Poll: Teaching is ‘average’ profession

College students with A or B+ grades see teaching as a low-prestige job for “average” people, according to the National Online Survey of College Students. Education majors are nice, socially conscious people who aren’t very ambitious, said the respondents. Education is one of the easiest majors, they believed.

Despite efforts to recruit top students to teaching, nearly half of American teachers still graduate in the bottom third of their college classes writes Conor Williams on EdCentral. A quarter of teacher preparation programs accept nearly every applicant, and two-thirds of programs have acceptance rates over 50 percent.

Only 17 percent of students surveyed reported that they were “very interested” in teaching, while fully 40 percent weren’t interested at all, writes Williams.

What would make the B+ or better students consider a teaching career? Higher pay for all teachers, higher pay for highly effective teachers and better student loan repayment for teachers.

The report suggests that the Department of Education use NCLB waivers to ensure that all districts “create and implement stratified career ladders and differentiated pay structures that offer the best teachers the opportunity to stay in the classroom while taking on additional responsibility and earning increased autonomy,” writes Williams.

(Successful) students are uninterested in a career with low base compensation and no connection between quality work and salary increases. They’re not attracted to “step and lane” contracts. Maybe there’s room in today’s Overton Window to pay teachers more on the condition that they were also held more responsible for the effects of their work.

Nearly three in four teachers became teachers because they wanted to make a difference in children’s lives and enjoy working with children, according to a University of Phoenix College of Education survey.

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  1. momof4 says:

    Ed schools are never going to attract serious students until they remove the BS, PC, edubabble, silly “theories” etc – all of which act as filters to remove bright and academically-talented kids. My college roomie made it through secondary ed but was so turned off by all of the above (far less of it in the 60s than today) that she’s never taught a day since – like many of her classmates.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      There is a more fundamental problem than “the BS, PC, edubabble, silly “theories” etc.” Most ” bright and academically-talented kids” aren’t going to find fulfillment teaching 7 year olds to read and write.

      Middle and high school kids can think about more advanced things. But unless you are teaching nothing but AP and Honors classes, most of what you do is going to be frustrating. The vast majority of your students will not be intellectually curious, and you won’t be able to make them curious, either. Much of your job will be getting them to go through the motions.

      You will then do the same thing for the next 30 years.

      • momof4 says:

        Very true and and unlikely to change.

        However, ed schools could do a much better job of requiring content knowledge, across the disciplines, from the students they have – and being willing to weed out those who can’t/won’t do the work to get it

    • Why would ed schools abandon “BS, PC, edubabble, silly “theories” etc “? All that stuff’s attractive for some reason so without knowing what the reason there’s no knowing what it’ll take to make the practice unattractive.