The Value of Elementary Teachers

Sometimes it’s a very good, healthy practice to challenge and question systems – especially when the premises on which those systems have come in to existence actually appear faulty.

In India, as in the rest of the world, teachers are paid more depending on the age of the students they work with: a university lecturer is paid more than a secondary teacher, a secondary teacher more than a primary and primary more than pre-school/ elementary.

Now, the logic for this has been largely based on the idea that the older the students one teaches, the more complex the ‘stuff’ that the teacher needs to know/ be able to impart. Sadly, the other argument is a simple economic one – a University lecturer might ‘cover’ a couple of hundred students at a time, whilst the elementary teacher will be limited to working with no more than 30.

There’s one simple question on the down side – who has the potential to do more harm? Someone who teaches a 5 year old or a 15 year old? On the up side it has always proved difficult to actually ‘prove’ value for pre-school teachers. However, some new US research offers some fascinating insights.

New York Times Article on KG Teachers
(Click on link above to read the article)

I’m not sure this is likely to see KG teachers around the world suddenly getting vast pay rises (see the economic issue mentioned above!). However, I’m sure that many of them will feel vindicated and motivated to have confirmed what they have long suspected – each and every day they have the potential to have a profound impact in the life of a child. Perhaps you can’t put a monetary value on that!


2 Responses

  1. This was a brilliant article and much research even prior to this particular one has pointed at the need for attracting the best by making the remunerations in that field at par with top professions.

    I was looking for an open page on this blog where I could post something which might be of interest to you and other parents and teachers too:

    I could not find a place .. so am leaving the link here for c/p .. Hope it will be of interest.


    A parent with a child in PV

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