Because I work in the field of education, I sometimes hear the complaint, "We don't get paid enough." I totally agree. I strongly believe that doing the good work that happens in schools should pay a lot more than it does. Never an argument. I would challenge anyone who believes teachers make more than they should or anywhere close to what they should.
I do, however, have a thought. I was thinking about what we are worth, today, as I drove away from a training in which I worked with 75 teachers from New York. The teachers were engaged, thoughtful in their processing, and ready to do what it takes to improve and reflect on their ever-evolving practice.
I began to think about how, within a 6 hour day with teachers, every moment counts so much. I have no business even wasting a moment of that time, nor do I want to do so. I wondered if I always felt like that when I was a classroom teacher. I thought about how, no matter what we are paid to do educational work, every moment counts. I wondered if we could put a price on how much each moment and day count when we work with students.
I challenge us all, including myself. If we find ourselves saying, "If I made $1,000,000 each year, I would make each moment count more", maybe we should ask, "What pay is too little to make each moment count?"
In other words, doesn't every single learner with whom we work deserve our "every moment counting" even if we don't make $1,000,000? What if we don't make $250,000 a year? What if it's not even $100,000 a year or even $50,000 a year? Many teachers don't make that much money yet many still make every single moment count with every single learner in their midst.
Just for today, why not consider making every moment count in whatever work we do? It'