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Teachers in the US are feeling the pressure to take on a second job

Why are teachers feeling the pressure to take a second job? Source: Shutterstock

A teacher’s day doesn’t stop at the ring of the bell.

To some parents, it appears that a teacher’s schedule is coherent to that of their students.

In reality, a teacher’s job is jam-packed with homework marking, lesson planning and waking at the early hours to get the classroom organised, frequently leaving late after preparing for the next day.

Having to balance so many tasks, alongside personal life pressures and professional expectations is not an easy role for anyone to pursue. Therefore, when the Pew Research Center (PRC) revealed that around one-in-six US teachers work second jobs, it made many question the reasoning behind the extra workload.

For thousands of teachers across the world, a school summer break is long-awaited.

Many educators plan to travel, while others prefer to take it easy at home, spending time with friends and family.

It’s a well-deserved break for all, but a substantial chunk of teachers in the US are opting to take on a second job throughout these months instead.

Displayed in the charts above, the Pew Research Center continues to highlight the evidence that teachers are still working hard at second jobs during summer.

“Among all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the US, 16% worked non-school summer jobs in the break before the 2015-16 school year. Notably, about the same share of teachers (18%) had second jobs during the 2015-16 school year, too, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES),” PRC notes.

Highlighting that teachers are also pursuing second jobs throughout the school year, it makes many question the motive behind the added workload.

Last month, it was reported by USA Today that many teachers in the US struggled to pay their rent.

Throughout their research report, USA Today examined salaries and housing costs for teachers all over the country and discovered that “New teachers can’t afford the median rent almost anywhere in the US – a point often made during recent teacher strikes across the country.”

Struggling to balance their teaching salaries with financial burdens such as mortgage costs and daily expenses, some teachers have no choice but to pick up another job on weekends and summer breaks.

Focused on the pressures that American teachers face, the report also features the opinion of Karla Hernandez-Mats, President of the Union for Teachers in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

“A lot of people who have a passion for education cannot make it as a career…we have teachers as Uber drivers, Lyft drivers. They certainly love teaching, but they can’t pay their bills with love,” she notes.

And as a passion for teaching doesn’t pay the bills, it’s easy to see why many teachers in the US are facing pressure to acquire a second job.

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