Best Places To Be a Teacher – 2022

The financial management company SmartAsset releases an annual study of the best places to be a teacher in the US. Factors such as school quality, culture, affordability, and salary levels all come into play for teachers who have the luxury of deciding on the best place to live.  For 2018, the best place was my hometown, Pittsburgh PA!  In 2022, Pittsburgh isn’t even on the top 10 list anymore.

With SO much turmoil in the education vertical caused by the pandemic, the increased pressures, expectations and obstacles that teachers keep getting put on their already overloaded plates, and a changing population that requires that public schools and teachers conform to public and governmental policies rather than focusing on the learning process and training students to make good decisions, it’s no wonder that teachers who were excited about being able to convey that love of learning to the next generation are now finding “they’ve had it with the garbage” and are looking at other market verticals to utilize their talents.

Read the complete article here:

But before you go there, it’s good to keep in mind that the “best” place to be a teacher doesn’t mean that it the “best” place to find a job as a teacher!  Induction practices differ from district to district.  Starting salaries differ from district to district, and might be based on union contracts.  And, as the article mentions with Pennsylvania and New York having some of the strongest teacher’s unions in the nation, that may not necessarily bode well for the new teacher if their first year of full-time employment is the last year of the current labor contract.

Also keep in mind that there are many differences from community to community, as public school districts in Pennsylvania are not county-wide as they are in many other states in the nation.  While that provides for more localized leadership, localized educational standards were appropriate when most of the graduates remained within the local community.  Now, many school districts are grappling with how to provide opportunities within their local communities so graduates can make their homes in the community, raise their families in the local community, and keep a vibrant school district be a sustainable one.

If a school district’s intention is to provide students a way to break the cycle of poverty, but the majority of its students do not return to apply those talent to making the local community a better place, then the tax base will eventually erode as the community ages, families with young children will not relocate there, and the community may eventually lose its once proud school district.