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Teacher Says She Has A Second Job Outside School But Still Can’t Afford Her Rent

Photo: TikTok
Lexie Firment

A middle school teacher is opening up on TikTok about what it's like to be in the severely underpaid profession.

In a TikTok video posted to her account, Lexie Firment, a first-year teacher and recent college graduate who starts her job in the fall, opened up about her "teacher to server pipeline story."

The TikToker says that despite having a second job on top of being a teacher, she can't afford her rent.

Using text overlay on a clip of her dancing, Firment wrote, "Today two tables didn’t tip me, I have 1600 in rent due in 15 days, and I cried mid-shift today. Can't wait to play restaurant and broke teacher tomorrow again.”

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In the caption of the video, Firment gave out her Venmo username to anyone who wanted to send her money. "y’all I just can’t today. My Venmo is lexiefirment.”

Firment, who often makes videos giving out tips and tricks for other teachers, or just talking about her own experience, made a follow-up video after someone questioned why she became a teacher in the first place.

"My name is Miss F, and I literally have a passion for teaching," she began. "As a kid, I've always wanted to be a teacher. I've manifested being a teacher, I literally love it. It brings me a lot of joy, and I can honestly be myself in that job."



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Firment acknowledged that while she could make more money working an office job instead of juggling being a server and teacher, she knows that being a teacher brings her more happiness.

"So at the end of the day, I'm going to do what's best for me," she continued, before adding that she can do "a lot for education in my community" as well as "helping the systemic issue of education in America as a whole."

"Yes, I mean, I would love to make more and that'd be really awesome, but not awesome in my goals," she concluded.

Firment also revealed that she also does Instacart "at night," and encouraged it as a side hustle for other teachers who might be needing to make more money to support themselves.

She spoke about how working for Instacart isn't a huge commitment, and is a job you can do on your own time. "I love it, I'm such an introvert, so I thrive off this."

Unfortunately, Firment's position of needing a second job to be able to afford living expenses isn't uncommon.

According to Education Next, the quality of teachers shows a stronger relationship [than school facilities and curricula] to pupil achievement, yet it's the most underpaid job in the United States.

Many teachers earn less than a family living wage, up to a quarter of the workforce leaves teaching annually and about one-fifth are forced to seek a second job.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, teachers make about 20% less than other college-educated workers with similar experience.

A study conducted by the Insitute also found, most recently in 2019, that public school teachers nationally make about 19 percent less than employees in commensurate professions, or about 81 cents on the dollar. 

Teachers in America are underpaid, undervalued, and underappreciated, which will only continue to reflect badly on the poor public school education system in the country.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.