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Teaching myths

Myth #3: Teachers are unhappy

The public perception of a teacher’s working conditions leads many to believe that teachers are dissatisfied with their choice of career. While there is great variability in a teacher’s work conditions and personal circumstances, the vast majority of teachers are satisfied with their career.

Four years of research done by the American Institute of Physics shows that high school teachers report nearly equivalent intellectual challenge and job satisfaction than their private industry counterparts. In the 2011 and 2012 surveys, high school teachers exceeded private industry employees on both of these measures.

Intellectual challenge and overall job satisfaction of physics bachelor degree earners (2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014 combined)

Contrary to popular belief, nearly 80% of grade 7-12 educators remain in teaching after 5 years (DOE Citation). Math and science teachers are also 6x more likely to report that they make a difference in the lives of others, when compared to those in private industry (PoPA Report).

Day-to-day satisfaction

When asked to list all the things that make teaching satisfying from day-to-day, over half the reasons listed related to student interactions. These included teacher’s interactions with students, between student interactions, when students light up with understanding and watching long term growth.