Opine I will

I am an elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

Greed the call of the absurd

Greed, that’s the call of the absurd this week.

I’ve been called greedy several times this week as I questioned the motives and thoughts of some self proclaimed school reformers.  I wear these ad hominen attacks as a badge of pride. You see, they’ve all come when these reform thugs are challenged on their views. When confronted with tough questions, it’s easier to lash out with name calling then to answer.

This week I’ve been called greedy by  Neal McClusky, Associate Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, and Maureen Castriotta , Libertarian School Board member from Roxbury, NJ and candidate for Freeman.

They all think teachers are paid too much. Neither would commit to what they think a teacher should earn. Castriotta even believes the teachers in her own district, in which she is a Board member, are greedy. ( Castriotta is a board member who actively campaigns to defeat her own school budget presented by her board)

Castriotta, thinks public school teachers should be paid little and that they should look at teaching as a calling, a public service. She uses the example of good Catholic School teachers. When questioned whether teachers are professional by  blogger, Jersey Jazzman, she refused to answer.

So am I greedy?

This is a second career for me, I went back to school at 40 years of age, earned a MA in Education, did my student teaching for a semester without pay, completed an additional 33+ credits of graduate work, obtained  a professional certification in District Administration, and I’m beginning my 15th year of teaching.  Over the last several years 100% of my students have been tested as being proficient at or above grade level. I love teaching.

I’ve also volunteered in numerous organizations in my community, covering  senior citizens, business, youth and sports organizations.

I once was offered a teaching position in a Catholic School. The salary was $19,900. When I turned down the offer I explained to the good Sister that being a family man I just couldn’t pay my living expenses on that. She said I should look at it as a mission. I politely responded, then my community would have to start a mission to support my family.  Was turning down that job greedy?

Is it greedy, to expect compensation that would allow me to pay my mortgage, help my children with their college loans, put food on the table? Is it greedy to expect  compensation to cover a portion of my health insurance, that covered my heart attack several years ago, or is presently covering my wife’s chemotherapy?  Is it greedy to work towards saving for the future and  a pension that will cover some of my expenses in my upcoming golden years?

Is that greed?

I knew I wouldn’t become wealthy when I switched careers. I knew my life would be fulfilled with knowing I was helping children touch the future. To me that’s a wealth these so call reformers are blind to.  All I ask in return is to be able to afford to care for my family, put some food on the table, and do what I do best teach.

Is that greed?

 

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