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Aug 24, 2022

It’s too hard for too many to love the first day of school.

I am old enough to have forgotten whether I loved the first day of school when I was a young student or not. I might have been too cool for that then, but clearly, I have changed. 

There is no question that I love it now. I was with some friends on Sunday night this week and one of them asked, “do you have to teach tomorrow?” I corrected her quickly and said, “I get to teach tomorrow.” 

Over the years, especially lately, I have been reading about the way we pay, or more accurately, underpay our K-12 teachers a competitive wage in Indiana. Yes, that is undeniably true. Lucky for me, I teach at a university. That was sarcastic. I’m not getting rich either. 

I am lucky though. I am in a financial position that allows me to choose to do what I love. My kids are grown and out of the house, and while they still don’t reach for the check at dinner, neither of them asks me for money anymore either. My plan is to start softening them up for that beautiful day when I start asking them.

Mister Rogers once said, “the most important people in a child’s life are that child’s parents and teachers. That means parents and teachers are the most important people in the world.” I agreed with that before I became a teacher. Just like I knew I wanted to be a father, my drive to teach just seemed instinctual too. It wasn’t like I wanted to become a movie star or sing at Carnegie Hall. It wasn’t some pipe dream. Turns out, becoming a teacher these days is not the lofty goal it should be.  

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