Or rather, let’s not forget the real cost, costs and value of teaching and teachers.
Earlier today I posted this. It was an April Fool. (Gotcha!)
But it did have a serious underlying message, and when I quoted the Secret DoS in the original post, I wasn’t being flippant (as opposed to when I quoted Jessie J…).
Let’s hear from the Secret DoS again, because the point is well made:
I hate the exploitation. I work with people who have degrees, postgraduate degrees and years of experience in many different contexts. Some of them have families and mortgages. Some of them are employed on zero hours contracts – which means we pay them for the hours we get them to teach, but there our relationship ends. We have no commitment to them, we pay them a starting salary that is marginally higher than what an unqualified school teacher earns in the UK and we never increase this.
We are not the most exploitative company that exists. I am expected to demand high from these teachers, but understand the truth that there is to be found in the maxim about paying peanuts and getting monkeys. Truth be told, I manage a team of very committed monkeys for the most part, but this is a tribute to them because they are committed, once again, in spite of the context in which they work.
Essentially, the problem is that many schools are paying peanuts and NOT getting monkeys. They’re getting dedicated, interested, experienced language professionals who are at real risk of stagnating, becoming very jaded or simply deserting the profession altogether because of the massive gap between the level of expertise they’re expected to hold and the remuneration they can expect for exercising it.
And that is monkey business.