Recently though, as the U.S. has come out of its lengthy economic downturn, the dynamics of the K-12 teaching job market have changed. A growingly prosperous market has increased districts' spending potential, and districts now need and want more certified teachers. But, teachers -- now -- are in short supply. As a recent New York Times article points out, for instance, "In California, the number of people entering teacher preparation programs dropped by more than 55 percent from 2008 to 2012." And further, alternative programs that do not require their teachers to be credentialed -- such as Teach for America -- have been experiencing issues with recruitment.
As an answer, some school districts have turned to hiring teaching degree students as "interns," and those students are effectually serving their districts as full-on teachers. While some might guffaw at the idea of hiring students as professionals, the New York Times appropriately points out that there are likely some advantages to districts' intern programs. As far as experience goes, there is often little difference between a first-year teacher and a third- or fourth-year teaching degree student, and districts' programs provide those students with real-world experience while at the same time best serving K-12 students by putting more credential-track teachers into schools.
The New York Times article brings up some interesting thoughts.
Posted by Parker Fulton
Photo and content credits to the New York Times