Teachers as Lifelong Learners

Recently, HarvardX and MITx released a study finding that more than half of all massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered are taken by classroom teachers. That should come as no surprise to most educators, as they constantly seek to improve their teaching and show their students a true path of lifelong learning.

It is unfortunate that this is a side to the teaching profession that so few see. For years now, we have witnessed educators get blamed for just about everything in public education. Attacks have gotten so nasty and so personal, that it is often a wonder that anyone would turn to teaching as a career of choice.

From our ongoing research, though, we know that a great number of high school students do see teaching as their preferred pathway. These are students at the top of their class. Children with many passions and interests. Those who have an entire world open to them. And with all of the options available to them, they want to go into teaching.

Some do so because of those educators who shaped their lives. Others see it as a way to make a difference in their community. The reasons are as diverse as those who choose teaching as a profession. But in each instance, the prospective teacher is clear on why to choose that career path and what is needed to begin down that trail.

As part of its commitment to better understanding students and their attitudes toward career pathways, the Student Research Foundation is working to collect and share student voice when it comes to teaching careers. During the coming year, it will provide ongoing information on student perceptions and what shapes them. We look forward to sharing this data here throughout 2017.

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