I am growing weary of seeing cutesy teachery sayings all over the internet that try to convince me my low pay is worth it.
You know, because of the kids.
Well, I gotta tell ya - I kinda am in it for the money.
I don't mean rock star money.
I mean a well educated professional with a ridiculous level of responsibility money.
I mean expected to keep children safe and possibly give up my own safety to do so money.
I'm not asking for much. I have as much education as an attorney and at least as much responsibility.
I'm not even asking for that much money.
I'm just asking to make a living wage so I don't have to rob Peter to pay Paul every month.
Just normal living expenses, nothing extravagant. You know, just food, shelter, basic clothing, possibly a little ice cream now and again.
And don't make me feel guilty when you do give me a raise and make it look like I'm stealing candy from a baby!
Don't tell me I shouldn't ask for more, because, really, it's for the children.
Why do folks find it so reprehensible to pay teachers an adequate wage?
Is it because there are so many of us? If so many people are able to do it, it must not be that special?
Is it because everyone has been to school and it looks easy so it must be easy?
Is it because we put up with it and continue to work crazy long hours and do loads of extra work without demanding compensation?
Is it because simply screaming to the rooftops that we value children in our society doesn't really make it true?
Now, don't get me wrong - I do love my kids! I take them home in my heart and in my head every single night. They make me laugh and cringe and wonder and weep. Helping kids learn is tons of fun and I will continue to teach because it is my career, my calling, my niche.
I love my job.
And my second job, which supplements the first job.
So, I won't be pinning the cute little sign that tells the world I don't value my job enough not to expect to be properly compensated for it.
I will not revel in the fact that I can work miracles with inadequate resources.
I will not use making a difference in children's lives as an excuse to accept low wages.
Because it is about the children. Do we not value them enough to also value those who guide them, teach them, keep them safe?
Screaming to the rooftops that we value children in our society doesn't really make it true.
Sometimes you have to prove it.