Saturday, November 5, 2016

Teacher: ‘I love my students, I love my job, and I feel fulfilled. But I’m broke.’ - The Washington Post

Teacher: ‘I love my students, I love my job, and I feel fulfilled. But I’m broke.’ - The Washington Post:

Teacher: ‘I love my students, I love my job, and I feel fulfilled. But I’m broke.’

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Teachers have long been underpaid — and just how much was underscored in a recent studywhich found that the difference between what teachers and comparable public workers earn is larger than ever. Among the key findings:
  • Average weekly wages (inflation adjusted) of public-sector teachers decreased $30 per week from 1996 to 2015, from $1,122 to $1,092 (in 2015 dollars). In contrast, weekly wages of all college graduates rose from $1,292 to $1,416 over this period.
  • For all public-sector teachers, the relative wage gap (regression adjusted for education, experience, and other factors) has grown substantially since the mid-1990s: It was ‑1.8 percent in 1994 and grew to a record ‑17.0 percent in 2015.
Here is a personal story of one teacher and how she and her family are affected by her profession’s low salary base. She is Rachel Wiley, an elementary school teacher in Washington state and a member of Teachers United, an organization of teachers in Washington state that is funded by the Gates Foundation. This appeared on the organization’s website of Teachers United and I was given permission to republish it.
By Rachel Wiley
I am 29 years old. I have two children, ages 10 and 8. Anyone with a decent grip on basic math can figure out that means I was a teen mom.
When I was 18 years old, I learned that I was pregnant with my first child. I was a new college student, had a part-time job at a local retail store, and was scared to death. How would I support a child? Would I end up on welfare? Was I destined to become another statistic? I was faced with a choice: should I leave school and get a full-time job, or should I continue in school, knowing that a degree would ultimately (I thought) mean higher wages and better quality of life.
I decided that there was no way I was going to allow my circumstances to determine my fate. Despite the grim outlook for teen moms, I determined that I was going to be different. I wanted my kids to look up to me, to see that if you work hard and stay focused, you can achieve your goals.
I stayed in school, eventually graduating with my AA. I transferred to the University of Washington at Tacoma and earned a bachelor’s degree. Then, I decided to become Teacher: ‘I love my students, I love my job, and I feel fulfilled. But I’m broke.’ - The Washington Post:

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