“Teachers teach for the outcome, not the income.”
This is an unfortunately true phrase seen all over social media like an inspirational quote to make us feel better about how badly the shapers of the future get paid. It is a phrase from which Corban professors are not exempt.
The foundational requirement for becoming a teacher at any level should be loving your students. I am not yet a teacher, but the kids in the classrooms I observe already instill in me anticipation for my own classroom. Our professors at Corban fit that bill. Despite any faults they may have, the truth is that our professors love us and want us to succeed.
On Dec. 6, 2018, a forum was held discussing the termination of a professor’s contract, as well as how the school’s budget played a part. During that forum, Mike Patterson, provost, talked briefly about professors’ pay.
“They’re here for a calling, not a paycheck,” Patterson said. He explained that professors make $75,000 to $100,000 a year “fully loaded.” This sounds like a lot. However, he went on to explain how “fully loaded” means that that $100,000 includes healthcare and taxes. So, at a median pay of $87,000 per year, and after a reasonable estimate of 30% taken out for healthcare and taxes, the professors see approximately $60,000 per year.
This may still seems like a lot. From that, the average spent on housing is 30 percent of one’s net income, or that $60,000. That leaves $40,000 per year to spend on food and other things, as well as to save or for emergencies. This is 88 percent of what other professors get paid in the general Pacific Northwest, which is not terrible.
Now, to think about this as a college student who gets paid per hour for things, that still averages $27 per hour for a teacher workweek that can be as long as 40-60 hours per week. That $27 an hour would go a long way for a student with a relatively low cost of living, but most professors have families and additional expenses.
I do not write this to “stir the pot” so to speak or to say Corban should pay professors better. I went to the finances forum in December and listened to the faculty and administration. Corban is small and has struggled. I also know my place as someone who has been alive for less than a fifth of Corban’s existence, and it isn’t to call for better pay.
I am here as a future teacher who will one day know the pressures giving and grading assignments and teaching, while balancing family, friends and faith with my job. I am reminding us all to love our professors. Thank them. Tell them you appreciate them.
No one wants students to succeed quite like a teacher. There is not a chance in the world that we will all get along with every professor we take a course from, because all professors have different styles, styles as diverse as the students in their classes.
At the end of the day, no matter what we may think, our professors are here because God has called them to guide young ones in the way they should go. It can be hard for us as students to see this and to keep this in mind even when we are frustrated with a particular class or professor.
So I’ll leave you with this: think about the best professor ever and the worst one you’ve had. Think about the work they did both in and out of class. Think about their nights at home, after having dinner with their families and putting the kids to bed. Think about them in that movie scene in a dark room, a desk lamp the only illumination on a surface full of papers.
Our professors do a lot of work for us. They want to give us the best education we can get, and they do so by performing this labor of love for pay that could be better in a myriad of places. The least we can do is say thank you.