The following is a submission from an educator as part of the Your Soapbox feature, which explores the experiences of educators in North Carolina through their own words. Check out more first person stories here, or if you are an educator, submit your own.
Can’t Afford to Teach
I grew up poor and worked hard to put myself through college. Because I had some great teachers, I finally decided to be a teacher myself and give back to my community.
I assumed that with a degree and teaching certifications, even National Board Certification, that I would no longer be poor.
I was wrong.
I have been teaching for 14 years and have not had a raise in six years. Yet, I work more days and am expected to attend games, sponsor a club, plan and chaperone dances, grade and plan at home while somehow managing to keep up with my own family.
Our family insurance costs over $600 per month, and the coverage is terrible. In essence, I am actually making less each year that I teach because my salary stays the same, but my insurance premiums keep going up.
Over the summer I do freelance writing so I can stay home with my girls and still earn money. I also take freelance writing jobs on the weekends and after school. It doesn’t make logical sense for me to continue to teach in North Carolina. The policymakers are destroying our entire education system and making it impossible for good teachers to stay. There is no need to look further than Raleigh to determine why North Carolina schools are having trouble keeping quality teachers. They should be ashamed of what they are doing to this state.