Teachers struggle to make ends meet

Although having a steady job, teachers often times have to work a side job in order to survive. Indiana’s average starting salary is $35,943 while the average salary goes to $50,614 ranking number 36 nationally according to Neattoday.

On Nov. 19, a statewide rally called Red For Ed brought together Indiana educators  in front of the Statehouse to advocate for better pay and working conditions. 

Many teachers, right out of college,  are not able to survive on the first paycheck, especially if paying off student loans and other bills. 

Therefore, teachers work side jobs–sometimes for a few years–in order to live a sustainable life. 

Orchestra teacher Christina Crawford wanted to be a teacher from the beginning. But when she got her first teaching job, she was working two other side jobs to help her pay her bills.“I had a lot of student loans,” Crawford says. “I didn’t come from a family that could pay for me to go to college.” 

She wasn’t able to earn enough through scholarships, either, requiring her to work  her way through college with two and three jobs.

“As I got out of college and got my first job, I didn’t have enough money to pay rent, pay bills, live,” she says.

Crawford worked as a server at Bob Evans for three years– through student teaching and into her first year of teaching. 

Between her first and second teaching jobs, she was employed at a vintage boutique in downtown Indianapolis for five years going into her current job at Perry Meridian. 

“Just recently in the last two years I stopped doing that,” Crawford says . 

Although she no longer works side jobs, she still picks up music gigs here and there, which she has been doing since she was in high school.