First let me say that I strongly support teachers and teachers unions. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs you can do, if you do it right.

Unions are needed to protect teachers’ rights from the whims of politicians and publicly pressured administrations. It’s funny, but teaching is the only profession that every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane think they know as much or more about than the professionals.

Having said that, I am continually amazed at how teachers frequently are their own worst enemy. They absolutely refuse to accept that they should be paid based on their performance, like everybody else.

The article in the Maine Sunday Telegram (“School districts debate merits of advanced degrees,” July 13) that discusses demanding tenured protection based on length of service and higher pay because they get an advanced degree (in some cases, just taking additional coursework) demonstrates how stunningly obtuse teachers can be. Teaching for a long time and/or attaining academic credit is absolutely no guarantee of better performance.

Whenever I hear these arguments, I just shake my head and watch the teachers and their feisty unions continue to sabotage their standing in the eyes of the public. It boggles the mind.

David Larsen

Portland