NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teachers Love Profession, Question Training

June 13, 2000

A new survey finds teaching isn't a career of last resort, but that doesn't mean those who select the career aren't frustrated. The report for Public Agenda, "A Sense of Calling: Who Teaches and Why," reflects the thoughts of teachers who have been in the business for five years or less. Among the findings:

  • Teaching isn't a career of last resort, since 96 percent of those surveyed say teaching is what they love.
  • Eighty percent said if they were starting over, teaching is the career they would choose.
  • Three-quarters, well above the proportion for most other professions, say tey expect teaching to be their lifelong career.

However, a large majority say they were taught little about the basics of teaching, such as how to run a classroom, maintain discipline, deal with the routine pressures of the profession and even -- amazingly -- how to teach effectively.

Those results shouldn't be surprising, however. A 1997 survey found teachers of teachers showed little interest in classroom management. Only 37 percent of 900 education professors interviewed said teaching teachers to maintain classroom discipline and order was essential.

Source: William Raspberry, "A Calling," Dallas Morning News, June 3, 2000.


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