This Teacher Appreciation Week, Give Teachers Something They Really Want

May 9, 2023

A year ago, I went out to dinner with colleagues to a cute outdoor restaurant in downtown Manhattan. The waitress came over to get our order, and we struck up a conversation. It wasn’t a few minutes later that she told us she was moonlighting at the restaurant. Her day job: NYC Public School teacher. She couldn’t earn enough to support her family, so she waitressed when she could. Including on school nights. She was tired, and she had no choice.

She wasn’t alone. More than half of all American teachers work outside of their full-time teaching job, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, with 17% working outside education, including driving Uber, gardening, retail, and, yes, waitressing.

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