We all know quite well that we love our jobs as teachers. If that weren't true, there would be no teachers! The enjoyment we get out of transforming lives, the day to day versatility of our job, and the time spent with entertaining and brilliant young people is certainly rewarding. However, the financial rewards don't compare and are making it more and more challenging for school districts in the United States to recruit and retain teachers. Here are just a few realities teachers across America are facing:
These numbers are very disheartening. Not only do they show the challenging financial realities of being a teacher, but also the decline of the profession overall. On the bright side, if you can see one, 98% of people say that a teacher has the power to change a person's life.
Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Colorado Educator Housing Summit. The Summit was put on by Paula Davis, a fellow with the Donnell-Kay Foundation, to address the growing issues of teacher salary and teacher retention.
As outlined in the report that spurred the Summit titled "Affordable Housing Solutions for Teachers," the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Denver is $1350 while average teacher salary is $50,250. While I have heard that statistic before, I certainly don't know any teachers making even close to that much. I fought tooth and nail to get $40,000 my final year as a full time teacher.
While I was privileged enough to get to present about Equity for Educators, there were also five other panelists and a representative from the Denver Mayor's Office discussing the other efforts being made to help teachers afford housing. Here's what they are all working on:
Not only was I so excited to get to present at this event, but I was thrilled to see all of the efforts being made both in the rental and ownership arenas for teachers. Email me directly if you would like to see a copy of the affordable housing report.
Emily Baker has been an educator in North Denver since 2012. She taught 4th grade for many years, before transitioning to Middle School English. She loved her job working with children, and now her job as a realtor. With Equity for Educators she is able to combine these two passions.