LOST TEACHERS. A University of Pennsylvania study found that 33% of teachers leave within the first three years of beginning their careers and 46% leave within the first five. The numbers have been increasing since the late 1980s.
WORKING FOR FREE. A teacher’s contract day does not include time spent at home planning lessons or grading student work. Work at home can range from one hour in the evening planning the next day’s lesson or 16 hours on the weekend grading dozens of essays.
SERVING SOCIETY. In the United States, surveys reveal that teachers are second only to military personal as the occupation that contributes most to society’s well-being.
HIGH STRESS. Researchers note a teacher should be compared to those of other high stress jobs, such as air-traffic controllers, firefighters, or pilots.
MAKING LESS. Teachers make 14% less than people in other professions that require similar levels of education.
STAFFING. Minority teachers are 2–3 times more likely than white teachers to work in hard-to-staff public schools, such as those that serve high-poverty, high-minority, and urban communities.
TURNOVER TROUBLE. Teachers have an equal turnover rate to police officers and less than child care workers, secretaries, and paralegals. Teaching has a higher turnover rate than nursing and a far higher turnover than “traditionally respected professions” such as law, engineering, architecture, and academia.
WELL-AGED. The modal age of retirement for teachers is about 59 years old.
SIDE GIGS. At least 20% of public-school teachers report having second jobs outside of the field of education.
TEACHER KNOWS BEST. Teachers note that kids dish on their parents’ secrets all the time, including money problems, religion, politics, and even their dad’s vasectomy.