You decide to become a teacher because you want to help, to see your students grow and learn.
But take a deep dive into teacher pay and you'll discover that teachers are taking a beating on that front.
A new study from the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute shows that in 2015, the weekly wages of public school teachers in this country were 17% lower than comparable college-educated professionals.
And who's hurt the most? Male teachers and veteran teachers.
While college graduates saw their average weekly wages go up from 1996 to 2015, public-sector teachers saw their weekly wages shrink.
Jeff Smith sure knows what it's like. Money has been so tight for the 43-year-old long-time teacher and coach for Algonac Community Schools in St. Clair County that Smith has been chosen to receive a Habitat for Humanity home.
Smith joined us today to talk about the financial hardships that come with being a teacher right now in Michigan, his experience working with Habitat for Humanity, and what it means to receive his own house, which they will begin building in October.
Jeff Smith is a teacher and coach at Algonac Community Schools.