March 25, 2023

It’s fairly common knowledge that most teachers at public schools don’t make a lot of money. Teachers don’t become teachers because they have a desire to get rich. Instead, they do it for the love of teaching.

While it’s easy to say that teachers don’t make a lot of money, it gets a little more real when you see an example of a real teacher’s salary on paper. Many people were surprised just how little teachers actually make after one teacher shared her salary.

Elisabeth Milich teachers 2nd grade at Whispering Wind Academy in Arizona. In 2018, she received a raise, and the raise was so small, that she felt frustrated. She was so frustrated with the meager salary increase, that she posted a picture of her salary on Facebook along with backstory explaining, “This is my new pay after taking a few professional development classes. I actually laughed when I saw the old salary vs the new one. I mean really? I need a college degree to make this?”

The old salary was $35, 490. The new salary was $35, 621.25. That’s only an increase of $131.25 per year.

A salary of $35,000 a year is hardly a lot, but on top of that, many teachers, including Milich, are required to buy their own supplies for their classrooms. In Milich’s since deleted Facebook post, she explained, “I buy every roll of tape I use, every paper clip I use, every sharpie I grade with, every snack I feed kids who who don’t have them, every decorated bulletin board. The list could go on.” She added that although the loves being a teacher, she relies on her husband’s income in order to pay the bills. She wrote, “I’m sad for my single mom teacher friends who work 3 jobs to make ends meet.”

Milich ended her post by warning that if teachers aren’t paid a living wage, “our poor children might be taught by unqualified, burned out, and just plain bad teachers.”

Milich’s post quickly went viral being shared more than 1000 times. The majority of the comments she received were positive, but she decided to delete the post after just 5 days due to some negative comments.

She didn’t think much about the post until months later when she received a message through Facebook from a man she didn’t know. This man’s name is Ben Adam, and he lives in New York. He simply asked Milich, “Has anybody offered to buy supplies for your classroom?” When she responded, “No,” he said that he wanted to buy her school supplies for her.

Since then, Adam has personally paid for the school supplies for Milich’s classroom plus several other classrooms. In addition, he has set up a website called Classroom Giving where people can volunteer to buy school supplies for teachers by ordering from teachers’ Amazon wish lists for their classrooms.

Watch the video below to hear more about this incredible act of kindness and generosity.

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