“If you can’t do, teach” is just one of several negative sentiments towards teaching that has made education an undesirable profession. However, with the predicted one million teachers that are set to retire in the next four to six years, the profession needs as many bright and eager new educators as it can get. In order to deal with this change the Department of Education created Teach, a campaign that hopes to combat negative sentiments and attract high-achieving college graduates.
Under the slogan “Make More. Teach,” the campaign uses videos and radio announcements to portray teaching as meaningful and captivating as more popular careers, such as medicine and law. “The challenge is to change the conversation around teaching so that it becomes the career that you want your child to go into rather than the career that you counsel children out of,” explains Kathy Payne, the senior director of education leadership at State Farm.
One of the negative sentiments towards teaching is that there are not enough job openings for hopeful teachers. With the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers, there is now “an amazing chance to make a difference for decades to come,” says Arne Duncan, secretary of education. Through financial support from sponsors, Teach is able to hire recruiters to visit college campuses in order to speak to undergraduate students about a future career in teaching. The campaign also deals with the battles within the public education system concerning the use of standardized testing in teacher performance evaluations and the rollout of the new Common Core standards. “If you find different ways to communicate with and teach kids, where it’s not just that same old thing…that’s what’s going to get those test scores raised,” says Cliff Skeet, group creative director at McGarryBowen, the advertising agency that developed the videos and ads used by the campaign.
The Teach campaign aims to recruit top students into the teaching field, making the profession as competitive and invigorating as medicine, law, and engineering. “Teachers today are breaking down obstacles,” says former teacher Taylor Mali. “[They are] finding innovative ways to instill old lessons, proving that greatness can be found in everyday places.” Through the campaign, the Department of Education hopes to recruit new teachers who will be able to make a difference in not only their students’ lives but also in the profession itself.
Here at Project Tomorrow, our mission is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citzens of the world. Through our YouthTEACH2Learn program and the Future Educators Association of California we are working towards preparing the next great generation of teachers.
The YouthTEACH2Learn program is a career exploration program where students explore teaching as a career. During the course, the students gain practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects. To learn more about YouthTEACH2Learn log onto http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/yt2l.html.
The Future Educators Association of California, an initiative of Project Tomorrow, was established in order to “attract, equip and provide experiences for students who are exploring teaching as a future career; to develop essential skills that will lead to highly trained and qualified teachers.” Now, more than ever, we must invest & support our future educators in order to plan for a bright tomorrow. To learn more about F.E.A California, log onto http://www.tomorrow.org/fea/.
Read the article: Campaign Seeks to Recruit Top Students to Become Teachers in the New York Times here, and be sure to let us know what you think!
Have a great week.
-The Project Tomorrow team
Written by Lisa Chu, Project Tomorrow Fall Intern