Dreaming of being a teacher? Federal grants may help


Do you picture yourself in the future standing in front of about 20 little faces, filling their minds with the information that will make them successful in their lives? If so, teaching may be for you.

There will always be teaching jobs, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for educators will grow an estimated 12% through 2016. This need is fueled by the large number of teachers expected to retire in the next seven years, with the highest demand for elementary education, math, science, reading, special education and foreign languages.

It may even be possible to get funding to help you achieve your goal. The federal government has created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program offering undergraduate and graduate students up to $4,000 per year for tuition. Students who receive the TEACH grants sign an agreement to serve as a full-time teacher for four years at a low-income school in a high-need field once they're finished with school.

The only downside? It is really a hard job. I know, my husband has been teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools for the last 15 years. The turnover rate is very high, with almost half of new teachers leaving within five years with their passion for teaching extinguished.