Teaching Career Guidance

Teaching Career Guidance

There is a wealth of information about the teaching profession and how to enter it. On the Resources page, we have tried to convey the important points, and provide you with some fun and interesting facts as well.

More than 3.8 million people worked as teachers in 2002 in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools throughout the United States. The teaching profession dates back to ancient Egypt, India, and China when priests and prophets, considered to be the most enlightened members of the community, taught those around them. In ancient Greece, wealthy members of society hired private teachers to work directly in the home, and through the 5th century, Romans had teacher-slaves. During the Middle Ages in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church spearheaded education and taught in monasteries and learning centers, many of which evolved into modern universities. Education was reserved primarily for men; women were taught to read and it was not considered important to teach them more than that.

Education was very important in the development of Colonial America. In 1635 in Boston, Massachusetts, Reverend John Cotton founded the Boston Latin School, the country's first public school. In 1647, the first laws requiring elementary schools in towns with more than 50 people were enacted. The first high school, or terminal school, was not founded until 1821 in Boston. In 1823, schools for teachers began to open. The first private normal school was opened in 1823 and offered a two-year program for aspiring teachers. Massachusetts was home to the first public normal school in 1839. Around the turn of the century, many normal schools became four-year colleges and universities offering a variety of programs to their students.

The number of teachers has steadily increased in the United States to keep up with population growth. Forecasts for job growth show that prospects will range from good to excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Opportunities will depend on the location; typically, there are more positions available in places with a higher concentration of people. Positions for special education teachers are expected to grow faster than average. The median salary for teachers in 2002 ranged from $39,810 to $44,340.

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