Tuesday, February 28, 2012


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?