Why some teachers are better than others? Do they work harder than their colleagues do? Are they more skilled and talented? Or they simply get lucky? While none or everything may be true, there are people who think that a student’s academic success depends on how skilled and motivational their teachers are. It follows that teachers themselves should be motivated to bring more students to success – by being paid for the result, not for the attempts. And while in theory, it may sound like a really good idea, everything isn’t as smooth in practice.
Here are 5 reasons why paying teachers for how well their students perform in the class is a bad idea.
1. Students Have Different Initial Skills
Students are different. They are born with a different set of skills, interests, and abilities. Their parents have different goals and inoculate different values for them. Their family situations are not alike: some may have sick relatives to look after, or a part-time job to help their poor family. It all influences how much time, effort, and commitment they can devote to studies. Some may enjoy Math, while others would prosper in Science.
To make it work, a teacher needs to find an individual approach for every student in the class, taking into account a student’s interests, learning pace, goals, and many other criteria. And as each student’s initial skills and circumstances differ, their performance will be different too – even if the teacher puts equal effort into every student in the class.
2. Teachers Don’t Choose Students
It logically follows that teachers may lose money because they can’t choose students. On average, each class has around 10% brilliant students, almost the same amount as those with learning difficulties, where the rest are regular students who perform quite well. And while classes consisting of only brilliant students are one in a million, teachers face difficult groups quite often. This means that if teachers are paid for their students’ performance, by mischance, some of them will barely make ends meet.
3. Teachers Will Encourage Cheating
One may say that being a teacher is a calling. Who would choose regular stress and so much work at mediocre pay, if not a true enthusiast? But even in this case, teachers have basic human needs.
Threatened by unbearably low financial position, they will have to think about their salaries rather than helping students learn and grow. This can encourage cheating where teachers themselves would give out test answers or promote online assignment writing services to ensure that their students provide outstanding results. Fortunately, such an attitude can cause rapid educational degradation and foster severe social and economic outcomes.
4. This Will Cause Churn of Teachers
Finding a good teacher has always been hard but such payment novelties can cause rapid churn of teachers, where they’ll be forced to find better financial perspectives elsewhere. Lacking any guarantees, new people would eventually stop coming to schools prompting deterioration of the education sector.
5. It Can Damage Discipline in Schools
By paying teachers for the results their students show, schools would put them in a position where their well-being depends on immature and often angry students. It means that conflicts can cause manipulations and discipline violations among students, where teachers would have to turn a blind eye to their misbehavior and simulate their academic success and high grades.
In their turn, students wouldn’t receive adequate education and mentorship, which will put their becoming decent and valuable members of society in question.
Teachers are not sellers and marketers. They don’t offer their skills and knowledge for purchasing but put their heart and soul to mentor and inspire students, help them find their own path, and grow despite their difficulties, insecurities, and doubts.
By paying teachers for how well their students perform in the class, schools will force them to put financial interest over honesty, decency, empathy, and growth. Why would they challenge and educate students if simply teaching them test answers will bring better financial results?
If this decision was put into practice, it would pose a great risk to effective education as teacher’s responsibilities include more than simply echoing the material from the books. They do a huge work on raising smart, kind, and confident individuals, which is impossible when you have to worry about what you will be eating the next day.
With that in mind, paying teachers depending on how well their students perform in the class is a huge mistake that can damage not only education but every other area of our life.