Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Bad Time to be a Teacher
That's exactly my husband's situation as a public school teacher in Wisconsin. He recently got his first paycheck of the new school year, and that was when we realized exactly the extent of how Scott Walker's Act 10 will affect our family's finances. We will have to pay for those bills somehow and try to also save some money, if that's possible.
My husband already works three jobs. He teaches high school during the day, teaches on Saturdays at the technical college, and does home presentations selling knives on occasion. He is now thinking of being a referee in the evenings for volleyball leagues as a fourth job. As for me, I adjunct for three colleges and I'm constantly keeping an eye out for any new openings. I used to advise after school clubs and work at the local newspaper too, but with little kids at home, it became too hard to balance. Next year, when my youngest child is old enough to go to school part-time, perhaps I'll get another job to work during those few hours each day when she's at school or try to add a fourth college to teach for. We'll have to see how things go this year with our finances. It's stressful and we have to make every dollar stretch.
But what else are we supposed to do?
True, it's nothing new. My husband and I, as educators, are used to working multiple jobs. We're used to being underpaid (despite both of us having masters degrees) and having to always supplement our income with other jobs. We do it and have done so for the past 10 years. Why? Because we enjoy teaching. It's a fulfilling career, and personally, I don't know many people who can say that about their job.
But after seeing my husband's first paycheck of the school year, the first since the implementation of Scott Walker's budget bill, I'm beginning to wonder what other sacrifices we can possibly make.
What more can be taken from us? What more do we, as educators, have to give up in order to keep teaching and doing what we love? And of course, the underlying question...at what point do we give up being educators?
**sigh** Just had to complain for awhile there.