The Impact of the Educator

If you ask a person who has made a positive impact during their childhood, you may be surprised at how often it’s a teacher. Phenomenal educators have the ability to change lives with their ability to teach and influence others. The average teachers can spend their career with over 3,000 different children.That’s a lot of opportunity to make difference in someone’s life. 

The Education Personality

So, what personality traits make for a great teacher? Great teachers have some things in common:

  • Inspirational: Encourage students to do their best.
  • High Expectations: Expect and demand the best of their learners.
  • Laugh out Loud: Have a great sense of humor.
  • Love their Students: Compassionate and develop a personal connections.
  • Experts: Very knowledgeable and passionate about the topics they teach
  • Creative: Good at finding alternative ways to teach children more effectively.
  • Roll with the Changes: Flexible and able to adapt to new situations.

Author and master teacher Dr. David Keirsey, said regarding master teachers, “Perhaps their greatest strength lies in their belief in their students. Teachers look for the best in their students, and communicate clearly that each one has untold potential, and this confidence can inspire their students to grow and develop more than they ever thought possible.

The Recession and Education Impact

So every one said we needed new teachers, but where are all the jobs? The Great Recession has impacted every job market negatively, including education. With the recession, the federal government and states have lost tax revenues, directly impacting both state and federal education budgets.

In the most populated state in the nation, California, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed $4.8 billion in cuts to the education budget for K-14 in the 2008-2009 school year including $313 million from the California State University budget, and $400 million in general education budget for the current year.

Similar cuts have happened in every state and caused teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.With the recession, school systems, state education agencies, technical schools and colleges have shed about 125,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are also scarce as many teachers who had planned to retire or switch jobs are staying on because of the recession, while at the same time people who have been laid off in other fields are trying to carve out second careers as teachers or applying to work as substitutes to make ends meet.

How to Get a Teaching Job Despite the Recession

It’s true the recession has created a difficult job market for educators, but teachers are still getting hired, and there are still several states where despite the recession, they need teachers. The best chance of getting a teaching job is to be sure you have the right degrees and teaching credentials for high need subject areas. These include:

  • mathematics
  • science
  • bilingual education

The need for teachers will vary by state and region. States in the south and west of the United States are predicted to see the largest enrollment increases because their student populations are growing.

Teachers who obtain a teaching license in more than one subject area are also going to have an advantage because they can teach more than one subject area. New teachers may also find more opportunities in poor inner city school districts and rural areas. The federal government is trying to attract highly qualified teachers to lower income areas with federal funds.

Educator Hiring Boost with the Right Tools

Educators can also give themselves a professional boost by being armed with an arsenal of getting hired teaching weapons. These include thorough research of the teaching position being applied for, the school district, and the school and any additional certifications that may make them a better candidate. A survey of 35 elementary school principals in Rhode Island found these 3 main factors important to getting hired for a teaching position

  • High level of verbal communication and interpersonal skills demonstrated during interviews
  • High level of written communication demonstrated in application materials
  • Unique skills, knowledge and experience (e.g., subject matter expertise, instructional technology, travel, or prior professional experience)

Education is Still in the Job Market Game

Despite the job market difficulties of the Great Recession, America still needs great educators for all ages- children and adults. The National Commission on Adult Literacy (NCAL) produced Reach Higher, America: Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce. According to the report between 88 and 90 million adults are not prepared to meet the demands of today’s global economy or secure a job with adequate wages to sustain a family. Eighteen million of them do not have a high school diploma, 51 million have not gone to college, and 18 million are not proficient in their English language and literacy skills. This could open up opportunities for college teachers as adults seek to stay competitive in the job market.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of elementary and secondary school teachers is expected to increase by 13%. The job market is challenging but with the right education, credentials, and flexibility, you will have what it takes to get hired and be the next great teacher in someone’s life.

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