A majority of those who watched the video were horrified at the idea that teachers have to work a second job.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 11, 2022. It has since been updated.
A video shared on TikTok has sparked discussions about how underpaid teachers in America are. Posted by a TikTok user named Jenna—who goes by @miss_hall_ on the platform—the short clip has been viewed more than 242,000 times in just three days. "2nd Grade Teacher by day, Barista by night," the text overlay on the video reads, showing Jenna going through what looks like an average work shift. She is seen doing everything from taking orders to making drinks to doing dishes and mopping up the floors in the sped-up video.
"Come with me on a shift to my second job. I usually work closing shifts a lot at Starbucks and this is how it goes," Jenna says in the video. "We do some dishes, we make some refreshers, we take some orders and we make drinks. The best part about working at Starbucks is free food and this is me on my break. We prep some teas, we make some drinks—there was a ridiculous drink today, like six shots with a bunch of random syrups that didn't even make sense together and finished off with a bunch of heavy creams. I don't get it. We're going to prep some green teas..."
No teacher anywhere should have to work a second job. Teachers are professionals who have earned college degrees. They are professionals. https://t.co/Q00gU8xDqU— JKellyMcHale (@jkmchale) March 7, 2022
"We're going to count some tips, No, I don't know how much money we got in tips. That's divided amongst everyone based off of how many hours you work," she revealed. "We're going to clean the case, we're mopping everything, making it look shiny. The best part is bringing home the treats at the end of the night, anything we can't sell, I get to take home." Jenna revealed in another text overlay that her students also reap the benefits of her second job. "I save the cake pops to use as class rewards," she revealed.
While Jenna didn't appear to show any shame or resentment at having to work a second job, a majority of those who watched the video were horrified at the idea teachers have to work a second job. "Dude this is freaking crazy!!! Because teaching consists of primarily women, our labor is undervalued and we are underpaid," commented Amanda Sanchez. "This breaks my heart. teachers should be paid a living wage. It’s insane," wrote Karina Aleman. "There is something very very wrong in America if teachers need a second job," commented @carla.whatup.
If majority of teachers were men would teachers still be grossly underpaid??— AHUS (@AmericaHatesUs) March 6, 2022
Meanwhile, another TikTok user who also claimed to work in the education sector, wrote that they were also considering taking up a second job. "I’m a counselor and I am definitely considering working part-time night shifts at sbux again," they wrote. "How do you stand up? Seriously. After 9-12000 steps during school, I just couldn’t do a second job," commented yet another TikTok user. "This breaks my heart! Teachers should be resting after a full day of work," reads another comment. "7th-grade math teacher during the day, barista by night!" one TikToker chimed in. "I'm a preschool teacher and a restaurant server," another commenter shared. "So nice to see someone going through the same thing."
Teachers are horrifically underpaid in the United States. Instead of increasing education budgets, politicians increase military spending. It's time we elect progressive to DC to help teachers earn the salaries they deserve pic.twitter.com/7wpOEV7KqY— Forward Thinking Democracy (@FTDemocracy) July 12, 2019
As evidenced by Jenna's video and many of the responses to it, teachers having to work two or more jobs is not an uncommon sight across America. According to statistics from the National Education Association, "about 20 percent of teachers hold second jobs during the school year, accounting for roughly 9 percent of their annual income." Additionally, the NEA also notes that "according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers are about three times as likely as other U.S. workers" to have a second job.