without revaluation, the “most beautiful work in the world” will continue to be shunned

I remember my friend J. making rabbit ears out of his immobilization scarf. Once a broken arm, always a clown. And I still remember my teacher, rolling his eyes at his crossings, saying, ” At the beginning of my career, the old gentlemen took off their hats to greet me on the street. »Respect lost … Yes!

It was in the late 80’s, in the center of France, one of these strongholds of Grand Meaulnes, without a somewhat sexy cultural identity, neither Basque nor Corsican. As far as too close to Paris. A kind of easy-to-take interior for Capetians. This “emptiness” France, which, like an Extramadura, sent its nobles to conquer. Pompidou, VGE, Mitterrand, Chirac, Creuse bricklayers and owners of Bougnat cafes before them, at the head of the bridge. This end of the country is now called the “tunnel”. You can hear geography like limousine cows parading through the TGV windows, or rather the Corail train, non-stop. Bucolic excitement between the hubs, neither Roissy nor Duisburg, our own multimodal node: Vierzon.

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In this socially homogeneous, republican France, where agriculture no longer needed hands on a lease and SMIs, often subcontractors, pending uncertain futures, the social ladder could be achieved through the civil service. Cantal police sent to Seine-Saint-Denis, professor of Charente in Val-d’Oise. It was the party with the promise of a transfer after a few years and a salary, never fabulous, but enough not to count every penny. Set aside even.

I grew up with this horizon, this certainty of a “stable” life. By the early 2000s the teacher had long been no longer a notable in the area, inflation had already picked up purchasing power, but being a teacher was still perceived as a success. Others returned to banking, insurance and other licensed “safe betting” operations. And then boom … end of the comet.

Sensation of lowering

When I think I gave up the INSEE competition I had won to choose the LAYERS and take economics classes sighs a friend. It echoes what I hear in my own school. ” My teacher, in the North, had a fantastic house, it is difficult for us to change the boiler Murmurs a French colleague. ” My cousin, who doesn’t even have a high school diploma, earns more than me in his mechanical box after 20 years another abounds. ” Anyway as soon as we talk about revalo, they call us holidays, we have to see how they always lynch us on the networks add. A few days later, my annoyed English colleague confided in me: ” My apprentice resigned, it almost never happened, it’s the second time in three years, no one wants to enter the profession anymore. This year, he is the second “young man” to leave, in a quiet university, that’s a lot. No problem with the hierarchy, benevolent here, not even with students or parents. Disappointed by the trade, they make zap and thrive elsewhere.

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You are, consideration, loss of meaning, the breasts that feed the low morale in the teachers ’room. This feeling of reduction is experienced by many other professions, such as nursing, but I pray here for my parish, from a hanger I know. What happened ? The multiple causes are known. Moreover, it is useless to put it behind French pessimism, the phenomenon affects most developed economies. The job is disappointing and she is having a hard time recruiting. This is worrisome, because without solid success, there is no increase in skills, or so among competitors.

Listen to Mallory MacMorrow, a young Michigan senator who, in a much-publicized speech these days, laments that her state cannot maintain the roads and … prevent the resignation of teachers, a real scourge on the other side of the Atlantic.

Loss of purchasing power

Here, the different field studies trace various origins to this disenchantment, here are some of them. The loss of meaning of the profession, then, in the first place. Classmates have more and more missions other than teaching. They have the feeling that they are moving away from the job for which they were trained, sometimes more than forty years ago. The continuous training of the educational staff is insufficient, it is not a mystery to anyone, and when we propose the reinforcement is to put it during the holidays, implying that we are not working at all during this time. The message is not well received.

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The loss of their purchasing power comes immediately after. In twenty years, it has fallen by 15% to 25% (constant euros) depending on the case, according to a report by the Senate in November 2021, an institution with little suspicion of collusion with the unions. Inflation and the freezing of the index point since 2008 (micro-thawed once since then) have a formidable scissor effect on portfolios, especially for colleagues working in areas where real estate is tight, in the region of Paris or the big cities. In these places, the teacher’s salary, when it is related, is no longer an economic locomotive, it appears as a kind of supplement. This is also explained by the high rate of feminization of the profession. And, as everyone knows, it’s still women who do most of the work part-time.

The “sacrifice” is no longer valid

However, it is precisely in these metropolitan areas where most teachers (1st and 2nd grade) have their first place. Here we come to another unfortunate issue: the lack of geographical mobility. Transfers are based on a complex point system, which takes into account seniority and family reunification. Negotiated in due course, known to all, the rules were accepted. But with the abolition of places, the movements are less important and the chances of integrating a desired academy are reduced from year to year. There is little hope that a Breton colleague will return to his native Finisterre without spending ten, fifteen years or even more depending on the subject, in the Paris region. The “sacrifice” is no longer valid for young people who want to enter the profession.

These start with less than 2000 euros, master’s degree (bac + 5) now and competition in your pocket. We understand that a student of mathematics, at random, may find more attractive propositions elsewhere. For half-career teammates, who earn little more than that, the lack of mobility is demotivating. These are also afraid of being the big forgetters of the upcoming promised increases. We want to attract people to the profession, it is essential, we must also retain the experience.

Denial of claims

And then the vocation? You don’t become a teacher to make a fortune, that’s obvious. But the words “vocation,” “priesthood,” refer to religious images. It would be a call, a pure gift from oneself, an irresistible desire to teach, even in a shed. I don’t know many “gifts of oneself” that pay bills, pay off loans, and fill the car.

On the other hand, most teachers are invested in a profession and many have a passion for the profession. Students are not fooled, it is the first quality they recognize in their teachers. But that doesn’t stop them from demanding higher wages and better working conditions like many others. Constantly returning them to a supposed vocation is a way of denying their claims. However, without an up-to-date career, without redefined missions in consultation with the teachers themselves, willing to discuss whether to listen to them, the “best job in the world” will continue to be avoided, with consequences that we can easily imagine.

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