Merit pay motivates teachers

Paying teachers based on their success in the classroom is a fantastic idea, and one that should have been implemented years ago.

Teaching is a very noble profession, and I can honestly say I look up to anyone willing to do it. That being said, if teachers have no incentive or obligation to help their students overcome challenges or to prepare for the future, why would they bother?

The “merit pay” proposal motivates teachers to improve students’ performance and thus they will take their job more seriously.

I know first-hand what it’s like struggling in school, and having teachers that couldn’t care less about it.

My grades were far from desirable throughout most of my childhood. If it wasn’t for a few exceptional teachers who finally knocked some sense into me, I have no idea where I’d be right now.

When teachers turn a blind eye to the students who need them most, they’re hurting not only the kids who depend on them, but also the parents who trust them.

The ideal that every teacher in every school across the nation cherishes their students simply isn’t true, and we need merit pay to motivate them.

Ohio State Representative, James Trakas has the right idea – basing classroom performance on evaluations done by parents and students.

Merit pay would work far more effectively if it weren’t solely based on test scores or grades.

For example, if you have a bad teacher, you have to spend extra hours every night reading your textbook to make sense of what they say in class to earn an A, should that A benefit the teacher?

No. As far as things like proficiency tests, teachers aren’t given specific information about what material the tests cover beforehand, and have to prepare their students based on their own best judgments. Meaning, they’re not supposed to go through the material covered and explain every last detail they would need to know, it’s meant to judge what the student has learned so far in their schooling.

Punishing a teacher because of low standardized test scores isn’t fair because it may be a sign that the student has had several bad years at school, which would obviously make singling out one teacher a mistake.

Plus, as has been explained earlier, many experts doubt the validity of using these tests to judge intelligence.

However we do it, making teachers liable for the performance of their students will encourage them to work with them and address their needs- rather than ignoring them as they fall through the cracks our nation’s education system.

Furthermore, the idea that this will affect the amount of people majoring in education and studying to one day become teachers is really not an issue.

If less people are interested in becoming a teacher because of this proposal, then they were probably pursing a degree in education for the wrong reasons.

Education is a noble profession, and crucial to the lives of our children, but if you don’t like the idea of your salary being directly related to your success in the classroom, you should consider another more financially rewarding career.

If more students become education majors to take advantage of a program like this then we’d have better teachers educating our children.

People who understand the importance of teachers in a child’s life, and that by being there for students who need them can earn acclamation.

Anyway you look at it, this proposal will benefit students. It may be rough on some teachers, who have a hard time making ends meet, but sacrificing the success of our children because we’re concerned with how much teachers will dislike it would be a great injustice.

Good teachers will only benefit from this, and those not adequately meeting expectations will face real motivation to improve instead of letting their own inadequacies hinder students from getting the education they deserve and need.

Much focus has been placed on the low salaries of teachers over the years. Parents and children depend on teachers to teach, inspire, and motivate. A method of encouraging teachers into doing exactly that would benefit everyone.

Send comments to Andrew at [email protected].