Do Teachers Really Get Summer Break?

Teachers across the Upstate say they're working two and three jobs just to make ends meet.
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 5:01 PM EDT
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PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - School is out for the summer, but for some, they’re trading in summer break for more work.

Pickens County teacher, Lindsey McAlister has been a teacher for six years. She loves teaching and is passionate about her job. McAlister said, from a young age she knew she wanted to be a teacher.

McAlister said, now unfortunately a teacher’s salary alone isn’t enough to be sustainable and make ends meet.

“ I have referred basketball for the local recreation department, I and have worked at summer reading camps,” said McAlister. “This summer I am working two jobs. I’m working here at Laughton and Company, and I am also doing research in the Engineering department at Clemson.”

She tells FOX Carolina, that working two and three jobs over summer and even winter breaks is normal. And other teachers are in the same boat.

“I have a lot of friends that tutor on the sides or they have a side hustle making things for teachers pay teachers or they’re babysitting or doing something very similar to what I’m doing here.”

Teachers starting out in Pickens County make about $40,000 a year. That number increases according to your education level and years of experience. McAlister said she’s contemplating going back to school for administration just to make more money.

“It’s heartbreaking you know nationally and as a state we are seeing teachers leaving in droves,” she said. If we don’t do something about this issue of paying teachers a little bit more, making them feel more valued as a professional or even respected as a professional because were going to have a huge issue later on because even colleges aren’t producing educators to fill these positions.”

McAlister said knowing what she knows now about teacher salaries, if she had to do it again, she might not be a teacher because of how little the pay is.