I really want to be a teacher, but I'm afraid of the environment I'll be teaching in.

Yes, I'm going back to school to get my teaching license and two endorsements. I have to take out $35,000 in loans for this, and it will probably cost about $45,000 when I graduate due to interest. The starting salary for me, since I will have my master's degree (as most public school teachers do), will be right about $45,000. That's a huge amount of debt and education for a small salary. Is there any other profession that pays someone with a master's degree, a practicing license, and two specialties such a small salary?

I'm learning all sorts of really useful things--how children learn at what age, how their brains develop, what type of perspective and understanding they're capable of, how to motivate them--essentially, I'm learning how kids learn. I'm learning best teaching practices and good pedagogy.

...but I'm doubtful I'll be able to implement any of that. Schools tell teachers what material they need to teach. They give them the books to use. The schools I've worked at so far have also required the teacher to test kids individually (with supplied tests) in a few core subjects 4 times a year. During that time, the other students have to work independently. Imagine testing 25 first graders, one at a time, multiple times a year in different subjects, and all the classroom time that wastes. On top of that, people don't want to pay teachers to have the extra time to put that information to use to adjust curriculum as needed. There is MAJOR control going on in the classroom, which might be needed if they were just pulling someone off the street to teach class. They're not. There are highly educated teachers in classrooms because that's what the system demands. But tell me, how many people are going to go through such an education for a meager salary when they can't even use their education? So many people keep demanding more control of the teachers through "holding them accountable," but, in the end, you're going to end up with no one who will do the job unless they start raising taxes and paying teachers a whole lot more.

/r/teaching Thread