Listening to a lot of talk on CBC this morning around teacher merit pay. Please take a minute and read my thoughts on how merit pay should work!
Merit pay should be awarded to teachers for the following reasons:
- Having to answer phone calls from parents with ridiculous requests.
- Having to give food to kids from their own lunch.
- Attending students’ sport or arts events outside of school hours.
- Extra planning for students going on vacations during school time. (And a bonus for every excuse given for why none of the homework was completed).
- Cleaning up after a sick kid that was sent to school for ANY reason.
- Any “out of scope” experience during the day, like comforting an upset child because of something that happened out of school.
- Having to change plans in a moment every time technology doesn’t work.
- Every time they hear teaching compared to babysitting or hear about how great it must be to have summers off.
- Every time a student says, “You’re NOT the boss of me!”
- Whenever a parent comes in screaming because they believe every word their child has to say and being unwilling to hear both sides of the story.
- Every time a politician brings up the topic of Merit pay based on test scores.
There are so many factors involved in teaching that most people don’t understand. People who think of merit pay as a way to weed out underperforming teachers need to realize there are ways in place to manage this issue. Just because a parent or student doesn’t like a teacher, doesn’t make them a bad teacher. There are cases of teachers who need to rethink what they are doing, and principals and school divisions are responsible to take care of that. Merit pay is not the answer for this; strong leadership who take the performance of their teachers seriously is instrumental. Proper training of teachers, properly funded schools and allowing teachers to do their job are also major factors as well.
I don’t want anyone to think my sarcasm in any way is meant to bash parents. We deal with a lot of GREAT parents. There are very few of them who do the kinds of things mentioned above, (as there are very few teachers who do not do a great job).
This short blog isn’t intented to answer the questions about the issue. It’s just a few thoughts from my ADD brain.