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America’s Typical Teacher

We all have teachers to thank for our successes in life. They helped us build the foundation of

knowledge necessary for our professional and personal lives. Let’s take a look at the average teacher in

the United States and the undoubtedly difficult conditions they often face in their profession.

The Typical Teacher …

… is 42.5 years old. (1)

… is female. (1)

Female teachers: 76%

Male teachers: 24%

… has a master’s degree. (1)

56% of teachers have a master’s degree or higher.

… has 21-27 students in each class. (2)

Primary school classroom size: 21 students

Secondary school classroom size: 27 students

… makes $43,734 for teaching at elementary school. (3)

… makes $46,020 for teaching at middle school. (3)

… makes $48,012 for teaching at high school. (3)

… is underpaid. (4)

61% of American adults think teachers are underpaid.

77% think teachers are one of the most under-appreciated professionals.

76% think that people avoid going into teaching because it doesn’t pay enough.

99.5% of teachers spend their own money on their students or classrooms.

… is close to retirement. (4)

1.8 million teachers will become eligible for retirement in the next 10 years.

… sees many of their co-workers leave. (4)

46% of public school teachers leave their jobs within five years.

High turnover in the teaching profession costs the U.S. over $7 billion annually.

… faces low achievement numbers from students. (5)

Only 40% of fourth-grade students are proficient in math, while just 36% are proficient in reading.

These numbers become even lower in eighth grade, at 33% in math and 34% in reading.

Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranks:

27th in math

17th in reading

20th in science

… faces decreasing school budgets. (6)

56% of teachers report that their school budget has decreased in the past year.

… thinks that parents can do more to help their children succeed in school. (6)

1/3 of teachers think that parents take too little interest in their children’s education.

1/3 of teachers also think parents do little to motivate their children.

… is not being given enough time to work with other teachers. (6)

65% of teachers say that their time to collaborate with other teachers is decreasing.

63% of teachers say that their opportunities for professional development have decreased or stayed

the same in the past year.