9/11 and Teaching
I read this commentary from a teacher (via Joanne Jacobs) that talked about how 9.11 inspired her to be a teacher. I am surprised I haven’t read more blog posts and articles like this.
On 9/11/01, I was entering my second year as a member of the management team for the NYC Teaching Fellows, an alternative certification program for career changers who aspire to be NYC public school teachers. We were starting the recruitment process for our fifth cohort who would start teaching in fall 2002. After 9/11, we were flooded with applications- about 20,000 to be exact and more than double of what we had received the previous year. I spent much of the winter and spring reading application essays from people who wrote about how the events of that day made them want to give up their corporate career and do something “meaningful” with their lives. Applications soared at Teach for America around this time, too,
When I started my doctorate program at NYU in educational leadership in 2006, one of the topics I considered for my dissertation was the impact of 9.11 and whether enrollments increased at traditional colleges of education in NYC, too, and the impact on the teacher “shortage.” I am not sure why I abandoned that topic- it probably seemed too hard to get the data at the time. I always thought that the interest in teaching would decline as time passed, but I haven’t experienced that in my work. I think this generation of recent graduates were influenced by different values than mine, probably going back to that day. The job market influence can’t be discounted, either.