Despite Downsides, Teachers Still Attracted To Profession

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

When Southeast Missouri State University junior Mark Richter told friends and family he wanted to be a teacher, they expressed admiration but said he must be a little nuts, too.

About 8 percent of public school teachers left the profession in 2008-09 and another 7 percent moved to a different school, according to the latest National Center for Education research. In Missouri, first-year teachers who left the classroom after one to three years rose from 17.8 percent in 2009 to 29.2 percent in 2010.

According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website, the average teacher’s salary in the state is $46,213, and the average level of experience is 12.4 years. The number of teachers in Missouri in 2013 is 68,850, up from 67,600 in 2012, according to the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers in Missouri Public Schools report issued this month. The report shows 48.9 percent of the state’s teachers have 10 or fewer years of experience.

District hiring rates increased to 10.8 percent, up 0.1 percent from 2012, the report said. The percent of district new hires who are first-year teachers decreased from 65.9 percent in 2012 to 59.9 percent in 2013, the report said.

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