Not Going for Sainthood 

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Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated—saints, miracle workers.

Most suppliers of educational materials begin the letter they send to schools with “As a teacher, we know how hard you work, while earning less than those in many nonprofessional jobs.”

As a teacher, I do appreciate the sentiments. Really. But they are just that: sentiments, feel-good phrases leading nowhere.

As a teacher, I’m not a financial self-flagellate with a canonization complex. I’m a teacher because I enjoy teaching. Most of us teachers feel that way. We’re in this profession because we chose it, poor pay and all.

The thanks is appreciated, and you’re welcome. But publicly imposed martyrdom is hollow.

Now, those of you who are seriously concerned about low teacher pay and large classroom sizes (Utah is No. 1 in both), we teachers could use your help. Vote. Write to representatives to request increased funding for education. Be willing to pay a bit more in property taxes.

Teaching is an important job, one I’m glad to be doing.

Salt Lake City

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