Recent teacher strikes in places like Oklahoma and West Virginia have shown many how underpaid and unappreciated America’s teachers have become. Stories about teachers having to purchase basic school supplies have demonstrated the dedication of teachers, in spite of the constant disrespect. Stories of teachers having to take second jobs to pay their bills have highlighted the seriousness of the personal problems faced by those doing what may be the most important job in society. Stories of school districts going to four-day weeks to save money make it clear the current system is failing way too many of our students.
Obviously, everyone needs an education in basic math. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions are encountered by most people on a very regular basis. On the other hand, the vast majority of people rarely use algebra, calculus, or geometry.
I have had many discussions about the value of a college diploma. In thinking about those discussions, I have come to one important conclusion: the key to finding a career that provides the benefits you need is to make yourself as irreplaceable as possible. Putting it simply, the easier you are to replace, the less your employer will care about you. That sounds harsh, but it’s true.