The Pay May Be Lousy, But You Are Loved

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Teachers often feel put upon, unappreciated, underpaid and terminally frustrated. But what they may not hear enough is that they still command high respect from the public, and that the public doesn't necessarily equate earning high bucks with high prestige. The Saint Petersburg Times ran a fairly routine story this week suggesting that more teachers are being caught behaving badly these days, but the article includes the results of a 2003 Harris Poll which we felt worthy of a re-mention. In the public's view, teachers rank almost as highly as scientists, firefighters and doctors. And in the midst of a lot of talk about the diminished status of the profession, the number of people who say teachers have "very great" prestige has risen 20 points, from 29% to 49%. Among those at the bottom of the scale are notably union leaders, stockbrokers, and real estate agents.