Inspiring the Next Generation of Teachers

Our nation focused on Education a few weeks ago as NBC transformed Rockefeller Center into a “Learning Plaza” (, where attendees walked through exhibits and gained information about the status of education in the United States. The two-day Education Nation Summit spotlighted some of the biggest issues we educators face today.  The summit featured a Teacher Town Hall, many panel discussions on important topics regarding the challenges and opportunities of education reform, as well as a Department of Education announcement of the TEACH Campaign ( TEACH celebrates teaching and offers resources and guidelines on how to enter the teaching profession. Many prominent educational leaders, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan participated in the Summit.

As baby boomers retire and we educate to compete in a 21st Century global society, our country will need many more outstanding teachers than are being prepared for the profession today.  Secretary Duncan recently said that we require about 200,000 new teachers each year in the next 10 years. In addition, we need more Latino and African American males to enter the profession to provide role models and meaningful connections to the increasing numbers of Latino and African American students in our schools. African American and Latino males, for example, comprise less than 4% of our teaching profession. We’d love to hear from you!

How can we inspire and attract talented, accomplished people into the teaching profession?  More specifically, how can we recruit more Latino and African American males into the profession?

Please help promote the TEACH Campaign:

Antero, Edit, Jemal, Jeff, Katie, Laurie, Leah, Linda, Lisa, Nick, Pam, Patrick, Tracey, Stephanie and Steve
Teaching Ambassador Fellows


  1. This program, along with a scholarship, has given me a brotherhood, a deeper passion for community service, a vision for what I hope to accomplish as an educator, and several professional development opportunities even before having a classroom of my own, I liked your blog it’s very interesting, your information had helped me very much, Please keep on posting the related information regarding this Article.

  2. 1. Raise taxes specifically on people that have more than two children so that parents are paying for the resources they use. (This would help with the problem proposed by Carol above.)
    2. Increase wages substantially to promote competition and attract better teachers. (I also agree with Judy.)
    3. Train teachers better to attract the interest of the students.

    As evidenced by this chain of posts, teacher education is at least part of the problem because a large portion of you cannot even seem to write a grammatically correct sentence!

  3. While I agree with most of what has been said–that of which is at least readable–it seems like there is a common thread running through all of these arguments, no one is hiring, and teachers want higher pay. These are facts, and it puzzles me why, and how so many comments can be written about these issues for decades, and no one is doing anything about it. As a matter of fact, as many have mentioned already, states and several locales are slashing budgets so much so that hiring new teachers and keeping older ones will become impossible in the next few years.
    I have a theory that may sound a bit outlandish, but with a bit of of study may perhaps be proven to be true some day. I believe that many politicians–not all–do not necessarily care about our state of education (As a matter of fact, some 2010 congressional candidates want to dissolve the department of education). I strongly believe that many politicians feel this way because public education does not financially benefit them. Education lobbyists cannot write $50,000 checks to influence their decisions so public school education becomes secondary, and subpar. I hope I am wrong about that, but it sure seems like the folks who have the ability to pass budgets and write meaningful legislation are not doing so, and in fact doing the opposite.
    About higher pay–arguably the second most complained about issue in the above posts. Because certain people know how to slash budgets really well–teachers will not see a raise anytime soon. California just cut $3 Billion for education. $3 Billion that could have went into the pockets of struggling teachers. Teachers who have to find other job or jobs to barely make ends meet. In sum, teacher salaries and incentives comparable to those of lawyers and doctors seem a long way off. I hope I am wrong about that as well!
    Finally, I want to add that teaching in America has always been seen as a vocation, and never as a profession. It was and still is to a large degree a job given primarily to women whose husbands were the breadwinners. These women received a small stipend for their services and were content. Today, in 2010, we are receiving an inflated stipend for our services. Yet and still, we want all of our students to become geniuses. In sum, society needs to evaluate the role of education, and educators in America while simultaneously valuing education and educators in America!

  4. I am a teacher in California at a highly respected public high school. My last two excellent student teachers were talented, accomplished individuals, and both were minorities–a Latina and a Philipino. Both were at the top of thier graduating classes from different colleges. Both have had extreme difficulty finding employment.

    We need to dramatically change public school funding and class sizes so that all this education we have encouraged our students to get is put to actual use. We need to re-think so many things about the economy, but this is just one more example of how it could improve–by having enough teachers to teach in classes that aren’t gigantic. (Not to mention with materials that are current and in enough quantity for all students.)

    The problem isn’t attracting, preparing, or inspiring the next generation of teachers. It’s hiring them.

  5. I feel the Union needs to stop protecting incompetent teachers; they are an embarrassment to our profession. I know of no corporation that does not fire employees who are not productive and benefit the progress of their business. Companies would go bankrupt if they retained these useless employees. Even though education is not in the money-making business, we are expected to produce an ‘unmatched product’: a mature, educated young adult prepared to contribute to our society. This cannot be done when education retains ineffective teachers and rifs bright, inspiring new teachers, some of which are represented in this blog! The State also needs to take a hard look at the qualifications of teachers as it relates to those coming from the work force. An exemption to many of the credential qualifications should be offered those in the business world that have years of exceptional service in their field and a desire to teach. What a benefit to our students to have a NASA employee instructing them on the applications of physics through the knowledge of their years of experience! These professionals should be recruited to join our profession.

  6. There has been absolutely -NO- conversation about a particular group of educated, passionate people; those like myself, who have an undergraduate degree which is now obsolete and inadaquate for consideration as a possible teacher. I am a Black male, in my 40’s, who graduated in the 80’s with a degree in Fine Arts (Fashion). I now have over two decades of experience in both Fashion and Theatre and now that I want to teach, I constantly run into the “you need a Master’s” conversation, even at the lower end Art Schools or public schools which offer technical training for High School students. I can’t afford to pay for another degree, let alone pay on the undergraduate loan I still owe. I had hoped the desire to share my expertise with students might result in a profitable teaching opportunity. There are no offers of grants or scholarships that I know of that focus on older persons who don’t have the means to upgrade their degrees (the few programs I’ve seen only focus on recent graduates). I believe, there will be in the near future an even greater glut of older adults who have a desire to teach but are not qualified due to “inadequate” degrees.

  7. I am a black female who is currently teaching fifth grade in Pa. Sadly, I am the only black teacher in my school. However, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I do! I didn’t get into this profession for the money. I did it because teaching is who I am and I am making a difference in the lives of my students. Consistently, on the PSSA’s, all but one or two of my students have either scored proficient or advanced. Writing has been taken to another level in my classroom but I still feel as though I have to go above and beyond to prove that I am as capable as my white counterparts. This profession is and has always been more white than black. My question is, why? It’s not that we don’t exist! It’s not like the positions aren’t available! I think we need to look at ourselves and figure out what we need to do to get the job vs looking for a handout because we are minorities. I definitely agree that there needs to be an increase in pay for teachers. I never understood how entertainers, lawyers, or doctors made more than we did. Especially since without a teacher, the entertainer, lawyer, doctor or even PRESIDENT would NOT exist.

  8. I graduated with a BA in English and everyone always asks me if I want to be a teacher. I tell no way, I want to actually earn some money. Some people have suggested bringing teachers salaries in line with doctors and lawyers but I don’t see that happening. People already complain about all the wasteful spending in our education system and it seems that giving school districts more money (which would happen by raising taxes or cutting funding for other things) would not go over very well. The people I graduated with that were going into teaching were doing it because they really wanted to teach. If you start offering 6 figure salaries for elementary school teachers are you really going to get teacher that care about students? Or teachers that care about a paycheck, benefits and a union pension?

  9. This is my 5th year teaching in a low SES district. I have been pink-slipped every year since I started teaching. I’ve been moved around each year from elementary grades to high school. Basically, I’ve jumped through hoops to become a teacher and to stay employed. This year will probably be my last year. Although I am Hispanic and would love to continue serving a diverse community, I must now choose to return to work for the private sector. My next job may not be as intrinsically challenging, but it will definitely pay a living wage for California. I am tired being laid off every year while the administrative offices are filled with Assistant Superintendents (each with their own secretaries surfing the Net 80% of the time), massive facilities/custodial staff who make more money than new teachers and get paid overtime while running their trucks around the city on personal business, and other atrocities that District Offices perpetrate with taxpayer money. It’s really pathetic to walk away, but I have no choice. I have to think about my own interests and can’t wait for the “so called” reform in education. God bless the teachers who do stay and are willing to keep eating Cup-O-Noodles every day.

  10. I am a black male elementary education teacher, and I have taught for 10 years in a few districts. I just want to state that salaries and/or loan forgiveness will go a long way to attract talented black and latino males, but there needs to be less red tape when qualifying us for these services. We also need districts that do not enforce cookie cutter, blanketed notions of how students learn. Many districts talk a lot of talk, but when it’s time to walk it, they under-supply and under-fund, yet over impose at the campus level. I don’t need to be told how great 21st century learning could be if I would only use less paper and engage my students with electronics; I need the devices in every classroom. I watched “Waiting for Superman”. Let me tell you: Teachers and Unions are not the problem. Politicians are the problem; underfunding is the problem; apathy and ignorrance are the problem.

  11. I am an elementary school principal. Currently, I have four male teachers and I am an AA male principal. I think that we need to do a couple of things. 1. Take a look at the pay and put it in line with doctors, lawyers and some of the high paying sports. 2. Look at what our universities and colleges are doing to bring in more teachers. Are they tuition free without the demands of making sure that you stay in the area? Finally, has anyone ever thought about a Summit to address the need for teachers of color?

    We are talking about needing male teachers but we should not forget that soon, many administrator will need to be replaced as well. Just a thought.

    I enjoy reading all of your post and look forward to what’s to come because of it. Who knows, maybe Oprah will invite us to be on her show. Smile 🙂

  12. future role of teachers are challenging, they taught varity of instruction method in their classroom, they wants to improve their teaching and communication skills, they utilized multiple intelligence component for their classroom and up to date with the subject and learners need.

  13. I am a student at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL and a member of Call Me MISTER. The mission of the Call Me MISTER (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the State’s lowest performing elementary schools. This program, along with a scholarship, has given me a brotherhood, a deeper passion for community service, a vision for what I hope to accomplish as an educator, and several professional development opportunities even before having a classroom of my own. This program has taught me a great deal about myself and has provoked some serious maturity to occur internally. I will be an even better teacher upon graduation because I am a MISTER.

  14. Attracting talented teachers is not the government’s responsibility. It is the responsibility of parents, individual schools and their surroudning community to decide who is doing an exceptional job at educating their children and who is not. However putting power in the hands of these people who are best equipped to decide will be impossible as long as teacher unions are as active as they are. Talented teacher’s will be rewarded naturally if unions are kept under control.

  15. I am a African American male in San Francisco. I received all my public instruction in SF and went to a public university in sf. I have undergrad degree in Liberal Arts, I have volunteered in my community because i believe if you have not served your community you have been mis-educated. Case in point: I haven’t been given a chance to demonstrate my ability to teach in sf as many avenues i went through to become a teacher. African American men such as myself aren’t even given a second look to become a teacher! Yes i said it. I am a United States Citizen an segeregation still EXIST in America. I want to teach give a brother a chance damn it.

  16. I currently teach as a guest lecturer at Purdue University. I have a masters degree, and also taught for 2 1/2 years for the Communications Department at Northern Illinois University. I completed the Upward Bound Program in high school, and was an instructor for the CHANCE and Upward Bound students at NIU. I would love to teach in Illinois, but I first must go back to school for 2 years to get my Teaching Certification. With four small children, I cannot afford to go back to college and get another degree and take out $20,000 in loans. In addition to my teaching experience, I have run a small business for 21 years. If they want great teachers, they should find ways to put individuals that already have the college degrees and experience into the classroom without having them get another Masters Degree.

  17. To entice future teachers, we the nation as a whole must believe and invest in our educational systems. Instead of eliminating teachers, we need to INCREASE PAY, INCREASE EDUCATION MATERIALS, and DEMAND respect for the professional field. The Obama Administration is doing just that…but society have faced great challenges, as many state Governors along with some Congress members recommending major education budget cuts. America must makeup its mind, do we want better educators for our educational systems or not? We can’t have our cake, by cutting the education budgets across the nation, and eat cake too, by demanding greater teachers for the future without attractive salaries?

  18. Yikes, I hope the last comment isn’t from an English teacher or we are in trouble. There need to be more scholarships and fellowships for minority teachers.

  19. How about if the Obama administration and others stop laying the blame on teachers for all that is wrong with education. As a young teacher I would not want my salary and job security depend on poor parenting.

  20. As desperate times continue throughout the country it is becoming more apparent that one strategy that can be used to attract talented educators is using incentives and higher salaries. We all know that politics will always play apart of education, so it is the responsibility of the government to pay for highly skilled and talented individuals to teach within the classroom.

  21. Here I sit with a M.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations and a M.S. in Childhood Education, graduating with a 3.94 GPA, I am certified and have worked diligently as a substitute teacher. I have taken over classes and brought the students to new heights. I can boast that under my instruction, a six grade class did better on the ELA and Math state tests than my tenured counterparts. I agreed to teach first grade students who did not know their alphabet letters and sounds. All but two of the students progressed from non-readers to readers. I am not male, but a Black female who cannot get a job. I am so dishearten by the fact that I am not able to work. I have a loan that I have to continously put off paying every year. I agree that more black and hispanic teachers are needed in the classroom. I look around and see that 100% of black and hispanic children are being taught in charter schools by 99.9%white women and men. No one talks about this. 80% of the teaching staff in public schools is 80% white and 20% black and hispanic. No one talks about this. So, Mr. Duncan wants to see more male teachers of color, how about just teachers of color.

  22. As a minority teacher, working in heavily under served and high needs schools for the past 13 years, I cannot believe what Arnie Duncan and Mr. Obama has done to teachers of color in their drive to replace/fix failing schools in many urban districts. The Federal Education Law, while noble in spirit, has had the detrimental effect of driving out many teachers of color that these new drive is attempting to replace.

    Not to get in to race politics but NYC Public Schools have shed many teachers of color in the past 8 years under Bloomberg and Klein’s drive to improve schools, which in retrospect are dubious at best. I wonder whether the leadership on top really understand the effect of their policies in their drive to inspire underserved students/students of color to aspire to greatness…by extirpating minority teachers and administrators from positions of leadership.

    An excellent of teacher can have the colors of the rainbow, sadly, it seems that the new educational policies are contradictory to the drive to recruit an educated and ethnic/culturally diverse workforce in the schools of the future America.

  23. I am a Hispanic teacher, graduate from Salamanca University (Master)with a GPA. of 3.71, with Standard Certificate in New Jersey, I am authorized to use the AP from The College Board to provide students with the academic rigor and college-level experience that is the promise of AP. Unfortunately on august 31 I received a letter from the superintendent of school,The Paterson Public School District is facing significant economic challenges I was RIF. After numerous years of efforts to bring the best education possible to my students and see the progress of each students on different level. My last students on 2009-2010 years pass the G.E.P.A and the math portion of the test. If you want to inspiring more talented people into teaching, you must regulated what the district on each State are doing to get rid off the best teacher. On my state New Jersey the governor think very poor about teacher. How can anyone wants to teach went political and bad representation on each district are destroy American education. They want to eliminated World Language program, Music and art. If are students wants to competed Globally they need to Know others languages and Culture to be considered on the Global Market. But the Government of New Jersey and the Superintendent are still on a stage of mind of 1960. Are students need political and Superintendents that understand the age of the 21st century.

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