Why Are Teachers Still Getting Paid Less Than Athletes?

Teachers are the most important and essential part of the world. They are the backbone of society, technology, and even the government. Without education, humans would not be as advanced. So why are teachers getting paid less than sports players?


Iowa State University Department of Kinesiology

The world relies on teachers. So why don’t they get what they deserve?

Rebecca Harris, Columnist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average 2019 wage for high school teachers is $61,660, and lower for elementary teachers, only $59,420. The average salary of an NBA player in the 2018-2019 year, according to The Balance Careers, is $7,422,823. Most of the income sports players make are from revenue, such as tickets or merchandise. On top of that, game tickets can cost hundreds of dollars, whereas every state offers free education until a certain age. This makes paying teachers harder as most of the money comes from the state, not from outside revenue. However, teachers are essential to every job there is. Without someone who knows how to multiply and divide, or write and read, many jobs would be lost, even a job as simple as working in a grocery store. Without teachers, young kids would not learn how to expand their skills and chase their dreams. On top of that, many students would not be able to pursue their passions, because they wouldn’t be able to gain knowledge or understanding of the topic. If there were no teachers, then sports players would not be successful in their careers and life outside of sports.

The concept of teaching has been around before humanity. It can be identified in animal behaviors such as teaching offspring how to kill prey or associate different kinds of calls and noises with food. Human forms of teaching can be traced back to stories and lores told by ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia. Many of these stories have morals or lessons that can be found in them, or hypothesize why something happens. While the reasoning in these stories is, for the most part, false, the point of the story is to teach others about why an event occurs and how to avoid it or turn it in your favor. Entertainment, however, is also older than humanity. Many animals play with each other, such as wolves, dolphins, and otters. In fact, both teaching and entertainment can, and do, go hand in hand. Wolf pups play-fight, which hones their hunting skills when they grow up. Humans would tell stories around a fire, in a theater, or some other communal area as a form of entertainment. Entertainment is not only enjoyable, it is necessary in human life. However, learning is too. Both provide a solid foundation as well as a delicate balance. Too much entertainment can lead to minimal or insignificant learning, but too much learning can lead to stress on the brain, which then leads to the inability to retain and use information.

Since both education and learning are necessary, teachers should be paid the same amount of money as sports players. Of course, there are higher risks when playing sports, as injury is more common in sports games than in a classroom. But teachers are the reason sports players get as far as they do in life, by teaching them logical thinking and practical skills. Teachers also do more than just teach sports players. They are the foundation of many jobs, companies, and passions. Teachers are the ones that instruct politicians in the needed skills to work in the government, and they also educate scientists on how to use the scientific process, which is then used to find new discoveries or dive deeper into old discoveries.

Teachers are the bedrock of the world, and they should be treated as such. Teachers should not be getting paid less than sports players, they should be equal to sports players.