Why not pay teachers $100,000 a year?

Adam DiPerna always had to hold it in.

As a Spanish teacher at Gerald G. Huesken Middle School in Lancaster, Pa., he’d arrive in his classroom at 7:10 a.m. each day and cannonball into a morning that left no time for a bathroom break. He’d teach back-to-back-to-back-to-back classes until his lunch period, 27 minutes during which he also had to heat and eat the food he’d brought from home, email parents about problems and absences, and field questions from students. After school, he coached wrestling, advised the student council and chaired the GHMS world language department. Work, from grading papers to preparing lessons, spilled into the evenings and weekends he wanted to spend with his wife and three kids.

For his efforts, DiPerna — with a Bucknell University diploma and a master’s degree in education — earned less than any college graduate he knew. So, last year, after a decade and a half in the classroom, he quit teaching to take a job as a sales representative at a large packaging company, trading a life of conjugated verbs for a new life of corrugated cardboard. “I wanted to be a public servant,” DiPerna, 42, told me. “I did not get into teaching to make a lot of money. But I also didn’t get into it to barely scrape by.”

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100 US dollar banknote by Jp Valery is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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