Public School Teacher Breaks Down Her Monthly Paycheck & Expenses — Showing The Bleak Reality Of Being An Educator

For the amount of work and passion that teachers put into their professions, it's saddening that they aren't paid fairly.

public school teacher showing expenses @fouronacouch / TikTok

A public school teacher shared how much she makes in a month, and how much of that money quickly depletes after paying for her necessities.

In a video, TikTok user @fouronacouch sparked a conversation about the grim truth that many educators in the United States aren't making a sustainable income.

She broke down her monthly teaching paycheck and the minuscule amount she's left with after paying her expenses.

In her video, she shared with viewers the amount of money that she is paid monthly while working as a public school teacher, which is a major point of conversation when speaking about how little educators in this country make for the amount of work they do.




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She attempted to make the subject humorous, by dancing around her empty classroom as she used overlay text to explain how much she makes, and from that paycheck, how much she ends up having once all of her expenses and basic necessities are paid for.


Every month, she is paid an estimated $2,500 from her teaching job. From that amount, she has to pay her rent, which is $1,300, as well as the rent at her old apartment, which is $875. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there.

Finally, she has her college loan repayment expense, which is $300. In total, after paying off all of these things, she's left with a disappointing $25 to get her through the rest of the month. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that in this economy, $25 could barely pay for a meal nowadays.

"I wanna cry this month," she admitted in the caption of her video, speaking for the slew of teachers across the country who definitely feel the exact same way when they get their own paychecks

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In the United States, many teachers' salaries are extremely low, despite how much hard work and time they put into their profession.

While teaching salaries can vary depending on the state, school district, and individual schools, it's a universal fact that many public school educators barely make enough.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average public teacher salary in 2021 was $65,090, which was lower than the 2021 average pay of all full-time, year-round workers: $75,203. On top of that, per the New York Times, over 90% of teachers spend their own money on school supplies and other items their students need to succeed.

Before the pandemic, educators on average spent around $500 of their own money on classroom supplies over the year.

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The staggering amount of money that teachers make and how much of their own expenses they use to fund their classrooms and the various supplies needed is a laughable disappointment, especially since teaching doesn't just end when the school year is over.

Teachers often spend significant amounts of time outside of class preparing lessons, grading assignments, attending meetings, and engaging with parents and students. During the summer months and other breaks throughout the year, they are often still working and finalizing their lesson plans. Teachers even have to come back into the school building early to prep for a new year as well.

While this teacher's video isn't a new phenomenon for many educators, it serves as a poignant reminder of the heavy commitment that these teachers undergo despite the lack of pay. With how little they make, teachers still put their all into their work, which is more than admirable.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.