Nick Ripatrazone writes at The Millions why people should consider teaching high school instead of as an overworked adjunct:
Graduates of MFA programs should consider teaching high school. I recognize that such advice might be rejected outright. Even adjuncts are “professors,” while secondary educators are “teachers,” and the difference in connotation might bother some. Additionally, MFA graduates will need to be certified to teach at public schools, although many states offer expedited, alternative routes toward certification. The shift from higher to secondary education will require planning. And any criticism that English teachers are not in demand as much as other teachers in other disciplines seems petty compared with the equivalent competition for adjunct positions with less pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for a high school English teacher in 2010 was $53,230. Granted, the pay is less than that of an Associate Professor, but certainly more than even the most oversubscribed adjuncts. While the shape of tenure is even changing at the secondary level, the job security is far firmer than as a traveling adjunct, and secondary educators have better health and retirement benefits. An adjunct could go from teaching composition to 35 19 year-olds for a meager salary to teaching literature or creative writing to a classroom of 25 students between 15 and 18, with far better pay, more stability, and the ancillary benefit of helping young people at a crucial time in their development. Aren’t the arts supposed to cultivate our most selfless tendencies, anyway?