Everywhere I go I am asked why people are no longer going into teaching. The statistics are indeed stark – a 42% drop in two years in Ohio, a 70% in 10 years in California and ACT says just 3.4% of kids taking the ACT want to go into teaching. It makes us wonder: Is the ed degree obsolete?

Immediately people point to the gap in pay or the job satisfaction as the main reason that this is happening.  But there is no actual data that I can find to support this. This is all anecdotal evidence – – which seems to drive most ed policy anyways.  But no hard facts.

I have also heard that because morale is low that many moms are telling their kids that they should not go into this profession.

But then I heard an answer that makes the most sense from a former TFA’er – she said that she knew she wanted to teach but would not get a teaching degree because it didn’t allow for future career opportunities. She knew if she got an English degree she could teach and then do something else later in her life.

Younger generations are not going to do anything for life. They will change careers and jobs based on their needs and desires.  They will not take a degree that locks them into one job for the next 35 years – they just don’t see that as practical. They want a degree that offers some flexibility.

So there you have it – serious anecdotal evidence, sample size of 1, that the serious decline of teaching majors has less to do with career and more to do with the limiting degree making the ed degree obsolete.

, , ,