The Pink-Tinged Ghetto

Imagine going up to a co-worker (let’s make it a man) in your office and asking him to please watch your 10-year-old child, just for a moment, while you run back into your office–you forgot your notes for your trip.

"Babysit My Twenty-Five Kids, Mister?"

Now, imagine asking him to watch your child for an hour—perhaps you have an emergency committee meeting.

Now, ask him to baby-sit your precious darling all day, with a half-hour break for lunch.

Now, add your child’s best friend.

Now, go out and choose another 23 children at random.

Ask that businessman to baby-sit all 25 children for six hours. How much salary do you think that businessman would want, to consider this worth his while?

Then, spring the first surprise: He must keep that group of 25 ten-year-old children quiet and confined to one room for most of those six hours.

Then, spring the second surprise: He must teach those children 7 subjects, whether or not they are willing to learn them, and whether or not they read well enough to understand their textbooks.

Oh, yes—and let the businessman know that he will be evaluated on how successfully he has achieved that learning goal. If he is less than successful, it will be viewed as entirely his fault—never the fault of any of the children or their families.

No, nor even of Charles.

Now how much salary do you think the businessman would consider enough?

Let’s imagine that many of the children have parents who speak little or no English, are almost illiterate in their home language, and are ignorant (or uncaring) of basic child-rearing principles. (E.g. No doesn’t mean no, whining works, no chores or homework or good school performance are expected…)

Finally, let the businessman know that, should some children choose to talk non-stop for the entire six hours, or throw objects across the room, he is powerless to force them to stop. He is expected to cope, and to advance all those children in their knowledge by at least a year.

Any guess how much salary that businessman would demand now?

I have 20 years’ experience as a programmer, systems analyst, and manager. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and Linguistics, and a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts. Before I become a teacher, my salary is $74,000 (piddling pay for my skill set, but I worked in education). My starting salary as a teacher is $31,500.[1] The lowest-paid 25% of our city’s garbage collector new-hires BEGIN at $31,700.[2]


[1] My Master’s degree earns me that extra $500 per year. Woo, woo.

[2] Source. One of my nephews dropped out of high school and got a job moving boxes in a warehouse. After two months, they made him a manager at $42,000. That’s $10,000 more than the teacher pay I got in my first year. Women are so stupid.

Three Olden-Day Teachers In the Pink-Tinged Ghetto

Early Denizens in the Pink-Tinged Ghetto of Non-Professorial Pre-Pubescent-Targeted Teaching

The first few lines of this post were inspired by a piece that circulated while I was a teacher titled “Imagine”. No author was listed. I took that as a springboard for my piece, expanding upon it. Happy to credit the author, if s/he comes forward.
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    • Hey, Berniece,

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