One of the myths that refuses to die is that teachers spend the entire summer relaxing (“ ‘It’s the Only Way.’ These teachers Are Working Summer Jobs to Make Ends Meet,” Money, Jul. 12). But teachers are 30 percent more likely to have second jobs than non-teachers. And summer is particularly when they try to make ends meet.
I realize that the cost of living varies enormously across the nation. Yet $59,660, which is the average salary earned by the 3.1 million public school teachers during the 2016-17 school year, isn’t very much. In Los Angeles, for example, housing takes a huge bit out of monthly income, with a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Santa Monica typically going for $2,800.
It’s not unusual for teachers to hold second jobs during the regular academic year, as well as during the summer. In Texas, 31 percent did so during the academic year. I remember being taken aback as a child when I saw one of my teachers working as a bartender. Today, they’re more likely to be Uber drivers.
Moonlighting for teachers is not new, but the percentage of teachers doing so is unprecedented. It’s little wonder that the best and the brightest college graduates shun teaching as a career. They may teach for a few years before moving on, but few make it a lifelong commitment.
(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)