Teaching is a challenging and rewarding profession. Preparation to teach requires a demanding program made up of education, training, and mentoring. Unfortunately, to some, teaching is considered a job not a profession; worse yet, a part-time job. These teaching naysayers list three-o’clock dismissals and summers off as evidence. This not-so-uncommon attitude has created a view of teaching as a non-prestigious career. It has the tendency to keep some skilled and talented candidates from entering the teaching profession, and cause novice and experienced teachers alike from staying in the classroom.
The last few decades have produced alternate route teacher certification programs that while of a stellar quality in some states, are less than adequate in others. This and reduced entry qualifications for traditional programs in certain states have resulted in a higher failure and drop-out rate for new teachers. For example more than fifty-percent of Teach for America candidates leave after their third year.  Since studies have shown that it takes five years for a new teacher to become highly skilled in all aspects of teaching, students suffer in this situation.
The truth is professionals in other areas with similar education and comparable work hours, (don’t forget lesson preparation, team meetings, parent-teacher conferences, after and before school assistance to students, professional development, etc.) earn anywhere from 12% to 15% more than teachers. These professionals include accountants, registered nurses, programmers, and reporters. Colleges have to help close this gap by ensuring programs are on par with other professional preparation programs in areas such as law, business, and medicine. Increased prestige can lead to better qualified candidates, higher salaries and both professional and personal fulfillment. Success for individual teachers translates to success for the profession and the seeds for both are found in colleges.