Fewer than 1 in 10 parents encourage their kids to become teachers of STEM courses!

Dian Schaffhaueser

Dian Schaffhauser

THEJournalBelow are some excerpts from a thought-provoking article recently published in T.H.E. Journal by blogger Dian Schaffhauser. The entire article may be read by clicking on the graphic to the right. 

For us here at RE@L, this survey finding is a cause for great concern for all who care about STEM education and those who teach it, as well. STEM has become a national priority, and our goals will not be met unless we have more well-trained, competent and valued teachers. 

The survey continues:

The biggest concern parents have about the teaching field is inadequate pay. Seven in 10 parents and nearly 8 in 10 teachers surveyed expressed worry that their child wouldn’t make enough money as a teacher. In fact, 65 percent of the parents suggested that a career in STEM teaching wouldn’t even be worth the cost of a college degree. Among the educators, two-thirds said STEM teaching would lack a path for career advancement. A similar number said they’d feel differently if there were more opportunities for career growth.

ASQ“While STEM careers like engineering and software development are getting more well-deserved attention in recent years, it’s STEM teachers who will be the ones to equip our youth with the knowledge and skills to gather and evaluate evidence, make sense of information across a wide range of fields and solve tough problems,pointed out ASQ’s CEO William Troy in a prepared statement.”

So what’s the answer in response to this dilemma? The current administration has already made a start to what could serve as an effective plan. But it’s only a start.

100Kin10In his 2011 State of the Union address, the President called for a new effort to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade with strong teaching skills and deep content knowledge. Answering the President’s call to action, more than 230 organizations formed a coalition called 100Kin10.” Putting it into numbers, that means we need 100,00 trained teachers of STEM courses in 10 years.  President Obama and his “100Kin10″ coalition understand the need for more STEM-trained K12 educators. What they have not understood is the urgency to make these needed changes

RE@L adds: “Since the program started in 2011, There are now only 5 years left to make this happen. It’s time now to make sure it happens! Click on the graphic above to learn more about the “100Kin10″ Proposal.

While the current administration’s “100Kin10″ program clearly recognizes the need, their actions to make it happen by 2021 are far too few and too feeble.  “What can we do to make it happen?” you ask.

STEM2Here’s our answer! Parents must help us alert their children to opportunities of STEM careers, and also affirm the importance of the teachers who prepare their children to choose these careersParents also need to encourage their child to consider choosing a STEM-teacher career.  

One way to show the critical importance of  K12 teaching is to have our teachers both trained and paid well enough that parents see their profession for the inspiring career it is. We need parents to become additional advocates for compensating teachers accordingly.

We know, too, that many students become teachers because of a good teacher they had in their learning lives. We also need STEM teachers to discuss STEM teaching with their students as a highly satisfying career choice. 

ObamaAddress100kin10

Click here for Pres. Obama’s speech

Listen to the President’s brief, but inspiring speech by clicking on the graphic at the left. But, we need more than just oratory and inspirational words. We need action! We need it now.

Far too often today STEM has become an elitist learning track, and too many K12 resources are directed there, instead of to all our students. 

At RE@L, our STEM software approach focuses on the broad needs and goals of ALL young learners.

We want to see more and more students be able to make satisfying career choices and better meet the needs of tomorrow’s world.

Join us in our effort to train more good teachers, including more STEM teachers!

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.