12 Powerful Statistics That Prove Why Teachers Matter

Have you thanked a teacher today?

Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. Yes, it can also be one of the most challenging and difficult, but there’s power in knowing that teacher impact is profound and enduring.

Of course, often times, teacher impact can’t be shown in a number or statistic. It’s the little things that matter most. Like teachers taking extra time to meet with students during their lunch hour. Or constantly finding ways to encourage students to keep them motivated and happy to be at school. 

However, statistics are still good to hear sometimes. When you’re having a challenging week or wondering if what you do matters, it’s important to remember that it does. Here are some of those powerful statistics that truly show why teachers matter. 

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1. Because teachers reach so many kids, both in and out of their classroom.  

Teacher Impact By the Numbers - What the Research Says

This can vary a lot by grade level and how long someone teaches, but statistics show the average teacher affects over 3,000 students during their career.

2. Because teaching is a notable profession.


Teaching makes the top-five list of “most prestigious occupations,” with 51 percent of people voting it as notable. This number used to be around 29 percent in the 1970s, so this is an important improvement. 


3. Because kids turn to teachers when they need help. 

Teacher Impact By the Numbers - What the Research Says

More than half of students, 54 percent, say a teacher has helped them during a difficult time. 

4. Because teachers really do have the power to change lives. 

Think you don’t have an impact? Look at the numbers: 88% of people say a teacher had a significant, positive impact on their life.

5. Because students do look up to their teachers. 

Teacher Impact By the Numbers - What the Research Says

Most students, 75 percent, say teachers are mentors and role models.

6. Because it’s important to remember that people really do admire the work of a teacher. 

Don’t let those who denigrate teaching get you down—89% of people believe teachers have a really hard job.

7. Because teachers are some of the best encouragers.

Nearly 80 percent of students say a teacher has encouraged them to follow their dreams.

8. Because teachers have an incredible, long-lasting impact. 

Almost everyone, 98 percent of people, believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life.

9. Because teachers help students believe in themselves. 

When 83 percent of students say a teacher has boosted their self-esteem and confidence, we can easily argue that teaching is about much more than reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.

10. Because a simple thanks goes a long way. 

Hindsight is definitely 20/20—87% of people say they wish they had told their best teachers how much they appreciated their efforts. Find comfort in knowing that even if they don’t say it, your students are grateful for what you do.

11. Because even the little things can make a big difference. 

Nearly all Americans, 94 percent, say we should do more to recognize good teachers.

12. Because kids are the future. 

This year, 3.6 million students will graduate from a U.S. high school, and they’ve all been influenced by a teacher like you. What you do absolutely matters.

Research facts were provided by the following: ING Foundation Survey, National Center for Education Statistics, The Harris Poll, and EdWeek.

Have more teacher impact stories—anecdotal or research-based? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out these stats that sum up the life of a teacher.

12 Powerful Statistics That Prove Why Teachers Matter