Teachers find summer jobs aren't just for students, Low wage... | Teachers College Columbia University

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Teachers find summer jobs aren't just for students, Low wages often force them to moonlight during their off months to pay the bills

Kael Ashton has a summer job any college student would love. As manager of Willow Creek Country Club's pool in Sandy, he gets outside and organizes parties. He manages the lifeguards and supervises the swim team and swim lessons.

The thing is, Ashton isn't a student.

He is a 32-year-old physical education teacher at Olympus High in Holladay. With six years of experience, he makes $31,000 a year, plus $2,000 for being the girls basketball coach and $1,500 to serve as athletic director.

Teaching, in a way, presents a paradox. Americans say they have tremendous respect for teachers. Yet teachers say society does not respect them or what they do.

Too many people don't look at teaching as a profession, says Darlyne Bailey, Dean of Columbia University's Teachers College in New York. "There is a myth that any intelligent person can teach," she says, when in fact teaching requires a unique set of skills. "Just like doctors, lawyers and social workers, teachers require professional training." When people dismiss what's required of teachers, it devalues the profession. That lack of respect shows up in the lack of resources - be they books, classroom supplies or appropriate salaries, Bailey says.

This article, written by Mike Cronin, appeared in the August 1st edition of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Published Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005