This Teacher Shared Her Monthly Take-Home Pay, And It's Past Time That Teachers Are Paid A Livable Wage
The average US public school teacher makes about $56,000 a year, Salary.com reports, which comes out to about $43,856 a year after taxes. Meanwhile, those in the 25th percentile bring home around $37,000 after taxes, and the 10th percentile sees about $30,000.
Low pay is one of the leading reasons why teachers say they're leaving their jobs — often in search of higher paying roles that won't inevitably lead to burnout.
However, those outside of the education field may be disconnected from how small the paychecks can truly be, which is why many were shocked when high school English teacher Alexis Longcrier shared her monthly take-home pay on TikTok:
Replying to @will_briggs3001 my take home for an ENTIRE MONTH - since they pay us once a month in my district, like many teachers. I hope everyone is very happy with this outcome, because it has just made me extremely anxious putting this out there.
♬ original sound - AlexisLongcrier
The video, which has been viewed over 4.9 million times, begins with Alexis blocking a screenshot of her paystub while explaining that she's had reservations when it comes to sharing her salary in public spaces. "But since so many people are asking, and I feel like I am speaking up for teachers, this is my take home for an entire month."
Alexis said that in her district, teachers are paid once per month and must learn how to stretch this money out enough to last the full 30 to 31 days. "Keep in mind I also have three dependents," Alexis said. "I have to pay my mortgage, my gas, my utilities, everything like y'all do. And this is it."
Though the number is partially cut off, the total reads $2,563 and some change for the entire month. Plus, "This is after I picked up extra duties, so really it should be less than this."
In some districts, teachers can pick up extra pay throughout the month by hosting after-school activities, leading clubs, and helping out with extracurriculars. This can extend their work days into the night and often not account for further time spent grading and lesson planning.
In the comment section of Alexis's video, viewers were shocked by the number — especially when compared to the amount of work and hours teachers put in to educate their students. "This just upset me," one person wrote. "You all do so much!"
"Teachers are so underpaid and undervalued, it's criminal," another person chimed in.
Some even compared the take-home amount to how much they make in positions that don't require as much effort. "That's only $300 more than me, and I'm an 18-year-old manager at a retail store," a commenter wrote.
"To deal with those kids?" someone questioned (reflecting my thoughts exactly). "Uh uh."
BuzzFeed reached out to Alexis for comment about her experience teaching high school and the amount she's compensated for her work. She was unavailable due to her contract.
However, in a video from February of this year, Alexis can be seen wearing a Domino's Pizza uniform while sitting in her car. "I'm a full-time teacher," she says in the clip. "And here it is, 8 o'clock at night, and I'm delivering pizzas. I'm doing this because I can't survive on my teacher paycheck."
"Everyone's talking about all the reasons teachers want to leave, but what about all the teachers that want to stay but literally can't afford to?"
If you'd like to keep up with Alexis, you can follow her on TikTok.