Two interesting survey results (one American and one from the UK) when juxtaposed indicate that teaching may be making a comeback in public perceptions. With the need for more teachers, especially in math and science, this resurgence in the teaching profession is a breath of fresh air.
According to a poll by Harris Interactive reported in a career management article by CareerJournal, teaching is the ONLY occupation that has seen a dramatic increase in perceived prestige since 1977 growing 23 percentage points (from 29 per cent in 1977 to 52 per cent in 2006). This beats out doctors, lawyers, executives, scientists, and more - in fact, many of these professions have slipped in prestige since 1977.
Combine that with the first "Workforce Boredom Index" results from the UK which reveal that teachers have identified themselves as the least bored profession. Administrative and secreatarial occupations self-identified as most bored (10 out of a possible score of 10), followed by manufacturing and sales. In fact, half of all the employees who indicated they were bored have considered changing careers in the last year, and teaching is the most popular choice (more than 12 per cent).
Prestige and lack of boredom are two powerful intangible "rewards" for teaching. Are they sufficient to motivate a new generation of committed education professionals? What are your comments?