Teacher Appreciation Week Used to Hide Teacher’s Low Pay


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Wawa lunch provided for teacher appreciation week at Cape Coral High School

Teacher Appreciation Week is a global, week-wide event where schools from all over show their gratitude for everything teachers do for both their students and school. 

During this week, school administrators will be putting their heads together, racking their brains for ideas on how to express to teachers how they are valued for everything they do. Much of the ideas are something cheap and simple, such as using food as a reward. For example, one of the ways Cape Coral High School contributed to Teacher Appreciation Week was by ordering Chick-fil-A.

However, some don’t stop to consider: is this just a pretty picture on display? Do many not stop to think outside of Teacher Appreciation Week? Why is this week even a thing in the first place? Teacher Appreciation Week seems to just be a way to neglect the lack of pay for teachers even further.

Instead of answering teacher’s desperate pleas for a raise, school districts instead throw them a week of free food and a pat on the back. This is definitely not enough, and not enough support for those who work so hard to provide us a quality education. The money used to express thanks for those who teach us could be put towards better pay for them.

A website called Florida Phoenix states ”A 2020 report by the National Education Association (NEA) shows that Florida’s average public school teacher salary is $48,800, the second lowest salary figure of all 50 states.” This shows just how much extra support teachers need right now, though it’s not like they haven’t always needed it. Hiding behind a facade of smiles and acknowledgement is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form.           

In fact, some find this time of appreciation quite idiotic. A quote from the website Washington Post tells us “What they want, they say, is for their profession to be respected in a way that accepts educators as experts in their field. They want adequate funding for schools, decent pay, valid assessment, job protections and a true voice in policy making.” This can express what teachers really want.

There are also not only these factors, but also the pandemic, which additionally plays a key role in this. Educators who have stuck with us for this whole year have also had to deal with a variety of challenges, such as sanitizing desks, juggling both an in-person class and a Zoom all at once, responding to student’s emails, and providing additional support for those who are falling behind. Don’t teachers deserve more than just a minor expression of recognition?

The people who teach students so much, deserve just as much back. Teacher Appreciation Week is nothing but a cover up, an excuse to not give educators the pay they deserve. Teachers are using their voices to fight back, so why can’t the schools answer their calls?