Last night, we had a large group of people over to celebrate a family birthday and the beauty of a summer night, and many conversations arose about, you guessed it, politics and money. Someone asked me about teacher salaries and why there was a disparity between what teachers and nurse midwives make. (There is, by the way, a very large disparity.) The person asking me was baffled why I would leave a profession where I would drop in salary.
Again, those who know me and my story, know that I decided to go back to teaching while still single and because teaching is what I love, what I am called to be and do. As pithy as that sounds- as trite- it is truth. I drive to work smiling, feel joyful in my classroom, and most days cannot wait to return to work the next day. In fact, I almost can say that I GET to teach, not that I have to. It feels that good to do what I love.
My friend did leave me wondering though about our culture. After all, all professions start with us. Every doctor, lawyer, CEO, senator, engineer, rock star begins his or her journey with a teacher. And yet- we are paid so much less as a group than they are. Is money the only way to denote value though? I think of all the professions in our society who offer such high value and sacrifice. Imagine... clergy, police officers, soldiers, nurses...
Our society's pay scale does not equal true human value. It equals potential for profit, and these are two very different things. So, it changes your lens a bit when looking at salaries and how they reflect this. What if salaries reflected human value and not profit? That would look so much different.