Presentation for Students
Busting Myths about the Teaching Profession
Audience/setting: Undergraduate or graduate STEM discipline students
Time: 15-30 minutes
Synopsis: This resource includes workshop materials (PowerPoint slides and handouts) designed to facilitate discussion with groups of students who may or may not be interested in teaching themselves, in a variety of contexts.
Use these workshop materials in the context of a drop-in interactive presentation in a major or non-major course, a student club meeting, a professional development seminar, or a recruitment event.
Use these workshop materials in the context of a drop-in interactive presentation in a major or non-major course, a student club meeting, a professional development seminar, or a recruitment event. Similar to the Faculty Myth Busters, this interactive presentation elicits and confronts potential misperceptions about salary, retirement, and job satisfaction for teachers in comparison with private sector positions for the same majors. Short (15 minute) and long (30 minute) versions are available, and both presentations cover the facts and data presented in this toolkit.
Workshop materials include slides with questions to be used via “Peer Instruction” and informational handouts that can be shared with others (peers, parents, etc.). We have found it effective to follow these slides with information about our local teacher education program now that students have a more realistic and positive view of the profession.
Additional points and background information can be found within the downloadable PowerPoint slides in the notes section of each slide.
The materials were constructed with the intent to help students to:
- Provide realistic information about salaries with data for teachers, college faculty, and other STEM professionals.
- Generally explain other financial benefits including retirement options, scholarships, and loan
- forgiveness for teachers compared to private sector STEM jobs.
- Provide information about teacher job satisfaction including accurate teacher retention data.
Additionally, the materials were constructed with the intent to help presenters to:
- Learn more about students’ perspectives on the teaching profession, which can then inform their efforts to create effective recruiting efforts in their local context.
Given the locale specific nature of the teaching profession, materials reference both national data and local data, when necessary, from the Denver, Colorado area. Instructions are included within the power point slides (in the notes section) on how to modify the PowerPoint and handouts with local data.
Finding local teacher salaries
Identify approximately four local districts where your teacher candidates are most likely to get jobs. Public school salaries are public record and in most cases are easily accessible online. Usually searching for "Salary schedule" or "Salary table" will bring up a district site with this information. You will want to choose the schedule for "Licensed personnel".
Tables are typically organized with steps by row and education level by column. In many cases one step is equivalent to one year of experience but this does vary some by district. The columns will indicate degree BA, MA/MAT, PhD/EdD plus credits earned. There are a few states where you will find these resources in a general location for the whole state rather than on the individual district sites. There are some districts where you may have to call the human resources office to request salary information. Also, some districts offer premiums on top of the base salary for math and science positions and some have longevity additions to base salaries for teachers whose years of service go beyond the last row on the salary schedule (many times they are a one time payment during the year).
Good to know
- We recommend giving this presentation to all students not just those who you think are interested in teaching. It is essential that we shift perceptions of the teaching profession not only to recruit future teachers, but to encourage those who are not considering teaching to respect the career and support their peers who choose to pursue it.
- If you have limited time with a group of students, we have found that it is more important to engage them with Get the Facts Out than to give an overview of our teacher preparation program. This is because it doesn’t matter how generous the scholarship offers are or how streamlined the licensure program is if students don’t believe they can have a high-quality career as a teacher.
As public employees, public school teachers’ employment and salary data is typically readily available online, and easily searchable. Encourage participants to look up local district or state salaries on their laptops or mobile devices at an appropriate time during the presentation.