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  • It is too easy to become a teacher.

    A teacher doesnt require a college degree, especially if you are a grade school teacher. There are too many teachers that don't know to handle children. I know this isn't the case for many, but I think in order to become a teacher, you should have at least a four year degree. I also think you should take a special class on how to deal with students.

  • Barriers to entry are too low for teaching

    I have great respect for good teachers, but the fact remains that there are a lot of awful teachers out there. A big reason for this is salary, but another big reason is the level of education required to become a teacher.

    My friends and I always used to joke that "if you can't do engineering, you do accounting, if you can't do accounting, you do finance, if you can't do finance you do marketing, if you can't do marketing you do management and if you can't do anything. . . You do education." The requirements for completing a bachelor's in education are a joke. I have personally known many students (including both of my parents) who ended up with a bachelor's in education. The amount of studying necessary in comparison with other majors is minuscule. There is no real work until the masters degree (though student teaching can be difficult in some cases). This has resulted in a high number of low-quality teachers and has also affected salaries.

    Despite an annualized salary of about $80k (45k + 10k pension + 50% bump for the third of a year they don't work adds up to $82.5k annualized.), teachers often complain about pay, (though they make about the same annualized rate as physical therapists, who never complain, have far harder educations, and more student debt) but fail to recognize the reason for lower than desired pay. This reason is an oversupply of teachers due to low barriers to entry. If we are going to eliminate the glut, we need to make education a degree that is at least as difficult as an accounting degree and probably more like becoming a physician or a pharmacist (more intense student teaching over a longer period). This would increase demand, which would result in increasing salaries until an equilibrium were met. At the same time, it would increase the overall quality of teachers.

    This isn't to say that less educated people can't be great teachers. In fact, I think it's fair to make the barriers different, if not lower, for primary education vs. Secondary education. That's not because the job is easier, but because the material is not as complex. In fact, the US already performs very well in primary education. It is secondary education where we fall behind the rest of the world.

  • Yes, and there are too many of them.

    Yes, it is too easy to become a teacher, because an average student can be accept to and graduate from a teaching program. Teachers have to teach average students and they also have to teach very intelligent ones. A teacher who is not gifted cannot possibly understand how to teach a gifted child.

  • Let's look at another system.

    I'd completely agree that the current system requires Master's degrees for teachers to teach. And that does require a lot of college hours and planning. However, in the broad scheme of things, it isn't as intensive as successful education systems.

    Much of the problem with the system right now is we don't "trust" teachers to teach - we have to test the students to make sure they're actually teaching. That's to support accountability. If it was really difficult to become a teacher (like a doctor or a lawyer) then that wouldn't be necessary. Have you ever heard of the patients taking exams to make sure the doctor is doing everything right? I haven't.

    In Finland, a country with an internationally regarded successful education system, all teachers must have a Master's degree. On top of that, they are only selected from the top 10% of graduating classes, and must also go through years of training, both in classroom experience and peer review, to become a teacher. So yeah, right now it is a bit easy.

    I'm not saying obtaining a Master's degree is easy. All I'm emphasizing is that becoming a teacher right now is too easy compared to successful systems.

  • No, it's not at all easy.

    Anyone who thinks it's easy to become a teacher really doesn't understand what it takes. It takes not only an undergraduate degree, but graduate work, which means more money and intense time commitment. But overall, ideally, it takes a commitment to oneself to want to further the education of others. Then it offers low pay and extremely long hours. This does not sound easy.

  • No, it's not at all easy.

    Anyone who thinks it's easy to become a teacher really doesn't understand what it takes. It takes not only an undergraduate degree, but graduate work, which means more money and intense time commitment. But overall, ideally, it takes a commitment to oneself to want to further the education of others. Then it offers low pay and extremely long hours. This does not sound easy.

  • The only people who say that have no idea what the requirements are.

    In the majority of states, teachers (no matter what grade level) in public schools must have a MASTER'S degree- despite being paid less than an assistant manager at Walmart. I don't know of a single state that doesn't require at least an undergraduate degree.
    Teachers must complete several rounds of student teaching before graduating and be licensed by each state, which in many states involves a difficult exam.

    Teachers basically raise our children and get no respect or decent pay for it- and then we wonder why the profession doesn't attract today's best and brightest.


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