(iStock) Teachers in Anchorage recently rejected a tentative agreement on a new contract that failed to include a sought-after 3 percent salary increase — but, according to news reports, money was not the only issue. Sagging morale was another factor. KTUU in Anchorage quoted Corey Aist, a teacher in the Anchorage School District, as saying: “Personally, I was at every board meeting, listened to all the stories being shared by the teachers. And they just want to be valued, they want to be heard, they want to be respected. That may have had a bigger consequence to the contract than the actual items within.” If low morale was a factor, Anchorage would hardly be the only place where teachers are feeling a lack of respect. Surveys of teachers and growing teacher shortages have revealed a real cost to the teaching profession of low pay, unfair evaluation methods, assaults on due-process rights, high-stakes testing and insufficient resources. In this post, Paul Murphy, a third-grade teacher in Michigan with 18 years of classroom experience, writes about why there is so much dissatisfaction among so many teachers today. Murphy writes about education at TeacherHabits.com, and he gave me permission to publish this. By Paul Murphy We teachers sure like to complain a lot. At least, that’s what I’m told by people who don’t teach. Here’s one comment left on an article I wrote: “Quit complaining. Everybody has things they don’t like about the professions they chose but teachers are the biggest whiners.” Here’s another: “I know about a dozen teachers. Every single one of them knew going in how much education they’d have to invest and the amount of effort expected.” One of the most common refrains complaining teachers hear from non-educators is that we knew what we signed up for. “Hey,” they say, “You knew the score going in, so no b—-ing about it now.” It’s an argument that, on its face, makes some sense. It’s true that teachers knew at the outset we weren’t going to get rich. We knew the job would be challenging. We understood that no matter how good we were, no one was going to build a monument to us. But the truth is, the job of a teacher has changed a lot in a very