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Nation desperate for youth interest in teaching

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)

TEACH is a collaboration among the U.S. Department of Education (ED), leading U.S. companies including Microsoft and State Farm, national education organizations, and teacher associations.

“Teachers are among our nation’s most valuable resources,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “They are leaders and innovators with passion and perseverance. They help our students succeed in the classroom and in the workforce. And, in doing so, they shape the future of our communities and our country.”

Make More aims to recruit the nation’s best and brightest students into the teaching profession through public service announcements (PSAs), and digital and grassroots programming. Created pro bono by advertising agency mcgarrybowen, the PSAs feature lessons inspired by real teachers who are reinventing the teaching profession for the 21st Century.

“The PSAs demonstrate that teachers make more than a paycheck; they make a lasting impact on generations of students,” according to a campaign statement.

Watch a PSA:

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“Teacher recruitment is an economic issue as well as an educational issue,” said Ed Rust, CEO of State Farm.

Anthony Salcito, vice president of Education, Public Sector, Microsoft, noted: “The TEACH coalition is calling on corporations to band together and address the pipeline of teachers. We need great teachers to educate and sustain our own pipeline of skilled workers.”

According to recent research, notes the campaign, new studies show that a child who learns from a top teacher earns more over the course of a lifetime. One study from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that merely replacing a low-performing teacher with an average one would increase students’ lifetime income by approximately $250,000 per classroom.’

Students who encounter the television, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs are encouraged to visit to explore the teaching profession and determine if it’s the right career choice for them. The site walks interested students through interactive pathways to become a teacher, depending on their education, location, and interests. It also connects students with information about certification for various teaching jobs.

“Teaching is different from what students might think,” said Cliff Skeete, group creative director of mcgarrybowen. “Working with the TEACH coalition, we set out to disrupt current perceptions by developing creative executions that show teachers in a new and modern light.”

Students are encouraged to engage with the campaign on social channels now, and participate in recruitment events on college campuses starting in Spring 2014. On approximately 50 college campuses, in 10 key markets—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.—student ambassadors, who are interested in pursuing a career in the classroom and will serve as hosts of the campus events, will reintroduce their peers to the teaching profession and, if it’s a good fit, guide them on the career path.

TEACH will also focus its recruitment on specific populations, noted the campaign. “There is a need to recruit individuals into teaching who represent the nation’s increasingly diverse student body and can effectively prepare students for the jobs of the future, many of which will be in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields,” noted the campaign.

Per the Ad Council model, PSAs are distributed to media outlets nationwide and run and air in advertising time and space donated by the media. To view the PSAs and learn how teachers Make More, visit

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