I got into teaching to make an impact on the future and be surrounded by enthusiasm, excitement and ideas. I could go on and on about my Utopian ideologies of inspired young active citizens and groups organized to change the world.
I saw Education is a life line, or that was my thinking early in my career. With an admittedly inflated ego we were doing important work and somehow we were all the gate keepers; opening the gates and bringing opportunity and equality.
I am in the midst of the realization that we in education, regardless of our intention, are not the gatekeepers but at the least accessories to the oppressor, or at the worse, we are the origin of the historical and continued inequality and reciprocal societal conditions that oppress.
In the Fall Vincent went to represent our family at a teacher rally to improve our current educational climate particularly advocating for better pay for teachers. We simply do not make enough money to live the way we want to live and provide for our 2 young children. Both of us have had side hustles along the way, and now with two children time is precious. I’ve cleaned houses, worked Summers and of course I started this blog when moving from administration back to teaching in order to put family first while facing a huge pay decrease.
I, like many, will be paying student loans for the next 30 years! For me the problem is more than the pay, it is the letting go of a huge part of my life. I am resisting letting go of something that I am almost certain does not exist, which is something that have lived and loved for many years.
Letting go is more difficult than I realized. Those worrisome what ifs are suddenly amazing what if’s. What if ….next year I have the most amazing crop of students and I suddenly feel inspired and invigorated??? What if ….we do receive a pay raise next year??? What if… what if …what if… did I ever tell you that my grandmother used to call me the queen of what if’s? It’s suits me.
I’m not so certain that it’s the change that I am fearful of but rather the loss. I feel disappointed in myself for not continuing to fight the good fight. I want to continue to believe that teaching is a calling and a noble profession. Although I hear all sorts of strange things after I tell people that I am a teacher, there was always some pride in those words. Its not just me, or V and I anymore, we have two children and one is entering Kindergarten in the Fall.
For me education meant opportunity, and yet somehow I feel like I have been fooling myself all along. Could I have been such a naïve and enthusiastic fool to think that education is the equalizing force in our society when all along it is the system creating the discrepancies and disparages. That disgusts me, and I want no part of it. Time for a Change.