The Secret Life of The American Teacher

Much of what we have is due to teachers

Macy Hutchinson, Staff Writer

I am an only child. Growing up I always wanted siblings. It wasn’t until recently I learned that I am not an only child.

Every year I get anywhere from 18 to 25 new siblings I get to share my mom with.

Every day my mom comes home from work and the thought of her school children never leaves her mind. Children comes running up to her and say, “Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson, did you know I love unicorns just like you?” The next time we go to Target, I catch her slipping unicorn stickers into the cart for her prize bucket because she knows one of her students loves them.

In Sutton, our teachers only get paid for 184 days of school, meaning teachers in fact do not get the summers off. Many staff choose to stretch out their paycheck so they get money in the summer, but their “summer vacation” is more like an unpaid leave of absence due to them not making any pay.

Macy Hutchinson

Despite that, teachers still go in, without pay, and set up their classrooms for their students.

Did you know in order for teachers to be teachers in Massachusetts, it actually cost them money?

In Massachusetts it is required for teachers to have their master degree, which they must recertify every five years which costs money. They also are required to have 150 PDPs, or professional development points, which is equal to 150 hours of learning.

The things our teachers do to make our days even the slightest bit better does not go unnoticed or unforgotten, not by the students–things that parents and school board might not even notice.

Did you know in order for teachers to be teachers in Massachusetts, it actually costs them money?

One gloomy Monday, Ms. Taylor went out of her way to buy 250 munchkins for her students because she knew that they would need a little pick me up. She spent her own money just to make her high schoolers have a better day. 

Dr. Maloney wrote a whole grant for her students. The grant was for getting standing desks in her classroom, to make learning easier, and more beneficial.

From ages 5 to 18, our teachers take such good care of us. Checking in on us, making sure we’re truly okay–we spread them pretty thin.

As of December 27, 2022, the average public school teacher around Sutton makes $58,963 a year.

In order to live comfortably and afford things like food or, I don’t know, a place to live, the required annual income before taxes is roughly $45,517. That is for one adult and no children. The average family is around 3.13 people. The required annual income to uphold this family is $78,855. If you are the only working adult, that is hard to do.

So if you were a teacher without a second party income coming in, you’re in a tough position, yet they still don’t stop giving.

Macy Hutchinson

Mrs. Muscatell took her time and made us memory books filled with the photos she took of us throughout the year. 

Mrs. Joyce took away her mornings and came into school early to give me the extra help I needed. 

I mean, I cannot name one teacher that is not here before school starts or after school ends just for their students. Many teachers do both, and they willingly give up their prep periods just to talk to their students, even though because of that they might have to bring work home with them.

Yes, these teachers do not need to be doing things like this but ever wonder, maybe things like these are what makes it possible for children to learn. It may be a small thing, and it may have nothing to do with school but maybe these acts of kindness is the best part of the day–the things that makes your child want to keep going.

I struggled throughout middle school but Mrs. Cullen was always there with a hug for anyone who needed it.

After school, before a game, my friends and I would go talk to Mr. Cummins, and I do not think there was one game in my high school career where he did not wish me or my friends good luck beforehand.

What do you do for a job? Who taught you that job? Was it a teacher?

Teachers are the ones who help us become who we are, they guide us to the paths of who we will be and we give them…well, what do we give them?

The average police officer in Massachusetts makes between $62,600 and $73,000 a year. The average therapist makes between $67,908 and $83,644 a year.  The average doctor in Massachusetts makes between $197,598 and $255,278 a year. 

These are all very different jobs yet they all have one very huge thing in common. In order to be any single one of these jobs you need a teacher.

Without teachers we can not have anything. They are the reason we have all the opportunities we have but we can’t even give them a little more. That just doesn’t seem right. 

I know these teachers take the thoughts of their children home with them because I see what my mom does. They spend so much of their own money and time on us. All they do for this world and future generations yet this is how we barely repay them. 

So thank you teachers for all you do. We can’t give you what you deserve, but we can give you our heart felt thanks. Without you, well, we prefer not to think about life without you. Thank you for everything–EVERYTHING–you do, and enjoy your summer.

(P.S. We tried to get a photo of every teacher–please forgive us if we missed you).