Nation desperate for youth interest in teaching

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, @eSN_Meris
November 25th, 2013

Duncan, stakeholders launch new national campaign on how teaching is more than a paycheck. Will it work?

teaching-youth-interest-Duncan Let’s face it: Being a teacher doesn’t sound all that glamorous to many of today’s students. However, with many teachers facing retirement in the next few years, as well as the lack of youth interest in teaching, the U.S. may face a significant teaching shortage. That’s where Make More comes in.

Make More is an integrated campaign to recruit “the next great generation of teachers.” The campaign was inspired by recent data revealing that half of the nation’s teachers will retire over the next decade, but only nine percent of top students consider the profession a viable career.

“The campaign was motivated by the fact that only 9 percent of students in the top third of their class are considering the teaching profession. They perceive teaching—inaccurately, but pervasively—as contrary to their ambitions,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “The PSAs show students that the entrepreneurial and engaging, inspiring and impactful, financially and emotionally rewarding opportunities they seek in a career can be found in the teaching profession.”

“There’s an urgent need and unprecedented opportunity to fill the pipeline with talented students who will lead the transformation of our education system,” according to the campaign, which is why TEACH and the Ad Council partnered to launch the new campaign.

(Next page: PSA video and why teachers make a difference)

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5 Responses to “Nation desperate for youth interest in teaching”

Doug Cullen
November 25, 2013

Given a political environment in which it is acceptable to portray teachers as pension grubbing takers that only work half the year and need to be fired, I’m frankly surprised that 9% of those student even consider teaching. Bill Gates may decry the lack of teachers but look where he’s putting his money. Into misguided programs that seek to create “teacher accountability” by incessant testing and destroying public education by turning it over to for profit charters and private schools that mostly escape these accountability measures. The open attacks on teachers unions and teacher organization. The Common core driven completely by the big corps that will profit from the profligate testing and specialized teaching materials to match.

November 25, 2013

Though I have loved the intellectual demands and constant challenge of teaching, I would never encourage anyone I cared about to enter the profession. America, you have not supported us with the time needed to do the best we can for your children, nor the supplies, nor the policies, nor even the money for the thousands of books, pencils, and professional development II have paid for-not to mention the refusal of a living wage or even my husband’s social security should I be left on my own with a small pension.

November 25, 2013

I truly feel that teaching is a high calling and a noble profession. I loved the positive portrayal of teaching in the PSA. But teachers are a scapegoat for society’s problems, a talking point for politicians, a target of media, and a disrespected profession. I find it sad that the few times teachers are portrayed as giving and noble are when they lay their own lives on the line in a shooting or natural disaster to save students. Many teachers do battle daily for the betterment of hearts, bodies, and minds of students. I am not sure the district I teach in would allow the type of teaching portrayed in the PSA. I did not see an objective or standard written on a wall or repeated by students. I did not see the “script” written for the teacher from the standards based teachers textbook. I did not see a team with clipboards come through the classroom to be sure this was taking place. I did not see the funding source to purchase the material to make a star or go on a field trip. I did not see a large class size. The reality of the classroom was not touched in the PSA. Yes there will be many retiring teachers in the next decade. These teachers hold on and invest in their students because they believe they can make a difference despite all the obstacles placed before them. But consider the statistics that reveal that a large percentage of teachers quit within the first five years of teaching. Ask a teacher what needs to change.

“Teachers are among our nation’s most valuable resources,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Really? He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, as usual. Today’s young people are fully aware and can see how teachers are being vilified by Duncan’s policies. I am a teacher who came from the top 1% of my class and still chose teaching 25 years ago when it was a viable profession. I no longer encourage bright, young people to go into teaching, and haven’t for years. Yes, this nation will lose probably most of its teachers in the next few years,but not only to retirements! Push-outs, unfair VAM-test score evaluations for those teaching SpEd and disadvantaged students, administrative witch-hunts, exhaustion, demoralization, unrealistic expectations, budget cuts, and long hours for low pay, may be the biggest factors. Many teachers have simply had enough and quit. This is what Duncan WANTS so he and his advisor Bill Gates can transform education to 100% virtual schooling online. In his vision, few teachers needed, only tech advisors. So Duncan supports shortcuts to teaching, like TFA. How utterly duplicitous coming from someone who’s done everything he can to destroy the teaching profession! Financially and emotionally rewarding? Teachers have never been as demoralized, overwhelmed, and micro-managed as they are today. No intelligent young person worth his salt would WANT to go into such a scapegoated and disrespected career. The top 50% of young people are too well-informed to enter teaching. What you will get here is a vast majority of recruits from the bottom 50% of young people. They will receive shortcut training, which ultimately will further decimate the teaching profession. I believe this nation will get exactly what it deserves for future teachers.

December 4, 2013

Unfortunately I agree with the four other comments posted in regards to this article and the PSA recruiting the top students. Like cb282, I was the top student in my high school graduating class, and I chose teaching as my profession instead of pursuing careers in the two areas of in which I obtained bachelor degrees, business and computers. I am a veteran teacher of 24 years, and my wife (also an educator) and I have dissuaded our children from considering teaching because of the national attack and disrespect against the teaching profession. I agree whole-heartedly with my colleagues’ (Doug Cullen, jannrockygeyer, peteysmith, cb282) comments. I have watched the expectation and respect for us decline in thus nation, and I have many friends who have left the profession because of everything that has been stated. Teachers are under more scrutiny every year with tighter curriculum and professional standards. As long as the negative perspective and lack of monetary support (salaries and supplies) continue, there will be fewer top-notch students who enter the profession as we veteran educators retire, and the decline in our educational system will be due to a self-implosion caused by our legislators and the media.