Some things are more important than money

Jan 14 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Teachers arguably have one of the most thankless professions known to mankind. In the US, they are often held responsible for underachieving kids or any other the other ills that befall schools around the country.

They also fall victim to unfair prejudice with many who've never walked a mile in their shoes questioning their commitment or suggesting that they're in it for the vacation.

Despite the load of crap they have to deal with day in and day out (hey, you only have your kids in the evening and on weekends Ė they have them most of the day during the week), they remain a model for the workforce.

This piece in Education Week explored the realities of retaining teachers and revealed studies indicating that money just might not be the leading factor for teachers. In fact, a fair number of teachers have even gone as far as to put working conditions ahead of pay! Can you believe that? Bravo!

What I found in reading the article is that teachers focus their priorities on what matters most Ė educating their students to the best of their abilities with the proper resources to do so. Is this a surprise? Hardly.

What I wonder is how would this sort of dedication translate in the Fortune 500 world? Would a white-collar office worker forego higher wages to remain in a company that offered more flexibility or provided the necessary resources to do one's job properly?

In a consumer society, salary will likely remain the primary focus in most people's careers. It would still be nice to see a little more solidarity and forcing companies to perhaps pay a little less and spend that extra money on making positive working conditions that are bound to increase morale and productivity.