The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it. John Ruskin

The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it. John Ruskin


I’m not going to look at the gaps over the last month or so. I keep saying it but it has been a rough year.

What are the most important things to you about your job? Is it your pay? Respect? Perks? That what you do matters?

I’m having to realign what matters to me. Kind of. It has always been that I’m good at what I do. That people are better after I’m there than they were before I got there. And of course it’s nice to make money.

One of the issues with working in education is that I get the first two in spades but not so much the last one. And it doesn’t matter how great I am at my job, I will never ever get other than the mandated step raise.

I am confused by why this is and I have to think about whether that’s ok.

I’m where I am now because I wanted to give back to teachers because of what teachers did for me. If it weren’t for a few of them I’m not sure I would have made it past high school and I certainly wouldn’t have gone much further.

But, J has a great job and it isn’t like money is a huge deal for us. Would more be better? Of course, but it is absolutely necessary? Probably not.

But isn’t money how our society tells us that what we do is valuable? Isn’t that the metric?

Maybe I need to consider a different metric, like whether what I’m doing makes a difference in the lives of the teachers I work with and the kids I work for. Maybe.


  1. Scott

    Financial theory has the answer: any job which is fun or rewarding or desired by many people will always pay less than something nobody wants to do. Physics, art, teaching, whatever: they don’t pay much, because a lot of people love doing them so much, they’d do ’em for free. Meanwhile, society would fall apart if the garbagemen go on strike or bankers decide to take up flower arranging.
    It’s also why .coms try to make their dreary jobs seem fun: they can pay you a lot less if you derive great satisfaction from being able to wear silver pants and rollerskates to work.

    1. Jyllian M

      I’m not sure my job is necessarily fun (though it is interesting) or desired by many people. It is rewarding to help teachers and students. And when I worked for dotcoms I got paid much better AND wore rollerskates to work (seriously). But I lived in a different part of the country and was on call all hours of the day and night.

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