Young teachers drawn to kids, career starts tricky

Jordan McNeil offered skills in high demand by public schools when she graduated from college with a dual major in special education and elementary education in 2011, the Associated Press reports. She needed just one interview to find the right spot for her, a classroom where she and two assistants spend all day teaching eight autistic children. A year into her career, she says the greatest satisfaction comes from the skin-tingling “light bulb moments” when someone’s knowledge really opens. Moments “when something really clicks with one of my students and I can see it, that they’ve figured it out and they understand,” she said. “It’s the little moments that make it worth it.” But the hard truth is that by some estimates as many as a half of new teachers like McNeil will quit the classroom in their first five years. That turnover is costly, since states spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year to recruit, hire and prepare replacements…

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