Rick and I just got home from my school. It's Sunday, Labor Day Weekend, just after 10:00 p.m. We arrived around 6:00 p.m. and found two other school employees hard at work. Rick said, "Look! More members of the Sorry Losers Club."* Sure enough, Jill Carpenter (4th gade teacher) and her husband Ken, and Pat White (school secretary) were busy earning zero dollars on their holiday weekend, too. Anytime I go to school late at night or on a weekend or on a holiday, someone else is usually busy at work, too, whether it's our principal, our head custodian, one of our secretaries, or classroom teachers.
The world at large has no clue how many nonpaid hours school employees invest in their chosen profession. Are we really members of the "Sorry Losers Club?" Or are we just dedicated educators? Sometimes I have to wonder. Especially since after spending 4 hours working on Sunday night, I still have many more hours of work to do on my first official "holiday" tomorrow, Labor Day. And my paycheck only covers the 7:15-3:00 workday, which covers 200 days per year. Hmmm. The more I continue with these calculations, the more I realize that Rick might be right.
But, would I even entertain the idea of another career? After 17 years of teaching, I know that education is the perfect fit for me. Teaching was my dream career, and nothing can compare to the feeling I get when I know a child finally "gets" something new that he has been trying to learn. If that puts me in the "Sorry Losers Club," then so be it. I think I have pretty good company.
*Note: Rick is also a member of this elite group. As a career educator, he has spent countless weekends preparing lessons, grading papers, and finding those "just right" resources for his students. "All-nighters" have not been uncommon for Rick during his teaching career. So, his name-calling is justified. He's one, too!