The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Teachers deserve our gratitude and higher pay

AP+U.S.+History+teacher+Katherine+Simmons+begins+her+class.+Teachers+are+very+dedicated+to+their+professions+and+have+a+significant+impact+on+students+lives.
Rachael Wolfson
AP U.S. History teacher Katherine Simmons begins her class. Teachers are very dedicated to their professions and have a significant impact on students’ lives.

In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a bill that includes multiple education reforms, including the raising of teachers’ starting salaries from roughly $45,000 (it depends on the county and school district) to $60,000. This particular pillar of the bill will go into effect in July of 2026.

While this salary raise will be beneficial and is certainly needed, it should be even higher. To put this in perspective, teachers from many European and Asian countries are paid higher starting salary rates than in the U.S. Our teachers in Maryland should be properly compensated for all their work and dedication. It is teachers who work with students to help them discover their passions and career interests.

For the past couple of years, there has been a teacher shortage across the country. Low salaries is a central reason behind the shortage. A low income discourages young adults from entering the profession. But higher salaries will draw more young adults to the job and would most likely fix the national teacher shortage.

Teachers play such a large role in the lives of students. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, no lawyers, no accountants, etc. The job of a teacher is priceless. Parents send their kids off to school every day, knowing the positive impacts and long-lasting influence teachers have on them.

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Teachers don’t just teach us curriculum requirements, like the Pythagorean theorem, the definition of mitosis or the history of the Cold War; teachers teach us the art of critical thinking, asking for help and taking notes. Teachers do more than prepare us for tests. They mold and shape us into the people we become.

Henry Adams, the 19th century historian, once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell us where his influence stops.” This wise statement of Adams is significant. The experiences and lessons we gain from teachers take us beyond school and our professions; they stay with us for our whole lives.

I discovered my passion for English, history and writing because of the teachers that I’ve had in elementary school, middle school and high school. I used to, in fact, struggle with reading when I was very young. I saw a reading specialist. And she made an important difference in my life. I can still recall how she would have me sound out the syllables of words on my five fingers. She was such a warm presence who made learning how to read fun. It’s because of her that I’m able to enjoy reading today.

In my freshman year, I developed a passion for literature. My ninth grade English teacher brought enthusiasm into the classroom everyday as though she were reading the books for the first time with us. She showed us how much you can uncover from studying a single sentence. Similarly, I became interested in history because of my tenth grade AP U.S. History teacher who made the events of the past come alive.

Oftentimes when I’m sitting in calculus class, solving problems, I can still hear my fifth grade teacher’s voice joyfully telling us, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,” which is a fun chant to remember the order of operations. We simply do not forget such moments and memories from our teachers’ classes; they stick with us forever.

Sure, teachers help us pass exams and tests, but they have a much greater purpose. Teachers touch our lives with their devotion to educate us and prepare us for who we will become. They should be compensated accordingly.

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About the Contributor
Rachael Wolfson, Print Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Wolfson is currently a senior and this is her third year on The Pitch. During her first two years, Rachael was a Print Opinion Editor and now she is a Print Editor-in-Chief. In addition to The Pitch, Rachael runs on the cross country and track team. She's also the Co-Founder and Co-President of The WJ Gilmore Girls Club. Her two older brothers (Thomas '20 and Alexander '22) also served as Print Editors-in-Chief when they were Wildcats/Madcows (take your pick). Rachael is looking forward to ending the Wolfson Dynasty (2017-2024) on a high note!! 
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