I Made $54,000 Last Year.

I can remember the first time that I ever asked my Dad — who was a foreman at a Chevy plant that made rear axles for pickup trucks — how much money he made in a year.  It was the mid-1980s and I was working on a project for school.

His answer:  $50,000.

From that moment, $50,000 became a target to me.

If I could make $50,000, I knew that I could support a family and have a good home and go on vacations and send my kids to college.  If I could make $50,000, I could be a good provider and a good husband — something that mattered to me after having watched my father do those things for our family.

Doing my taxes yesterday, I realized that I made $54,000 last year.

After 22 years of full-time classroom teaching, after earning a master’s degree and after earning certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards TWICE, I’m FINALLY making what my father made in the mid-1980s.

#sheeshchat

#completelybrokechat

#anyonehiringchat

___________________

Related Radical Reads:

Teaching is a Grind

The Truth about North Carolina’s Historic Pay Raises for Teachers

More on North Carolina’s Historic Pay Raises for Teachers

10 comments

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  2. Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)

    Wow Bill, that’s unbelievable! Teachers in NC obviously don’t do it for the money. After I read your post, I looked at our salary grid and, I hate to tell you this, a beginning teacher with a Bachelor’s degree makes 58,000/yr. A teacher with your qualifications would make over 100,000/yr. That’s the thing, though. Pretty hard to move your whole family at this point in your love. Hang in there, pal. I still love reading your stuff!

    • Bill Ferriter

      Yup. It sucks, Hatch.

      What it leads to is being forced to work a thousand part time jobs — which is exactly what I do. And that leads to lots of lost moments with my family and lots of lost focus on my teaching. Each day, I walk out of school with my students simply because I’ve got to get started on part time work. Sometimes I wonder what my teaching could/would be like if I had a salary that made it possible for me to JUST focus on teaching.

      #sheeshchat

      Bill

  3. Julia Hendricks

    My parents both worked for General Motors as well (are you from Michigan?)! They also had much better benefits!

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hey Julia,

      I’m not a Michigan guy! Chevy had an axle plant in Buffalo for decades. I think they were taking advantage of the cheap steel being produced at Bethlehem Steel — a Buffalo staple back then.

      And no kidding: It was a great job for my Dad. He provided for us in a way that I wish I could provide for my family now.

      Rock on,
      Bill