18% of U.S teachers work a second job, survey finds
Oklahoma City – Hundreds of thousands of American schoolteachers work second jobs to boost their income. They speak of missing time with family, struggles to complete lesson plans and nagging doubts over whether it’s worth the sacrifices to stay in their profession.
Nationwide, 18 percent of teachers work jobs outside school, supplementing the average full-time teacher salary of $55,100 by an average of $5,100, according to the latest survey from the U.S. Education Department, from the 2015-2016 school year. That is up slightly from 16 percent in 20112012.
Teachers have the flexibility to do other work in the summer when school is out. But their numbers help explain the outrage behind the teacher revolts in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The Associated Press asked moonlighting teachers to describe how they balance the extra hours with their day jobs and family responsibilities:
After a day of instructing firstgraders at Oologah-Talala Public Schools in Oklahoma, Melinda Dale puts on a janitor’s uniform and begins cleaning the very same school building.
Dale, who has taught for six years, earns $32,000 a year as a teacher. She spends about 15 hours a week on the janitorial work, which at $10 an hour allows her to earn nearly a quarter of what she makes teaching.
She is trying to save money for college for the oldest of her three children, a high school senior.
Her second job forces her to do lesson plans on the weekend, usually on Sundays after church and lunch with her family.
One day, her seventh-grade daughter was waiting in the car for her mother and said: “I’m sorry it’s come to this, mom.”
“It was a very heartwarming but sad moment to hear her say those words,” Dale said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to be in the career that I’m in, but also provide for them.”
As Lyft driver Stefanie Lowe, 28, crisscrosses the metro Phoenix area in her Jeep, many of her passengers are surprised to learn that she is also a full-time teacher.
She earns just under $37,000 as a first-grade teacher at Tuscano Elementary School. She rents a room, instead of having her own apartment, to keep her housing costs down, but to make ends meet she drives for Lyft on nights and weekends and also picks up tutoring jobs.
By 7 a.m. the next school day, she’s back at her classroom. With 32 students, the class demands her full attention. But Lowe is committed to improving her students’ lives.
“These kids are going to be taking care of you when you’re older,” she said. “Let’s educate them; let’s make them the best people that they can be.”
Despite more than three decades of teaching experience, Christi Phillips keeps up her longtime second career as a children’s photographer. She enjoys working both jobs, but she feels like she doesn’t really have a choice.
“Thirty-two years, I have to have a second job,” said Phillips, who teaches first grade at George Ward Elementary School in Mill Creek, West Virginia. “That’s very sad. Everybody I know has two or three.”
Phillips makes $52,000 teaching. That’s enough, she says, for her utilities and a car payment. The money from the second job is needed if she and her husband want to eat out at a nice restaurant, buy a second a vehicle or take a vacation.
“If I want to live, if I want to do any real living, I can’t do it on my salary,” Phillips said.
Djukanovic sweeps Montenegro vote
Podgorica, Montenegro – Montenegro’s ruling party leader Milo Djukanovic swept a presidential election on Sunday, preliminary results showed, and he pledged to keep the small Balkan country firmly on a European path after it joined NATO last year in defiance of Russia.
Djukanovic won 54 percent of the ballots, securing a victory in the first round and avoiding a runoff, according to results released by the independent Center for Monitoring and Research. His main opponent, Mladen Bojanic, won 33 percent.
Sunday’s vote, the first since Montenegro joined the Western military alliance in December, was seen as a test for Djukanovic, who favors European integration over closer ties to traditional ally Moscow.
Oolagah, Okla., teachers Melinda Dale, left, Scarlett Sellmeyer and Sierra Ryan protest at their state Capitol.
Milo Djukanovic, left, drinks champagne during a celebration Sunday after presidential elections in Montenegro's capital Sunday.