Career-Switchers Flock to Teacher-Training Programs

Unemployment helps drive applications
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 10:25 AM CDT
Career-Switchers Flock to Teacher-Training Programs
The surge could help fight a possible teacher shortage amid baby-boomer retirements.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – 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.”
(Read more teachers stories.)

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