Nearly everyone can name a teacher who inspired him or her, that pushed them, that maybe even changed their life.
Teaching is the foundation of our educational system. Without teachers, education as we know it would simply not exist. Teachers play an important role in preparing and nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Almost two million teachers are set to retire in the next ten years. Filling those two million jobs with a talented new generation of teachers is among the goals of the revamped TEACH.org, which was officially kicked off this week by Microsoft's Partners in Learning division.
"The ability to attract and retain the best talent to the teaching profession will shape public education in this country for the next thirty years," Secretary Arne Duncan told the crowd at this week's official launch of the program.
TEACH began as part of the Department of Education's to recruit the next generation of teachers to join those already in the classroom. Now, the Department is working on the project with Microsoft as part of a public-private partnership. Read more about this transition here.
"The challenges we face are solvable," said Brad Jupp, ED senior program advisor and former teacher. "They're solvable due to the partnerships we can make with people like Microsoft."
Low teacher retention rates, poor compensation, and a general lack of respect surrounding the teaching profession takes a toll on student achievement and the ability to attract talented students to the profession. There is an immediate need to elevate teachers, bringing professionalism and talent to the profession. Read more about ED's RESPECT Project.
The problems in education can't be solved by one entity alone. It will take the commitment of the private sector in conjunction with the government to revolutionize public education. TEACH is an example of how companies are coming together and doing their part in the fight to provide every child with a quality public education.
"We have to elevate and strengthen the teaching profession," said Duncan. "This takes massive cultural change, but the long term impact is extraordinary."
For more information on the TEACH coalition, visit http://www.teach.org/.