Tulsa Teacher Works Five Extra Jobs To "Enjoy Life"
TULSA, Oklahoma - With the April 1st deadline just about a week away, teachers are hoping that lawmakers will come up with a final plan for teacher pay raises.
Many teachers say they can't afford to make ends meet on their current salary.
One teacher is taking matters into her own hands.
Rochelle Wilson is a Career Tech teacher at East Central High School.
She said she works 5 other jobs, and like many other teachers, she's still not able to get by.
"I want to be paid for the job that I do, a fair rate," Wilson said.
It's a juggling act many teachers across Oklahoma are having to do to make ends meet.
"I work extra jobs so that we can enjoy life," Wilson said.
Wilson doesn't just work as a high school teacher for East Central High, she works as a caregiver in a nursing home, along with 4 other jobs in order to help take care of her family.
"There are times where I am exhausted at the end of the night. I am up sometimes at 2 or 3 in the morning and have to get back up at 6 or 6:30 to get ready for the next job," Wilson said.
Wilson starts her days around 6:00 in the morning.
After working all day, she then grades papers and prepares for the next school day at night.
Wilson said while she doesn't teach for a paycheck, she wants to be compensated like a professional.
"I just want to be compensated for the skill set that I bring to the table," said Wilson.
She said ultimately, it's all about the students in the classroom.
"I want them to have the resources they need to be competitive in the world that we're getting ready to put them in," she said.
With a possible teacher walkout just days away, Wilson hopes something will be done.
"The needle won't move until we make a stand. You know, anytime it's been like this for this many years, clearly we have to take drastic measures," she said.
Wilson said it’s important for teachers, parents, and students to call their local legislators to push for something to be done so they don't have to walk out on April 2nd.