Almost every day I see another article full of recommendations about entering Education as a career field and as an answer for those who have lost jobs as a result of the US recession. As an educator myself (years of teaching in public secondary schools, adult education and university level) I certainly encourage anyone with both the interest and desire to go for it. The US Department of Labor is calling for a shortage of workers in education within the next five years. However, be aware of the following: a general shortage of teachers will not happen everywhere...for instance, in many New England states where the population is aging rapidly, teachers who retire will generally be replaced only in the cities where the immigrant population will be the only population showing growth; real shortages exist now in special education, secondary mathematics and science and that will continue..if these specialities are not your forte, then chances are you will not make the cut. Finally, it is a fact that half of all new teachers, no matter what their ages or preparation leave the profession within the first five years. Culturally, we are not a society that values teachers, not in respect nor in salary.
If you plan to become an educator, go into it with your eyes open. Shadow a teacher, do informational interviews, volunteer in the classroom setting if you can. Make sure you understand what you are getting into. Do not enter education, or any other career for that matter, unless your personality type, interests, values and transferable skills match that of the field. There is a lot more to teaching than "summers off"; you and our children deserve better.