We're honored to be the first in a series of Guest Blog posts for Landed Inc! Low teacher pay means that many teachers are priced out of homes in the neighborhoods where they teach. Landed is helping alleviate this problem by assisting teachers with down payments on homes. Their work is an essential part of the process of elevating the teacher profession and we are proud to be working with them. Follow the link to read our post, and look out for a guest blog here from Landed, coming soon!
Our new film, produced for the Maine Education Association, follows Nate Petersen, a high school Social Studies teacher in Hermon, Maine. Nate is a full time teacher, but his teacher salary alone is not enough to make ends meet. He works some afternoons and weekends as a bartender to supplement his income.
As Nate tells us in the film, teaching is much more than just hours spent teaching in the classroom. To create lesson plans that are inspiring and engaging for students, teachers like Nate spend many hours outside the school day putting together these plans.
Stories like Nate's are extremely common across Maine, where average salary, at just $33,189, is about $7,000 below the average for New England. That makes Maine's starting teacher salary the lowest in New England and 41st in the nation.
Nate is 30 years old and soon wants to start a family, but knows that between his two jobs, and struggling to pay back student loans, that is just not a possibility. We will continue to work towards a society where teachers like Nate can afford to start a family while staying in the profession they love.
We want to offer a special thanks to the Maine Education Association and Mission Pictures for your collaboration.
-The Teacher Salary Project Team
Today, May 19, is National Endangered Species Day. We want to honor this day by featuring an incredible lesson put together by a first grade teacher, Ms. Netkin, at Lawton School in San Francisco. To learn about endangered species, these first graders made costumes, gave reports, and decorated the wheelchair ramp with a pollination mural.
This is just one of millions of examples of teachers who go above and beyond expectations to engage their students and help them learn. Teachers are essential to addressing many important issues, like that of endangered species. They expose students to these issues and engage them in critical-thinking and dialogue, guiding students as they develop problem-solving skills.
Ms. Netkin's lesson serves as a reminder of the incredible passion and effort teachers are putting into lesson plans every day. If we want teachers who are engaged with critical issues like these, we need to offer professional wages that reflect their hard work, and give them the ability to read up on these issues and develop engaging lesson plans, rather than spending spare time working second jobs to make ends meet.
-Emma Liss, Social Media Specialist