Leaning In Might Be Required Today
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
I am overwhelmed.
Drowning in a sea of impossibility.
The new job pays next to nothing.
A big pay cut and a huge workload increase.
My status as the new girl puts me in a position of less power, more vulnerability, and as if there wasn't enough to deal with, there are egos, mine included, getting prickled.
I am a hard worker and I care about my work.
I want what I do to be meaningful.
What I do is meaningful.
What I do with my time matters.
And there's something so beautiful and right about spending my time working with so many different humans each day, especially the bright souls that are my 23 students.
However... I am tired. The 23 students have parents. They have step-parents. They have grandparents.
I have coworkers.
I have a complicated web of who I need to check in with about what students and why and when and where, each day.
I get paid $130 per day before taxes to take care of 23 first graders for hours. Yesterday I arrived at 7:50AM and left at 3:45PM. I was not done with work. On my way home from work two days ago I heard a piece on NPR about Seattle raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. They interviewed a hardworking 22 year old about his low pay.
I am 47 years old and have been working in and out of the classroom for years.
I have a Masters Degree in Education from Stanford.
A few years ago I added my CLAD Credential.
I have a Masters in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.
I give you my credentials not to brag.
I give you the facts because they are real and you should know.
Those post graduate degrees took time and effort and a shitload of money.
Those degrees should probably earn me more pay for what I do each day.
Do the math if you haven't already.
(Also... I have four kids of my own. They are 10, 12, 14 and 16 years old. Minor detail, right?)
I make $130 per day before taxes.
What do you think?
Does any of this make sense?
No. But look at the world right now... does any of it make sense?
(Not to me, it doesn't. What is going on?!)
Thankfully, there's the poem by Andrea Fox, which I love, and it's message is something I preach and believe in, even on mornings like this when I need to write a very whiny post.
So... I will keep trying.
I'm up. Drinking coffee. Writing. Putting off lesson planning for a few more precious moments.
I will keep on keeping on: teaching, writing, parenting, and putting one foot in front of the other each day, even if I feel like climbing back into bed and crying.
Because I know in my heart it matters, they matter, and every single person should matter, no matter how much money is involved.
Because we're talking people. Humans. We are all in this together.
Because my heart is a better boss than my head.
My heart knows best.
My heart knows that their hearts matter, and their hearts will educate the hearts that come after them.
So, I will keep trying to change the world.
One small blog post, one tiring teaching day, and, thankfully, one adorable voice calling out "Teacher can you help me?" at a time.