“Teachers Shouldn’t Have to Work Weekends”: Parents Spot Teacher Moonlighting as a Waitress, Give Her Unexpected Generous Tip


In the words of Bill Gates, “If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.”

In many ways, teachers are society’s unsung heroes. Entrusted with the cultivation of curious little minds and tender little hearts, we really do place our future generation in their hands in many ways.

But sadly, these selfless caretakers who work so diligently to educate our children often can’t even make enough money to make ends meet.

Special education teacher Catherine Acampora-Nielsen knows this reality all too well. The New Jersey teacher at Lakewood Middle School in Lakewood has had to take on a second job as a waitress since her meager salary isn’t enough to cover the bills.

The educator by day moonlights as a server by night at Woolley’s Seafood House Restaurant in Freehold, N.J.

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On a recent shift, Catherine received an unexpected surprise that left her heart and her pocketbook much fuller than it was when she arrived.

A couple who recognized her as a teacher at a local school left a generous $100 tip on their $70 bill along with an encouraging note that read, “Thank you for teaching our kids — teachers shouldn’t have to work weekends!”

The teacher shared a picture of the check on a private Facebook group to express her gratitude for the parents’ generosity.

To the couple that came into Woolley’s today and left this for me, I can’t thank you enough,” she wrote. “Lucky there are people out there who appreciate hard workers — hope you two enjoyed your day away from the kids.”

Howell Happenings NJ
Various people commented on Catherine’s post, confirming she’s not alone in her struggle to take on more than one gig as a teacher.

“I’m a teacher myself and I used to work three jobs at one point,” one person commented.

“So commendable,” another wrote. “Thanks for creating a conversation that illustrates how many of we teachers have had to work more than one job to support our families.”

Inspired by the kind act, The Howell Happenings NJ Group page shared the post to their page:

“We truly have amazing people who live in and around Howell and yes, our teachers are so important,” wrote Howell Happenings. “We hope this note gets back to this couple and lets them know how much of an impact they made in this person’s life and a huge thank you for making a difference.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.