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Educating children is an important job

When is the last time you had to defend your salary to a person who had limited understanding of the many parameters of your job? Ask actors, athletes or "talent show" judges and they will say they have never been asked to explain why providing entertainment is worthy of multimillion-dollar salaries. Ask politicians to defend their salary based on the number of months worked and the lifetime benefits awarded and, despite the dire conditions our country finds itself in, these folks surely believe they earn every penny of their salaries and benefits packages.
So why are teachers repeatedly chastised for earning a living by educating the children of the people who are doing the complaining? For those individuals who feel that teachers do not deserve the salary or the benefits they earn, please remember that unless you are married to a teacher, the parent of a teacher or the friend of a teacher, you have only a glimpse into the realities of the profession.
While it is true that many teachers do not work in the summer months, it is also true that we are not paid for that time. Our salaries are based on hours worked, both in school and at home. Teachers typically work two decades before salaries match those of other professionals in the work force for far fewer years. We do not have expense accounts to deduct the cost of school supplies and materials once provided by the district. We make a decent living doing a job that is steadily losing its appeal. So to the woman who complained in the checkout line about the exorbitant salary made by teachers, I ask that you really think about the worth of a teacher compared to the cost of an uneducated society, and then go thank your daughter's teacher for guiding her into a profession that she hopefully will never have to defend while waiting to buy a pair of slippers.
Amy Pygon
Hamburg