Friday, November 13, 2009

Thank you Wackenhut!

Last year, it was the election commission... this time it was the Board of Ed who failed to secure the personal information, social security numbers, and financial data of local students and employees.

The Tennessean openly discusses the salary of Metro teachers in the The Tennessean. The reporter makes it sound like she has uncovered some profound secret: Teachers are underpaid. No shit?

The papers seem to gloss over the magnitude if the situation of teacher pay and mobility within Metro Nashville. I wasted a ton of money at Vanderbilt and almost as much in the Ivy League. By investing in a useless program and a worthless degree, I am the first to admit I have made some bad choices, but now I am asking for some advice.



I cannot afford to complete the application, or find transportation to get to an interview.

I am beyond broke. I am so far in debt that I do not even bother to open my mail since it consists only negative balances, bank statements, and letters from collection agencies and the Department of Education.

When I found out that someone recently used my social security number to open an account in Jersey City, I was thrilled at the prospect that my credit score might actually go up!

I never dreamed that I would have to apply for a social services grant simply to find a job. I never thought about fees for fingerprinting, TB tests, official transcripts, examination fees, processing fees necessary to apply a position that really only requires a GED.

As an employee of the Metro Nashville Public Schools, I work part-time as an educator at the "Masters + 30" salary level. I earn $10.46 / hour, before taxes without benefits.

That does not go far, and they are currently eliminating employees, so any chance of a raise or future opportunities for advancement seem unlikely during these tough economic times.

I cannot afford additional application fees or costs associated with the Alternative Certification options, and I certainly do not have the resources required to obtain another undergraduate degree just so I can bypass the 6 months of student teach necessary for Metro to deem me qualified to teach Head Start, pre-k or even adult literacy programs.

The bottom line is this: regardless of good intentions or misguided mentoring, I am a financial burden to you all. I pay taxes out of your taxes. I am absolutely convinced that there must be a better way to live than relying upon government subsidies to keep a roof over my head and Ramen noodles in my tummy.

There is a plethora of young, talented individuals like myself who would be more than willing to work for MNPS or any other company if we could simply access the resources necessary to complete the application. We all know that teacher salary is ridiculous to begin with, so no kudos to the reporter at the Tennessean for pointing out the obvious.

This is the reality I live in. This is poverty. This is why I am hoping that someone out there knows someone or some way that I can contribute more to society than what I am taking. I am a leach on society. I will continue to be a leach on society.

Relying upon the "welfare" of others is a terrible way to live especially when you have something to give back.

People used to laugh when I would inquire about transportation funds, internet access grants or assisted technology funds and resources...

Surely, the AT&T cable bill could have included a measure to assist the disabled and economically challenged members of our community free or discounted online internet service. Certainly one of these big companies coming to Tennessee can help by hiring just one over educated, underemployed, and dedicated employee.

I live so far beneath the poverty line that I am willing to work for the necessities in life that I simply cannot afford such as toothpaste and internet access. I cannot afford the application fees Metro charges for new or returning applicants. I'm not eligible for community training programs or work force development... there are no grant based training programs for people who just made a few bad, BAD investments along the way-- say, for example, a college degree?


I am not too proud to beg for a job or take some free advice if it will help me to get from here to there. I need someone, anyone, willing to give me a chance to prove myself. I need someone to invest in me!

I believe I deserve more out of life than this, and I think that if you knew me, you would think so too. Help become the person I was meant to be. Try to the see the person I could become.

I have so much to contribute, but few resources get there. All I want is a chance. All I need is a mentor. Will someone please take the time to invest in me? All I want is a chance. All I need is a mentor. Will someone please invest in me?

CONTENT RREPRINTED FROM NEWS:  [contest held by Associated Content-- I won a buck!]
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Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.