Q&A with Erica C. – Educator

Erica has been a teacher for five years, working in one of Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods. She is currently Co-Principal of her school’s summer program, helping her fellow teachers develop curriculum and manage their students’ learning during summer school.

How do you feel to be part of the Millennial Generation?

“I never really gave it much thought until people from other generations started bashing us. We were being called irresponsible, among other things, and I realized that I didn’t fall under those labels. I always knew what I wanted to do and accomplish.”

Why did you choose your profession—and what separates you from the crowd?

“Ever since I can remember, I wanted to teach. I remember telling my Dad one day after kindergarten—I want to do what my teacher does. I always wanted to help people and I thought teaching was a great way to do that. What separates me is that I cannot imagine leaving the classroom. Most people will take those opportunities to move up the ladder, or into administration, but I cannot see myself doing that. I feel that I accomplish the most by being in the classroom, and I think I will always just teach.”

What are some of your common habits or struggles around money?

“I would like to save more. Whenever I end up with extra money I typically spend it, I may go out to dinner more often, but I know I could be saving more. One struggle I have is to pay off my credit cards—for good!”

What are your other daily obstacles?

“Balancing my work and personal life is a big one. I tend to bring my work home with me, which means turning down times to hang out with friends, but my work is important to me. A teacher’s day does not end at 3:00pm, I always doing things after school and tweaking my lesson plans well after the school day.”

Is there a passion you are pursuing or long term goal to achieve—financial or otherwise?

“I recently changed roles at work, so my passion now is getting my kids caught up to their proper reading levels. I also push them to try and explore what more they can get out of life. Most of them have never been out of their neighborhood, so it is important for them to understand that there’s a lot available to them out there.”

“Financially, I do want to buy a house one day and pay off all my student loans. I just need to figure out exactly where I want to go and start working towards owning a home.”