Meet the Cohort

The BTLS follows a national cohort of about 2,000 beginning public school teachers as they leave, return, or continue in the elementary- and secondary-level teaching profession. BTLS is conducted on a yearly basis and follows the same group of individuals every year for a period of 5 years. A brief look at the BTLS cohort’s characteristics is presented below.

  • Gender: 74.4% female; 25.6% male


  • Median age: 26
Beginning Teachers' Race/Ethnicity
1 Two or more races, non-Hispanic includes all non-Hispanic respondents who selected more than one race.
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS), “First Through Third Wave Preliminary Data File,” 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10


Beginning Teachers' Highest Degree Earned
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS), “First Through Third Wave Preliminary Data File,” 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10.

  • Percent of teachers entered teaching through an alternative certification program: 27.1%


  • Type of public school: 95.1% of teachers began their first year of teaching in traditional public schools; 4.9% of teachers began their first year of teaching in public charter schools


  • Support received by beginning teachers:
    • 83.5% received ongoing guidance or feedback from a master or mentor teacher
    • 79.7% had seminars or classes
    • 63.7% had common planning time with teachers in their subject area
    • 31.5% had extra classroom assistance (e.g., teacher aides)
    • 87.3% participated in regular supportive communication with their principal, other administrator, or department chair

Urbanicity of Beginning Teachers' First School
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS), “First Through Third Wave Preliminary Data File,” 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10.


Grade Level Taught by Beginning Teachers
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS), “First Through Third Wave Preliminary Data File,” 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10.