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Workshop

Teaching: The Best Kept Secret!

Audience/setting: Math and science faculty, admissions, career services, advising staff/department meetings, meetings, conferences


Time: 50–90 minutes 

Synopsis: This resource includes highly interactive workshop materials (PowerPoint slides and handouts) designed to facilitate discussion with a group of faculty/staff who may talk with students about teaching as a career.

    Toolkit materials

    Use these workshop materials in the context of a faculty meeting, staff meeting, or with teachers to get the facts out about middle and high school teaching and to encourage department members, teachers, recruiters, and advisers to speak positively and accurately about the teaching profession with students.

    Faculty-facing mythbusters template

    Microsoft PowerPoint (1.87 MB)

    Job satisfaction outcomes

    Microsoft Word (329.96 KB)

    Retirement loans

    Microsoft Word (17.20 KB)

    Salary by major

    Microsoft Excel (11.05 KB)

    Secondary college salaries

    Microsoft Word (19.96 KB)

    Editing a PowerPoint presentation

    Use these materials to facilitate discussion among faculty and staff who may talk with students about teaching as a career.

    Implementation

    Use these workshop materials in the context of a faculty meeting, staff meeting, or with teachers to get the facts out about middle and high school teaching and to encourage department members, teachers, recruiters, and advisers to speak positively and accurately about the teaching profession with students.

    These materials are designed for a 50-minute interactive workshop with college faculty/staff or a 90-minute interactive workshop with practicing teachers. The workshop is designed to encourage participants to dig into the facts and data presented in this toolkit. Our research has found that more time is needed with teachers than faculty and staff and in turn, more time is needed with faculty and staff than with students. Teachers are aware of many of the facts related to the profession but have strong misperceptions about other STEM careers. 

    Additional points and background information can be found within the downloadable PowerPoint slides in the notes section of each slide. 

    • The materials were constructed with the intent to help faculty/staff to: 
    • Provide realistic information about salaries with data for teachers, college faculty, and other STEM professionals.
    • Generally explain other financial benefits including retirement options, scholarships, and loan 
forgiveness for teachers compared to private sector STEM jobs.
    • Provide information about teacher job satisfaction including accurate teacher retention data.

    Additionally, the materials were constructed with the intent to help presenters to:

    • Learn more about participants’ perspectives on the teaching profession, which can then inform efforts to create effective recruiting efforts in their local context. 

    Given the locale specific nature of the teaching profession, materials reference both national data and local data, when necessary, from the Denver, Colorado area. Instructions are included within the power point slides (in the notes section) on how to modify the PowerPoint and handouts with local data if desired. When presenting at national conferences, we have used these materials with the Colorado data and then encouraged participants to go online and mine data from their local districts and state as a comparison. As reference, there are 41 states with higher teacher salaries than Colorado. 

    Good to know

    • These materials are ideal to use with both faculty and other people students may go to for advice including guidance counselors, advisors, administrators, and members of the wider community (including members of STEM industry professions and even parents). 
    • As public employees, public school teachers’ employment and salary data is typically readily available online, and easily searchable. Encourage participants to look up local district or state salaries on their laptops or mobile devices at an appropriate time during the presentation. 
    • During discussions, the workshop facilitator should circulate and encourage participants to discuss actual data and strongly discourage the sharing of anecdotes as if they are data. Encourage them to fact check any information they bring to the discussion with evidence they can find online (media articles are not evidence). 
    • If faculty are hesitant to lose their best student(s) to teaching, gently mention that the best way to recruit more star majors is to have a strong alumni from the department in a high school classroom. If a major has a passion for teaching, they make an ideal ambassador for the department.