Husband's viral post about his wife's pay as a teacher is dividing opinions
Whether you loved or hated school as a kid, it's pretty easy to look back as adults and realize that - for the most part - our teachers always did their best to educate us. Not only did they teach us the syllabus-specific stuff we needed to know, they also showed us other important things about life, and helped shape us to become the people we are today.
However, despite being one of the core pillars of society, teachers have always been notoriously underpaid. As a result of this, teachers in Oklahoma may be striking very soon - but their decision to do so has caused some debate amongst the public.
Many people have argued that teacher's wages are lower because "they get the holidays off", or "their days are shorter" - but, in many cases, that doesn't account for the difference in take-home pay compared to other, similar professions.
To prove this, a man named James Deming, whose wife is a teacher, gave a five-minute breakdown of how his partner's salary matches up to other people's, and why her wage is actually incredibly unfair.
Throughout the video, Deming gives a breakdown of his wife's pay, and works off the premise that she "only works 10 months a year" (which he disagrees with). Taking into account paid holiday, insurance, maternity leave, lunch breaks, and sick leave - amongst many other things - Deming came to the conclusion that teachers "are way underpaid compared to other working professionals".
One of his biggest gripes was that teachers frequently bring work home with them. And, when you think about how much marking has to take place if you're a high school professor with several classes who are all preparing for exams at the same time, it seems obvious that a teacher would have to sacrifice their evenings to get it all turned around within a week or so.
What's more, many teachers have to purchase their own supplies out of pocket - an issue that was raised during the recent debate over whether or not educators should be armed - and the cost of that can sometimes reach thousands of dollars a year.
However, not everyone was on Deming's side of the argument.
"I love this video, but I don’t think your “white collar” figures are accurate for the majority of the population. For example, my family’s health insurance is over $800/month, and I’ve never known anyone with paternity benefits," wrote one Facebook user. "I don’t mean to take away from your post, I’m just not sure your numbers are an accurate mean."
"I could do similar math with mine and my wife’s police department CSI job. Cept she works more than me and makes less," said another, indicating that the problem was more to do with public sector pay.
Most people did seem to be supportive, though.
"James - you and I don't agree about much, but this was excellently well thought out and researched," wrote another user. "And I love that it was all facts - no opinion to get bogged down in. Let's hope this video reaches the people in OKC so that they can get something done - and done THE RIGHT way for our deserving teachers so they don't have to strike."
And others chipped in to say that there were even more out-of-pocket costs that needed to be taken into account: "And not to mention the cost of a printer and ink, paper, laminator and laminating pouches because you are discouraged from printing (especially in color) at school because they can’t afford ink and paper. Thanks for posting this, it really hit home in my household."
Based on Deming's points, then, it's clear to see that teachers in the USA are undervalued, despite holding one of the most important positions in society. So, next time you want to throw out the "but they get the summers off" argument, take these points into consideration.