Opinion | Education system needs overhaul: Teaching requirements too lenient


Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Columnist Alice desires a world in which teachers are respected as much as surgeons.

By Alice Lee, Columnist

The future of the world is always in the hands of the children. No matter which generation or what part of the world, children are the future. There’s no question a teacher plays a valuable role in shaping students to become better people through the process of education. 

Yet the key is to not only provide an education, but to provide a quality one.

Despite being a leading force in advancements and a model example for the rest of the world, America is lagging behind other countries in the area of education. It’s important that we revolutionize education in a way that is efficient and effective: Make it harder to become a teacher. 

According to Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in some Asian countries, educators are just as well respected as medical doctors. In America, a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in a specific topic are the only requirements to become a K-12 teacher. The profession of an educator is not valued enough by American society, a sad reality considering these are the people responsible for bringing up our future leaders.

In many middle schools, the gym teacher can simultaneously teach social studies and math — subjects that are not in the slightest related to physical education — simply due to budget constraints.

It may be true that qualifications to become a high school teacher or college professor are more strict, but education should be taken seriously as early as primary school. 

Outside of the home, school is the most influential factor in any child’s life. The state of education needs to reflect this pivotal role it plays by ensuring people who become teachers are the cream of the crop. 

There’s a certain reputation teachers hold in contemporary life: Being a teacher is only a backup plan and not worth taking seriously. Most have heard the phrase “those who can’t do, teach.” But this disparaging mindset concerning teachers completely ignores the fact that educators are responsible for creating the next generation of doctors, lawyers and engineers. 

Being a teacher is not a task that should be taken lightly, and it is only fitting for American school systems to respect that dignified position by increasing standards and requirements. 

Education is a tool that, when wielded correctly, has the power to change the course of the world. Teachers teach us how to use our knowledge for good and progress. 

It is sometimes said a good teacher is hard to come by, but that shouldn’t be the case. All teachers should be seen as the best at what they do, and that’s to light the way forward for our bright students.

Alice is sophomore in LAS.

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