Here in America, teachers have no title. They are called Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms. Not until one reaches college or university is the title "Professor" used. In Japan, while the suffix san is used for most people, doctors, scientists, novelists and teachers are addressed with the suffix sensei. The use of this honorific places them on a pedestal, so to speak, showing them that they are respected and revered. With an employer or coworker, one uses san. A preschool teacher is addressed with sensei. In Japan, teachers, like education, are respected and honored.
This honor is also shown on the Japanese currency. Instead of dead politicians or current royalty, Japan uses portraits of sensei to grace their bills.
Hideyo Noguchi was a scientist known for his work with yellow fever and other infectious diseases. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize nine times.
Murasaki Shikibu was a novelist famous for The Tale of Genji, considered by many to be the first novel.
Ichiyō Higuchi was a Meiji Era poet and novelist. She is considered the first professional woman Japanese novelist.
Yukichi Fukuzawa was an author, teacher and founder of Keio University.
Instead of attempting to bust teacher's unions here in the states, perhaps we should start giving teachers the respect and honor that they deserve.