Education: The Lure of the Classroom

Many professionals turn to teaching in midcareer

Teachers usually consider their work a lifetime profession, like doctors or clergy, and look askance at colleagues who "defect" to more lucrative or less demanding jobs. But the traffic is not just one way. A growing number of professionals are turning to teaching in midcareer, taking pay cuts and accepting sacrifices in order to pursue their late-found vocation. Says John Kean, chairman of the department of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "They are coming into education in droves."

The boom is being fueled by fatter teacher salaries and efforts by many states to speed up the certification process....

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