If you haven't read this article by former North Carolina Governor, Jim Hunt, I urge you to check it out. His is the mentality our leaders need to have about educators, and I sincerely hope other states pay attention to this message.
In a nutshell, he shares his belief that teacher salaries need to increase. He then discusses how his state did this back in the 90s with great success. Teacher salaries increased more than one-third, skyrocketing them to the top 20 in the nation from number 42, and student scores rose with the salaries. Imagine that!!
When I'm reminded how much money I would be making right now had I stayed in my first career, I honestly feel sick to my stomach. I'm infinitely happier as a teacher (despite my employment woes), but the gap in salary is just comical. For a job that occupies my mind 24/7 (seriously... I don't think I EVER stop. Everything is a potential lesson plan, management technique, classroom decoration, etc.), my income is pretty pathetic, and I don't mean just my current situation. I could say the same from my full-time jobs as well.
I'm glad I saw this on Upworthy and sincerely hope the message makes its way to the powers-that-be. We, as a society, need to start treating educators like they're valuable. After all, we're shaping future generations... you'd think that would be seen as a little important!