One of the great challenges in our field is how to address the many myths that exist about schools and the teaching profession. I still hear it frequently stated that a physician from the 19th century would be totally lost in an operating room today, but a teacher from the same century would be quite at home in today’s classrooms.
During my summer interning at Chalkboard Project, I spent time researching Teach For America. I knew that I had a campus recruiting job waiting for me back at Florida State University, where I would be completing the final year of my undergraduate career, but I was still unsure of whether or not I would be applying for the corps.
A few months back I met with a Sherwood High School teacher who told me that she and her colleagues were unable to get students to apply for a scholarship for college-bound students interested in becoming teachers. A week later I relayed this story to a group of educators and a school board member exclaimed, “Oh, that happened to us. We offered a scholarship for teachers-to-be and no one applied!”
In brief, not yet, but read on. A flurry of articles and books in the 1970s and 1980s explored concepts of professionalism. Educators have followed a path similar to other fields but K-12 teaching is still not seen as a true profession by many. There are several reasons for this, including how education itself has developed over the last century, where teachers receive their education (largely in less prestigious institutions) and who enters the field (mostly women).