There is a very important article on teaching by Rick Hess in EducationNext this month. He has some outstanding facts and great suggestions on what has to happen in teaching in order to maximize talent and increase student learning.
First the background – he uses one of my favorite stats about our society of career changers: by 30, most people have held 4 different jobs. So assuming that every kid in college going into teaching is going to stay in teaching through retirement is ludicrous.
Career-changers are the problem and the solution. Taking at look at the huge shift in talent in grades 9-12 based on when people entered the teaching profession:
1990: 75% entered by age 25 and 6% entered by age 35
2004: 56% entered by age 25 and 16% entered by age 35
A study in Mississippi found that people entering the profession later stayed longer. Here at ABCTE where the average age of our teachers is 39, we have an 85% retention rate after three years. That is much higher than any other route.
Rick’s conclusion: more alt cert, more specialization and more technology so that we can get the talent we need and fully leverage that talent for better results.
We could not agree more.