In this article, I am writing about a very serious problem that is worsening as the pandemic progresses rampant: the situation of teachers. It is imperative to demystify some ideas generally accepted by society but which in different situations do not correspond in any way to reality.
First, I’ll start with a question that the reader should internalize: How often has the catchphrase been heard that teachers earn very well and are rich? Many will probably say “many times”. The truth, when rigorously pursued, turns out to be completely opposite to the formatted idea. Let’s see, it is rare that a teacher earns a salary over 1,600 euros, which is due to the exorbitant tax burden. You can answer me “but 1600 euros is a lot”. I am fully aware that wages in Portugal are generally very low, but when you consider that a teacher who receives these 1,600 euros is rich, this is at least unreasonable, not least because this professional has an advanced degree and a has invested a lot for it. In addition to the aforementioned, it is rare for the teacher to reach the final step of advancement. For this it is necessary, among other things, that the teacher has always worked without a one-year break.
In order to climb the ladder, the teacher must work continuously. Up to this result there is another very unknown path: the path full of obstacles to completion. By the time that is accomplished, many will likely be placed completely outside of the zone frame, in fact completely outside of humanly acceptable maximums, with placements more than three hundred kilometers from their homes.
On the other hand, it’s a very exhausting job, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Many of those reading here will certainly be parents and know better than anyone that taking care of a child is sometimes not the easiest thing in the world. So I ask you to introduce yourself in the same room with 25 or 30 children. Hence, this is a topic that causes problems one by one. Imagine what a teacher who is over 60 years old will be with the exposed scenario. Yes, because according to the OECD, the average age of teachers in Portugal is very high at 49 years and with the aggravating factor that fewer and fewer young people are interested in a teaching career.
This fact has the peculiarity of being comparable to our economy, because if in the economy we struggle not to be overtaken by the Eastern and ex-communist bloc (USSR), in this case the average age of teachers is exactly the same: us it is struggles not to be overtaken by countries like Bulgaria, Lithuania or Georgia, which highlights a large part of the structural reform deficit at all levels in Portugal, particularly in education (this is because I don’t think I call it education Education is passed down from the family and ministries of education are the home of every individual, but it needs to be made clear that the role of a teacher is to impart knowledge and instruction, not to be concerned with passing on education, which is the responsibility parents should be, even in this area, even if a teacher’s working day isn’t officially t is the biggest, it goes without saying that it is rarely the day that he does not take work home with him, be it in meetings, in preparation for the class (yes, they are prepared), among other things.
It needs to be made clear that the role of a teacher is to impart knowledge and instruction and not to be concerned with the transmission of education, which should be the responsibility of parents.
If the pandemic has changed us and brought many new things into our lives, then a teacher’s life has changed the most (often for the worse). Let’s see, the teachers had to reinvent themselves. Online courses are the most striking example. Without training and preparation, many (including those over 60s mentioned above) have had to adapt to the new and difficult reality. In addition, at a time when much was being said about the economic impact and the even wider poverty gap, teachers faced the lack of government support. Again, although the government failed to keep promises to deliver computers, some (very few) were delivered, but no help was ever given to teachers. Apart from the situation (this is already old) of the hired teachers, who often cannot discount either for social security or for ADSE. Yeah, it’s not in the US, it’s really here.
In short, I hope, with no aim of opening an anathematic, I have explained a little more for this complex problem that has been dealt with in a terrifyingly simplified way. A thousand and a few euros are nothing, dear. For those who spend half on fuel or rent to pay (the situation of someone housed in Lisbon, for example, to receive that amount, but also lose half of the rent), this amount is insignificant. I humbly ask that the profession be valued, and I dare say the most important one. A teacher teaches the diplomat, the doctor, the nurse, the engineer, the building contractor, the artist, the mechanic, among others. Don’t judge them, guess them.