With unemployment soaring, interest is booming in teacher-training programs for people switching careers, the Washington Post reports. This year, a 20-city retraining program saw applications climb 30%; in many areas there’s more interest than jobs available, outside of science, math, and physical education. The surge could help avert likely shortages when baby boomers retire.
Alternative certification programs for people without backgrounds in education produce about a third of new teachers. Those who come from other careers can offer “maturity” and a solid knowledge of their subjects, the Post notes. “If you get rid of the hoops and hurdles, you can get some fantastic people to come into teaching,” says an expert. But others warn that the programs must be careful not to drop new teachers immediately “in the deep end of the pool.”