Amy, I feel that it may be time for a career change for you. I don't think that anyone entered the teaching profession expecting to become rich out of it. Pay definitely increases with higher degrees, experience, certifications, etc. The starting salary for my district in Orange County, CA is at least 48k. I've seen another in OC where the starting is 60k and as time increases so does your pay. OP-I agree with the others who say that subbing or volunteering is the way to go. Subbing is rough but it gives you a ton of experience. You won't know if teaching is for you unless you try it out!