The 26-year-old kindergarten teacher is heading into the first year in her own classroom, and was given a $100 Wal-Mart gift card to offset costs. She has so far spent $250 of her own money as well.
I love teachers - literally, My family is rife with them. They are passionate, compassionate and above all, they're perfectionists. These teachers are incredibly judgemental - not of others, though, but of themselves. If one of "their kids" doesn't do well, they take it personally, even if there are a multitude of other mitigating factors. Success lies in their hands and if it isn't achieved, they blame themselves. On the other hand, when kids do well - when five years in the future, those kids and their parents come up to them and say "thank you", that's the reward they cherish the most.
Everything else - the money, the time off, the expectations and mandatory seminars and micromanagement or support of administration - is viewed through that lens.
This is why I think both Unions and those that oppose them have it wrong - they're trying to force teachers into the labour fights of a previous generation instead of supporting teachers in the way that would really advance their labours now.
Teachers don't want to make money - they need to have sustainability and some breathing space and all that kind of thing - but what they really want is to add value. They will invest more of themselves than is perhaps healthy to do, but they do it because they care.
More and more knowledge-sharing and project-managing employees are reacting to work the same way. It's a changing labour (and labour compensation) paradigm smart policy-makers will start cluing into.
The future of labour is emerging right now - all we need to do is connect the dots to see what it looks like.
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