Research Findings . . .

If you are a teacher, you know how exciting it is to hear one of your students say, “I want to become a teacher someday.”

Those words tell you that a lot of things have gone right with that student’s education. He or she finds learning exciting, believes in the classroom experience, wants to give something back to the world by teaching young people . . . and also admires you and the work you are doing.

Those are all great messages to be getting from a student you have influenced.

Which High School Students Are Most Likely to Aspire to Be Teachers?

The Student Research Foundation looked at high school students who aspire to become educators, to see what made a difference for them. The data, drawn across several research consortia nationwide, show there’s more work to be done to encourage underrepresented groups and males to enter education as a profession.

Overall, students’ own interests and their teachers made a large difference in influencing their thinking about career paths.

Here are more insights from the research:

Currently, only 3.6% of high school students aspire to be teachers.

Better students are most likely to want to become teachers . . .  

  • 2% of “A” students aspire to teach, as well as
  • 4% of “B” students
  • 6% of “C” students

Interest in teaching grows stronger in later high school years. . .

  • 8% of high school seniors aspire to become teachers, compared to 3.1% of freshmen

Teachers influence high school students to want to teach . . .

  • 58% of high school students cite “self/own interests” as a reason they want to teach
  • 34% cite a teacher
  • 31% cite their mothers
  • 13% cite their fathers

A Growing Shortfall of New Teachers

Research also shows that 800,000 new teachers will soon be needed in American classrooms. The message is that as teachers, we owe it to our country’s students, as well as to our profession, to inspire high school students to follow us into teaching.

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To share your views about what it takes to find the right path to professions, Participate in the National College & Career Pathway Study and receive information on college and career opportunities that match your interests.