Some quotes from teachers that Eggers and his co-authors Ninive Clements Calegari and Daniel Moulthrop compiled:
“I spent $3,900 of my own money last year on my classroom. That’s a lot of money. And it’s not anything extravagant. It’s stuff like paper clips and art supplies and paint and things you would assume that the district provides and they don’t. It’s horribly demeaning and I try not to focus on it.”
“My first principal said, ‘If it weren’t for us, the doctors, the lawyers- nobody would be anywhere.’ They don’t realize that. They had to learn to read somewhere.”
“There was a girl I dated for a long time, through high school and into college. In my senior year, I said, ‘I wouldn’t mind maybe going into teaching,’ and she said, ‘Don’t waste your talent on that.’”
“It’s hard, because we all know that when you’re a teacher, the returns are not immediate. Every so often you find little notes, or a kid will send you a postcard. I always joke because now I’ll meet some middle-aged fat guy in the street and he’ll say, ‘Oh, you were my favorite teacher.'”
“The media and the government, they feed on that. They totally do. They say, ‘If you’re a teacher, obviously it’s not about money. I thought you were an angel, I thought you were a saint. You’re a teacher, aren’t you?’ They use that. I felt like there was this outside pressure not to talk about the money. There was this huge green elephant in the room with a dollar sign on it that no one could talk about.”
I once heard Anne Coulter say that teachers teach only out of the goodness of their golden hearts. I nearly threw my plate through the television.
The article at Campus Progress also has a wonderful comparison chart between a day in the life of a high school math teacher and a pharmaceutical sales rep that is far too long to repost, but it is a must-read.