THE POWER OF TEACHING
Teachers have one of the most important and influential jobs. After all, they are among the first role models children encounter. To be a good teacher is not an easy task; teachers must demonstrate and instill a passion for learning in their students. They must create an atmosphere of openness, creativity and sensitivity, as well as motivate and challenge their students to work hard to reach higher standards and goals. Research demonstrates that the single biggest in-school influence on student academic growth is the quality of the teacher standing in front of the classroom. The need for passionate teachers has never been as great or as important as it is now. As teachers and principals from the Baby Boomer generation retire, new teaching positions will need to be filled. It is essential that qualified and passionate teachers fill these new positions, as their work will shape education for decades to come. It is important to encourage new teachers to enter the field and to commend those who have demonstrated great commitment and dedication to educating our youth.
In 1950, the United States was number 1 in math, reading and science. Today, we do not even make the top 10. Furthermore, we need to improve the number of kids graduating from high school or our nation will no longer be a world leader in graduation rates. It is essential that qualified and passionate teachers help us reach these goals, as they will define the future of our country. It is important to encourage new teachers to enter the field and to commend those who have demonstrated great commitment and dedication to educating our youth.
To stay competitive in a globalized economy, the United States needs to invest in its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce. Building the next generation of innovators begins in the classroom. The 100Kin10 campaign was launched to recruit talented, qualified educators to train the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. 100Kin10 is a multi-sector network that aims to recruit and train 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021.
One great STEM initiative is FIRST, a nonprofit devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2015-2016 FIRST season attracted more than 400,000 youth and more than 200,000 mentors, coaches and volunteers in more than 80 countries.