A friend tells me that her husband is entering into teaching because it is a “solid job”.  He lost his job and has been looking for work for some time.  She suggested that he become a teacher.  He is in an alternative certification process and will begin teaching within a year.

As her friend I understood the need to provide for the family and have a secure job.  I don’t know if he will make a great teacher or not, but I began to wonder if we have set the bar too low for people to enter into the teaching profession.  As it stands, we have a systemic issue of not identifying and getting rid of low performing teachers, so do we really want to create an environment where someone can earn their degree online and begin teaching in a year?

Wouldn’t it be beneficial to raise the rigor of entering into teaching, forcing future teachers to demonstrate high-levels of competency in their instructional abilities and content knowledge?  Then, amply reward those that make the cut with a professional salary on par with lawyers?  In this scenario, would we need to worry about attracting the best and brightest?  I don’t think so.

My argument is that once we begin treating teaching as just a job, allowing people to earn certification and teach without proper teaching training or proving competency, then, at this point, teachers’ ability to take control of the conversation that teaching is a profession becomes difficult.