Very interesting stats! Don’t get me wrong, teachers do an important job but I’ll never understand the complaining about teachers pay. You picked the job. You knew what it was going in and you knew what it paid. Here in the US, teaching is like any other job, you get paid very little when you start, you work a lot more hours in the beginning as you learn and hone your skills and you get rewarded for adding to your skill set through certification and degrees. The highest level of teaching hours equals according to the chart, which no one reached btw, works out to 30 hours per week? I generally will hit 30 work hours by the time I go home on Tuesday as most Sunday’s I’m either working or spending hours preparing for the work week… this is nearly every week and have never taken my full allowed time off (currently 20 days including all paid time off) in any given year and among the working professionals I know, this is not unusual. I know that number doesn’t include “other” work time for teachers, but the teachers I know (they are fine educators) do not spend an additional 20 hours per week every week, week in and week out on such work (putting them at the US average work week hour). Have you ever gone by a school at 10pm and seen the parking lot full of teachers’ cars trying to hit a deadline or get that lesson plan dialed in just right? Have you ever sat on a red eye flight and seen dozens of teachers already dressed for the day hammering away at their computers putting last minute touches on something to make sure Timmy gets maximum value out of his time with them while knowing they’ll be away from their family for 3 — 4 days a week? Ever talk to a teacher who just pulled 2 all nighters this week and is barely recovered from the all nighters the week before? Doubtful. But I’ll bet you can easily find many other professionals doing these things on a routine basis who are making the same salary without the luxury of the summer off or the bizarre concept of tenure. Also, I know plenty of teachers here in the Chicago area who make well over $100,000 gross and still get 4 months a year off… everyone seems to forget that part when comparing a teachers salary to the 9 — 5 (who even works such little hours anymore?) work force. Anecdotally, when I worked labor jobs when I was younger, when a customer was rude, entitled and full of the most complaints and demands, they overwhelmingly fell into 2 job categories when we asked what they did for a living: teachers or public servants (cops and government workers). I don’t know what to equate that with but it seems that the “teachers don’t make enough” discussion may not help.