Money, Teachers, and Teaching

The state is messing around with our pension. The pension they force us to pay into and promised teachers years back in exchange for lower pay. The county is now claiming they’re going to give us raises, when they’re actually playing a shell game with our money.

Monday, at lunch, one of the association reps was explaining this to the people at my table. A younger coworker in her second year mentioned that she knows she should have extra retirement put aside, but she doesn’t even know where to start or what to do.

I lost out on five years of retirement planning in my first five years of teaching. I have no SSA for that time because my old district didn’t pay into SSA (not that I think SSA is going to be around for me).

I had only a small pension, which sat around for several years after I left the county, until they eventually sent me a letter saying I was no longer going to get interest on my account. That finally got me to roll it over.

I told her I don’t want her to make the same mistake, and I dragged her up to my classroom. She set up a 457b before we left for the day. It felt really good to help her out, and she was grateful.

While we were opening her account I said, “I know talking about money is socially unacceptable. I hope this isn’t making you uncomfortable. But I really want to help people not make the mistakes I made.”

“No, I am so grateful for this, because nobody ever taught me about this, and I just had no idea where to even start.”

A few years ago, my job helped me discover that I truly wanted to become a gifted and talented teacher.

Working with an intern this year has taught me that I really like working with neophyte teachers. My mentors were all assigned to me by their principals, and they had no choice. I was assigned an intern because I asked for one.

A few months ago, an instructional coach said she could see me in coaching or admin. I don’t see myself in either position, but I do see the appeal of working with adults.