I am a single teacher. My entire life, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and I am a very talented teacher. However, I want to support a husband in Kollel, and as my parents are both in Chinuch themselves, they cannot afford to support me at all. My parents are pushing me to get a degree so that I can be "practical" and get a real job, which will allow me to support a husband in Kollel. Of course everything comes from Hashem, and I am ready to rely on him to support me with or without a higher salary, but now Kibbud Av V'Eim comes into the picture as well. It is very hard to earn a degree without compromising on my values, but it is either that or going against my parents' wishes as the situation stands now. On top of that is the issue of top learners refusing to consider girls in Chinuch because of the difficulty (or more accurately impossibility) of making do on such a tiny salary. I work full time plus, investing my entire self into my girls, and not only is the salary pitiful and demeaning, I am not appreciated, or at least not shown that I am appreciated. I am constantly being asked to do more for the school, while the school makes changes that make it harder for me to do the job I have actually been hired to do, which is to teach our precious Yiddishe Neshamos! Our girls need good teachers, and Hashem has bentched me with the Kochos to be an excellent one. Should I and all of my potential students lose out because my parents are in Chinuch and I am not wealthy enough to have the "luxury" of teaching?!?! Is this what we want for our Chinuch Habanos?!?!
Here's a point that has not been discussed much: I have been teaching for over a decade and still make less than $20 k a year. My husband is in kollel and gives shiurim. We don't get even the slightest discount for tuition(we send our children to a different school)-we were told that since the tuition payments don't cover the school's budget they don't give any discount even to kollel couples. I find it frustrating since it was not always like this, and i know others in similar positions who were told the same thing. Perhaps schools should automatically give a discount to parents in chinuch??!
In a teacher's meeting, I once asked our speaker, a leading mechanech, this question of why we get paid so little, get appreciated so little, and get faced with so much criticism. He answered that the only reason is the Yetzer Hara. He said the field of chinuch is so valuable and special that everyone would run to teach and inspire the next generation. To keep our best minds organizing transactions and entering data, the Yetzer Hara created low salaries and low appreciation levels in the most important field of all.
'Feeling underappreciated or undervalued' is rated as one of the top eight causes of teacher burnout. (choosingtherapy.com) Underappreciated? Undervalued? Yes. The teachers and moros of today have been struggling to let their voices be heard. This can't go on. Once upon a time, teaching was
Chaya* feels like a hamster on a wheel. Invoice paid, invoice closed. Email received, email sent. Time clock in, time clock out. It's the never-ending slog of her office job that gets her down every single day. It's the joy of discovering the right path to a student's heart. The triumph of
'There are no applicants! I am the beggar- I made seventy humiliating phone calls...' 'I open the community directory and cold call people to BEG them to consider the position...' 'We hired a post-seminary girl who seemed to have potential...we can't ignore the fact that she has zero