2nd job a necessity for many NC teachers - WFLA News Channel 8

2nd job a necessity for many NC teachers

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For special education teacher Chris Gibson, his summer session has been working as a bartender at the Blue Note Grill in Durham. For special education teacher Chris Gibson, his summer session has been working as a bartender at the Blue Note Grill in Durham.
DURHAM, N.C. -

The next time you go out, don't forget to tip your bartender or waiter, because it could be the end of their 16-hour work day.

Some teachers in the state are struggling just to make ends meet, and are forced to work multiple jobs just to keep doing the one main job they love -- teaching.

For special education teacher Chris Gibson, his summer session has been working as a bartender at the Blue Note Grill in Durham. And once school starts, Gibson will still have to continue at the restaurants out of necessity.

"If the pay increases would have gone accordingly, as far as teaching, I really wouldn't need the supplemental income," explained Gibson, who teaches in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

The McCrory administration has trumpeted its efforts to make teach pay performance-based by ending tenure and eliminating automatic pay increases for teachers who have master's degrees.

"I'm not just talking about $500 bonuses," touted Eric Guckian, Gov. Pat McCrory's education advisor, "I'm talking about meaningful raises for our teachers."

So far, the only raise Gibson has received in four years was a half percent. He is also part of the last group of teachers who will receive a bump in pay because of his master's degree.

But even with his wife working part-time, Gibson said it's still not enough.

"Our first-born son is coming in September and once he's born, I know we'll qualify for Medicaid," Gibson said.

It's thoughts like that that weigh heavily on Gibson's mind as he pulls double shifts at school and at the bar.

"You're trying to give it all to everything -- at the Blue Note, at school, at home -- but you get spread so thin, sometimes it's difficult to be as good as you need to be at all those different places," Gibson explained.

WNCN will host a special "Teacher Town Hall" Monday at the Murphey School auditorium in downtown Raleigh. The event is open to the public. You can also weigh in on our popular Facebook page and on Twitter at #WNCN.

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Sean Maroney

Sean returns home to North Carolina after spending seven years reporting around the world and across the United States. More>>

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