[LMB] AKICOT:L Questions/Opinions

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Mon Nov 19 07:55:21 GMT 2018

---- On Sun, 18 Nov 2018 16:26:12 -0800 Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote ---- Supply and demand. People capable of managing adults are (generally) rarer and require more experience than those teaching children. Uh.  No.  That's ... not true at all.  In fact, the reverse is generally true.  Managing adults is far easier.  Most adults are relatively self-sufficient and know basically how to get through the day without prompting.  Their neurologies and neurochemistries are settled, so they're far less likely to be erratic.  Their critical reasoning skills are developed, as is their long-term ability to figure out possible consequences.  Not that they are perfect, but they are FAR better at all of these things than children, who are only just learning such things and whose bodies and brains are changing rapidly.  A teacher not only has to teach the subject has to not only be capable of teaching the subject but also of managing the classroom.  So, in essence, both the principal and the teacher require people-management skills ... except that the principle is managing adults and the teacher is managing children, who are far more difficult to manage.  Teaching is a very demanding job requiring a high degree of skill and experience.  We don't value teachers very much, but that's not the same as the job being somehow easier than more prestigious jobs.  (Principals, however, deal with a lot more politics and high-level coordination than teachers, which is a skill in itself.) Charting the pay and prestige of teachers historically is an interesting exercise.  It's one of the professions (secretaries and computer programming are two of the others) that gets held up as an example of how gender expectations affect pay and prestige.  When teachers were mostly men, it paid more and had higher prestige.  In the 19th Century, when women took over the primary school teaching jobs, the pay and prestige dropped like a rock.  Same with when women took over the secretarial jobs in the early 20th Century.  And when men took over the computer programming field, the pay and prestige rose dramatically in a very short time. But the reason principals get paid more is not sexism.  It's just that in Western society, it is pretty much universal that the boss gets paid more than the employee.  I think it's a stupid tendency--for one thing, it encourages people to be promoted out of where they are best suited.  You want to reward your best x, but you can't pay them more at their current job, so you promote them!  Now you have lost your best x, and you have someone who may not be very good at the job a level above.  (Like the awesome teacher who is only a mediocre principal.) Beatrice Otter

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