teacher explains why she quit her job in viral tiktok

M Alyssa Aponte/TikTok

‘I simply can’t survive like this’: Teacher quits over unlivable pay, documents students’ reaction in viral TikTok

'We need to value what teachers do for us.'


Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz


Posted on Dec 19, 2021   Updated on Dec 21, 2021, 10:04 am CST

A teacher explains to her students that she’s quitting her job in a viral TikTok, prompting demands for increased pay for teachers.

M Alyssa Aponte (@mividamahalia) posted a video of her telling her eighth grade students that she won’t be returning after Christmas break. Her TikTok has since reached over 477,000 views.

The students sounded upset by Aponte’s announcement. Many of them shouted out after she broke the news.

“F*ck is up with teachers leaving, bro?” one student says in the video.

“I am not leaving because of you guys,” Aponte says after.


we have to value ourselves and demand that our districts pay us a liveable wage.

♬ original sound – Mahalia🌻

In a follow-up video, Aponte explains that she was taking home about $2200 every month after taxes. Her monthly rent is $1800, she said in a comment.

“I simply can’t survive like this and they don’t care,” Aponte said in a comment.

Aponte also explains that she wasn’t asking her district for a higher salary. Instead, she had asked for an adjusted pay schedule—from a 12 month distribution to a 9 month division—to increase her monthly pay while maintaining the same salary. She says she previously had this option at her former school districts.

Aponte says her district did not inform her of the pay schedule after being hired. She had a difficult time verifying her pay with officials. 

“I didn’t realize what was happening as far as payroll goes, so when I first got paid, I was like, ‘Where’s the rest of my check?’” Aponte says. “And they’re like, ‘That is your check. You agreed to that.’ No the hell I didn’t.”

Commenters were overwhelmingly supportive of Aponte. Many called for increased pay for teachers.

“We need to value what teachers do for us,” one commenter said. “Teachers need to be paid accordingly. They are loving, caring, and educating our kids.”

“School districts would rather keep bad teachers than pay enough money to good teachers,” another commenter said.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Aponte for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 19, 2021, 11:45 am CST