Joint Statement on Recruiting Quality Candidates Into the Teaching Profession
Few roles in society are as essential as teaching. Teachers build people. Because teachers have the crucial task of advancing human progress and innovation, and preparing young people for the uncertainties of tomorrow’s world, having a skilled, knowledgeable, and caring educator in every classroom has never been more important.
Teaching is a highly rewarding career choice; yet a diminishing number of students are electing to join the profession. Since 2008, enrollment in teacher preparation has declined nationally by 30%, and the number of high-achieving undergraduate students who are considering a career in education is at the lowest level in decades. This is cause for serious concern. As policy makers and other stakeholders focus on reducing income inequality, access to a quality education that includes a great teacher in every classroom for all students is a requisite part of the solution. In 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama perhaps said it best: “The single most important factor in determining [students’] achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from. It’s not who their parents are or how much money they have. It’s who their teacher is.”
Research has shown that learning is most effectively supported by teachers who have pursued high-quality preparation programs and who acknowledge the critical importance of cultivating attitudes of caring that will shape their interactions with students. Ensuring a highly qualified teacher in every classroom begins with encouraging the most promising students to pursue careers in education and providing rigorous teacher preparation that readies them for the realities of the classroom.
Given increasing scrutiny and demands placed on educators, choosing to pursue a career in education can be a difficult decision. Nonetheless, if satisfaction can be derived from contributing to the betterment of the world, then it is no surprise that teachers express a deep sense of fulfillment in the work they do every day. Teachers make a lasting impact on their students, changing lives and fostering responsible global citizenship.
The undersigned organizations strongly support high standards in education and united efforts to recruit quality and diverse candidates into the teaching profession. Through our commitment to ensure a resilient cadre of educators in all disciplines, we are positioned to recruit and assist worthy individuals in their professional journey.
We will steadfastly promote education as an attractive career, actively participate in teacher preparation, and continually support the career-long professional growth of teachers.