Saturday, July 07, 2012

Postponed Reward

Joe began his teaching career the same year I began mine. Unfortunately, a budget crisis in thec70's got him laid off. Fortunately, he found another career and never looked back. This new career came with a big paycheck and lots of perks. Joe traveled quite a bit and built up an amazing amount of points that allowed him and his family to take fabulous trips all over the world. Joe bought new cars constantly, had multiple homes an in essence, lived the good life.

Joe is now in the time of life when not working is inviting. He would love to retire but his career did not come with a pension plan and continued health benefits. He doesn't see a way to retire and keep living the life he likes to live.

Joe resents my pension and believes I am getting a check each month that I don't deserve. Joe forgets the cars, homes and vacations I never took. He forgets the expensive colleges his children attended. He only sees his present situation.

Joe could have returned to teaching. He didn't because he wanted a job that paid well. He got that and more.

I never begrudged him his life and has no right to begrudge mine. I worked hard for every penny I am getting now. No one is giving me anything I did not earn.

8 comments:

Magnolia Girl said...

ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

mathematicamama said...

The ant and the grasshopper? The country mouse and the city mouse? I know this sounds very familiar, but I cannot remember where I first heard it.....

TeachmyclassMrMayor said...

Pissed, don't forget all of those summers off (not including all of the time spent planning lessons), and all of the expenses they got to "expense" and all of the supplies you did not. All the disrespectful students, trouble finding a parking space, and more.

Anonymous said...

People don't realize that it takes 22 years to reach top salary. They forget that we are required to get a Masters on our own dime. And if we want the top step salary, pay for an additional 30 credits above the Masters.

They forget our working conditions. They forget our work load. They forget our health insurance still uses 1970 rates, and how lucky we are to find a good doctor who will accept those rates.

Obviously Joe never planned for his retirement when he was young. It probably didn't seem important to him at the time. Now he is taking it out on teachers.

Joe, in the early 70s our starting salary was less than $10,000. It took me 15 years to make $50,000.
You bet we deserved our benefits!!

burntoutteacher said...

When I started teaching for the DoE in the 80's, most of the teachers I knew had to have two jobs just to survive. I, for one, took the job for the benefits and better job security, and left college teaching which paid better, had much much better teaching conditions, and was more "respectable" in the eyes of most (the "anyone can teach" mindset). The salary was almost a joke. But the job had its own rewards, of course, and I was lucky to find a school and an administration that respected me and my talents. I loved teaching so much that I assumed that I would die with chalk in my hand, leading a class in my 90's! But alack and alas, things have changed so drastically and so badly that I was forced into early retirement, am getting a dismal pension, and have tried to wipe from my memory the past 5 or 6 years of hell. Joe would never have put up with any of the crap that all of us have had to weather these past few years. He never would have groveled to adminstrators with no teaching experience, would never have allowed students to assault or harass him with impunity, would never have had his day micromanaged and assessed based on some unrealistic expectations on his students' and his abilities. He would never have had to cowtow to parents who refuse to acknowledge their children's misbehaviors. He would never have put up with driving a 12-year-old car, sending his kids to cheaper colleges, buying a smaller home and barely making the mortgage, with making the one big vacation each year a drive to a nearby state. But then, poor Joe would never have had the satisfaction of hearing, "Oh. Yes. I get it now, Miss." Those words still bring goosebumps...

NYC Educator said...

Unfortunately, a lot of new teachers are likely to see neither the immediate benefits your friend got, nor the delayed ones you now get. Tier 6 does not look very encouraging, and absent a sea change, I wouldn't be surprised to see it further degraded after a few years.

Anonymous said...

All of the legislative seats up in New York State this year. It is time to remember about 'the bills which has been passed in the last 2 years' and when it comes to the next election.

kherbert said...

My question to poor Joe is why didn't he have a retirement plan. Perry thinks like Joe - so I'm sure he will find a way to steal what is in the state retirement fun. Even on the meager salary Texas Teachers get, I have my own retirement plan in action.