La dernière édition du Times présente la situation économique de 13 enseignant.e.s américain.e.s au travers de leur portrait.Le regard porté sur la situation économique et social de ces enseignant.e.s et à travers eux le portrait du système éducatif américain est édifiant. Voici le portrait de Maddie McGarvey, 52 ans, professeur d’histoire.
Maddie McGarvey for TIME/Economic Hardship Reporting Project Hope Brown, 52 U.S. history teacher at Woodford County High School in Versailles, Kentucky
The reality is that we have to spend a lot of our own money for our classroom. I spend money to buy my own copy paper. I bring food for my kids. We’re given about $50 per semester that we can spend on certain things for our classroom, but we always go above and beyond that. I usually end up spending about $400 every semester.
I’ve been teaching for 16 years, and I make about $55,000 a year. I work an extra job in guest services at Rupp Arena, sometimes multiple nights a week, making $9 an hour. My husband and I also started a business leading historical tours in the summer.
Right now, I have a broken tooth that I can’t afford to have fixed. I’ve had to take a sick day before because I didn’t have enough gas to make it to school. I donated plasma twice before my first pay day this year just for gas money. I was really embarrassed when I first had to start doing that because I think of myself as a professional. I have a master’s degree.
I wish people understood exactly what it takes to make a classroom work. Teaching is a science and it is an art, and we work really hard to be able to provide for our students. The schools in Kentucky are not failing like our governor wants people to think that they are. We do a really good job educating all kids that come before us. But we are not paid for the work that we do. I go in at 5 a.m. and I get off at 4 p.m., and usually that’s because I have to go to another job.
I love what I do. My kids are fabulous. There is not another job where you could have as many highs, as many lows, as much connection, as much challenge as there is in teaching. I can’t think of another job — maybe an ER doctor, I don’t know — where I can get the feeling that I do from teaching.