- Educators are working at restaurants, movie theatres and in freelance positions to make extra money.
- Their busy schedules leave hardly any time for themselves.
- Here INSIDER shares some of the teachers’ every day schedules.
INSIDER spoke to teachers across the United States who are working second jobs to make ends meet.
One works as a projectionist at a local movie theatre, another waitresses, and several have taken on stipend positions through their schools to make extra money.
Some have children to feed and all of them have school lessons to plan, leaving hardly enough time to take breaks for themselves.
According to EdWeek, one in five public school teachers are working second jobs during the school year.
Half of the teachers with second jobs are working in non-education fields, while 5% have taken on tutoring and second teaching jobs.
The second jobs are bringing in an average of $US5,100 for teachers – but they’re also taking away time they could focus on their classrooms, students, and personal lives.
Several teachers shared their daily schedules with INSIDER, revealing that many are working 12-hour or longer days as well as weekend shifts to make ends meet.
The Oklahoma teacher with no days off
Rachel Brown, an 11th-year English teacher in Yukon, Oklahoma often works 13-hour days, and doesn’t have a day off on the weekends.
When she’s not teaching her students, grading, or making lesson plans, she’s working at a nutrition club helping clients make diet plans and work toward building better health and wellness.
On weekdays, she gets to school at 8 a.m. to call parents, attend meetings, and grade before her classes start.
School ends at 3:45 p.m., but Brown usually doesn’t leave until about 5 p.m. after doing some lesson planning and grading.
Then she goes to her nutrition club, where she meets with clients between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. before heading home for the night.
And on weekends, she doesn’t get a day off. Saturdays she works at the nutrition club from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sundays she’s there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Maine teacher who puts his children first
Keith Levesque, an 11th grade US history teacher in Lewiston, Maine, where he’s in his 17th year of teaching, said having kids changed his schedule immensely.
Levesque, who has twin one-and-a-half-year-old daughters, works a number of stipend positions through his school and teachers union, and is a projectionist at a local movie theatre, where he works one shift a week.
His days start off by dropping his daughters at daycare before heading to school.
When he’s not teaching, he’s doing work for his stipend positions, including acting as secretary for his teachers union and working as a teacher facilitator for his school’s evaluation program, where he answers questions and helps with evaluations.
After school, he still has to grade and lesson plan – and also care for his daughters.
“It used to be easier before I had the girls,” he said. “If I wanted to stay here until 10 or 11 at night, I would stay at school and just get the grading done that I needed to get done, but now I have pick the girls up, and get them fed, get them to bed, then it’s time to cook supper, and then come 8:30 or 9, I need some grading done.”
The Colorado educator who works 20 extra hours a week
Rhiannon Wenning is in her 18th year working as an educator in Colorado schools.
She recently stepped out of the classroom and is working as a community schools site coordinator for Jefferson County Schools, which now holds classes not only for children but parents and the greater community.
When she’s working at the school, she tutors, coaches cheerleading and is a board member of her local teacher’s association.
She gets to school every morning at 7:30 a.m., and once school’s done at 3.40 p.m., she tutors for half an hour before coaching cheerleaders through practices or games.
“I’m also very active in my teachers association, so I have my meetings and activities for my union, and there are are times I won’t get home until 8:30 almost 9 p.m.,” she told INSIDER. “Then I get up and come back to work the next day at 7:30.”
The Arkansas teacher who waitresses – and runs Airbnbs
Jesi Barnes is in her sixth year teaching project-based learning courses called EAST, which stands for education accelerated by service and technology. She currently works with middle schools in the Little Rock School District.
When she’s not teaching, Barnes manages Airbnb rentals with her husband, and she works at a restaurant twice a week – one weekday and one weekend brunch.
She wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning to go to the gym before school, which runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. She starts her waitressing job at 4:15, and is there until about 9:30.
She and her husband also run AirBnbs rentals in their own house and a another property nearby their own home.
“I work on Tuesday evenings and then I work brunch on Sunday,” she said. “I will not work on Saturdays. I have to have one day where I don’t have to work. Although with the Airbnb’s that isn’t always the case. You never know when that works out.”
The Michigan teacher who had to give up her cashier job to focus on grad school
Dairrai Doliber is a 7th grade social studies teacher, working at at a middle school in metro-Detroit
When she’s not at school, she is tutoring and working toward her masters degree in education. She also picks up stipend jobs at her school, like substitute teaching on her prep hours, and recently quit her job at a local Dressbarn
“I was working seven days a week with no break and it was getting kind of a bit difficult to manage, so I had to make a decision,” she told INSIDER.
Now she gets to school around 7:30 each morning, and doesn’t leave until 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m., and often spends about 15 to 20 hours a week lesson planning and grading.
Twice a week she leaves earlier to get to her graduate school class at 5 p.m. – those days she doesn’t get home until about 10 p.m.
Doliber said she fears most people don’t understand the responsibility teachers feel for their students’ success, and how difficult it can be to manage when they’re also working second jobs and working toward their own degrees.
She said that teachers are the “foundation for all other professions,” and many dedicate extra time and their own money to help their students succeed, even if that’s not seen by everyone.
“I feel like sometimes the teacher is portrayed as there’s a disconnect that we might not so much care about our students but we really do,” she said. “We care about who they are and how they’re doing.”
For more on the state of America’s teachers, click here.
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