December is a lot of things for a lot of people. For me? Well, it’s mostly a race to finish A Christmas Carol before winter break begins. The Dickens classic is part of the curriculum so I’m up to my eyeballs in ghosts, chains, and mince pies.
While the iconic antihero Ebenezer Scrooge is typically held up as the opposite of kindness and consideration, I’m finding I can’t totally write him off this year. No, it’s not that I’m turning into a sourpuss myself. It’s simply that there are a few lines that pre-reformation Scrooge spouts off that really resonated with me this Christmas season. Continue reading “Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me”
The state of Illinois is giving us $3,000. That’s right. The Land of Lincoln, otherwise known as the Land of No State Budget, is actually coughing up money. So put on your hats and let’s get this TRS pension party started, shall we? Continue reading “TRS Pension Windfall: Help Me Spend It”
“Oh, dear. Bread and beer. If I were rich, I wouldn’t be here.” My grandma used to singsong this jingle when I was little. I would eagerly ask her where she would be. She was always quick to lock her fingers in mine and return a reminder that we could go wherever I wanted.
Now that I’m older, I’ve started to think on this again. Where would I be? What would I do? How would I answer her question? My greatest wish would be to spend one more day with her. But if I can’t do that, the least I could do is come up with an answer to her question. Continue reading “If I Were Rich, Where Would I Be?”
To the people who say not to make your work your passion*, you’re right. Your approach is far more strategic and systematic. You will reach financial independence much faster pursuing a six-figure career than I will figuring out why teenagers are still tempted to cover their arms in glue whenever we create posters. You will also garner far more esteem in the media, on social media, from your friends, and at family parties. You, my friend, are an innovator. A disrupter. Someone who will push your field to the precipice, help pivot a struggling enterprise, or create the newest technology.
I don’t do what you do.
I couldn’t do what you do.
I’m also not sure I’d want to. Continue reading “My Passion is My Work”
“You only work nine months out of the year.” “You get the entire summer off.” There’s a lot of misinformation floating around the universe in terms of what teachers do during their time off. So, I thought maybe I’d set the record straight, at least partially.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any vacations planned. In fact, we’re dashing off to Vegas for a few short days right before summer school starts. Costa Rica is also on the horizon. In addition to travel, I’ll spend countless hours preparing for next school year. In the past, I’ve never clocked the hours, but this summer, I think I will. In addition to traveling and lesson planning, a big chunk of my summer will be spent hustling. Continue reading “How I’m Hustling This Summer”
No, I don’t have a crystal ball or a super power. I have a salary schedule. In addition to revealing exactly how much money my coworkers make, a salary schedule also lets me predict the future in the sense that I know exactly when I’ll crack the six-figure salary mark.
I imagine there are a lot of people working in different sectors that would love to have this information at their fingertips. There’s no guessing. There’s no wishing. There are no bonuses, no commissions, no extra effort, no deal closings to be calculated or approximated. There’s just a 20×20 grid with time of service on one side and advanced degree hours on the other. And after almost a decade of staring at this chart, I’ve realized exactly one thing: it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Continue reading “I Know When I’ll Make 6 Figures”
When I walked into work on a Friday halfway through my first year of teaching, I was smiling from ear to ear. The day before, I had my summative evaluation and my boss checked the recommended for rehire box. We shook hands and took turns signing on the dotted line.
I set down my bag and scrawled the day’s agenda on the board while I waited for my desktop computer–oh, 2009, how I don’t miss you–to boot up. After clicking the Microsoft Outlook icon and letting out an exasperated sigh while my inbox populated, I looked around my classroom. It was a dream come true. I had been one of my only friends to land a teaching job right of out college in the midst of one of the biggest job shortages in education history. In fact, after I accepted my job, my principal let me know that they had received over 800 applications for a single teaching spot. It was meant to be. Continue reading “That Time I Got Fired…Twice”
To The Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts,
I spent the day before winter break writing your children thank you notes that I am fairly confident you will never see. In fact, they’ve probably already been relinquished to the deep recesses of binders next to permission slips, school calendars, and progress reports or banished to the bottoms of lockers atop moldy sandwiches, gym shirts, and library books. Some cards won’t even make it that far. Some are tossed in the trash, which I later dutifully recycle. Others are discarded underneath desks. Even if you did see my note, the letter I wrote your child is different than what I’d like to say to you. Continue reading “To Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts”
The other day, we were in the middle of reviewing literary devices when I asked for a student to remind me of what sarcasm is. “It would be like someone saying, ‘I reeeeally like that blouse you’re wearing today’.” Sometimes, I just walk right into. My stomach hurt by the time we all got done laughing.
Truth be told, I imagine most adults have been outsmarted by a child or teen at some point. A clever quip, an unforeseen loophole, an infallible counterargument. But this week I was absolutely amazed to realize that when it comes to purposeful living and personal finance, teens know quite a few things that we seem to forget as adults. Continue reading “What Teens Know That Adults Forget”