Last week WJJ and went to dinner at our favorite local Italian Restaurant.
Based on the fact that we go there often, we know just about every wait server.
They all know our “routine” quite well. We always sit at the same booth + begin our meal with two Grey Goose Martini’s –extra extra dry –with the shaken ice on the side. Our table is set for two (verses four) –there is grated cheese, hot pepper flakes, virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar pre-set at our table. The moment we are seated, they bring us fresh out of the oven warm Italian bread.
Per usual, we arrived, sat down, and everything was “status quo”. Then one of the “bus boys” brought us over our bread. I had never seen him there before. So, of course, I started chatting with him. He was tall, young and quite adorable. I began with my series of questions. So what’s is your name? With a big smile he answered “Sean”. I asked if he was originally from Hawaii and he said, “Yes, the Big Island. “ “So what brought you to Oahu,” I asked. And he said “school”.
I continued, “So, Sean how long have you worked here?” He replied, “About 2 months.” I was a tad bit surprised because we go to this restaurant about once a week –but then I quickly realized that we not there on our “usual” night. So, I assumed he did not work there full time but I asked anyway. He replied, “ No just weekends.”
Thank goodness the restaurant wasn’t crowded because as only I can do, I continued, “So what are you studying in school?” He sweetly “chuckled” and said, “ “I’m not in school, and I’m a high school teacher. “ I almost dropped my martini. He looked so young! He was so cute! Believe me, I never had a teacher like him!
Our conversation continued throughout the evening. I discovered his parent’s names are Peter and Wendy. At Wendy’s baby shower for Sean, the theme was “Peter Pan”– of course. And no he has not seen “Pan” yet –doesn’t have the time. I found out that Sean teaches Senior English as well as Special Needs Students.
So what is the point of this story? I certainly admire Sean. He is young, accomplished, polite and hard working. He is a full time teacher and a part time “bus boy” at a restaurant. Now grant you, when we were Sean’s age many of us worked two or three jobs at a time. However, it really bothers my soul that a teacher has to work two jobs. I researched what teachers earn in Hawaii. With a Bachelors Degree, they can start as low as $33, 500 a year. There is certainly a major disparity of wages when it comes to what teachers earn as compared to other careers.
So let me get this straight. Actors, Athletes, Coaches and Vocalists are paid enormous amount of money to provide us with “entertainment”.
Yet teachers, who are the foundation of this Country’s future, are paid as little as $20.00 an hour. Sean would probably make more money if he became a full time Wait Server. That is a travesty.
National Teachers Appreciation Day is May 3, 2016, but in my opinion we should acknowledge, applaud and appreciate teachers EVERY day.