Well, like every other person with a job, I’ve been a little busy over the last few months but I have been inspired to put fingers to keyboard again for my latest blog article. I am most certainly not the first person to have written about this topic and sadly I envisage I will not be the last. But, I had my first experience of someone calling me ‘just’ a teacher the other day and WOW it riled me up.
Now I love this person dearly, and if they are reading this now then “sorry not sorry” in a way as this has to be said. I am not ‘just’ a teacher. I am not ‘wasting my potential’ and quite frankly in answer to your question of “when are you going to earn £250k (a year)?” the answer is most likely never. And believe it or not, this is a conscious choice.
I would really like the individual to know that trying to make me a money-centred person is like trying to make a tyrannosaurus rex a vegan. It is just not in my nature. I have, and always will, put myself before others. I’m not saying that for martyrdom or a ‘woe is me’ attitude, it is just a fact that it is one of my main personality traits. I have done numerous 2am drives to various friends in need to cheer them up, I buy cards and gifts for my loved ones just because I know it will make them happy, I’m a self-confessed, chronic people-pleaser. I love other people’s happiness. The fact that I get to make a modest living out of making other people happy, or at least attempting to influence their lives so they can make their own choices and be happy themselves, is wonderful. I really don’t think I would sleep well at night if I knew all I was making money for was either myself or a massive corporation. Or maybe I would because I could afford a top of the range mattress, who knows?
When I have something I want to say but can’t word it properly I write a poem and before I type it for the world to see I need to make my peace with the culprit. You are an absolute business machine. You are dedicated, driven and I would imagine scary to work for and these traits are things I take from you and adapt to my situation. Please do not mistake me being a teacher as a cop out. You said I was wasting my potential whereas in fact I cannot think of a better place for me to maximise my potential. If more powerful business leaders like yourself gave a little more respect to teachers, perhaps the education system wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in. But don’t worry, I plan to sort it out at some point in my career 😉.
Here is a little something I wrote:
She was privileged growing up, she is thankful every day
that anything necessary for her education, her family could pay.
For knowledge comes at a price these days, but she got her money’s worth,
A Levels fit for a Dancing Queen, she was ready to face the earth.
A 2:1 degree from a top uni, what would she make of herself?
With all the potential to be great, the idea was planted – maximise your wealth.
“Climb to the top, mind the bodies as you go, get those 6 figures you need.
No, don’t be ridiculous, it’s your right to take this, only the poor call it greed!”
But this girl was not wired this way, she didn’t think like that,
as in her mind, there’s not a job on this planet that needs a salary that fat.
There are some who deserve it, absolutely no ifs no buts,
the life savers and the selfless but they are only handed more cuts.
At the horror of the money hungry, the disbelief of the high earners,
this young graduate started earning her pennies, dedicating her skills to little learners.
The more she taught, the more she learned that sadly she wasn’t respected.
The students, they were fabulous, it was her profession that was dismissed, rejected.
“You’re wasting your talent” they told her, “you should be bringing home much more.”
What they don’t get is she does bring home, every “hey miss” she gets at her classroom door.
“You’re 25 and what have you achieved, you’re not even on 30k”
well, she’s already shaped the lives of over 1000 children in her own mathematical way.
And no it might not be glamourous and no she doesn’t wear designer
but she’s there for her students and when they need help they can find her.
“Just” a teacher you say, just a teacher my arse.
She’s been a social worker, therapist, parent and more and all second to leading a class.
The work is hard, what work isn’t “but what about your holidays” they scoff.
Come and have a go, just 6 weeks should do it and you’ll realise that she earns her time off.
Now she knows a leopard won’t change its spots but this isn’t a recruitment rhyme,
our economy only runs so smoothly because each career is valued for its place and time.
Celebrate the driven, the determined, the entrepreneurs and those who see the good in each child
Those who possess the patience of a saint even when your kid drives them wild.
So yes, this girl decided to realise her potential, she didn’t waste a bit.
for the 300 students she teaches this year are quite thankful she’s stuck with it.
And whilst they may strive for bigger salaries that are always just out of reach,
Right now, she’ll change lives, enjoy her job, and smile. Guess she’ll have to ‘just’ teach.
If you got all the way to the end of that then thank you for reading!
I’m desperately trying to get back into the swing of blogging and will be writing up a bit on mindfulness soon. I would love to hear from anyone who has had positive or negative experiences with using Mindfulness and meditation techniques in their classroom.