Teachers Struggle With Respectability

04/17/2002 | NYTimes.com

Bright, inspiring teachers are an essential part of education, yet bright, inspiring young graduates are increasingly less likely to enter the profession because of its low pay and prestige. Eric Plaks, a 27-year-old Harvard graduate, says his mother and friends ask him when he plans to leave teaching for a "real job." He adds that the generation of teachers now on the cusp of retirement were of a different age, hearkening to a time when teaching was regarded with respect.

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