I’d rather be boating (instead of trying to find a 2nd job to pay bills)…

Christine Marsh Education, Education Policy

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I recently emailed a previous supervisor, asking her if I could use her as a reference for a part-time job for which I am applying.

She responded that she’d be “honored” to be a reference, but she also jokingly asked if I needed a job in order to buy a boat.

For those of you who may have missed it and–thus–missed the joke, Representative Allen told a Capitol Times reporter that teachers might have “a 2nd job” in order to “pay for a boat” (there are links below, in case you want to read it for yourself).

So do I want you a boat? Sure I do. I practically grew up on water skis, because my parents and grandparents owned boats. I love boating. And I love lakes.

However, buying a boat is nowhere in my future. It’s not even in my most distant future, not even in my dreams.

Why? Because my teaching salary is not enough for me to pay my bills, even though I have a master’s degree and have been teaching for 25 years.  And I do not live extravagantly. Anyone who knows me will back me up on that. My dishwasher has been broken since November, and I haven’t gotten it fixed because–you guessed it–I can’t afford it.

I would have had to change careers many years ago, but my father (unfortunately) died and left me a small sum of money that I promptly put towards my mortgage, which makes my house payments rather low. For the record, I’d rather have my dad back than have his money, but no cosmic forces asked me what I wanted when he died.

However, because of his death, I was able to stay in this profession, despite the fact that both of my sons are in college and the cost of living has continued to rise and my salary has been frozen off and on for so many years that I actually don’t make as much as I did in 2001. In fact, according to my district’s salary schedule, I should be making $12,000 more per year than I do. The lesson in this is…Don’t pay attention to salary schedules, because they don’t include the years in which teachers’ salaries were frozen.

So, I need another part time job (I already have one part time job).

Perhaps the fact that I have spent too many hours in the past few weeks searching for a job and too many hours worrying about (lack of) money is why Representative Allen’s comments are so offensive to me.

A boat?!?! Really?!?

No…I need a “2nd” job (which will really be my 3rd job) in order to pay my bills. Which I can’t pay because Arizona’s public schools are funded almost last in the nation.

I really wish my 3rd job was to pay for a boat. I’d rather have a boat.


Hank Stephenson’s article in the Capitol Times:


Laurie Robert’s commentary:



Christine Porter Marsh

Scottsdale, Arizona

My favorite thing about teaching is watching the lights go on in students’ eyes, watching them getting passionate about traditionally boring things like reading and writing well. This is why I keep coming back. I am in my 24th year of teaching in the same high school from which I graduated, and I still feel like it’s the best job in the world.

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  • Lisa Moberg

    yup. I work 3 jobs as a single mom and teacher in order to keep my family ALIVE. No perks. Just survival.