Talent Ethics


I’ve been considering some different questions regarding how a person’s talents are used and/or abused in various settings. I personally get frustrated a lot when my work overuses my talents. It’s like, when you’re the art teacher you are expected to make posters (because apparently when you’re an artist, you’re also a postermaker), manage art contests, and all that other expected stuff. But, I’ve also been pulled into set design because I have experience with that. And, now I’ve been having to emcee stuff and now do a thing for the school talent show. And, it’s those weird situations where it’s not really appropriate for you to say no because “who else would do it” or “you’re perfect for it” or “we supported you, so you support us” or whatever else the argument is.
But, I’m starting to get sick of it. It takes a lot of energy to do all that stuff. But, when I tell people no, they get this attitude with me like I owe it to them to invest another several hours in my work “for the sake of the children.” Because you should never say no when it’s for children. I look at other teachers and think they never get asked to do anything extra. So, I feel stuck a lot. Either I reveal my talents to people and get the life sucked out of me, or I tiptoe through life playing down my abilities in hopes that no one asks me to do anything. I haven’t figured out how to balance it all yet.
Do you think it would be wrong for me to ask the school to pay me extra when I emcee an event? I’m sure most teachers would say no, that it’s during the workday and blah blah. But…I’m a professionally trained actress and it takes extra time outside of the workday to organize and plan this stuff. They choose me because of my acting ability & training, not because I’m part of some rotation or whatever. I’m not compensated for the extra time I put in, other than the warm fuzzy feeling that I’m doing something great for the children. I’m not trying to sound hoochie or anything…it’s just that I have things that I do outside of my job that are also important to me.
Sorry for the vent. I’ve just been way too overworked this semester.