In which it looks like I screwed up

You may recall that I turned down an opportunity to teach summer school in June. Now, despite everything I’m about to say, the reason I turned that position down remains true: that by the time they got around to offering me the job, we had signed our son up for a bunch of summer camps and I’d signed up for National Board Certification, meaning that I now need to cram four years of high school mathematics into a summer.

That said:

There are twenty days of summer school, six hours long each, and I was originally under the impression that my hourly rate was around $32.(*) That would mean that I’d have made $32 x 20 x 6 = $3840 before taxes. Which isn’t nothing by any stretch of the imagination, mind you, but it wasn’t quite enough to get me to back out of stuff that I’d already committed to or screw up my kid’s summer.

Then I found out my actual hourly rate is $41. I’m not sure how I fucked up that calculation, but that means my actual pay would have been $41 x 20 x 6 = $4,920 before taxes, and at that point– I discovered this after I turned the job down– losing out on that money starts to hurt a bit.

Well, they’re having serious trouble finding teachers– because I’m not the only person who took the two-month gap between applying for jobs and finding out whether they’d been accepted as a reason to find other summer plans– and the union and the district just signed off on increasing the summer pay to seventy fucking dollars an hour. Which is over twice the original rate I had calculated and would have meant a whopping $8400 before taxes, enough money to kill my last remaining credit card bill and put a substantial dent in the amount of money I owe on my car.

And … well, now I’m pissed. I mean, I’ll get over it, and I’m still not screwing over my son, but … shit.

Anybody want to hand me a big pile of money for no particular reason?

(Also, shit, how much Covid money must my district be sitting on right now, that they can even contemplate this level of pay? Holy shit.)

(* And before anybody jumps on my case for being a math teacher and not being able to calculate my own hourly pay: it’s not as simple as dividing my salary by 52 and then however many hours of pay I get in a week– first of all, it’s the actual number of weeks we’re paid for teaching in a year, a number I don’t know off the top of my head, and secondly, at least until recently anything that was paid on an “hourly” basis was actually paid at the scale of the lowest-paid teachers, not actually on my individual hourly pay, so the “hourly” for all the teachers in the district was the same. They’ve apparently changed the formula at some point and I didn’t notice.)

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.