This weekend as I was watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 Celtics/ Lakers Best of Enemies a line about the late 70’s Celtic players attitude from narrator Donnie Walhberg resonated with me. “The paychecks come if we win our lose, so just cash your check.” It was referencing the lack of passion from players who just seemed to be going through the motions. It is seen in every profession, when passion gives way for a need of income to just live. This attitude often come from a lack of voice and choice in career or when employees feel their outcomes are beyond their control. Outcome focus is lost and income focus only remains.
Anytime educators raise their voice about income, the common comeback quickly shifts to outcomes. “Teachers are in it for outcomes not incomes.” Yes, every teacher knows that they will not get rich teaching, but they expect to support their families and live a decent life. Why is this saying only about teachers? Shouldn’t it be about ALL careers? From doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, and politicians to janitors, bus drivers and service careers? Society is contempt paying ever increasing prices for everything but their public services like education. Individuals in most careers are seen as successful by their income. Corporations can turn what ever profit they see fit. Our politicians feel that tax cuts will enhance the business world because they will have more money to create jobs. BUT in education more money is seen as a waste? Society needs to focus on outcomes! If we desire well educated students, we would spend more on schools than sporting events, concerts, movie tickets and prisons.
Right now schools don’t seem to be performing well. Should we blame teachers? or Society? Parents treat their school systems like day care, anxious for the first day of kindergarten so they no longer have to “pay” for someone to watch their children. Constantly pulling students out of school for vacations and to be their day care providers when one can be found. Most doctors and dentists offices only have hours during the school day because their services are more important than school. Our music and mass media often works against most school’s teaching. Modeling poor behaviors, bad grammar and lack of respect for others. Why do some students hate school? Because their world is entirely different than anything they see in schools.
We need to all work together to focus on OUTCOMES! Collaboration will lead to a increase academic gains. It is time educational values are reflected in out society! Start by listening to educators and valuing their opinions. Teachers are role models! Their average income is less than $50,000. So feel athletes or other professions are role models here is a look at their salaries: On average, NBA players make $5.15 million, MLB players make $3.2 million, NHL players make $2.4 million, and NFL players make $1.9 million per year, according to Forbes doctor’s average $189,000. dentists $146,000, lawyers $136,000. Pay reflects what we value in our society. Are we all focused on outcomes? Sports teams have millions spent on players who don’t even play. The United States is not ranked even ranked in the top 10 for health care!
It is time for our society to show it values education! Spend money here and we will all be supporting positive outcomes!