Money is not everything, but on one level it represents the transaction of what is paid for the sum total of our work.
It is not well understood the impact a Special Educator can have locally or even on a grander scale because Special Education instruction is a tightly controlled arrangement.
It flows out of an embedded educational culture.
Is it a democracy that we have within the public school special education system in America?
Constant meetings, managing paraprofessionals and all the duties that come along with that all rob time and freedom for the Special Educator to lead in ways only a teacher thinks of. All educators know the value of balancing and sustaining motivation levels, picking their battles, rallying the students and keeping things fun and engaging.
But oft times, burnout is common for Special Educators who can maybe hope to achieve a 6 digit income after 20 years teaching 'within the system.'
Burnout is not so common when you love what you do and you get paid well for it.
Who looks forward to going above and beyond under such parameters for 20 years?
A public school is not a place of business that makes more money if the student achievement soars in spectacular ways up and out of the charts. There are built-in limitations on how much a publicly-funded school system will/ can/ should? pay out for performance. They have no incentive because it is not a business. Private schools are a place of business. This allows to attract and retain teachers based on their performance to a great degree. Many established private schools even provide spectacular deals on affordable housing for teachers within the communities they teach. All of a sudden you have something akin to an education entrepreneur, some say edupreneur.
How can we make it so that teachers are given pathways to tinker, experiment, fail, succeed and trailblaze new definitions for successful student outcomes?
We invest in them.
I do believe that inspired teachers make the best kinds of teachers. How can we promote this without not addressing what educators get paid?