So I got another text message from a different co-worker today. Yeah, we're a texting staff (not a sexting staff, we learned the dangers of that at our sexual harassment training). She wanted to know if my paychecks are smaller than the ones I got last year because hers are. Interestingly, in a minor melt-down about the meager size of my paycheck last night, I did some research. Not only am I bringing home less than I did as a first year teacher in my weekly paychecks, but my own district would have to pay me more if they hired me as a new hire right now.
I think I have to realize that I am not on a career path because teaching in my state is just considered a job. I have been working for this district for four years. I have attained a more advanced degree, but I am actually being punished by my district for staying with them.
Now, I know it is a catch-22. My district isn't actually hiring new hires. In this economy and within my age group, the good fortune to have a job outweighs any longing for a career.
I guess I am just realizing that when my age group entered adulthood we entered a world we didn't expect. We had no clue that finding work at all would be hard. We did not expect a negative correlation between cost of living and compensation. We had no idea that when your job doesn't pay the bills you wouldn't have other options.