Why does teaching suck so bad in America?

Raleigh Lawrence
3 min readApr 3


Ever venture to the subreddit r/teachers? It lays bare so many of the glaring issues in todays schools across the US. From the harrowing times during Covid to the post virtual world of today where students seem to be a different and defiant breed all together. Post after post of teachers on their last leg, or shouting into the void or resigning. So many posts about guns.

Kenny Eliason

There are too many reasons why teaching sucks so bad in America. I am not nearly qualified or dignified enough to touch on all of those subjects here but this topic came up when I was caching up with my cousin, a third year 5th grade teacher who told me she has to teach 20 students at a time who all have very different levels of learning and comprehension. She told me she feels like she is drowning at times and she knows kids are falling behind because she does not have the time to give more to them individually. Her admin seems to be of no help either, another hot topic on r/teachers.

Teaching has never been an easy job, but in recent years it has become increasingly difficult due to the overwhelming number of students teachers are responsible for. Unfortunately, this trend is only getting worse, with many teachers feeling overwhelmed and burned out, and leaving the profession altogether.

When remote learning became the norm during Covid19, many students and teachers had to adapt to a completely different way of teaching and learning. This was a challenge for even the most experienced teachers, and many were not prepared for it. As a result, many teachers reported feeling overwhelmed and stressed, leading to an increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average student-to-teacher ratio in public schools in the United States is 16:1. However, this varies widely from state to state, with some states having much higher ratios than others. We can see from this map at aaastateofplay.com that California has the highest student-to-teacher ratio in the country, at 22:1, while Vermont has the lowest, at 12:1. These ratios may seem small, but when you consider the number of students that teachers are responsible for, it’s easy to see why so many teachers are feeling stretched too thin.

The effects of high student-to-teacher ratios are widespread. Teachers have less time to spend with individual students, which can lead to lower academic achievement, behavioral problems, and a lack of engagement in the classroom. Additionally, teachers are often forced to sacrifice their own personal time to keep up with the demands of their job. This can lead to burnout and a lack of job satisfaction, which in turn can result in high turnover rates and difficulty in attracting new teachers.

It’s clear that something needs to be done to address the issue of overwhelming class sizes in America but what? Some have said a solution could be to increase funding for education, allowing schools to hire more teachers and reduce class sizes. Another solution could be to implement technology in the classroom, such as online learning tools or virtual assistants, which could help teachers manage their workload more effectively.

Whatever it is, teachers are the backbone to this country, they are teaching the youth that will hopefully someday make this country a much better place. We owe teachers the world, they are the most underrated and underpaid heros of our time.