Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Having It All

I've been reading a lot of articles lately on "having it all" and "hitting the glass ceiling" and Equal Pay Day.

I'm still not sure what "having it all" means, nor am I sure that it's good to always get everything you want when you want it. I'd like to have a kid - that's probably not going to happen, although one can't guarantee something happening; I can either let it destroy me or I can do other things. I can watch my nephew grow up; I can pay attention to my students and hopefully have a few students I grow close to over the years. Perhaps if I wanted to work in business or another field, or wanted a supervisory position, or to be a school district superintendent, there would be additional pressures.

I work in an industry that doesn't differentiate pay based on anything other than education and experience. I can't speak to higher education; although I'll continue to adjunct as long as I can, I don't think I'll pursue a full-time job in high education. Within K-12 public education, there are salary schedules, so within that school district, one's education and one's experience is fairly easy to determine. It's not perfect; My experience part-time college teaching doesn't "count" as teaching experience. That said, this issue is not specific to me. Furthermore, education is education, although there are exceptions: A colleague recently mentioned that the Ph.D. he's working on might be difficult to prove because he's earning that doctorate in another country. However, my master's degree is not worth more than someone else's. In other words, the salary schedule is an equalizer.

I know a handful of people who do want those corner offices, or who do not consider themselves successful unless they have a certain salary. I'm happy with my job, partly because it's been a struggle to get any full-time job that I've liked. Neither Ed nor I are acquisitive, so perhaps we already have it all.

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