Teachers have rewarding jobs that are also extremely challenging. Having summers off might seem like a dream, but the long hours during the school year are one factor that makes teaching one of the toughest professions out there.
Social and economic inequality can make it even more difficult to make an impact as a teacher. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute finds kids from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds are already behind when they enter school, making it harder for them to catch up and reflecting poorly on educators.
In many cases, administrators only look at test scores to determine whether teachers are succeeding. “The profession is becoming more focused on standardization and student outcomes,” Maria del Carmen Salazar, a professor at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, told WalletHub. “This has narrowed the definition of effective teaching to student test scores.”
Sadly, teachers are hardly ever paid fairly compared to the importance of their job and the hours they put in. While some states pay teachers handsomely, others are cutting back on teacher salaries, according to a National Education Association report.
Crowded classrooms, low pay, lack of recognition, and dwindling resources make these the 15 worst states to be a teacher, based on the WalletHub rankings and data from the National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the country.
15. New Hampshire
- Average teacher salary (2016): $56,616
- Students per teacher (2016): 12.5
Despite an average salary among the top half of all states, New Hampshire still rates as one of the worst places to be a teacher. As WalletHub notes, when adjusted for cost of living, New Hampshire’s average salary is one of the worst. Yet New Hampshire is predicted to spend more than $16,000 per student in the 2017-18 school year, and any drawbacks to being a teacher there don’t seem to impact the students. According to Graphiq, the state is No. 2 in the country on standardized tests with 47% of all students at or above proficient levels in reading and math.
Next: Things aren’t great in Tennessee.