Come to my room, you will fill it filled with visuals and permanent products on the walls which my kids could care less about but which my administration has demanded.
I am a special education teacher, and my kids are taking the same pretest that they took last year and the year before that. They will take it again at the end of the year and this will be used to determine my growth scores or half of my evaluation.
That’s not to say all things are bad. I love interacting with my kids and building those relationships. There is nothing better than seeing that light come on when they get a lesson, or some advice you gave sinking in to solve a problem.
Yes teaching has its ups and downs but perhaps my biggest down is my paycheck.
I literally get depressed every two weeks when my paycheck hits my bank account and that feeling lasts longer and longer as I get older. You see after 18 years teaching and after my student loans come out I take home 1,034 dollars. You know you don’t go into teaching for the money, but at some point I thought I wouldn’t have to scrimp and sacrifice so much. At some point i thought I would have a cushion. It used to be if you made it to fifteen years or so, you know after a decade and a half of service, you got a nice little bump, but not anymore. when you factor in inflation I am making thousands less than what an 18th year teacher would have made when I started. Thousands.
Now I get it some people are saying, well you borrowed the money for your student loans, you have to pay it back, that when I signed the papers I knew that going in and that is true but what I didn’t expect was to borrow 55, pay back 20 and still owe sixty. This is a debt that I will never get out from under.
Also shouldn’t the service count for something? Teach for America teachers get 11 grand to pay back student loans after just two years. I am nine times past that and have not been given a penny.
I would say something has to give, but it seems like the dam has already broke.
Florida had 4,000 teaching vacancies to start the school year.
Parents and teachers at this point are telling young people to avoid the profession.
Part of that has to do with salary. I never thought I would be rich and don’t care that I never will be, at least financially, but I thought things would be different better, I thought I would be able to plan for the future rather than living pay check to paycheck like so many of my colleagues are.
More and more teachers are working second and even third jobs too. Think about that, the people who are educating our nation’s future can’t make it on what they are paid to do it.
We have to do better as a nation, our future literally depends on it.