Dominic Bordenaro is a freshman political science major and writes "Dominic's Politics" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Dominic at dabordenaro@bsu.edu.

Dominic Bordenaro

You hear it all the time, “we need to pay our teachers more.”

But like, really, we don’t pay them what they deserve.

The average starting pay for a teacher in the United States is $33,000. According to NPR, 30 to 40 percent of teachers leave the profession in the first 5 years, and many of those are the best teachers.

Pay plays a huge role in this problem, but it’s not the sole issue.

Teachers are stressed. Like, really stressed.

About 50 percent of teachers report having the same stress levels that are experienced by nurses and physicians.

That’s crazy, but who can blame them.

As funding for public schools has dropped (even in Muncie, we have funding problems) teachers have been forced to spend money out of their already tiny pockets to make sure their students have the basic school supplies they need.

Let me make this clear: teachers should not have to spend a single penny in their classrooms.

The average teacher spends, according to Time Magazine, $500 on their classrooms per year. One in 10 report spending over $1,000.

For someone who makes $33,000, a year that is a lot of money.

Not only are pay and costs keeping teachers away, government standards are too.

Look, I get it. We should have some sort of set standards for students. We can’t have students learning completely different things throughout the country. However, those standards cannot be so out-of-touch and inflexible that teachers are being forced to forgo creativity to teach to the test.

It would help if our government would include our teachers in making education decisions, including the leadership in our education decisions (yes, I’m referring to the wonderfully unqualified Mrs. Betsy DeVos.)

While we’re at it, let’s include teachers on school boards too.

Speaking of decision making, let’s discuss the decision of parents to blame teachers for everything.

Now, if I had someone emailing me complaining about how I’m doing my job all the time, I’d want to quit too.

Parents need to take more responsibility for their kids. We are causing more stress on our teachers when we criticize them every time little Johnny fails a test. 

The older generation likes to complain that millennials do not take responsibility for themselves. Well, I wonder why.

Now all the pay cuts, education budget slashing and increased testing and stress is causing another huge problem: all across the country, and especially in Indiana, we have massive teacher shortages.

According to The Washington Post, teacher shortages are at an all-time high. Stress, low salaries, and all the issues I’ve discussed is causing this. No one wants to be a teacher anymore. 

As we are forced to hand over emergency certification to fill classrooms, the quality of teaching goes down.

We need to remember that without teachers you could not be a doctor, a lawyer, a NASA scientist or even a teacher. We must treat our teachers better. We must give them the tools and resources they need, as well as increased starting pay and more flexibility in the classroom.

Our teachers determine our countries future and without them, that future is bleak.