Cross-posted from the White House blog.
Invest in the future. Inspire a child. TEACH. Those are the themes introduced today as the Department of Education launched the TEACH Campaign to encourage Americans to pursue a career in teaching.
I now work on education policy in the White House, but until five years ago, I was a teacher. And I hope to teach again.
Teachers make a difference. Teachers are important. Now that I am not in the classroom every day, I see that even more clearly. Secretary Duncan is right when he says “there is nothing more important we can do for this country than to get a great teacher in front of every child”. That is not easy. Schools across America hire nearly 200,000 new teachers every year – as many as 1.5 million new teachers over the next decade. Today, President Obama announced a new goal of recruiting 10,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers over the next two years. It has never been more important to have great teachers in these subjects, which often limit students’ readiness for college, and our nation’s continued ability to innovate and compete.
Teaching is a great job. If you are smart and talented, if you want to share your knowledge, if you want to join a respected profession, invest in yourself, invest in the future, and teach. TEACH.gov can help you get started. You can check out videos of celebrities and leaders remembering the great teachers who inspired them. Listen to teachers speak about what it means to teach and about specific moments in their classrooms – times when it clicked, times when it didn’t. Teachers often talk about the joy of an “aha!” moment, that instant when a student finally gets it. For me, the greater thrill was the “why’s that?” moment, when a student wants to know more and the classroom is driven by curiosity. As a teacher, you may not know where it will take you, but you know the journey will be worth it.
At TEACH.gov you can start your own journey. You can learn about paths to teaching, about teacher preparation, about how to pay for it, about licensing, and more. Start your journey today.
Please join the TEACH Campaign:
Steve Robinson is a Special Assistant in the White House Domestic Policy Council