I enjoyed the article “Homegrown” in the May/June issue of Teacher Magazine. Programs like UTAP in Broward County, Florida, represent a new approach to addressing the teacher shortage facing our nation. However, I would caution against viewing [such] programs as a cure. Teachers who have only been trained to teach do not always make good educators.
Shouldn’t we be encouraging our students to explore all their career options? A good educator brings life experience into the classroom with them. These experiences enrich our students’ learning and make us more well-rounded educators. Students who are trained only to teach, go to college for a degree in education, and return home to teach in the high schools they graduated from four years before lack something that cannot be measured with a GPA. The idea is a good one on the surface, but it is not a panacea.