“Become a teacher. Your country needs you.” – Barack Obama 1/25/11

As President Obama gave his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 25, one thing was clear – STEM education was high on his list. As Amy Chyao of Richardson, Texas, Brandon Ford of Philadelphia, Mikayla Nelson of Billings, Mont, and Diego Vasquez of Phoenix (four remarkable science students), looked on, the President spoke of the U.S. as needing to “… out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

Obama called for new government investments in biomedical research, information technology and clean energy technology to spark innovation. Those investments would also need to include science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, where recent studies show that the United States is lagging behind. These are the areas where jobs could be created and where much of our future economic growth could reside.

On education, Obama set a goal of recruiting and training 100,000 great STEM teachers who are able to effectively prepare and inspire our students. These teachers would replace retiring baby boomers over the next ten years. He also spoke of the need for competitiveness in education that would be essential in creating long-term jobs in the future. In an appeal to young people, he said, “If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child — become a teacher. Your country needs you.”

Obama also called for the rebuilding of America to attract new businesses. He spoke of the need for the “… fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.” He claimed that by improving our infrastructure, we would create jobs while making the U.S. a better place to do business.

The overarching idea of Obama’s speech was that of STEM education and the need of the U.S. to effectively educate our future scientists, technologists, mathematicians and engineers. In order to “… out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” the U.S. needs to increase innovation through investment, train quality STEM education teachers and invest in our infrastructure. That is the only way the U.S. will regain its position as a leader in the global economy.

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6 Responses to “Become a teacher. Your country needs you.” – Barack Obama 1/25/11

  1. david Dasilva says:

    Has President Obama ever visited Long Island, New York? Teachers with Masters degrees are having a tough time even finding a substitute position. All of these teachers have to meet specific standards in order to become a teacher, meeting NYS requirements, all while racking up HUGE student loans. All of this to graduate and be 100th in line for a substitute position that pays $85 a day. We are all struggling but the teacher situation here on Long Island has become ridiculous. SO…Mr. Obama, If you want to tell the whole country to become teachers then go ahead, but i hope that when all of these students have graduated college with their teaching degrees, and are eager to take on the world, you have a great big unemployment check mailed high priority to beat their lenders bills for repayment of their loans that will be waiting for them.

  2. Sara says:

    David-
    Wealthy school districts have little problem attracting secondary math and science teachers in most certification areas, but poor urban and rural districts often struggle. There are many states in which there are teacher shortages (most of which would be happy to have a NYS certified teacher). Closer to LI, NYC has shortages of qualified science and math teachers, too. Even wealthy districts have shortages in certain certification areas, such as physics.

  3. Brookie says:

    David,
    I am from a school district that struggles financially but we have found a way to create STEM based education in all our schools in the district. Most of the teachers in our district have went through specialized STEM training. I teach fourth grade and I have a STEM based classroom. I have seen student achievement and growth rise dramatically especially with my inclusion students. STEM just isn’t for high school students, instead it starts in kindergarten. By the way, I did not become a teacher for the money. I wanted to give back to my community by helping children succeed in school because our future is in their hands.

  4. Casey Willis says:

    Can you tell me how you became a STEM based teacher? I want to be able to have a STEM based classroom.

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