I’m a Third Grade Teacher, and I’m Quitting to Make Some Real Money Collecting Cans By the Side of the Highway

Dear Principal Babinski,

This letter is to inform you that I will be tendering my resignation as a third grade teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School.  Instead, I will be pursuing what was previously a side-hustle, collecting cans by I-496 full-time.

I have done the math, and found that, if I take a normal 8 hour day and spend it collecting cans by the side of the road, as long as I collect about 1,200 cans a day, I will actually make about 12.54 dollars an hour, which rounds out to about 26 thousand dollars a year, which is just as much money as I made educating our nation’s youths.

You might ask, “Will there be enough cans for you to collect 1,200 every day?”  Buddy, have you seen the side of  I-496?  There’s enough cans there for me to collect a hundred thousand every day.  It’s a bounty of aluminum.

 Plus, I’ll save money not having to buy any of my own supplies, as the state will actually supply you with garbage bags if you’re picking up litter.  Obviously, the state does not extend the same courtesy for erasable markers when you’re trying to teach our country’s future leaders, but that’s probably for the best.  I caught a couple of our nation’s future leaders trying to huff the marker fumes the last time I brought some in.  How does an 8-year-old know to put them in a paper bag?

But why am I quitting being a teacher?  Well, here:  Each aluminum can here in Michigan is ten cents.  None of the cans scream at me or force themselves to puke to get out of reading Because of Winn-Dixie. 

As someone collecting cans, I can choose my own hours, I’m outside in the fresh air (admittedly a little fumey, but I already wear a mask for most of my day to keep my students from getting me sick, because they are horrible little biohazards) Which job would you say is quantitatively better for my mental health?

They say teaching is a calling, but I’ve been receiving a different calling right now.  A calling to gather crushed up Fanta cans.  Do you know what else calls for me?  My student loans.  My credit card bills.  And the parents of the students, asking questions like, “Why is my child getting a D in reading and writing?”

Because he can’t read, Joan.  Let alone write.  If it weren’t for No Child Left Behind, he never would’ve made it out of kindergarten.

Also, when two guys on the prison detail working near me (nice guys) get in a fight, I can totally ignore it.  In my role as a teacher, I also doubled as a mixed martial arts referee, wading into pitched combat, trying to wrench one 8-year-old off the other before they can apply the rear naked chokehold they learned from videogames. And I don’t know what size you picture an 8-year-old- but they’re big. It’s the hormones in milk.

But I will miss educating these tiny people that will one day control our fate. Sometimes, when I collect a Pepsi or Mountain Dew can, I’ll say a few facts about Reconstruction, or go over multiplication tables with it.  And you know what that Pepsi or Mountain Dew can never does? Say “skibidi toilet” and try to film me on a newer generation of iPhone than I have.  A can of Pepsi will never try to prank you with something called the Brick Challenge (apparently, just trying to hit someone with a brick) in an attempt to emulate their favorite YouTuber, sHiTCOCKLegend.  And if that Pepsi can does try, you can crush it flat under your boot heel, something strongly prohibited in the classroom.

So, if you need to reach me, you can find me on the side of interstate I-496, or, when that one dries up, I-95.

Also, when I’m collecting cans, I’m surprisingly less worried about getting shot.  As long as I stay off Man-Man’s turf! Man-Man has terrible aim.