Sometimes teaching just isn’t enough

Sometimes+teaching+just+isnt+enough

Ava Stathakis , Managing Editor of Social Media

They teach the lessons, they help you out when you’re struggling, but what do teachers do after the final bell rings? Some stay and grade papers, some leave to go pick their kids up from school, and others go to another job.

“I have had several jobs outside of teaching in my career,” said English and History teacher Kristin Chadderdon. “I’ve worked at a few retail stores, coached volleyball, worked summers at a camp, proctored the ACT test, and scored AP exams, as well as my current Premier Designs Jewelry business.”

Chadderdon has had a job outside of teaching since she started her career, this makes balancing her personal life rather difficult. She spends more time at school with her students then she is able to spend with her own children. How does she balance it? Well, they’ve come up with a solution.

“I cannot speak for everyone, but I can say that we cannot live on a teacher’s salary alone. We are a family of four, and like most Americans, we have debt to pay off, plus constant unexpected expenses.””

— Chadderdon

“We actually sit down as a family and schedule in family time so that we are sure to have good, quality time together,” Chadderdon said. “It is sometimes a struggle, but we try hard to make it work.”

Her husband is a stay-at-home dad to take care of their two young children, making her the one and only source of income. Unfortunately, a family of four cannot live off of a single teacher’s salary, which in the state of Michigan is around $50,000 a year.

“Prior to joining Premier Designs, I used to sell tickets to our sporting events for $10 an hour; averaging about $40 for each event that I worked,” Chadderdon said. “I went to a Premier Designs Jewelry party and learned that I could make an average of $200 per event.”

Not only is Chadderdon making more money in less time working for Premier Designs, but she is also her own boss. Being her own boss means that she can block off days that she might need off, whether it is for grading or spending time with her family. Not only this, but the message she wants to help convey is amazing too.

“Since I began this business, it has become an important part of my life,” Chadderdon said. “I truly enjoy helping women feel good about themselves and learning about fashion/accessories.”

Chadderdon is not the only teacher who works outside of school. History teacher Steve Labenz works as a radio host for 98.7 WFGR. Labenz started radio when he was in high school and has stuck with it ever since.

“I started in 1981 and after school, I did an unpaid internship at a Detroit rock station at the time that was known as WABX,” Labenz said. “I came here in 1988 after a friend of mine from GR told me they needed a part-time DJ at 95.7, which was known back then as W-Light. I was supposed to go back to my hometown of Warren (NE of Detroit) and do my student teaching that September, but they offered me a full-time position at the station and I stayed.”

Labenz records on weekdays and is live on Saturdays. The only downside that Labenz admits to is the inconvenience of getting downtown and recording. Other than that, he really does love radio hosting. With Labenz having two jobs and his wife working as well, it results in a dual-income home. And, not having any children, they have fewer expenses to pay for as well. This, however, is not true for every teacher.

“I think lots of families have had to be dual-income in order to afford things that we might expect these days,” Labenz said. “I think that we need to do much more for newer teachers who have been stuck around $40K for some time. In those early years, you tend to be just starting off in a lot of things: a marriage, home ownership, paying off student loans, starting a family. And, those things cost money.”

The average teacher’s salary in the state of Michigan is around $50,000. Along with Labenz, Chadderdon spoke on the matter as well.

“I cannot speak for everyone, but I can say that we cannot live on a teacher’s salary alone,” Chadderdon said. “We are a family of four, and like most Americans, we have debt to pay off, plus constant unexpected expenses. If we were a two-income family, like most are, we would probably be fine.”

Everyone’s financial situation is different, and things become more and more expensive as the years go by. It is times like this where people will see the glass half full or half empty.

“Since I began Premier Designs, it has become an important part of my life. I truly enjoy helping women feel good about themselves and learning about fashion/accessories,” Chadderdon said. “Now that I have built up my business, I plan to continue. I really enjoy it and intend to make it my career after teaching.”