by Doctor Science
Sprog the Younger is beginning her junior year of high school, so we have to start thinking about "where do you want to go to college?" Which involves also thinking in a vague way about "what do you want to do for a career?"
What StY likes best (at the moment, subject to change) is explaining history to people. What that sounds like is "high school history teacher", which *should* be a good, respectable job for which there is a solid demand, and which she really thinks she'd *like*. She likes people younger than her, she likes the idea of not sitting on her butt staring at a computer all day long, she loves explaining things and watching kids *get* it, she loves the fact that there's always more history to learn, and she doesn't mind that the potential salary doesn't go up indefinitely, but tops off around $100K.
But how can I encourage her in this direction, when powerful people seem to feel that making a job worse is a brilliant strategy for attracting the best talent? History teacher is particularly thankless, because, as someone I can't track down said, "I don't know where you went to high school, but I know the name of one of your history teachers: Coach." She doesn't *want* to coach, except maybe Marching Band Color Guard, she wants to teach history! Because it's about How the World Works!
I know Americans tell pollsters they have great respect for teachers, but that's not how we've ever *acted*, as a society. If you look at Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, for instance, you'll see that the discipline problems and disrespect were much worse than today, on a per student-day basis. I don't see it likely that we'll get an educational system with the success or respect of Finland's anytime soon -- that is, in the next several decades or more.
Not least because
- so many problems are blamed on "Bad Teachers"
- but do you think the Bad History Teachers who are Winning Football Coaches will get fired? yeah, right.
- in the Northeast or northern Midwest, not including NJ
- not in NYC
- with good History and teacher prep programs, but other liberal arts & sciences too
- with a Marching Band & Color Guard, but easy-going -- so probably not a winning Div I football team.
- (for extra credit) a good value for money, so less likely to result in a large burden of loans