Over the last few days of Teacher Appreciation Week, we have seen plenty of well-deserved love and thanks being doled out to the special educators in our lives. During weeks like these, we remember just how much teachers have shaped our hearts and minds.

While educators have a huge impact on our lives, they are not always rewarded monetarily. According to an article in Monday’s New York Times, teachers were hit hard during the recession years. The article referred to a recent study by the National Council on Teacher Quality that looked at 41 of the nation’s largest public school districts. Data from 2008 to 2012 showed that in many of the school districts, salaries were frozen, raises were considerably smaller and some educators received pay cuts.

The article also pointed out that average teacher salaries remain lower than salaries of many other jobs that require college and graduate degrees ($56,643 is the average teacher salary according to the Department of Education).

In more encouraging news, data from a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey shows that the average starting salary in the Education category is up 5.1% over last year, going from $38,524 in 2012 to $40,480 in 2013. The average starting salary for education is still the second lowest among the eight categories listed.