A recent letter said teachers of core subjects should make more money than the other teachers ("Differential teacher pay," Readers' Forum, April 13). Also, the author said a teacher's payscale should not be based on longevity. I would like to address both issues.
All teachers have special gifts they have enhanced through a lifetime of education, practice, and learning. To say that core teachers require more education than the non-core teachers is misleading. Our continual trainings are often performed at our own expense and on our own time. Look at an art, music, history, or even a physical education teacher and see how much time they have spent developing their skill and knowledge in their respected area of expertise. Is their gift less valued?
There is a difference between teaching, presenting basic facts, and the art of incorporating learning. I recently worked with a student teacher who was pretty good with teaching basic facts, but he struggled with engaging the students in learning and also had a hard time controlling a large class. I flashed back to my early years of teaching and saw myself in him. I also struggled with making learning interesting and successful. I also struggled with classroom discipline and procedures. But with years of experience and training offered by the administration, I am so much the better instructor now than I was early in my career. As in any career, with training and experience, older employees are more productive, efficient, and valued. As a result, they have wage increases throughout their careers. Common sense should tell us that a professional employee should make more money based on experience as they hone their gift.