Now that is not really fair.... she didn't enter the job for the pension. She stays in it mostly for the kids but she knows how much strain it puts on her mentally. She teaches in a large public school system where a significant percentage of the kids don't speak English, many of the families are on public assistance, and few take an active role in supporting their child's education at home. It is a struggle to get the parents to even show up for Parent-Teacher conferences. The city has had its regular legislative session, plus two additional "special" sessions, and they still have not come up with a school budget for this year. The last proposed budget included a $500 raise for teachers, and textbooks for students that otherwise would have none. Even that didn't make it. The education system in our country is broken, few would disagree with that. This is a particularly bad example as the kids are ill-equiped to learn, the parents are generally not interested in their kid's educations, the schools don't have the money they need to operate at the current levels, and EVERYTHING is about a set of end-of-the-year tests that determine whether a school gets funding or stays open the following year. The odds are constantly against her and every other teacher there, and yet she has remained. Her friends have suggested that she pursue a different career that isn't so stressful, but she is close to retirement there so she plans to stick it out until then. Michael
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