After my first full year of teaching, I took a 40% pay cut to move from New Orleans back to my hometown in Indiana. When I arrived, I was met with a pay freeze that lasted the entirety of my time there. No one goes into teaching to become rich. As an incoming teacher, I understood I wasn’t going to make a fortune. But after a few years of climbing the salary schedule, I anticipated being able to afford the profession. With the salary freeze, my wage remained as though I was still a first-year teacher—for six years. Instead of climbing the ladder to match my level of experience at around $42,000, I never broke $34,000 per year.