I cringe at saying those words aloud, but the facts remain, if I want my child to go to daycare so that my husband and I can work to pay for our bills, then teaching does not let me do that. We speak of wanting another child, yet know that on my salary today, it would be a far stretch with extra hours picked up wherever possible. If my salary is cut, there will be no second child, no house mortgage and certainly nothing extra.
So the debate within me begins; can I give up what I so passionately believe that I was meant to do? Do I even have a choice anymore if my salary is reduced and frozen? I have been willing to sacrifice almost all of my social life to dedicate myself to the craft of teaching, but at some point, the realization hits that it will not just be time I am sacrificing but the ability to pay our bills.
So dear governor of Wisconsin, you may think that you are solving the problems, but who will you get to teach the children? Who will have the luxury of being a teacher when they cannot afford to anymore? You speak of us as if we are using the system, stealing money from children who need health insurance, while you cut taxes for businesses. Who will educate the future workers of Wisconsin? Who will buy the goods of all those companies you lure to our state at the promise of less money taken from them? Who will want to raise their children here when we slash funding and stifle the voice of teachers. We do not have a lot, but what we have, you want to take away.
So that is where I stand. Blamed for the deficit, blamed for why we cannot beat China in test scores, and blamed for why America is slipping in its world rankings. One teacher with all the blame at her feet. I wonder what will happen when the teachers cannot be blamed anymore, who will be next?