That’s the adage that I’ve accepted ever since I decided that I’d be a teacher as my bread-and-butter. I have all of this education behind me (minus a dissertation — grrr!) and work experience, and the same amount of education and experience for, say, a lawyer, a medical doctor, or an engineer will always be about twice the amount that I’m making right now. But I knew that going in — money isn’t the primary reason why I went into teaching. I like sharing knowledge — to my students, to my colleagues, seeing their eyes light up when we connect.
But there are some people who think otherwise, who work themselves like a *dog*, working essentially two full-time teaching loads in order to make the other professionals’ salary ranges. I don’t know how one can fit in student advisory time and still have a social life outside of the classroom; a full-time teaching load is four to five classes, and at around 30 students per class, that’s plenty of work right there. I’ve only began to be able to organize my time such that I don’t turn into a grading-and-lesson-planning machine 24/7 — doing so ensures that I’d burn out in a couple of years. So for those who teach 8-10 classes per semester, I don’t know how they do it — something has to suffer, and I suspect it’s sleep and the initial joy of what got them into teaching in the first place.
So, yes, I’ll be back teaching my five English classes in a couple of weeks, at a school that’s not particularly liberal arts / humanities driven, at a pay rate that’s not high. But I’ll be doing something that I love to do, with benefits and pay that’s adequate for my needs and wants… even though I’d never get rich at it! 😉