Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Aside from a child’s parents, they are the people who have the greatest influence in the development of the next generation, but, in the modern world, they have to work under particularly challenging conditions.
Due to widespread cutbacks, many teachers in the public sector have been forced to deal with increasingly large class sizes, and many of these classes contain children with additional needs which they must cater to, with the occasional help of learning assistants.
A teacher’s working day does not end when the bell rings. Anyone who has worked in education or knows someone who has can tell you that they have to spend most of the evenings and weekends planning lessons and marking their students’ assignments.
To make matters worse, many teachers haven’t had a pay rise in years, despite the fact that the cost of living has gone up. Some have even taken a pay cut when their school boards said there isn’t enough money to pay them so that they can keep their jobs.
So when Louisiana teacher Deyshia Hargrave discovered that Vermilion Parish school’s unelected superintendent Jerome Puyau was going to receive a $38,000 raise she was understandably upset and decided to make her feelings known at a meeting about his contract.
In the United States, a teacher’s starting salary is 39k, which means that another member of staff could have been hired to help deal with the school’s overflowing classes. It has been estimated that the raise would have taken Puyau’s salary from $190,000 to $228,000.
Questioning the superintendent’s colossal rise, Hargrave said, “I feel like it’s a slap in the face of all the teachers, cafeteria workers, and any other support staff. We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries that we have.”