The following is a submission from an educator as part of the Your Soapbox feature, which explores the experiences of educators in North Carolina through their own words. Check out more first person stories here, or if you are an educator, submit your own.
I’m paying for a better life
My husband and I are both in education. I am a counselor and he is a teacher.
Originally from NY, we came to NC in search of a better life. One that is more relaxed on the weekends and where there are available education positions.
Sure NY cut their teaching/counseling positions, along with pay freezes, and consolidating positions, but NEVER insulting the profession with menial pay! This is beyond absurd that I went to school for 6 years have my master’s degree and try to find side work to live normally, not in luxury at all!! Two incomes wont do it!
I have an average size home, a two-year-old boy, and one on the way. I have a cat, a dog, I don’t take vacations, I clip coupons, I make minimum payments on my bills, and spend the $200.00 in gas and tolls to go to NY for the holidays.
We spend $30.00 a month on ink cartridges because they limit the copies you can make at school to a ridiculously low amount. If your going to say no more textbooks, Mr.Common Core, you need to expect more copies will be made, because teachers are creating worksheets.
Then there are all the pencils, crayons, and craft supplies that comes out of pocket. Did I mention they are eliminating the teacher tax break on teaching supplies bought this year!!!
NC and especially Cumberland County has hit #1 in the State on so many levels, and we believe the teaching that goes on in our classrooms goes beyond anything we have ever seen in NY.
Teachers put blood, sweat and tears into this profession. Spend hours upon hours of personal time lesson planning. They dedicate after hours, tutoring for free, and host events…. UNCOMPENSATED!
I don’t know how much longer this charade can continue on. I have to put food on my table and pay my bills, I love my job but at what cost?
I realize the American Dream is long gone, but when you add student loans, car payments, mortgage, utilities, childcare expenses, etc., all I have left at the end of the month are the pennies that brought me here and the ticking of the clock countdown to payday.