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25 Reasons Why Teachers Deserve a Raise in 2020

November 25, 2020 by Janessa Fletcher

2020… a year that will fill an entire volume in the history books. For teachers, 2020 has brought numerous challenges, but we have tackled them in stride like we always do. I can’t think of a better year than this to give teachers a raise!! 🤑 There are many, many more, but here are the top 25 Reasons Why Teachers Deserve a Raise in 2020…

Graphic with 25 Reasons Why Teachers Deserve a Raise in 2020

#1 — Teaching on Technology

We are operating multiple screens, various virtual platforms and programs, digital assignments, and another piece of technology we are told to use. I don’t know about you all, but when this craziness is over, I will be fine closing my laptop for months! LOL

#2 — Teaching in a Mask All Day

I know that my mask helps protect me better from the germs in the air, but I feel awful at the end of the day when I take it off. I am huffing and puffing to breathe in that fresh air. It is so hard for me to understand my students and for them to understand me sometimes. I live in the desert, so during the hot days, I sweat, and not to mention how thirsty and dry my throat is all the time… Ugh!

Reason #3 — Juggling Virtual and Face to Face Instruction

Some of us are teaching virtually… some of us are full-time face-to-face… and some of us won the jackpot and get to do both! Sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it! My hat goes off to those teachers who are navigating the streaming and in-class students at the same time. Those teachers definitely deserve a raise in 2020!

#4 — Sanitizing Duties All Day Long

We are constantly having to clean and sanitize our classrooms all day. Ensure that students are washing their hands and using hand sanitizer. Bleaching any objects that are touched during the day, while also monitoring mask-wearing, cleaning desks, etc. I pride myself on being a clean person, but this is cleaning on steroids.

#5 — Constantly Navigating Procedure Changes

Teachers pride themselves on creating routines that make their classrooms run like well-oiled machines. The daily and weekly procedure changes are KILLING US RIGHT NOW! We literally cannot get into a routine, which is also not helping our little learners. They function much better when there is a routine to the day. But, we are hanging in there with a smile and making it work, thus another reason why teachers deserve a raise in 2020.

Reason #6 — Having to Plan Individual Student Activities

Having students sit in isolation and participate in individual activities all day long goes against everything we know that is best for children. I miss listening to my students help each other learn new concepts, or work on group projects together. Not to mention the amount of time it takes me to create centers for every student and not just one small group that they rotate to. 😭

#7 — Working With Stressed Out Parents

Just as we are navigating new territory with virtual and hybrid learning, parents have now been thrown into the trenches as well. And let’s be honest, they didn’t sign up for this either. As distance learning continues, parents are becoming more and more stressed and sometimes take those frustrations out on us (which I am NOT saying is okay…). I’ve gotten a few “colorful” emails over the past couple of months from parents who are not fans of virtual learning.

#8 — Lack of Community Support

Now this one can go either way. There are some communities that are behind teacher raises 100%, while there are others who feel we are being paid by their tax dollars to “sit at home” right now… 😒 In the past, it has been apparent on both the state and federal level that education and educators are NOT a top priority when it comes to funding… But, we continue to show up and teach our students because it is the right thing to do. Yet again another reason why teachers deserve a raise in 2020!

Reason #9 — Dealing with Constant Quarantines

I’ve heard from many that they have constantly been bombarded with quarantines. Sometimes it is just one student, a couple of students, a teacher, or whole classrooms. The constant unknown and attendance changes are hard to get into a groove. It is also something that we don’t have time to plan for. When you get the call to quarantine, it is an immediate thing. Let Education to the Core help if you or students have to go into quarantine with our Grab and Go packets.

#10 — Having a Cafeteria in our Classroom

Besides specials occurring in the classroom, we also eat all of our meals there. I have now become a milk opener, utensils distributor, and trash monitor. As if our lunches were not short before, now they have become almost non-existent. And I am a HANGRY teacher some days… by far the most important reason why Teachers Deserve a Raise in 2020!!!

#11 — Everyone Else Thinks It’s a “Normal” Year

You would think that with everything else going on, the evaluations, assessments, and professional developments could take a backseat. WRONG!!! It seems that everyone else feels we can have a “normal” year with all of those things included. I don’t know about you, but who has time for that?! For once it would be nice for teachers to not be expected to do more with less…

Reason #12 — College Didn’t Have This in the Textbooks

I love that meme about “I can’t find distance learning in Harry Wong’s book”. It is so accurate! I’m pretty sure that no college professor ever thought they would have to teach us how to teach during a pandemic. We literally are finding our own way and making it all up as we go. I’d like to see some other professions try to do this without any prior training. Teachers are rockstars!!!

#13 — Teachers as Symptom Investigator

Temperature checks, listening for coughing/sneezing, and other signs and symptoms of sickness have now become a teacher duty as well. Many feel like they’re spending more time monitoring for signs of illness than teaching academics. It is really not a great feeling to have.

#14 — Homelife Has Suffered

This year we are spending more time planning, prepping, and delivering instruction. We also have to clean, sanitize, and decontaminate every day after work. Those of us teaching from home are answering emails and messages well past office hours. All of these activities come with a price… our time with family is suffering. For many of us, our children and spouses have taken a backseat as we try to give our students the best instruction possible.

Reason #15 — Please Value Our Time!

As I stated in #14, we are spending more time than ever making sure we are doing our jobs. Teachers have always been notorious for working well over the 40 hours required, but this year is beyond ridiculous! We would like governments to value our time and pay us accordingly.

#16 — Respect Teachers as Professionals

Teaching is not a profession that you can do right out of highschool. We have to go to college just like many other professions. Yet, we get paid a lot less than others who have the same amount of education that we do. For most of us, a Bachelor’s isn’t enough either, we need a Master’s in our field before we can be hired. And I’m pretty sure we are one of the only jobs that can have our salaries “frozen”, regardless of how many years we’ve worked, or hours of education we’ve had. 😡

#17 — We Could be Hired by Google and YouTube

During this pandemic, teachers have become experts in all things Google related, as well as masters of teaching on YouTube. Who knows… maybe if things don’t get better for teachers, we can be hired by these companies instead? 🤷🏼‍♀️

#18 — Attendance This Year Has Been Insane

It has been so hard keeping up with grading and instruction when you have so many students in and out of class. Many of those students learning virtually think that attendance is optional, while those in class come and go depending on quarantine and safety. We are trying to maintain academic rigor and giving students all of the tools they need for the year, but it is really hard to teach when they don’t attend.

Reason #19 — Our Lives Are Worth More

I saw a post the other day that made my jaw drop… a teacher had caught COVID and was still teaching her class virtually from her hospital bed! Are you kidding me?! Just like our frontline workers, teachers are putting themselves in situations every day where their lives are at risk. Let’s be honest… kids are full of germs, and it is very hard to stay healthy when you are around them all day.

#20 — We are Losing Valuable Teachers

I can’t count on my hands and feet how many outstanding teachers I have known decide that they can no longer live on a teacher’s salary. Unfortunately, they decide it’s not enough and end up going back to school to pursue another career, move to the private sector, or walk straight into another job opportunity. Our youth are suffering when these teachers leave to go elsewhere. 😢

#21 — Using Our Own Resources

Teaching is a profession where we are constantly purchasing materials for our classrooms and students. This year is even worse because now our incurred costs include elevated utility bills. Teaching from home entails having to use our internet and electricity. Not to mention using our own printer ink! We are using our own cell phones to call parents, and many have purchased document cameras to deliver better instruction. Having to pay more for these is another reason why teachers deserve a raise in 2020.

Reason #22 — It All Starts With Us

I don’t mean to toot our horns, but no matter what occupation you have later in life, you got there with teachers. Besides parents, teachers play the second most integral role in a child’s life as they grow and develop. That is a lot of responsibility to have and we should be compensated for doing it well.

#23 — We Are Doing So Much More Than Teaching

Over the course of the years, teachers have seen their job descriptions expand. Our title may still be “teacher”, but we are now doing the jobs of counselors, nurses, custodians, social workers, nutritionists, and sometimes parents. Each year we are expected to do more and more with the same or fewer resources.

#24 — Two Words… Salary Freeze

We have to be one of the only professions that goes years without any kind of raise or salary increase. Most other jobs have a certain time each year when they get a pay raise, bonus, or move a step over on the salary schedule. Not teachers… we may go years without any of that happen. I actually had a couple of years where my salary went backward.

#25 — We Are More Patient Than Anyone You Will Meet

If reasons 1 through 24 aren’t enough to prove this concept, then being with at least 20 children a day and constantly reminding them of the same things should do it. This year, we are reminding students to turn on their cameras, wash their hands, keep their masks on, unmute and mute themselves, stay in their spot, and countless other phrases. Many times I feel like a broken record stuck on repeat…

Teachers are definitely a special breed of person. We endure numerous hardships and still show up each day, not because of the paycheck, but because we have a passion for our profession. Teaching is a calling of the heart, but over time, we are losing many excellent teachers, due to a lack of support, both emotionally and financially.

These are my top 25 Reasons Why Teachers Deserve a Raise in 2020 and the years that came before and will come after. If you have more reasons to share, please post them in the comments. (You can include a GIF too if you want. 😉)

Written by: Janessa Fletcher

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