Goshorn was teaching at Plain Local Schools in Ohio's Stark County and still had to do other jobs to make ends meet.
A former teacher from Ohio is opening up about quitting his job to work for Walmart. Seth Goshorn gave up years of teaching experience, highlighting how poorly teachers are paid. Goshorn, 28, took to TikTok to share his personal journey. He can be seen holding up Walmart's signature blue uniform as athletes usually do on draft day. Goshorn's video went viral, garnering more than 816,000 views. "Leaving teaching after 6 years to go be a manager at Walmart and make more not using my degree," he said. Goshorn loved teaching but he realized that the pay was really poor. He joined Walmart's staff because the suprisingly higher salary would financially enable him to start his own family with his fiancée. "The compensation was a lot better than I think people are used to and what people would expect," he said, reported Good Morning America.
Goshorn also explained how you needed more degrees to move up the ladder in the teaching industry with a pay rise that didn't really match the effort and dedication the profession required, while Walmart didn't need any degree for him to move up in life. "You don't have to go and get another degree or more initials or letters in front of your name to move up," said Goshorn. The 28-year-old is now reunited with his brother, mother and fiancée, who all work at Walmart. Goshorn makes $55,000 a year before bonuses, and it eclipses what he was being paid after six years as a teacher. Goshorn was earning $43,000 a year while teaching at Plain Local Schools in Ohio's Stark County last year. He started out as a reading tutor in a lower-paying school district, before becoming a second-grade teacher in a "middle [to] upper" paying district.
Goshorn shared the video in the hope of highlighting how little teachers are paid. He also pointed out that teaching is an underappreciated profession. There is currently a national teacher shortage. "There's a misconception that we only work six or nine months out [of] a year," he said, elaborating that they often spend many extra hours planning for lessons and grading assignments. He said teachers are forced to take up second jobs to make ends meet. "Think about how good our teachers can be if they could focus on just teaching and not have to work a second job on the weekends," he said.
He explained that he himself had to take up second jobs to support the income from his teaching job. He worked as a sports coach and worked summer school sessions to supplement the income from his main job. "They chose to be a teacher because they're passionate about it. They didn't choose to have to work a second job that comes along with it, and that's the thing that I would have loved to see go away," he said, before adding that his intention wasn't to discourage others from becoming a teacher. Goshorn said he hopes to see his teacher friends paid well.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in teacher prep programs has declined by more than a third over the last decade. "It's hard to say it will be very appealing for young [students] to go into a profession that just at the beginning underpays you by about 20 percent relative to other professions," said Emma García, an education economist at the Economic Policy Institute, reported EdSurge. "That is a pretty significant cut in your paycheck, and that is a penalty that has been growing for the last couple of decades."