Writing about the future of learning and teaching in America's public schools.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Merit Pay is going to motivate me to work harder, but only a smidge'
When I got into teaching 15 years ago, it was for the money. The fame was nice too, but mostly it was for the money.
Back then, when I was making a six-figure salary ($ 038,000) I knew that I needed to hold a little something back. Sure, I was making great benefits. I could go to the dentists, I had a gym and a cafeteria on my work site (nods to John Stewart).... But working 180 days a year is a lot to ask a person... I mean it's nearly 1/2 the year! It's like having to work 3 days a week, every week, with no weekends! So I held a little back...
You see, I knew, way back then I knew, that someday my political and punditry overlords were going to wake up to the fact that I've got to be bribed to do my best. They must have asked my Mom how to motivate me to do something I don't want to do. "We used to pay him a dollar to eat all of his vegetables," she replied. Aww, Mom... you know me so well!
So like I've said, I've been holding back. I've been working about 75% of my awesome-capacity. I mean seriously, 75% of awesome is still a "C" Right?
You might think that I'm ready to go all-in, now that Bill, Michelle and Arnie have put some more benjamins on the table. Man, are they wrong. I'm telling you, if they are going to put some more money in my pocket, then I'll give them a little taste. Say bump it up to 78%, you know, like a C+. They are going to be fist-bumping and high-fiving each other silly over their "success."
But I'm telling you, in a few months, that high is going to wear off, and who do you think they are going to come see? How many benjamins do you think they are going be slapping down? They're going to be all over me going, like, "Please, Mr. Teacher, sir. Give us a little more! We're jonezing for just a little more. Please! Take all our money, just give us a little more."
That me, brother. Straight up gangster teaching. Suckers better have my money!