Teachers should teach without extra lure

An education advocacy group is pushing for legislation that rewards teachers who stay at New York state public schools not up to par with academic performances. This reward is just a thinly veiled bribe, a monetary incentive that eliminates the need for teachers to remain true to their profession. The plan in place intends to allocate $30 million to run a “pilot incentive program,” which would keep the better teachers in the worst schools around the state. The teachers who are asked to teach at low-performing schools are distinguished by past students’ test grades.

In order to receive the extra money, teachers would have to agree to stay in the school for at least three years. The “good” teachers themselves should not receive extra money to stay. One obvious problem with this plan is that some teachers who are deemed “good” at their jobs would be receiving more pay than some of the other teachers in that school. This salary imbalance could potentially create a lot of tension inside and outside of the classroom among teachers. These disputes could then disrupt the learning process for many kids since some teachers who do not receive the extra cash would be more prone to slack off at their jobs.

Even advocates of this plan would have to admit that it could only be beneficial for so long. After a few years, the $30 million will not be enough. When the “good” teachers see they have leverage, they will most likely demand more. Generally, if someone sees a person as a valuable resource and has invested a lot of money to maintain his or her presence in the past, that person is more likely to continue in the future.

This is not to say that all teachers are greedy or driven by money. There are many teachers who would teach regardless of incentives because they value their profession and want to have an impact. This plan, however, cannot function in the long term. This plan could lead to a complete overhaul and reformation of all New York public schools, but its functionality and ethics are shaky.

If you go into the teaching profession, you should not be doing it just so you can teach at the best schools.

It is expected that you care about the kids you teach in any classroom and that you carry through with your responsibilities as an educator and remain in your position, even when the going gets tough.

Kids in low-performing schools need good teachers, but they also deserve teachers who are there simply because they care, not because they are receiving monetary incentives. It is especially not fair to the children, and they definitely deserve more.