Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Taxes


Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers 

Doesn’t just the word conjure up images of skipping through the woods at springtime? Yep, that’s how I feel too. Seriously, my husband Chris always does our taxes. My job is to gather all of my school receipts and total them up in an Excel sheet for him.

Tonight he came upstairs and asked if I realized how much of my salary went back into my classroom this year. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of it that way. I knew what the total was – I had added it up myself. Wasn’t the highest amount ever but wasn’t low either.

Chris pointed out that I had spent 8% of my salary on books, office supplies, and miscellaneous items for my class. He told me to go for an even 10% and call it a tithe.
J But then he went on to say how ridiculous he finds this. To have any books in my classroom I have to spend money, there is no money set aside for classroom libraries. Chris said here we can see how all classrooms are not “created equal.” Obviously not all teachers can put this amount of money into their rooms, and maybe they shouldn’t anyway.  I am absolutely aware that I am a bit insane. But thinking about our economy, I can help but shake my head.

There are people who make my salary five times over. They can write off about everything they do. They aren’t pouring 8% of their salary back into their job. And yet, here I am. And here are countless of other teachers. Working for low salaries, having more asked of them then ever before. Being talked about in the media – not for the dedication to their profession; not for their love for their students; not for the sleepless nights spent worrying about lessons, students, their home lives, test scores. I can’t do much about that. What I can do is continue to work hard – not for praise from others, but because it is what I do. I will continue to ensure that my own children’s teachers know how much I appreciate them and what they do each and every day. And I will continue to spend money on my classroom. Anyone up for a trip to Barnes and Noble?

13 comments:

  1. What time did you want to meet at Barnes and Noble? Your words are so true. This needs to be the front page news.

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  2. I spent quite a lot last week at my favorite Indie bookstory & love donating most to our library, or to different teachers in their classrooms. I have met a few teachers through the years that refuse to spend their money, but very few. Teaches sacrifice continually for their students. A long while ago I returned to the classroom & subbed a lot first. I had one teacher leave a note saying to please borrow chalk from a neighbor because she had forgotten to buy chalk the day before. I still remember that the school didn't even provide chalk for the classes. Applause for you Katherine for continuing to help however you can!

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  3. I shipped 50 boxes of books overseas so I would be sure to have books in my classroom. Unfortunately they are read to 'death'. (I realize this is the point, but...) And now that Scholastic Intl has changed to a different program it is hard to get books into the room. I am SO thankful that our school managed to come up with big bucks for classroom libraries for next year. Seriously, it was hard to spend it all. Too bad there is no way to buy used books here. Ah, the challenges of teaching.

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  4. I'll meet you in theYA aisle....I have this conversation with my husband every year,too.....but, like you, I do what I feel I need to do, and love to do.

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  5. Oops, I did not finish my comment above - I wanted to add that I always meet other teachers at bookstores all over doing exactly what we do.

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  6. Christy Rush-LevineFebruary 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    I am right there with you! I can meet you at B&N or perhaps a cyber meet-up over our Amazon carts? I know that my classroom library has impacted lives and I just can't stop spending money on it. It is my single vice when it comes to shopping. People just don't realize that this is who we are.

    Your slice is so well put. I love the positive focus you included at the end--the focus on what you can do and will continue doing.

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  7. An hour or so? :) I agree. I wish the public knew how much teachers do. Not that I need to be appreciated more - I'm lucky that I live in a town where people are amazing. Not all teachers are that lucky.

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  8. Wow! We do have a supply budget but as the economy has taken a downturn it has shrunk as well. Chalk, though, yikes!

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  9. Awesome for your school but yikes on the difficulties of getting books!

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  10. Yep, let's meet! And at my Barnes and Noble there are teachers that work there as their second job. Not a bad idea when my boys are out of the house. :)

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  11. Love the cyber meet up idea. ;) It's my single vice too so my husband is truly a good sport. He's now addicted to the Hunger Games so he's encouraging more purchases.

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  12. If I were ever going to get married, think I would have to have a prenup detailing how much of my salary I spend on books and other stuff for my classroom. But how in the world do people teach without books…

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  13. Oh yes I agree. I try not to even think about it or gather all of my receipts in the same place. it's too dangerous.

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