Teachers in the US have been campaigning for wage increases for years. In 2019, data from the OECD indicated that the average starting salary for a teacher in the United States is just $39,000 — a salary well below the subsistence level in any single state.
In contrast, “a high school teacher with no experience in Luxembourg” can expect a starting salary of around $70,000, according to the insider.
Because of these low salaries, many American teachers take on second or third jobs. In fact, a 2021 Teacher Salary Project survey found that “82% of respondents currently or previously held multiple jobs to make ends meet as teachers.”
Several teachers have gone viral after sharing their stories of taking on extra work. One user claimed she could make more money as a barista than as a teacher; Another stated that he still can’t afford the rent with his teacher and server salary.
Now another user’s video has gone viral after sharing her experiences as a teacher and Domino staffer.
@alexislongcrier Teachers don’t just earn a living wage – they deserve a thriving wage! #teacher #teachersoftiktok #teacherlife #teachers #highschool #middleschool #grundschool #teach #teachertok #teaching #teachertiktok #teachersontiktok #teacherproblems #tiktok #tiktokviral #viral #fyp #foryourpage #foryou #student #students #pay #broke #money #school #Great ♬ Original sound – AlexisLongcrier
In a video with over 1.4 million views (as of Saturday), TikTok user Alex (@alexislongcrier) describes her not-so-unique situation.
“I’m a full-time teacher and it’s 8pm here and I deliver pizzas,” she says. “I’m doing this because I can’t survive on my teaching salary.”
“Everyone talks about all the reasons teachers want to leave, but what about all the teachers who want to stay but literally can’t afford it?” she asks.
In the comments, many users shared similar stories.
“Taught for 13 years. Left [because] I was tired of coaching and opening doors just to keep my head above water,” wrote one commenter.
“I have a masters and do extra chores, work part time, sell my plsma,” wrote another. “We need a viable wage.”
“I feel good – I work part-time for the same reason,” claimed a third.
Others expressed their opinion that teachers’ salaries should be increased.
“What?! Teachers should be paid as much as doctors, they are the future of our kids, they do so much,” said one commenter.
“Nobody talks about teachers working overtime at home without getting paid,” noted a second.
As Alex put it in the caption, “Teachers don’t just earn a living wage — they deserve a thriving wage!”
We reached Alex via TikTok comment.
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*Initial publication: February 25, 2023 at 12:50 p.m. CST
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/teacher-delivers-dominos-pizza/ The teacher delivers Domino’s Pizza and says the teacher’s salary is not enough