She asked for the calculator's return, making it evident that she didn't have the money to replace it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 4, 2021. It has since been updated.
Teachers are one of the most underpaid professions in the world, especially in the United States and it was highlighted when a chemistry teacher posted a video asking those who stole her calculator to return it. The teacher, who goes by Marie on TikTok (@chemwithcorinne), pleaded for them to return her calculator as she didn't have the money to replace the calculator. She posted the video with a written message that read: "To the person who stole the calculator I've had it since high school: Please return it. Have a friend drop it off or leave it by the door. My kids need new jackets and shoes, and I can't afford to replace it. Thank you, Mrs. L."
The internet was moved by Marie's post and decided to step up to help the young teacher. Many offered to Venmo cash, send calculators, jackets for her children, and even school supplies. Marie was overwhelmed by the response online and updated that she hadn't received the calculator yet but received two beautiful jackets with the right size for her kids. She thanked them and then urged others to send calculators to their nearby schools. "Hope this video leads to a lot of calculators being donated to schools," wrote Marie. "We never have enough."
The comments were also overwhelmingly positive, in support of Marie and the kindness of strangers. "My heart is so warmed and full right now reading all these comments. Very nice of everyone able to help. There is still hope for change yet!" Another person added, "Man I haven't cried in so long but this brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad there are good people out there." She added that it was just one person and refused to blame her students as a whole. "It's been very disheartening. Most of my students (current and former) have been upset about it too. The good far outweighs the bad now. Hoping my students have a better understanding of how difficult it is to live on a teacher's salary too."
"She also highlighted how tough it was to be a parent and a teacher. "It's tough to be a teacher who is also a parent right now. We could make this work if we didn't have two young kids." When someone enquired about her qualifications, Marie said she had a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Masters in teaching. "Yet my salary isn't enough to cover daycare and our benefits. I'm literally working just for that," she added. She captioned the video: "Sad truth. Most of us can’t afford to teach unless we’re part of a two-income household."
This lockdown highlighted the roles teachers play as parents were forced to homeschool their children on account of the pandemic. Shonda Rhimes tweeted: "Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week." Erin Pelton wrote, "One hour into homeschooling and all I can say is teachers are heroes and patriots and they deserve huge raises." Nicholas Ferroni observed, "This pandemic has already revealed that schools are so much more than just schools. Many people now realize how tough it is to be a teacher and that teachers are grossly underpaid. Teachers are irreplaceable and essential to learning and education."
Observations 2.5 hours into homeschooling 4 kids— Christina Marleau (@c_marleau) March 17, 2020
-teachers need to make more than professional athletes, CEO’s, and all of Hollywood combined
-homeschooling will NOT be on our future plan after this is over
-never too early for a drink
According to USA Today, the average occupation in the U.S. that requires at least a college degree pays $92,175 a year, while a high school teacher working in a public school earns $65,930 a year, according to the government labor force data for May 2019. Lack of investment in the education sector including poor pay for teachers has seen a decline in student performance with the U.S. trails 24 other countries – Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. among them – in student performance in core subjects like mathematics, science, and reading, according to an annual study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.