Nate's Story

Our new film, produced for the Maine Education Association, follows Nate Petersen, a high school Social Studies teacher in Hermon, Maine. Nate is a full time teacher, but his teacher salary alone is not enough to make ends meet. He works some afternoons and weekends as a bartender to supplement his income.

As Nate tells us in the film, teaching is much more than just hours spent teaching in the classroom. To create lesson plans that are inspiring and engaging for students, teachers like Nate spend many hours outside the school day putting together these plans. 

Stories like Nate's are extremely common across Maine, where average salary, at just $33,189, is about $7,000 below the average for New England. That makes Maine's starting teacher salary the lowest in New England and 41st in the nation.

Nate is 30 years old and soon wants to start a family, but knows that between his two jobs, and struggling to pay back student loans, that is just not a possibility. We will continue to work towards a society where teachers like Nate can afford to start a family while staying in the profession they love.  

We want to offer a special thanks to the Maine Education Association and Mission Pictures for your collaboration.

-The Teacher Salary Project Team