A Call for Change: Empowering the Future of Education

Written on
July 17, 2023
Peter Hostrawser

Recently, my son and I had a heartfelt conversation about his career path as a recent high school graduate. He possesses a wealth of self-found knowledge and an immense passion for current events, from the economy to politics, transportation, and climate. Curiously, I asked him if he had considered becoming a teacher like me. To my surprise, he immediately dismissed the idea, citing the perceived poor pay that educators receive.

As an educator myself, I couldn't help but reflect on his perspective. Over my 21 years in the profession, I have experienced various highs and lows. Starting in challenging schools, I gained invaluable insights from each community. As my experience and knowledge grew, so did my salaries in subsequent school systems.

However, a significant setback occurred when I transitioned to a school district with a toxic culture under new administrators. While I made the personal choice to leave, I encountered a systemic flaw. School systems often limit the years of experience they recognize when teachers switch districts, directly affecting compensation. While I understand the cost-saving motivations behind this practice, it inadvertently discourages talented individuals from pursuing a career in education.

Now, I find myself at a school I love, with a supportive culture that values flexibility, CTE programs, and community engagement. However, this last transition has resulted in a significant decrease in my salary, and I accept responsibility for that choice.

But here's the crucial point: my son's disillusionment with the teaching profession based on compensation is a sentiment shared by many in his generation. To attract and retain great teachers in the future, we must acknowledge that some of our practices, particularly in the area of wages, are deterring the next generation from considering this noble profession. We are already facing a shortage of qualified, dedicated teachers who are passionate about making a difference.

It's time for change. We must collectively address the issues surrounding compensation in education. Let's advocate for fair and competitive wages that reflect the value of the transformative work educators do. By investing in our teachers, we invest in the future of our students and society as a whole.

I invite all educators, administrators, policymakers, and community members to join the conversation. Together, let's create an educational landscape where talented individuals are inspired to enter and remain in the profession, shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
My value is to help you show your value. #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker | #disrupteducation
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