On Salary Hike and Performance Bonuses for Public School Teachers
Dara Shifrer, Ruth López Turley, and Holly Heard report in "Do Teacher Financial Awards Improve Teacher Retention and Student Achievement in an Urban Disadvantaged School District?", an article published in the American Educational Research Journal, that "receipt of a financial award did not consistently relate to higher mean student test score gains or teachers’ likelihood of retention." The reason why bonuses do not correlate well with higher student test scores is obvious. There are factors other than the teacher that affect academic outcomes. We already know very well the serious impact poverty has on education. Shifrer and coworkers, however, maintain in their concluding remarks that "Teachers’ financial compensation should reflect the value we ostensibly hold for education and the possibility of social mobility, potentially through higher salaries for teachers working with students who begin school at an academic disadvantage."
So, first, are teachers that important? Jennifer Smith at Popsugar has an answer in "What Homeschooling My Kids Made Me Realize About Teachers":
"I walk away from this experience realizing that my kids need:
In our experience, we realized that our children need the authoritative voice of other adults, particularly teachers. We spend so much time teaching them who to trust and how to listen, but they were only able to put it into practice with us. They weren't learning how to practice it in their daily lives with other people. Teachers serve that purpose — a voice that children learn to listen to — which allows us to simply be Mom and Dad when they come home at the end of the day.
Naturally, kids want to test their parents, so when you are trying to be both teacher and parent, you blur that line. We realized we spent so much time trying to get them to stop fighting as siblings that when it came time to be their teachers, they didn't want to listen. They wanted to continue to test that boundary.
Quality over quantity. While we love our children, we realized we needed a healthy dose of separation, and so did they. They need to grow independently from us, which allows us
time to miss one another. Now, the time we do have together is valued because it's not constant. We can engage and be present because we aren't all wanting a break from one another.
Teachers are trained to bring out specific things in our children, like only a teacher can. As parents we know our children, their personalities, their likes and dislikes. Teachers help them to explore those things further through learning. And a great teacher has the ability to influence your child's life and experiences in a very profound way.