Unfortunately we are in an imperfect country, with an imperfect educational system. One designed to be prejudiced and biased towards the "everything that is from abroad is nice/cool." and conversely, the homegrown talent is ignored.
Had it not been "discovered" abroad, we perhaps would not hear of Paulo Freire, Santos Dumont, etc.
Now back again to the educational system. One of the problems is, the elite is educated in schools outside the country and the ones that study within are divided into two parts, the ones that study in public schools and those that go to a private school (worth noticing that many promising teachers in the public system go to teach in private schools as well, but then the ones that stand out for their work in public schools).
Don´t know of today, but some decades ago the earnings of a teacher in a state I know well, was paid only every three months, wich would let these professionals strapped of cash and having to buy things on credit (fiado), even so they would pay in installments, since the money they made wouldn´t suffice to pay the in the whole. And to add insult to injury, teachers´ children woulnd´t get any job into government sphere or civil service (and even the commerce for that matter, since people think teachers have a handsome salary!)
I had high school teachers of mine that raised chickens and sold eggs to survive, and teachers that had two "teacher" side jobs (that is, in all s/he taught in three schools). And more, I knew some that did all that and then studied in a university to try their luck as a social worker (a slightly more "soft" job to get himself landed perhaps? dunno. At least not if you get a job in an public hospital.
So, demotivated wouldn´t be the proper word. Many really want, but they are pressed by the need of having to get a job and fast! more pressed still, when everyone knows that such jobs are generally open when experienced teachers are on strike (these also pressed by the need to get the bread and butter to their children back home, and pay their utility bills along with attend their family and carry out school functions.)
Education officials, lawmakers, government and politicians, in short, the ones that have the decisory power deflect the issues and needs of educators, by depicting then as "heroes/people that give too much of themselves to the cause of education etc...and teachers themselves end up believing they are a kind of foster psycologists/doctors/knowledge transmiter/missionary/idol/father/mother/friend/aunt (at the beggining levels we even changed the "master" (mestre) to aunt (tia/o)... which, in turn, makes the teacher think he failed when a pupil of his/her fail.
That happens because at their formation they are told they either will "form/educate" people or "nobody teaches anything to anyone" the educator just lead the student to the knowledge. Either way, if teacher fail it´s him/her that is to blame, the universities of life throw batches of hundreds/thousands of teachers every year this way, and they turn then into a "a reserve supply" in case of teachers deciding to go in strike.
To depict the teacher/educator in such "saint" colours, and making him call his profession is a "mission" and that he/she has to suffer like a martyr is convenient enough. That way, it might replace the teacher that teaches, and the teacher as a professional that earns his payment as everybody else, since he is a qualified professional and deserves so, independent of the whims of he who is his current boss.
It´s about time to train teachers properly, crunch some numbers and to know how many real teachers we need (without thinking of them just as a reserve supply) and open universities to educate just the needed ones, prefferably the skilled, and the ones that have the knack of teaching. Perhaps with an extra ammount of 10-15%, just in case.
English teachers would fit in the comment above, mainly the training part.
By the way, training is something that is not to stop, is dynamic just languages are. Of course, for that to happen, one has to have a realistic and reasonable wage. Since education is an expensive thing, but ignorance is even more expensive.
To have some further insight on teaching issues in Minas Gerais; and by extension, in Brazil. I suggest the reading of
"O professor que não ensina." -Guido de Almeida - Summus Editorial, 1986.
Some toughts there were useful for my comment; some are of mine. I had some teachers in my family, and many
teachers of mine were almost "close friends" in many ways. I hope the profession be given its due value, prefferably the soonest, I am optimistic in many ways about that.
Comments are welcome and, you are free to point my grammatical mistakes, or any other. I might have made loads of them! he he.