As we traverse through this hard time, we asked teachers to tell us how "not having a contract" has affected their lives. We realize everyone is going through hard times, but want you to know how some of our professionals are being affected. These are professional educators with numerous college degrees and certifications. Teacher's names have remained anonymous so as to protect their identity and confidentiality. To quote the president in his recent address to the country, "We need to return the respect to our teachers."
“I spend less money purchasing resources for my classroom: the newest novels, a new game, even stickers for papers. All items that I get so excited to share with my students.
Truthfully, I have already been hit in the pocketbook. My daycare expenses nearly exceed my bi-weekly paycheck. If I were to be on the district's health care offering, my paycheck would be less than my daycare. My husband's health care plan is not as comprehensive as some of the district's plans, though it is what we must take to be covered and pay our bills. Yes, my own kids are affected by my lack of contract, but we make do. However, the biggest hit to be taken will sadly be on my classroom kids with the recent cuts of paraprofessionals and Math Support position at the Upper."
"I am a single parent and have three children in college. I have continually worked to educate myself to meet the standards of the Hollis School District and to meet my own standards of doing the best job I can. Personally, I have had to adjust to supporting myself and am proud of what I have accomplished by making the sacrifices I have needed to make. Not having a contract has clearly put me on the edge financially. I know the time is approaching when I will need to find a second job (if I can). If that time comes, it will be reasonable to expect that I will have less to give to my primary job......a job I love."
"Personally, I should be fine. I've taken advantage of my time in education and received my Masters Degree with 45 more graduate credits. I moved as education moved. I planned and had time to plan and things went "right" in my life. What frightens me about not having a contract is the fear of this district losing all of their talented, young teachers, and losing the talented single teachers who cannot afford it on their own. Why work in a district that does not show their respect? Why not go across the major east/west highway and work? Many have for ten thousand more dollars and respect."
“I need to work 2-3 nights a week for a second job, which means time away from my husband and two kids. This year I need to tutor 2 hours a week as a third job because it still isn't enough to pay for daycare, health care needs because my son has asthma, and everyday living expenses. With benefits rising and no raise in pay we are struggling as a family."
“I had to take out a 30 year mortgage at 59 years old so I could keep my home. I couldn't afford the upkeep otherwise even though I work a second job. Rising taxes, natural wear and tear, and a stagnant income have taken their toll on this single homeowner."
“I understand that taxes are going up, mine went up almost $800.00 in December. I have to now put my home on the market in the spring because I can't afford to live here anymore-not if my insurance keeps going up and I continue to make the same amount that I do now. I spend time at home to do my school job. I can't imagine needing to try to find another part time job. Especially when so many part time jobs are being given to people who have no job at all...."
"I already work a second job to help pay for college tuition for my daughter. Now I have another one heading off and without raises, and now having just found out they are cutting my pay for the summer work I do at the school, I have to refinance my house and take out a bigger mortgage, starting all over at a 30 year mortgage when I only had 13 left to go! How sad."
"Instead of putting money away in savings for a future family, I've had to dip into my savings to make up the difference of Cost of Living expenses."