Friday, September 11, 2015

Salary Is Just A Number, The True Rewards Are Invaluable

Yesterday our local newspaper published everyone in our school district's salaries. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we live in a town where most are employed by the national lab with extremely high salaries. People from that perspective will view our salaries as extremely low. The worry I have is among district employees themselves. Seeing that someone else makes more or less than you may affect how one performs. Competition is good but can be destructive. What if I see that the teacher next to me has a much easier class but is making half again as much as me? Will I resent that? Will I judge someone for their salary?

I decided not to look at the list. Then I found names of coworkers popping into my head along with curiosity. She doesn't do much. I wonder what she makes. That counselor is always sitting at her desk with the newspaper and a cup of coffee. I wonder what she makes. This could spiral out of control.

It is not that I disagree with others rights to know what we make but why is it necessary? The paper wouldn't have published them if they didn't think it would sell. Guess others can get consumed with curiosity like me. The information will be absorbed and forgotten for the most part. For now I am going to stick with not looking. I don't want to forget. Better to never look in the first place. Head in the sand works for me.

I had one parent text me yesterday to apologize for my salary and let me know to her I am invaluable. A cardiologist spoke at a teacher's convention I was at years ago. He said if you ask a nurse or a teacher why they do what they do you will get long answers. We talk about helping kids, growing future citizens, helping others. If you ask a plumber why he plumbs his answer is shorter. Money. Never had he heard a plumber say he is a plumber to see shit flow smoothly through the pipes.

Bottom line is that the reward for each of us is not what is printed in the paper under the money column. The reward is so much more valuable than our paychecks. That I am entrusted to support, nurture and educate middle schoolers everyday is an honor. I am enriched by their lives flowing through my life. I am allowed to be a part of their path for awhile and hopefully be an encouragement that lets them know how valuable they are. My students have given me more over the years than I could ever hope for in memories and relationships.

In Him,

1 comment:

  1. I worked for a university and all our salaries became available if you went to a website. I did go there and had a look around. It is kind of odd to have that info available; in private employment sometimes pay is very secret.