Upper Arlington

Students benefit from having well-paid teachers

Tuesday October 8, 2013 7:13 PM

To the Editor:

I teach math at UAHS and I am writing in support of the upcoming levy. I wish to make two points.

The first is about time. I work long hours at my job, 10-12 hours per day on average, and that's not unusual for UA teachers.

In addition to teaching lessons, planning, grading and a host of other responsibilities, this includes time spent before and after school (and during lunch) working with students who need extra help.

If our levy fails and we face staff cutbacks, workloads will go up and there are still only 24 hours in a day. The required tasks of being a teacher will necessarily crowd out the merely important tasks, spending time working with students in particular.

My second point is about economics. Teacher compensation has been given much attention in the last campaign and in this one. Yes, teachers in UA are paid well, but at comparable levels to teachers in other top districts like Dublin and Bexley. The plain fact of the matter is that quality costs.

UA attracts fantastic teachers, in part because they are compensated well. If salaries were lower, the best teachers would look elsewhere, to other districts and to other professions.

I am a highly qualified teacher with a master's degree in math. That also qualifies me to teach at a community college (an easier and less-stressful gig) or to become an actuary (less stressful and far better paid).

I am a teacher because I love teaching and I love working with kids, but I've also got a family to support. My salary at UAHS allows me to work very hard at a job I love and resist the call of higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

If teacher salaries were to decrease as workloads increase, that call becomes much harder to resist.

Michael Hunt
UAHS teacher