Pay teachers more and students will perform better

I’m always amazed when I read something like this – pay me a bonus and the kids will score higher. Financial incentives do seem to work in some professions. Increase sales incentives and with the right person, you’ll get increased sales. But teaching isn’t like sales. There are too many variables to count between the staff, students and their families to know exactly which variable on what day will make the greatest difference. The thing that bothers me the most about the assumption in the title is that somehow my educational talents and skills are  motivated by a bonus. Don’t get me wrong. I like getting paid. I wish I made more. I probably would have chosen another profession had this one not come with a salary, but then again, I might still be here. It’s not the pay that motivates me as much as I like getting paid. Did you hear me Governor, Purdue? Are you listening, Congress? I do want to get paid. I do want a fair salary. BUT what motivates me is seeing a student “get” what we are doing in class. To see light bulbs go on. To have students come back the next day and tell me they went to the library or searched the internet to do a little bit more digging that there wasn’t enough time for during the school day. I’m going to do my job well, strike that, I’m going to be an excellent teacher without performance pay. I’m going to push every child as far as they can be pushed and I don’t need a dollar incentive to do that. Their learning is incentive enough for me. 

New York City Abandons Teacher Bonus Program


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