Most Parents Don’t Want Their Children To Become Teachers

A new survey found that the majority of parents do not wish to see their children grow up and become teachers, here's why.

By Erika Hanson | Published

National Teacher Unions Have Lost 200,000 Members


Amid discussions concerning America’s teacher shortage, many fear that a major reason for the mass exodus is due to a lack of incoming teachers. As the baby boomer generation of employees retires from education, few young adults are entering the profession. Showing one possibly major factor at play in this is a new poll that finds that most parents don’t want their children to grow up and become teachers.

The information comes from the 2022 results of PDK International’s Public Attitudes Toward Public School poll. One question, in particular, asked parents if they would want their children to become teachers. The majority (62%) answered “no.” In the 54 years of this survey being conducted, this was the highest documented amount of pollers to answer this way, foreshadowing today’s grave reception on the industry.

Teresa Preston, the director of the publication said that this discovery is a “big concern” regarding the future of education in America. What makes this more alarming is the fact that most of the respondents had an overall positive outlook on their children’s local school, but still felt this way. “We see these narratives of people who support their schools, trust their teachers, but don’t want their children to become teachers,” Preston said. 

Little pay, few benefits, job demands, and lack of respect were major concerns for parents who don’t wish to see their children become teachers. Pay was the leading cause. 30% of parents responded that this was the reason for feeling this way. Historically, teachers receive little pay for their college-educated jobs. In fact, a recent report found that when compared to other college-degree-requiring industries in America, educators’ pay gap has drastically widened. 

Strenuous demands ranked in second place, with 26% declaring this as the reason they hope their children don’t become teachers. There is no lack of reports suggesting that teachers are burned out from the job more than ever, given the tribulations caused by the pandemic. Earlier this year, a Gallup poll conducted across multiple industries found that educators suffered from the highest levels of burnout. Many individuals report working up to 60+ hour weeks creating lesson plans and grading papers long into the night. 

23% of parents said lack of respect for the profession was the reason they do not wish to see their offspring seek a career in education. Public education is being criticized by upset parents and politicians at record rates. Much of the time, teachers take the brunt of the blame. Parents opposed to certain school aspects have berated teachers they don’t agree with. At the same time, teachers have been called out on their choice of career by high-ranking individuals, who say that anyone can do the job, which has likely led to this finding. Even U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona blames the teacher shortage on a widespread lack of respect for teachers.


So long as this notion and rhetoric surrounding teachers continue on this trajectory, it is likely that fewer school-aged children will wish to seek out a degree in education regardless of how their parents feel on the matter. As few new applicants enter the profession, public schools already rife with issues will continue to face shortages that may only worsen over the coming years. States are taking initiatives to combat teacher shortages, and attract new teachers, but for now, it is uncertain whether or not these endeavors will pay off and change the minds of parents in the future.