Stumbling blocks remain for newly minted teachers, career-switchers


Career-changers currently account for one-third of all new teachers in the U.S. Despite massive budget cuts in education, according to the Hechinger Report article below new teachers are in high demand and, “both President Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, unhappy with the quality of teachers trained in traditional education schools, are pushing new models to attract career-changes into the field. In a series of speeches last fall, Secretary Duncan criticized education schools for not adequately preparing teachers for a global economy, saying they must focus on helping teachers learn the practical skills of running classrooms.”

Many believe programs similar to a doctor’s residency would help career-changers, as well as traditional students, make connections between classroom theory and real life application and practice. No matter the career field you choose, classroom knowledge alone is never sufficient and this is especially true for teachers. New teachers face differing student demographics, school cultures and varying subjects. That’s why at LifeBound we recommend academic coaches training. This hands-on training imparts the importance of asking powerful questions and holding students and co-workers accountable to encourage success – an invaluable skill for educators of any subject, in any environment. To learn more about academic coaches training visit or email


The Hechinger Report
May 12, 2010
Stumbling blocks remain for newly minted teachers, career-switchers
By Alexandra Moses

Ana Arroyo-Montano spent the first year in front of her class fearing she’d be fired.
After training in the Boston Teacher Residency program, the business major with five years’ experience in financial aid services wasn’t prepared for a room of kindergartners who didn’t speak English.

“Here I had all these kids and they’re lagging behind all the general-ed kids, and I’m wondering if it’s me,” she says. “José can’t count in English yet. Is that because it’s developmental? Is it because he doesn’t understand a word I’m saying?”

Career-changers like Arroyo-Montano are increasingly entering classrooms across the country. Their numbers have doubled over the last 20 years, in part due to alternative certification programs that welcome professionals from diverse backgrounds. There’s a new push to expand these pathways as states scramble to increase their chances of winning second-round money in President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top competition, which is aimed at reforming and improving U.S. education.

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