Ex-Teacher Says She Was Paying To Work, Could Make $8 Per Hour More As A Barista

Ashley Hunte
A former teacher who talks about how little she made in the profession.
TikTok | @emmtee23

Many people go into teaching because they want to be able to help shape the minds of students. And even though it may be a fulfilling profession, it isn't always the highest-paying gig around.

One TikToker who is a former teacher shared that she was able to find a barista job that paid her $8 more per hour than her teaching job in Arizona.

Earlier this month, the user posted her story.

MT ready to discuss how underpaid she was as a teacher.
TikTok | @emmtee23

The user, who goes by MT (@emmtee23) posted a video earlier this month. In the video, she emotionally tells the story of how she quit her teaching job because it simply didn't pay enough, especially compared to what the job demanded from her.

"Do you want to know something so sad?" she begins.

The user had only been a teacher for 2 months before quitting.
TikTok | @emmtee23

"I used to be a 5th grade teacher for literally two months of my life because I didn’t get paid [expletive]. Sorry, excuse my profanity, but I literally didn’t."

"I was pulling out of my savings in order to live."

MT was dipping into her savings to supplement her income.
TikTok | @emmtee23

"I was getting paid and then still having to pull out of my savings in order to literally make a living. Not even make a living, I was paying to work."

"But I'm in that stage of my life where I'm 23 and I'm like 'I don't need a career.'"

Though job hunting has been difficult, she managed to interview for a higher-paying barista job.
TikTok | @emmtee23

"So you know what I did? I just interviewed for a barista position ... As a barista you can be making $20-22 an hour."

She then explains that as a teacher, her starting salary worked out to $12 per hour.

"I made $12 an hour to literally work on Sundays, work on Saturdays, work after work, manage a whole classroom of literally 20 10-year-olds."

Many commenters sympathized with MT, wondering how teachers can make so little.

Hilary Duff saying, "That's not fair."
Giphy | YoungerTV

One commenter wrote, "Teachers here in Tucson don't get jack, awful. You can even see the deterioration of the system. The small towns south of Tucson do fairly well tbh."

Others were a little less sympathetic, and even blamed her for not researching the pay to begin with.

A woman turning around, shocked by the audacity of something behind her.
Giphy | Erica Nlewedim

In response to a commenter who said she should've done more research before becoming a teacher, MT said, "I knew the pay was low but unlike you, I actually wanted to bring people up and help them until I realized I was essentially paying to work."

The unfortunate reality is that teachers do a lot of work for little recognition.

Just like Squidward, teachers are "unappreciated, unloved, but worst of all... underpaid."
Giphy | SpongeBob SquarePants

In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, more and more teachers have considered leaving their profession altogether. A survey released earlier this year states that 55% of teachers have considered leaving.

As it is, though, teaching salaries tend to start higher than what MT had been paid.

Though the majority of teachers make more than $12 per hour, they're still vastly underpaid.
Unsplash | Josh Appel

Teaching starting salaries differ from state to state, but Arizona's starting salary is generally $40,554 annually. That's closer to $20 per hour, which is still less than her barista job.

And despite this, many teachers find it difficult to make ends meet.

Many teachers end up taking second jobs just to pay bills and have savings.
Unsplash | micheile dot com

A survey from 2020-2021 found that 85% of teachers work multiple jobs in order to make a living (or, they have done so in the past). As it is, only around 34% found their salaries sufficient. Needless to say, teaching really is thankless.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!