Monday, January 30, 2012

Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!

I was just doing some free association writing over on my tumblr (also yes, hi, it's me again, I'm still here even though I did take something of a winter hiatus, but I'm back to overshare here on Jaw Wired Shut for you and I hope everyone has been having a lovely 2012, mine has pretty much been awesome so far I'll tell you more about it later) and somehow a comment about doing some work spiraled into the observation that teachers don't make a lot of money.

I wrote:

I had to write about four paragraphs of copy for an upcoming episode. I do this kind of stuff a lot (I mean how else are fake Facebook pages for characters created?) for the show, but this one was REALLY interesting. I wrote about Schizophrenia and Winslow Homer and Maine and Art and for like five minutes, as I was thinking to myself, “this is fun and I am really good at this” I was also thinking to myself “fuck TV writing I should go back to school” and then I checked my bank account and realized there’s a reason more people don’t return to or stay in academia - it pays shit.

I think I need to add to this. 

That's fucked up. Teachers, professors -- they should make more money. They should make more money than TV writers.  I mean I don't make any money right now, because I'm what is known as a baby writer (seriously, this is sometimes a term for young writers), but like the good TV writer money.  Actually, what I make right now is probably akin to what teachers make (okay really it's a little less probably) and let me tell you, that sucks. If this is what teachers make then teachers are not getting paid enough to lead comfortable lives. At least not in cities or other places as expensive as LA.

Actually what do I know? I don't actually know how much teachers make but I guess what I am trying to say here is that I know it's not enough. It should be more. I know it will never be that way and it's weird for me to suddenly just think of this now, really, but it popped in my head and I thought, "teachers!"

My mom taught art for many years, then special ed, and for the year prior to her death, art again.

Teachers give their lives to other people. They give themselves. They give SO much. They should get more back.

I named this post "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" because when I was in high school I took an ornithology class and to study for exams we used little shortcuts (like mnemonic devices, I guess?) to help us remember the birds because yes we learned how to identify over 100 birds by their plumage and/or call and when the Ovenbird sang its call sounded just like "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" 

Being a TV writer is really hard, and I suppose on some scale, in the scheme of it all, it is an important and significant profession. But on a much larger scale, on like the whole big scale of everything, teachers are the real heroes.

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