Green Teachers


A generation ago, if you walked into an American classroom, you’d likely find a veteran teacher who’d been on the job for 15 years or more. Today you’re more likely to find a brand-new teacher – someone who’s been the job for a year or less. Experts call this the “greening” of the teaching force. It’s driven in part by the fact that there’s been a huge increase in the number of teachers over the last 30 years – but also, teachers are much more likely to quit, resulting in a huge demand each year for new teachers.

This week on the podcast, ARW correspondent Emily Hanford interviews Richard Ingersoll, who studies the work of teaching and the status of teaching as a profession. Ingersoll is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, but he started his career as a high school teacher. He talked with Hanford for a documentary she’s working on about teacher preparation. Ingersoll says one of the problems with teaching in the United States is that it’s traditionally been seen as a job that pretty much anyone with a knack for being with kids can do with just a little bit of training. But teaching is very complex work.

Richard Ingersoll (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)

Richard Ingersoll (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)

More podcasts about teaching:

“What Teachers Need” (10/24/2014) – Interview with Elizabeth Green about her book, “Building a Better Teacher”

“Teaching: The most embattled profession” (10/1/2014) and “Intelligence is achievable and other lessons from The Teacher Wars” (10/7/2014) Excerpts from interviews with Dana Goldstein about her book, “The Teacher Wars”

Be sure to also check out Emily Hanford’s 2010 radio and web documentary, “Testing Teachers”