Whether or the performance any worker should be connected to their performance has been a topic of contention for quite a long time. Measuring the performance of a worker is not easy especially in such fields as the service industry. One such example of job performance is that of teachers. Arguably, teaching is one of the most tedious white collar jobs following its monotonous nature (Brown & Heywood 28). For this reason, many scholars and experts have argued that the performance of a teacher tends to decline with time. Research has it that new teachers perform better than more experienced teachers since the new teachers have not yet experienced the monotony of the teaching profession. Experts in the field have argued that to maintain high performance standards among the teachers, the performance of the students should be directly linked to the pay of the teachers. While this may seem like a light matter, it has sparked emotion and reason from various scholars. Those for the idea hold that it is a good way of maintaining good performance. Those with contrary ideas argue that this would amount to abusing the teachers’ professionalism since poor performance among the students could be a result of their personal inefficiencies. This paper seeks to explain the arguments and counterarguments relating to this topic.
The proponents of the idea argue that it is a valuable way of discouraging laxity among the teachers. This, they say, is in line with the presumption that no teacher would prefer to be paid little money. As such, they will work hard as they endeavor to achieve. This way, they will be able to impart the necessary knowledge into the students compelling them to perform well in their examinations and continuous assessment tests (Podgursky 46). The performance of the students is the direct determinant of the teachers’ pay. As such, the teacher will always strive to achieve the highest salary possible. This way, the system will achieve mutual satisfaction since the student will have achieved good results, the same way the teacher will have achieved good pay. Thus, the system of linking the pay of the teacher to the performance of the children is an appropriate tool for eliminating laxity and boosting the performance of the children.
The second argument for the idea of paying teachers according to the performance of the students is that it is an efficient way of creating worth for money. Paying a child’s school fees is same as investing in a long term project since essentially, education is the most significant way of shaping a young person’s future in a civilized society. The return from this investment is good performance that will enable a child achieve their desired dream in the long run (OECD 86). Clearly, poor performance cannot grant one a good future. As such the teachers should be compelled to deliver the best. This way the children will be able to perform well, and the parent will have received the real value for their money. As such, paying the teachers according to the performance of the children is an effective way of creating quality and yielding true satisfaction for parents and guardians funding the students’ education.
The third argument in favor of the performance-pay scheme is the fact that it motivates the teachers and creates close relationships between teachers and their students. A teacher that is willing to achieve a high pay must maintain effective communication between them and their students. Such communication that comes in as a way of creating channels for academic assistance can be a good way of motivating both the teacher and student (Kelly & Odden 116). The student will always be comfortable to work with students that are motivated and with whom they can communicate freely. Such motivation not only impacts positively on the performance of the child, but also creates good social skills for both the student and teacher. This makes the school setting a friendly environment for the children to grow and develop. Additionally, the decision to link the pay of the teacher to the performance of the students is one way of identifying the most qualified teachers for purposes of performance appraisal. This system as well ensures that the teachers use their full potential since everybody‘s desire for money does not obey the law of DMU (diminishing marginal utility). The pay-performance contracts can bring continuous improvement to a learning institution. Continuous improvement is the aim of all institutions that endeavor to continue existing perpetually.
One of the main counterargument of the above arguments, is that linking the pay of the teacher directly to the performance of the children cannot possibly eliminate laxity among the students since some individuals be contented with the little pay they receive (Haynes & Chamberlain 126). In an average class, there are those students that will always perform well even with the least instruction. As such, the teacher will always have some minimum pay. Depending on the personality and the needs of the teacher, he or she may not put so much effort into achieving good results, and consequently higher pay. Certainly, this means that the system is not the most effective way of discouraging laxity. Additionally, a teacher can be less industrious in a situation where the students are averagely bright. Similarly, in situations where the quality of examinations is left to the discretion of the teacher, it is likely that a teacher will use the discretionary powers to set substandard examinations, which the weakest student will pass colorfully. This way the teachers will create a habit of boosting their pay through such malicious methods.
The second counterargument is that using the results of the students to determine the pay of the teacher cannot be a way of creating value for money. As much as the teacher may remain focused and determined to have the children perform, there are those students that are unwilling to learn (Earthman 56). Such reluctant students cannot create value for the money of their parents despite the efforts of teachers to have them do so. Additionally, there are those students that are naturally slow to learn. Such students can make a teacher earn a little money since they will not perform as expected due to innate inadequacies. This may amount to overworking the teacher since he or she may have to prepare extra remedial classes for the slow learning students. Still, it is not fully guaranteed that the children will perform well after the remedial classes.
Thirdly, it is not guaranteed that such an arrangement will yield close relationships among the teachers and the student s since the approaches that teachers may take towards achieving the good results could differ from one teacher to another. In simple words, one teacher may decide to be stern on the students as a way of compelling them to perform while another may opt to be friendly as a way of motivating and encouraging students to achieve desirable results (Department for Education and Skills 131). The stern approach may widen the gap between the children and the teacher and may create enmity between the two parties. Such enmity may make a student develop a negative attitude towards the teacher. This may in turn impact negatively on both the teacher and the student since the student’s failure to perform well will mean a low salary for the teacher. This way, the idea may be counterproductive, contrary to the assumptions of the proponents.
In conclusion, it is rather apparent that the system will not be as helpful as expected since the outcomes are relative and may change from one setting to another depending on the capabilities and attitudes of the students. Similarly, the effectiveness of such an arrangement may depend upon the attitude and approach of the teacher towards the desire to achieve. As such, the assumptions of this approach can be challenged from all corners as they are quite subjective. On the other hand, the system can be effective in achieving good performance on the part of the children as well as eliminating laxity among the teachers. The arrangement may strengthen the bond between the students and teachers as the two improve communications for mutual benefit (Chingos 117). This may create a conducive learning environment where both the teacher and the student gain. It is, however, necessary to observe that pay cannot be purely dependent on the results of the students’ examinations and overall performance since the children may be naturally inefficient. It is for this reason that experts have proposed a system where the teacher receives some minimum pay with some form of commission for exemplary performance.
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Podgursky, Michael & Bollou, Dale. Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality. New York. Routledge. 1997. Print