will get better teachers and those good teachers are much more likely to stay in their job longer. Teacher retention can be problem because of not being adequately compensated. We know that ‘all children are unique’ when it comes to teaching - but so are teachers, thusly treat them so!
We know that salaries of teachers often vary from one country to another, but to have developed countries (such as the UK, the USA and Australia in particular) paying only a pittance for their teachers isn’t acceptable. When comparisons are drawn to other professions, such as bankers, who can make hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, you can see the glaringly obvious inequality in the workforce. In fact, why do bankers earn so much?! In my opinion, they certainly don’t justify what they receive.
When it comes to teachers in China, many feel the need to take extra work outside of their school to make ends meat. China is another country that can afford to pay the teachers better. The average day for a teacher here is even longer than other countries. As a business owner, if my employee excels, then they are compensated justly for it. It isn’t difficult to notice the good teachers from the poor ones. Just like with students, good behaviour should be noticed and compensated (stickers anyone)?
Working with children can be stressful sometimes, perhaps more than many other types of jobs out there. Therefore, not every teacher has the level of ‘zeness' required to stick the job out for a long time. What I would say though, is quite often the stress can be avoided if the correct teaching methods, communication and habits are used with the children. We all remember those days at school when children sensed a teacher who couldn’t manage a class, right? Enough said.
Parents want what’s best for their children, and they will make sure you know it, as their children’s teacher that their voices are heard (both good and bad)! Parents are people, and so they vary greatly from one another, but it only takes one ‘bad’ parent to make a teacher’s term exasperating.
Let me make this clear, the smaller the government the better. Let the experts get on with what they know and you’ll have a much more efficient society. However, ‘education’ in the eyes of many governments is in their realm of interest. And so, if you operate in ‘their’ realm prepare to have a few nosey parkers around every so often.
A pat on the back
As a teacher, it is nice to get a pat on the back every now and then, and in fact, I have done recently! There are organisations out their trying to recognise teachers and directors striving for betterment in education. On such organisation is: ‘Hi mama’, incidentally I have been featured in their educator spotlight, so be sure to take a look!
The education industry is always adapting and evolving to the society that it operates, and their are some clear differences between them amongst the countries. However, the one thing that is indeed clear is the inadequate compensation teachers receive. Governments and business owners can often afford to offer more, so do it! It’s much easier to keep your good teachers than to find equivalent ones…