Busting Myths about the Teaching Profession
This page includes an interactive presentation designed to share the facts about the teaching profession with prospective teachers.
Audience/setting: Prospective STEM discipline teachers (undergraduate, graduate, alum). Appropriate for either a virtual or face-to-face setting.
Time: 15-30 minutes
Synopsis: This resource includes interactive presentation materials (PowerPoint slides and handouts) designed to facilitate discussion with students who may or may not be interested in teaching themselves, in a variety of contexts.
Use these materials during an interactive presentation such as an information session about careers, in a major or non-major course, a student club meeting, or a recruitment event. Please check back often to make sure you have the latest version.
* Version numbers were added in September 2021.
Steps to doing a presentation Checklist
- Pre-register your presentation
- Find local teacher salary data (or ask GFO to mine your data below) and modify the presentation
- Look through the presentation. There are notes under each slide with explanations and suggestions
- Add slides at the end about your program
- Log your activity and register as a GFO Champion if you have not already done so
- Go Get the Facts Out!
To request that the GFO team mine data for your local, first please register as a GFO Champion, then fill out the following:
Key Features to an Effective Interactive Presentation
- 1 – 30 minutes in class
- 15 – 30 minutes club meetings, information session, ice cream social, residence life… (complete list is on the How to Reach Students page)
What are the intended outcomes of this presentation?
- The audience will have positive attitudes towards teaching as a profession.
- The audience will engage in ideas about teaching as a profession after the workshop (e.g., by reflecting, sharing, engaging in conversation).
- The audience will feel better prepared to make an informed choice about their career options, including teaching.
What should a presentation look like?
- The key message of Get the Facts Out is emphasized: Teachers in the U.S. rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians.
- Accurate information about teaching as a profession is provided, including life satisfaction, salary, retirement, student loan forgiveness.
- Comparison to industry and college faculty is provided.
- Information on teacher salaries and retirement have been updated with local data.
What should you do as a presenter?
- Create a safe and fun space for students to engage, from the start.
- Share the positive aspects of teaching as a profession that are supported by data.
- Avoid voicing misperceptions about teaching as a profession.
- If students express misperceptions about teaching as a profession, provide fact-based corrections.
- Avoid providing airtime for anecdotal aspects of teaching as a profession (which are often negative and not supported by data).