1. There are currently more than 7.2 million teachers in the U.S., about 3.8 million teaching at elementary, middle, or high schools and the rest at kindergartens, post secondary and special education institutions of learning. Only about 12% of these teachers work at private schools.
2. There are approximately 116,240 K–12 schools in the United States; 85,530 of which are public; 4,480 public charter; and 26,230 private.
3. Pre-K-12 teachers make up the biggest occupational group in the United States according to the Census Bureau.
4. How do we feel about teachers? Surveys reveal that teachers are the second-highest rated occupation that contributes most to society in the United States. The first was military personnel.
5. Accounting for all the time teachers are on the job during school hours, extracurricular activities, or events, meetings, and planning on school grounds, data reveals that teachers work an average of 10 hours and 40 minutes per day or 53 hours per week.
6. How is a teacher’s time spent every day?
Teachers spend an average of just about 5 hours on instruction and teaching.
36 minutes on student supervision and discipline
45 minutes planning, preparing, or collaborating with colleagues
36 minutes grading papers and documenting student work.
15 minutes giving feedback and communicating with parents via email, phone, or face-to-face meetings.
Add that up and the only respite the average teacher has for lunch, personal time, and breaks is 23 minutes a day!
7. There are some very vital activities that still aren’t written into teacher’s contracts and the time they spend every day. Those include time spent at home or after hours planning lessons or grading student work. It’s estimated that teachers spend anywhere from one hour per evening to up to a dozen hours on busy weekends that aren’t part of their contracts.
8. We can all agree that teaching is no cakewalk, but did you know that it’s rated as one of the highest-stress of all jobs in the U.S.? In fact, studies have found that the stress levels for teachers are as high as air-traffic controllers, firefighters, pilots, or other high-stress vocations.
9. Teachers are faced with more challenges and students with serious social problems than ever before, like behavioral problems, students living in poverty, children coming to school hungry, and students who don’t speak English as a first language.
10. Something the public may not realize is that there’s a high attrition rate for teachers. In fact, 33% of teachers leave the profession within the first three years of starting their careers, and 46% walk away within the first five years, and those numbers are on the rise.
11. The average salary for public school teachers is approximately $56,643. When adjusted for inflation, that means our average teacher salaries are now are only 1% higher than 20 years earlier, in 1990-91.
12. Compared with other professions that require the same levels of education and expertise, teachers earn 14% less income.
13. In 32 regions of the United States, teachers don’t make enough income to own the average priced home.
14. More than 20% of public school teachers have a second or side job outside of the education profession.
15. The top five high-paying states for public school teachers are:
New York ($75, 279), Massachusetts ($73,129), District of Columbia, Connecticut ($69,766), and California ($69,324).
16. The bottom five states that paid public teachers are:
South Dakota ($39,580), Mississippi ($41,994), Oklahoma ($44,128), North Carolina ($45,947), and West Virginia ($46,405).
17. Only 42% of public school teachers and 29% of private school teachers are compensated for extracurricular activities like coaching sports, teams, and clubs.
18. An estimated 92.4% of teachers spend their own money out-of-pocket on their students, materials, or classrooms.
19. Is the perception that class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios are getting bigger actually true? Since 1950, there has been only a 96% increase in students but a whopping 252% increase in teachers on staff.
20. The average class size is now around 21.2 students for public elementary schools and 26.8 students for public secondary schools but in fact, student-to-teacher ratios fluctuate depending on the times and decades. From 1970 to 1985, the student/teacher ratio declined from 22.3 to 17.9. It rose to 17.2 by 1989, but then declined back to 17.3 by 1995 and even further to 15.4 as of 2009.
21. Teaching is a profession dominated by females. In fact, the number of men entering the teaching profession has grown by 26%, but almost 8 out of 10 teachers in the U.S. are still women.
22. Who is the average public school teacher? Like we said, almost 80% of public school teachers are female so it is a ‘she’. 44% of public schools teachers are under 40, the biggest age bracket, and 56% have a master’s degree or higher. They typically work until 59 years old before retiring.
23. Almost 90% of teachers surveyed say that they want tenure to be an accurate reflection of teacher effectiveness, and 92% believe that tenure shouldn’t protect an ineffective teacher.
24. Teachers are also very receptive to frequent and objective evaluations of their performance. 94% of teachers surveyed want annual formalized self-evaluations, 81% want annual peer reviews of their teaching, and 8-% want evaluations from parents and students.
25. Do teachers do it for the money? In a study that asked teachers to rank the reasons they joined the profession, ‘money’ ranked only 11 out of 15, near the bottom.