Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Everything has a price tag

None of this is a surprise and bemoaning it is hardly original - even so it has struck me personally this week: 

For the first time for many weeks I am actually earning some money. I've been 'consulting' - a poncey name for casual labour - in my old industry of print and graphics. I've also been applying - without any success yet - for Teaching Assistant posts as a prelude to getting on to some sort of teaching training.

Of course I knew it all along - but it's a hell of a wake-up call to realise that this consulting pays something like five times the wages of a lowly teaching assistant.  And I'm only talking about doing a bit of freelance selling for a small printing buisness on a shitty industrial estate - I'm hardly some corporate reptile at McKinsey & Co.

I bloged some years ago about the value of viewing work through a child's eyes. To a child a teacher - and those who work alongside them - are the most important people in their world. Even in this celebrity fixated age - it's difficult for them to imagine anyone else more deserving of status. My own kids are reasonably aware of how things work these days - but even they struggle to see how a teacher can be rewarded less than a plodding junior manager or administrator. And they're quite right.

As a 'consultant' am I better academically qualified than a Teaching Assistant ? No at all; Am I more skilled ? Not really - only in the art of bullshit; Is the work harder ? Certainly not; Is it more socially useful ? You've got to be kidding.

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