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5/8/2013 - America celebrates its nurses and educators

Teacher Appreciation Week celebrates educators throughout the nation.

Perhaps no single profession plays a larger role in shaping the minds of young people quite like a teacher. From kindergarten all the way through one's senior year of college, virtually everyone has had at least one teacher who made an impression on them, oftentimes helping turn their career-oriented dreams into realities.

To honor those who have devoted their lives to the profession, this is Teacher Appreciation Week - a segment of time in which parents, communities and individuals place their focus on educators and how much good they've done for the hundreds of students who've passed through their classroom over the years.

According to the National Education Association, some of the world's finest teachers devote more than the typical working today to honing their craft and improving students' understanding of course material. They average a minimum of 50 hours per week on these teaching duties, whether it's grading papers at home, preparing lessons for the next day's class or performing uncompensated activities like chaperoning dances or keeping watch for bus duty.

One-third of teachers are 20-year veterans
As important as teachers may be to society in general, many would argue that they don't make the type of salary that's indicative of how important they are. NEA statistics reveal that the average starting salary for a teacher fresh out of college is about $31,700, modestly increasing over time depending on the school and the specific type of teacher they are.  And a good portion of their working career is spent within the four walls of a classroom. It's estimated that 50% of teachers today have been in the line of work for an average of 15 years and more than one-third have been teaching for 20 years.

Some say that the teachers have it easy, seeing as how most schools in the country take the summers off, leaving teachers with as many as three months with nothing but time to themselves.

If only that were true. NEA points out that while students may have a break from the books and studying, that can't be said for teachers, as many of them take classes to advance their careers and receive training at workshops.

Furthermore, before the summer is even completed, teachers are back at work ready for another school year, as most schools today go back into session before Labor Day.

Polls show that teachers are looked upon highly by society in general. In a recent Gallup poll, respondents were asked to list off some of the professions they considered to be filled with people who were honest and had ethical standards. Nearly 55% said they had a "very high" opinion of teachers.  But that wasn't the profession that respondents had the best opinion of. At 85%, a strong majority of Americans say that nurses are some of the most honest people they've come across, with a mere 3% saying otherwise.

Everyone loves nurses
This week also happens to be National Nurse Appreciation Week, and with virtually everyone getting sick or wounded at some point in their lives, nurses are those people who have often helped put young kids' - or adults' - mind at ease as they prepare to see the doctor for treatment. 

While the large majority of people in the nursing profession are female, male nurses have become more commonplace. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the male registered nurses workforce has risen from 2.7% in 1970 to nearly 10% today.

Because men are by their very nature stronger than women, male nurses are able to help in ways around the hospital where women may struggle, such as lifting large medical devices or carrying patients who have trouble walking. This helps advance the widespread belief that nurses do an awful lot to help people.

As a token of our appreciation, Selective offers auto insurance and homeowners insurance programs to teachers and nurses. Our Medical Affinity Program for individuals in the medical profession and Educational Affinity Program for educators enables today's best and brightest obtain the coverage they need at an affordable price.

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