My response: Now think about that teacher being told repeatedly that it was their choice to be pa…

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My response:

Now think about that teacher being told repeatedly that it was their choice to be paid so pitifully low. They did it to themselves. If they don't like the wage they should quit.

It is their choice to take a job with that pay.  It is not their choice to be paid a certain amount, per se -- if it were all their choice, they'd be paid more, usually -- but they choose to accept that level of pay.  They did, absolutely, "do it to themselves."  And if the pay is not worth it to them, then yes, absolutely, they should quit.  There is no question about that.

The very fact that they do not quit means one, simple, necessarily true, thing: that the combined benefits of the job -- the wages, health benefits, whatever good will, etc. they get for doing the job -- is enough compensation to get them to do the job.  If it was not, then they would quit.

I wouldn't tell them that "repeatedly," but if the subject came up, I would be honest with them and tell them these true facts.

Now imagine they heeded that advice prior to you taking their course. Imagine you instead received instruction from someone who cared so little about the students, and did the bare minimum to receive a paycheck and keep from being fired.

If that happened -- all good teachers held out for higher pay, so the only teachers left were the terrible ones -- then teacher pay would increase.  The biggest reason teacher pay does not increase is because we believe we don't need to increase pay to keep good teachers.

So in a very real and necessarily true sense, yes, teachers keep their own wages low by not holding out for better wages.

Wouldn't you do anything you could to keep the inspiring teacher in the classroom?

Absolutely not.  Would I pay them a million dollars?  Ten million?  One billion?  Of course not.

But the fact is that, for now, we don't need to do more to keep that teacher in the classroom.  They are in the classroom now, and as best I can tell, they aren't leaving. G+

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