Cross-posted from the White House Blog.
One of the greatest challenges facing our country is the coming retirement of more than 1 million baby-boomer teachers. This challenge has presented us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to help reshape education in America by recruiting and training the next generation of great American teachers.
Teaching is a rewarding and challenging profession where you can make a lasting impact. Teachers have a positive influence on students, schools, and communities, now and into the future. Schools across the nation are in need of a diverse set of talented teachers, especially in our big cities and rural areas, and especially in the areas of Math, Science, Technology, Special Education, and English Language Learning.
That’s why the department launched the TEACH campaign — a bold new initiative to inspire and empower the most talented and dedicated Americans to become teachers. We know that next to parental support, there is nothing more important to a child’s education than the quality of his or her teachers.
Many of you are already thinking about becoming teachers. The TEACH campaign provides tools at your fingertips to navigate the academic and professional requirements that will credential you to succeed as a teacher in one of our schools. TEACH.gov features an online path to teaching and over 4,000 listed, open teaching positions.
In addition to information on job postings, teacher prep, and financial aid, prospective candidates can watch testimonials from current teachers. Each one was looking for a professionally challenging and financially rewarding career that would allow them to bring their passions, their lives, to work every day. Go to TEACH.gov and listen to their stories.
We’re also setting up TEACH Town Hall events around the country to encourage discussions in communities and at colleges for those who are preparing to step into the workforce. Help us spread the word about teaching careers. If you know someone who is considering becoming a teacher, send them to TEACH.gov so they can learn about the resources available for their state and district. Also be sure to let them know that we have an application called Raise Your Hand on Facebook that allows prospective teachers to join a community of teachers across the country and ask about teaching as a career.
Together, we can change the face of American education. We can recruit the next generation of great American teachers.
Arne Duncan is Secretary of Education