Tom Torlakson,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Will there really be teaching jobs in the future?

Hi, I'm Tom Torlakson. As many of you know I've been California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction since January 2011, and I've been an educator, proud to be an educator, since 1973.

With all the news about budget cuts and pink slips, I'm sure that many of you - as prospective teachers - are wondering if you should continue to pursue a career in teaching. As a teacher myself, my answer is definitely YES!

Teaching is the most important job there is - and we need great teachers more than ever. And it is so rewarding and so satisfying to help students learn, discover their inner talents and dream big about their futures.

It's true that in this economy, many teachers are having trouble keeping their jobs. And we're working every day to turn that around. But here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, the layoffs we've had are the result of a weak economy, not a surplus of teachers. And as the economy begins to improve - things will change.

Second, California is still growing. We are projecting a 4% increase in student enrollment over the next decade. That means we'll need more teachers. And third, we're still facing a teacher shortage in some critical areas - including special education, mathematics and science.

Finally, nearly one hundred thousand veteran teachers are expected to retire in the next decade.

What does this all boil down to? We need you. California is known for having some of the nation's most innovative and inspiring teachers. You can be part of this tradition, whether you are a student, a paraeducator, or a career changer.

To find out what your next steps are, go to the TEACH California website, California's one-stop information center for future teachers. Make the difference of a lifetime. You can do it! Teach!