Saturday, June 29, 2019

Would You Want Your Child To Go Into Teaching?

Didn't I just post a picture of Sarah getting accepted into Syracuse?  Seems like yesterday!  Last month, she graduated and started working less than a week later at a PR Firm in NYC.  Already been living there a month!!  A very proud mama! (Leave it to Sarah to find a graduation dress that had oranges on it!  She's posing with Otto the Orange....one of the cutest mascots out there!)



She's pictured with her best friend.  Happy to say that he's already accepted an awesome teaching position!  A true asset to our profession!  Don't they look like babies when they got accepted? Proud of BOTH of them!  (Both had jobs before graduating, too!  Yahoo!)

I'm excited for her friend because he has such a passion for teaching and I know will be dedicated and truly make a difference in the lives of so many. 

My husband and I have been teaching for over 55 combined years.  We have loved it.  Most of it...

Yet, I am relieved neither of my own children have picked the profession.  Eek...Hard to believe I'm saying that.  Yes, there are many rewards but at the same time, so many obstacles/stresses and it seems like a constant uphill battle these days with less and less support.

New teachers in NJ are now set to retire at 65 and soon may be 67. 

SIXTY-SEVEN!

In my case, I'm not new but guess what?  Even though I have over 25 years and will be 55 in two years, I am not allowed to retire.

Say what?

When I started teaching, that was what I was told.  I believed it.  I took off for four years and returned back to teaching in 2011.  Our Governor back then - Chris Christie (not a friend of teachers!) changed some laws and suddenly, I am now Tier 5 and can no longer retire until I'm 65 if I want my full pension benefits that were supposed to be mine at 55.  (For the record, I never thought I'd retire at 55...I really love teaching.  But that was always an option.)

I has no idea that laws changed and when I tell fellow teachers, they say, "At least you're grandfathered in."  Nope.  Not true.

So, I will be teaching over 40 years by the time I'm allowed to retire?  Hmmm...can you imagine how top heavy the profession in NJ will be?  And the changes have been way more than that.  The 65 rule (soon to be 67) is just one of the terrible changes that affect me.)

My brother and I were talking last year about some mutual friends.  Many had cancer/health problems and he said, "Once you hit 55, so many more health issues creep up on you."

Yep.  True.  I just had cancer.  I need a knee replacement due to getting hit by a car when I was nine.  (I've had dozens and dozens of operations so the fact that it wasn't replaced earlier is amazing.) 

I just can't see how it's a win-win for the future generations to be taught by 67 year old teachers who will be teaching for 45 or 46 years by the time they retire?  What is the average burnout rate?  Pretty alarming.  Take a look at this Psychology Today article.  Forty-one percent of teachers leave the profession within five years?!?!  If you are a teacher, is it really surprising?

I'm not bashing older teachers...I am one!  But do we want a slew of almost 70 year old teachers teaching our young kids?  I don't think so. 

Getting older is hard!  I never thought I'd retire at 55 but I bet I would have now if I could due to my health issues.

To say I'm bitter the rules have changed is an understatement.

So, yes, teaching is rewarding but so are many other professions that pay much, much, better and have better benefits, and are way less stressful. 

What do you think?  Would you want your child to follow you into the profession?

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