Teachers already have it bad enough. Wages have stagnated, so teachers now earn less on average than they did 30 years ago. Many have to work additional jobs to support their meager salary, and they’re still expected to pay for school supplies out of a shallow pocket. They are truly not fairly compensated for the work they do, and society does little to thank them.
According to a Time magazine article titled, “’I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America,” 52-year-old teacher Hope Brown sells her blood twice a week in order to make ends meet. And Hope is a well-educated teacher with a masters degree in Education!
According to this same article, “in 1994, public-school teachers in the U.S. earned 1.8% less per week than comparable workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-leaning think tank. By last year, they made 18.7% less.”
So, teachers now make on average almost 20% less than comparable workers in the work-place, a growing downward trend.
Hope and my airport teacher friend are not the only struggling teachers of course. Meet teacher Rosa Jimenez who is quoted in the same article saying, “’My child and I share a bed in a small apartment, I spend $1,000 on supplies and I’ve been laid off three times due to budget cuts.’ I’m a teacher in America.”
Or, meet NaShonda Cooke who teaches at the Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School, where she teaches in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“I have 20 years of experience, but I can’t afford to fix my car, see a doctor for headaches or save for my child’s future.’ I’m a teacher in America.”
Those are just a few teachers. In another article by “The Guardian,” titled, “How I survive: American teachers and their second jobs – a photo essay,” it shows eight more struggling teachers and what they do to survive. They all work second jobs so that they can do what they love – teach.
Then there’s the article in “Education Week.” The title is, “To Make Ends Meet, 1 in 5 Teachers Have Second Jobs.” The title says it all.
Despite all their financial struggles, teachers still work tirelessly to educate and raise our children.
The more educated I became about the plight of teachers everywhere, the more I wanted to help and the more I wished there was something I could do to alleviate their dreadful financial problems…