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Teacher Unions and Preparing for the Future

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help teachers unionsOver the past few months and the last few days there have been large headlines and many high profile fights brewing over the role of public employees and how their compensation should be measured against that of private workers. To be sure there can be valid arguments made that while a country, state, or municipality is suffering budget issues that public employees would have to make adjustments to salary, furloughs, benefit packages, or pension plans.  Teachers and other public employees will correctly say that over the past fifteen years in negotiating their contracts that concessions were made concerning short term gains in exchange for better pension plans that are now under assault. There is very little a lone teacher can do to fight against these winds of change which means that a teacher’s best option is to do the best they can to prepare for what these changes could mean to the career path they have chosen.

For years teachers had achieved additional standing and compensation by gains a Masters Degree. In the past this was a negotiated salary increase that was built into collective bargaining agreements with the state or city. Now many teachers are considering not continuing their education because the financial payoff within their chosen career might not be realized. While this may be true with plain Masters Degrees in Education, that is not the case with teachers who get a Masters of Administration, or Masters of Curriculum and Instruction.

Masters Degree such as these can not only prepare a teacher to prosper within the teaching profession, it also offers teachers a range of career options both within the field of education, and also in the private sector. These Masters Degrees can help teachers transfer from a classroom work environment into a many other opportunities.

Higher education, Human Resources, Corporate Training, and even Museum Curator are all career opportunities that can become options to teachers with the correct education. This does not even include the option of moving into a more administrative role within the education field. Principal, assistant principal and other fields in the administration of public and private schools become realistic career options.

So while the politicos and cable TV speaking heads go on and on about the future for public employees, now is not a bad time to make sure teachers prepare themselves for an uncertain future. In any other career be it technology or the law, professionals must make adjustments to changes in the market. If teaching is going to become an even less respected, and less compensated field in which to earn a living in the next few years, teachers, just like RPG programmers learned HTML and Java over the last decade will have to prepare to the changing market.


Written by samomulligan

February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Teacher Unions

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