In my 17 years as a teacher, I have seen a 180 degree change in the public's perception of me.
When I began teaching, I think the public thought, "Oh what a noble profession". I think that translated into something like. "What an idiot, he's never going to make any money". It was assumed, accurately, that I taught math because I loved it, was good at it, and was willing to never make the big money. I know my friends were laughing at my salary. I know it because they did it to my face. . And most of these guys worked construction or something. In a year where I was making $27,000, a friend of mine who installed kitchen cabinets PART TIME made $36,000.
I NEVER complained. I knew I picked a job that limited what I could make but I like what I do and that is worth something to me.
Then slowly, I started making more. Teachers would get 2% cost of living increases every year and after 17 years of this, compounding, .... well, I'm making more money now.
Well, today in a blog teachers were painted as overpaid union hack/mobsters. Wow.
Teachers used to be commended for what they did. Now they are attacked. Overpaid? C'mon. But, this recent turn of events has helped me come to a stunning conclusion about humankind. "If I'm struggling, I hope everyone is struggling."