Stephanie from Winston-Salem, NC

Faces of the Federal Budget

I teach first grade … after all this budget stuff recently, I’m like, “what else can I do? What am I good at?” because [teaching] isn't really helping pay my bills. Last year, it was like $100 extra a month [in additional pay for teachers with Masters’ degrees]. That [extra] pay wasn't even covering my loan payment every month, but it was helping and now it’s going to be gone.

My mom has pretty much funded my whole classroom. My kids didn't come with pencils or paper or crayons or anything. We bought everything for them, pretty much.

We've had the same reading textbooks for - I think this is going on the 12th year. …They’re like, “you need all this technology,” but if [the kids] can’t even read, what’s the point of that stuff?

Every weekend, probably, [I bring work home with me]. I don’t grade that many papers because it’s first grade. But definitely lesson plans take a long time and getting stuff ready. If they’re going to make something, you've got to make all the little packets for each kid to have because it just makes it easier… to put them in a bag that weekend and give it to them on Monday. I find myself running out of time during the day all the time, because I don’t have enough time to get everything done that I need to, even though I planned and prepared and whatever, but you just run out of time. And money and all that other stuff.

We lost our music teacher too, because we don’t have enough money, so now I’m going to have to start teaching music. I have no music ability, but I’m going to have to start putting that into stuff, too.

[I told someone] “I’m a teacher.” And she’s like, “yeah, I thought about that.” And I was like, “don’t do it!” It’s not even worth it. Yeah, you get the smiles and your kids come back when they’re adults and are like, “oh, I loved you.” But it’s like, “yeah but I’m living in a shack and I eat beans!”

[Legislators’] priorities are out of whack. And the people in the government positions, they get to give themselves raises? That should not happen. If they need to take money from something, they need to take it from their salaries first, because obviously that’s what they’re doing now, taking it from other people’s funds, so they need to take it from their own to see how it is.

Stephanie from Winston-Salem, NC | Map

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