Recent survey data revealed that, second only to military service, the profession of teaching makes the largest contribution to American society in the eyes of the general public. However, teachers face many obstacles while educating upcoming generations, a challenge so great that nearly half of all teachers abandon the field of education all together before the beginning of their fifth year as a teacher. In fact, experts believe teaching is as mentally taxing as careers such as firefighting or air traffic controlling. With our Hometown Teacher Giveaway in full swing, we invite you to take a deeper look into a day in the life of the average educator.

The average teacher devotes a grand total of fifty-two hours per week to their profession. However, most teachers are not compensated for their labor outside of the classroom. A teacher could be expected to spend over fifteen hours on the weekend grading assignments and preparing lesson plans for the upcoming week, all tasks that go unnoticed by the paymaster. Research shows that the foremost push factor for education is its often inherently low salary.

Time is a precious commodity for the teacher. According to one study, five hours per day is spent in classroom instruction, half an hour per day is devoted to student discipline, three quarters of an hour is required each day to prepare classroom plans, and just over half an hour per school day is spent grading assignments. This tight schedule leaves only a twenty-minute window for a teacher to eat lunch and enjoy time to themselves.

Teachers not only sacrifice their time and effort, but they selflessly contribute financially as well. A modal five hundred dollars is drawn from the teacher’s personal bank account to furnish supplies for their classroom. One survey showed that more than half of all teachers use their own money to foot class field trips.

While teaching does present a plethora of hurdles, many teachers choose to focus on the positive aspects of their chosen field. The average teacher touches the lives of approximately three thousand students in their career, and an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that a single teacher can leave a lasting impact on their students. Additionally, the demand for teachers continues to rise, leading to a solid sense social solidarity within the profession. The average teacher looks forward to retirement at the age of fifty-nine.

As the dog days of summer conclude, we invite you to reflect on the difference a teacher made in your life. Who knows, maybe you could make a similar impact as a teacher yourself?

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