Here’s the “Problem”

To the teachers who do not support the Red4Ed Movement – the teachers who actively engage and complain with members of the community who hate us:

What do you tell children who say they want to be a teacher someday? That the job is awesome, but the pay sucks?

How do you reconcile in your mind that schools are using 20-year-old textbooks? What do you suggest I do when I have 37 students, but a computer cart that holds only 15 laptops, with 8 that work?

What is your solution to this?

A new teacher to our district makes $38,500 (gross).

She decides to opt for maximum take home pay, so let’s say she takes home $2,000/month (net). She wants health insurance (of COURSE) and health insurance for her kids. Here are her options:

HDHP 2500 (Cigna Choice HDHP 2500 Plan)

  • Employee Only:  $10.00 per month
  • Employee with children: $452.54 per month (actually, closer to $800/month because we get 18 paychecks, not 24).

These quotes are for a very high deductible – all the other options are more expensive.

And then there is the requisite retirement 11.5% taken out of each paycheck.

And food.

And shelter.

The cost of everything goes up (inflation). And yet, our salaries have been frozen for the past ten years, until this year, when we received a 1% raise. And guess what the Governor was planning on doing? He was going to give us another 1% raise. Gee, so generous!

You say, “Well, I agree with the grievances. It’s just that…I don’t like how it’s happening. We should have walked out just once a week until our needs were met.”

My reply: There is never a good time for a walkout. Never. But if you act like a doormat, you get treated like one.

What will you say when you get a (much) bigger – overdue –  raise thanks to the Red4Ed movement? There are teachers out there demanding better for you, for the kids and for our future. Don’t disparage them.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace, Not Passivity

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Photo by Jakob Owens

There’s a lot of political strife and fear going around. I keep hearing about people losing sleep over the recent events in Virginia with the supremacist groups and the death of an innocent protestor.

I offer this: Take a deep breath. Do not expect others to feel the way you do. Do not get frustrated and scared. Instead, think of one SMALL thing you can do to feel effective and do it. You’ll feel better. You might even sleep better.

Lead by example.

Show up. We need people to show up for what they believe in.

But fighting and arguing are only going to get defenses up.

And, for your insomnia, I offer this YouTube video of Byron Katie speaking with someone who feels the way you do. Trust me, you need to watch this. It’s magic.

This is not a call for passivity. You need to feel the inner peace before you can help create the peace outside of yourself.

 

“A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action…”*

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No Excuses

I’m grateful for many, many things. I have a very good life: a job I love, two healthy, beautiful children, a husband who loves me, a nice home, an affectionate dog and an enormous “wine refrigerator”.

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However, I’m not 100% content. I don’t like the recent spate of racist incidents around the country (KKK). I don’t like that Asians are under represented in TV, film and books. I don’t like the fact that so many in this country (and the world) go hungry each night.

Complaining isn’t going to change anything.

Writing an amazing script, raising money and getting the independent film with Asian actors produced and shown at film festivals WILL change the scene.

Organizing a passionate, savvy group of people to pressure our legislators for gun control laws WILL save lives.

Reaching out to all the different, beautifully diverse people in my community WILL help change racial stereotypes and bring some peace.

Creating programs to help homeless people get job skills and become income earners WILL change their lives.

Inventing affordable solar panels WILL help save the environment.

What can you do today/this week/this month/this year to provide “A little more bite, and a little less bark”?

 

*”A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley