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.