Public school teachers have been known to work second jobs during the summer, but now they are also more likely to continue working a second job during the school year.
According to data from a National Center for Education Statistics survey, during the 2015-2016 school year, the latest data is available for, 17.9 percent of public school teachers had a second job. That was the largest percentage reported in more than 10 years.
Tish Edmonsond teaches second grade at Destin Elementary. When she’s not in class, she’s at home with her two young children. She’s also working a second job.
“We were living paycheck to paycheck and we wanted to be able to go out and do things,” Edmonsond said about her decision to get a second job. “Plus with kids, things just get expensive.”
Edmonsond is a consultant for Rodan + Fields, which is a multi-level marketing company specializing in skin care that uses independent consultants to sell their products. This gives Edmonsond the freedom to work as much or as little as she wants.
"It’s been great because I don’t have to do anything extra so it doesn’t take anything away from our family,” Edmonsond said. “I make a couple hundred dollars a month just by selling it.”
Public school teachers are now about five times more likely than the average full-time U.S. worker to have a part-time job, based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Consultant jobs like Rodan + Fields are a popular way for teachers to earn extra income since they allow them to spend more time with their family. But there are some who also work at retail stores after school, waitress, babysit or have started their own businesses.
Emma King teaches third grade English, language arts and social studies at Destin Elementary. About a month ago, her and her family decided to buy a frozen pop company called Swell Pops.
“I’ve always wanted to have a Popsicle company, I just thought the idea was fun,” King said. “The previous owner has been a family friend for a long time and we always joked that we would buy the company when he was ready to sell.”
After teaching for eight hours at school, King spends a few hours making the frozen pops in the kitchen of the La Paz Mexican restaurant or making phone calls and doing paperwork.
“Every day, I do something after school,” King said. “I’m still working on figuring out the balance, but luckily my family does it with me so I still get to spend time with them.”
When asked if a second job was a matter of necessity or choice, both teachers said it allows them to not have to live paycheck to paycheck.
“I don’t think our pay is horrible,” Edmonsond said. “But we do spend a lot of time there and put in a lot of our own money. It’s nice to have that extra income to give you that wiggle room.”
“A lot of teachers have something else going on, to bring in some income,” King added. “All teachers need a little bit extra.”