Monday, January 5, 2009

Obtaining an Education Education

I had a fantastic sushi dinner tonight with my sister-in-law, a teacher at one of our Fulton County Title 1 schools.  

Our evening started with her swinging by my office on the way to dinner, just to see where I spend most of my days... "So this is how the other half lives!"  she exclaimed, checking out the ping pong table in the break room and large flat screen LCD's in our conference rooms.  "And your office," she said, "smells so nice!  It doesn't smell like a classroom!  And your ceilings are so high!"

We talked about all sorts of topics at dinner, of course, but work was certainly one of them, and I had one conclusion - There's no way I could do what she does.  Yes, she gets holidays and summers off, but I don't know how she balances that with the daily challenges she faces.  For example, there's no paper available for the school copier (she buys her own), there aren't many school supplies for her students (she buys what they need), she is allowed to take sick days, but not on a Monday or Friday or any day before a holiday and only with a doctor's note.  She typically works from 6:45 in the morning until around 7 or 8 each night, sometimes later, and almost always works from home on the weekends to grade papers and prepare lessons.  "It's just an exhausting day, ya know?"  she says.  And all of this for around $40K a year.

She clearly finds the job fulfilling, educating children with the basic skills they need and creating a safe, comfortable environment for them every day.  Growing up you only see one side of the profession (and my elementary school was far from Title 1), so it's very interesting to hear her perspective and see what goes on behind the curtain.

Support your schools, support your teachers.  It's a underrated profession that deserves our respect.

1 comment:

Estella... said...

Yes but there are very few teachers who are devoted to their profession..those kids are lucky...Most of them just abuse it..for instance, our head of the department at the University who's a confirmed unanimous monster!