top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teachers aren't unhappy or underpaid


Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

Most teachers like teaching, enjoy the flexible work schedule, live comfortably and are no more likely to quit their profession than accountants or social workers, writes Chad Aldeman.


He cites Get the Facts Out, a campaign launched by the Colorado School of Mines and six national STEM societies to persuade more young people to become teachers.


Nearly half of science, technology, engineering and math majors consider becoming a K-12 teacher, an American Physical Society survey found in 2017. Many cite the low pay. But they "underestimate teacher compensation, and the salaries they report would interest them in teaching are close to actual salaries."


Americans wildly underestimate how many teachers earn, writes Aldeman. The National Education Association reports the average teacher salary was $66,745 in 2021-22, the latest data available.


"Teacher job satisfaction is high and has been remarkably stable over time, even during the pandemic and its aftermath," writes Aldeman, who analyzed the long-running General Social Survey.


According to Census Bureau data compiled by USA Facts, K-12 teachers do not have high attrition compared to other workers. They "stayed in their chosen profession at similar rates as civil engineers, social workers, postsecondary teachers and police officers."


Get the Facts Out also tells STEM majors that middle- and high-school science and math teachers get paid more than most college teaching faculty, and can find jobs anywhere in the U.S. or overseas. "Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree."

232 views4 comments

4 Comments


superdestroyer
Mar 27

Anecdotally, I have heard the discussion from plenty of STEM workers who have advanced degrees who talk about becoming teachers as a way to wind down their careers. But if one spends a minute talking to them, they talk about teaching the AP/IB classes in the best suburban schools. Those STEM-working aspiring teachers do not seem to understand that new teachers do not get those advanced classes to teach as a beginner.

Like
Heresolong
Heresolong
Mar 28
Replying to

Yup. I taught Algebra and "state test remediation" my first two years. Then I moved to a smaller district with less emphasis on seniority and fewer teachers.

Like

Heresolong
Heresolong
Mar 27

I make plenty of money ($96,000 + benefits). I enjoy my job. I get Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks. The kids are great and over the years I've learned to deal with discipline issues by talking to the kids rather than by freaking out. I teach in a district that has a fairly large number of low income and migrant students.


On the flip side:


The District (often mandated by the state) insists that I teach social emotional learning classes. I get around it by not teaching the curriculum they impose on us but by talking with my homeroom kids about some of the issues that are raised. I've built good relationships and it seems to help.


The District seems…


Like

Craig Randall
Craig Randall
Mar 26

I'd be interested in the deeper detail that a savvy research project could uncover in schools based on location, availability of support resources, effects of societal decay on a school's ability to deliver on education without the distractions of major disciplinary issues, etc.

Like
bottom of page