THE BLOG
07/17/2014 09:24 am ET | Updated Sep 16, 2014

'The Real Teachers of America,' Coming Up Never, on Bravo

Leren Lu via Getty Images

Mefloquine is no joke. Though its purpose is to prevent me from getting malaria while on my 3-week trip to Kenya to volunteer at a children's home, I have found that it has provided me with enough crazy dreams to inspire a post.

Last night's dream included my being driven around New York City by Bethenny Frankel, in some lavish vehicle, until we arrive at her gorgeous countryside mansion. Why Bethenny? Does she really have a countryside mansion and drive herself around? Couldn't tell you, but those aren't the important parts of this dream.

When we arrive at her mansion, we have tea with Kathie Lee Gifford and some random male celebrity I can't recall at this time (again, details aren't the inspiration for this post). We proceed to talk about how much each of them has made and Bethenny tells me that she just sold her Skinny Girl brand for 55 million dollars to Beam Global. (Side note: none of these figures are real. Remember: it's just a dream!)

Now, I am not here to harp on Bethenny; the media does enough of that. I actually admire her for using her level of fame in order to advance herself and her company. However, I am here to harp on our "bass-ackwards" society where Bethenny, back in 2011, actually made over 50 million dollars for, essentially, a company based off of a reality TV show and I, as a high school math teacher, make 1,000 percent less than her for the work that I do.

Before I move any further with my rant on the state of education, there are several topics I will not be discussing within or outside of this post with any "concerned citizen," aggravated parent, or "educational advocate": the Common Core State Standards, President Obama, and/or the fact that you "could never be a teacher."

With clarification of my decision to not harp on Bethenny, as well as the topics I am not willing to discuss, both now out of the way, I can tell you that I am tired of hearing about age-old reality stars still making $10,000 per club appearance. Meanwhile, I racked up the same amount in student loans, per semester for two years, while trying to receive my Master's in Special Education. I'm wondering, if some of them even went to college, why they were able to pay off their debt after one episode of some smut-filled reality show, while I came out with more debt in two years of graduate school than I did from four years of undergraduate work.

Why do I have to work for five or ten years (depending on the program) in a specifically identified "under-privileged" school district in order to have only a portion of my student loans forgiven, when Honey Boo-Boo, and her family, are stockpiling cash, while they remain comfy-cozy in their family home in Hicksville (no offense)?

While on my current trip to Kenya, I met a fellow volunteer and fellow high school teacher who told me that, even as a third-year teacher in her district (with five additional years in a different district), she is making $35,000 per year. Albeit she is from Tennessee, where the cost of living is much lower than where I teach and live in Washington, DC, but how does that even make sense?

How does our society support, and reward, such, to use the term again, "bass-ackwards" climbs to the top, while our hardest working members are left to fend for themselves? It seems silly that a pill-induced dream could inspire me to write such a heated post, but I'm tired. Please don't assume or think that this is all about money, either. I love my career (notice how I didn't say job); my students inspire me more than I hope to ever inspire them.

My point is that I could easily act like an ass, drink to excess, and pull people's hair out if you put a camera in my face and have producers in my ear, too; but I'm too busy teaching David life lessons that will hopefully keep him out of jail; teaching Angel how to multiply; and writing college recommendation letters for Abel.

I'll be waiting for my 50 million dollar bonus in the meantime.