Blog Post

Geographies of Teaching

Geographies of Teaching

(Floating Keys)

I totally have that song Breakout in my head by Swing Out Sister. I've been singing it around the house. In the Gilford House, my wonderful husband is working on a virtual conference for the C-Suite of Silicon Valley Women Leaders. I am so proud of him. When he was talking about virtual breakouts, the song floated like a cloud into my head and out yelping from my pipes...Breakout...da da daah da.

Around dinner time last night I asked my hubs about the questions I posed, "Are teachers blue-collar?" He said some interesting things. He is no doubt the smartest person I know. I hope one day that he'll get on Jeopardy to help me pay some of my student loans back. I have even sent him the Jeopardy quiz to get on the show, ah many times. 

So the vegan Sheppard's pie is in the oven and we chit-chat before he plays in World of Warships game. They've got submarines now, you know. Are teachers blue-collar? His answer, "Well, that depends on Geography." Hmmm. Tell me more. He said that it depends upon where you teach and whether you are at a public or a private school. He also brought up pay scale. Then he went on the play his awesome "Ships" after a long day or early rising for a show with keynotes from the East Coast. 

The Sheppard's pie turned out good. It is better on the second evening because all the flavors mix. I made it with Beyond Meat Plant-based meat. The juices were flowing in my brain too. I thought about what he said. Geography, geography, geography. Yes, that is so true! Pay scale, yep, that too. When I started teaching, I earned my Master's degree in education. While in grad school, I was subbing during the day and working at Macys. Additionally, I was a hostess at a restaurant. That was great because you got a free meal every shift. My first year teaching with my Master's degree in hand I was making $23,000 a year teaching Varying Exceptionalities (Self-contained Special Education). Then I took classes with some of my fellow teachers a nights, summers, and sometimes weekends towards our Specialists (Ed.S) degree. I am thankful I had such a fun cohort of teachers. Then I tried to get my PhD, I was in a doc program, but needed to reset. I am a cancer survivor. 

Okay now, back to geography. Does it matter where you teach? Are teachers thought of differently? Do teachers in different geographical areas have more of a say? What about teachers in other countries? I think about Micheal Moore's film. Hey, Mr. Micheal Moore, will you make us teachers another film about teaching during the Coronavirus Pandemic Pretty Pleaaase? I think about his film Where to Invade Next? and the schools he show us. Are teachers considered blue-collar in Finland? I don't think so, but I've never been there or taught there. Hmmm.

Additionally, as one of my pandemic hobbies I have been researching teacher memes. I think a lot of us are afraid to really speak our minds. Or at least we were before the Pandemic. Sometimes it is just learned helplessness with us teachers, after not having s say we so long we shut ourselves up. Memes are a way that we can say what we want to say without getting into trouble, so to speak. Do you know each year that PK-12 teachers have to sign an Acceptable User Policy (AUP) that we will not post anything antipatriotic online?

Memes the word --- yaaaassss!! There are especially good memes where teachers can nervously chuckle in the midst of the pandemic. And so I sing...

When explanations make no sense
When every answer's wrong
You're fighting with lost confidence
All expectations gone
The time has come to make or break
Move on, don't hesitate
Don't stop to ask
And now you've found a break to make at last
You've got to find a way
Say what you want to say
When situations never change
Tomorrow looks unsure
Don't leave your destiny to chance
What are you waiting for
The time has come to make your break








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