The multi-decade refrain that teachers don't get enough respect is nonsense.
Sociological research has documented that job prestige is largely a function of the level of education and income associated with the particular occupation.
I regressed GSS job prestige on respondent's education and income (sample = 27,972). Next, I calculated the mean income and educational level for American secondary school teachers. Finally, I plugged the means into the equation which yielded an estimated prestige score of 51.9. So based on a model of job prestige, secondary school teachers are expected to have a score of around 52. What score do they actually have? It's 66. That means that people assign greater prestige to teaching than what would be predicted from a model based on educational level and income. Fourteen more points--that is a lot. (As an example, teachers are held in the same esteem as professional athletes (score 65) but they should be looked at like social workers (52)).
Teachers get much more respect than other people with jobs requiring similar levels of education and producing similar levels of income. The people working these jobs, not teachers, are the ones getting screwed.