Yordi Verkroost

When Did Teaching Lose Its Focus?

Teaching is a beautiful profession. So why is there a shortage of teachers in the Netherlands? A recent LinkedIn post perfectly summarized the situation. Allow me to paraphrase:

What on earth happened to the respect and appreciation for our teachers?

Well, the original post didn’t quite say that. Instead, it highlighted several issues: small vacancies that make it hard for teachers to make ends meet, inadequate pay, rejection of second-career teachers, and the additional non-teaching tasks imposed on educators.

So, how did we end up here?

Let’s rewind a few years to 2014.

*Insert dramatic flashback*

In 2014, the Dutch government recognized that all teachers qualified for upper secondary education deserved higher pay in scale LD (see the collective labor agreement for secondary education 2014/2015, chapter 5.2). In other words, teachers who had invested in their qualifications were compensated accordingly1. This was known as “entreerecht”: the right for teachers to enter the appropriate pay scale.

However, by mid-2015, “entreerecht” was already abolished. New teachers who began their careers after that missed out. It’s akin to buying Bitcoin early and reaping the benefits later. If you were teaching in upper secondary education, you lucked out; otherwise, tough luck.

Fast-forward to today. New teachers, even those with previous careers in other fields, settle for the lower LB pay rate. These educators believe in their mission, wanting to impart skills to the next generation. They develop quality educational modules just like any other teacher. The catch? They only qualify for a higher pay rate after years of service or if they take on extra non-teaching responsibilities.

Something feels amiss. When did teaching lose its focus on quality?


  1. Entry teachers nowadays usually start in scale LB and can (theoretically) work their way up to the higher LC and LD scales.

#Education #Teach