Saturday, April 21, 2012

Settling the Debt


Jenny's Saturday Centus idea really sent me down a strange path today. As usual, she's allowing us to add 100 of our own words to the prompt (in red, below).

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Settling the Debt

©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

She set the stage carefully, from soft lights and Kenny G to sweet-smelling candles and lemon water. Everything was in place; there would be no reprieve. Serena sighed, breathed through the feelings…relaxed her body, shrinking but resigned. Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, she reminded herself, sliding into position. Debts must be paid, no matter the cost.

Still she flinched...recoiled and then surrendered. Her chair was cold, her desk a booby trap of unpaid bills. Did other teachers hate to write checks, too? Of course, she decided, snorting unequal parts hostility and amusement. Most months, she wondered why she taught at all. The answer never changed:

“Not for profit. For comfort…” Everyone else’s.

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My sister's birthday was yesterday, and she is a wonderful teacher. When I called last night to wish her everything she deserves, more came to mind (and discussion) than gifts or birthday cake. I couldn't help wishing she (and all who make sacrifices to teach our children) would get everything they deserve, in salary, for the work they do day after day. When she isn't staying after school to help kids out, she's staying at home grading papers. It's a travesty that a woman with a master's degree and countless years of experience must struggle to make ends meet. And she is not alone.

People jump through a lot of hoops to become a teacher, and then they jump through a whole lot more to stay one. Maybe, just maybe, they should get paid for their efforts.

14 comments:

Judie said...

Sue, my middle son, Joey, is a dedicated teacher. Why? because he had actual dreams of becoming one, and we encouraged him to follow his dreams. It's tough, especially with twins, but fortunately Aimee has a master's in psychology and they live on both incomes.

Mama Zen said...

Amen to that!

Nonna Beach said...

Awesome take on the prompt !

Teaching is a calling. I totally agree with you Sue. I was a teacher and we have a couple of teachers in our family...demanding, rewarding and not for the faint in heart ( or wallet ) !!!

karen said...

I agree - the good ones are gold, and they should be paid to reflect that - just as in any profession. Good ones get rewarded, bad ones get shown the door. Unfortunately it seems like neither one happens very often.

Brian Miller said...

i def appreciate the teachers...it is sad how little we pay them for all they do...there are a few teachers i would help find new jobs but...smiles...def know it was teachers that made a difference in my life...

Amy said...

Love it! Oh so true.

Gail said...

Another great one. Happy Birthday to the sister, is it the one like me?

bluegrassnotes said...

Really nice one.

Dina Lettre said...

I couldn't agree more with you on this, Sue. I have several teachers (past and present) in my family and my boys have been blessed with some amazing teachers. I pray they all get what they deserve one day!

Karen S. said...

Oh absolutely true! This was so sweetly written too.

Grandma Honey said...

I've never understood why teachers get paid so very little compared to the work and love that goes into their jobs. It seems there should a way to take from a little from the politicians and give a little more to the teachers.

Tgoette said...

Very nicely done, Sue! And I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. To teach others is such an honorable profession and yet teachers are told to sacrifice more and more and like it as politicians go after their pensions and health care coverage. Its really a sad, sad situation.

Jenny said...

Oh Sue, I am forever saying this to anyone who will listen.

A teacher holds one of the most important jobs in the universe. But pro-athletes make all the money.

Sad but true.

I really liked this.

Tell your sister Happy Birthday from me. I can only imagine how amazing she must be!

Caroline said...

Well said Sue and Amen to that!

I have such admiration and respect for teachers and all that they do for our future generations.

:)

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