I had two interesting conversations with two different friends today, about the early childhood industry and specifically, that topic that garners the most comments over at the group, SALARY. Both my friends aren’t in the industry; K is on sabbatical whereas G is a corporate warrior.
K is an aspiring storyteller and we met up so I could share resources and whatever I know about storytelling with him. We got to talking about our days in the debate team, and who would have thought we’d be doing what we do now, etc. I am paraphrasing, but he said I must enjoy my job to want to work in the industry because when he saw the starting salary in the Career Guide, he was put off immediately. And who can blame him?
I met G for dinner and you know how it is, eventually you will start talking about work. She says her mum told her she can always become a pre-school teacher if she gets tired of the corporate world, but when I told her how much an early-childhood teacher typically earns… Well you should have seen her face. It was disbelief. And she went, “How do they survive? And pay bills? And provide for their families? How about *ubiquitous centre*? Gahmen one then the pay better right?”
Let’s leave that last one hanging, because I can.
I believe most people are like my friend G, who doesn’t know how much a typical early-childhood teacher earns, and we cannot blame them because these information are not readily accessible. The figure they have in mind is not even in the ballpark. The Mars rover will sooner find a mass of water. It is OUT OF THIS WORLD.
And this is where personal advocacy comes in. On top of sharing with G the salary scale, I also shared with her what a childcare teacher does on a daily basis. Granted I may not be working in a childcare or a kindergarten right now, but I still have fond memories of 1) my days as a wee kid in childcare, and 2) undergoing practicum at a childcare centre!
Next time this topic come up, share what you do in and outside class, and if it is relevant to the conversation, let your friend or family member know the salary range of a preschool teacher!