More K-12 teaching jobs in the future? I wouldn't bet on it…

I haven’t been posting this week (and I won’t post much now) because I’ve been pretty busy with life things lately. But I have been meaning to post at least something about this article that was linked to the NCTE Inbox service, “40% of teachers plan to quit by 2010,” which was in the Chicago Sun-Times. Here’s a quote:

Forty percent of public school teachers plan to leave the profession within five years, the highest rate since at least 1990, according to a study being released Thursday.

The rate is expected to be even greater among high school teachers, half of whom plan to be out of teaching by 2010, according to the National Center for Education Information.

Retirement is the dominant factor, as the public teaching corps is aging fast, say surveys of teachers in kindergarten through grade 12.

Two quick thoughts:

  • I know this isn’t really the job of this article, but I have to assume that these retirement rates vary from region to region, and they might vary quite a bit. In Michigan right now, getting a job teaching English at the secondary level is kind of tricky, and I always tell prospective secondary school teachers that they might need to move to get a job.
  • You know, this is kind of what they used to say about teaching at the college-level, too. When I was in college in the mid-80’s, I was told by a number of college professors that there would certainly be jobs teaching in universities soon because all of these folks who were getting ready to retire. Well, guess what? A lot of these folks (at least in fields like English) either didn’t retire or they weren’t replaced with full-time professors. I don’t know if the powers that be could get away with that for K-12 schooling, but it is something to keep in mind: don’t count your retiring teachers until they actually hatch– er, I mean retire.

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