Troops to Teachers is a program that assists people leaving the military make the transition into the teaching profession. The Post has a nice article this morning looking at the program from the standpoint of people who have made the move. In the ten years the program has been running, more than 6,000 former military men and women have become teachers and there are almost another 6,000 in the pipeline.
Service men and women make particularly good teachers, Peters said, because they offer knowledge from outside the classroom and a bearing that makes them unlikely to be intimidated, even by the most unruly middle school students. "These are mature, seasoned leaders. They’re not just young people coming out of college who have little experience doing anything," Peters said. "Normally, they’ve been around the world at least once. Normally, they’ve already been teaching young recruits in the military."
I agree. Graduates of this kind of "alternative" training program can make excellent educators. However, as I’ve ranted many times before, it won’t happen unless these new teachers also get some solid support once they’re in the classroom. School is a different world from the one they knew and all new teachers, whether they are 22 and fresh out of college or 52 and fresh out of the Army, need a strong mentoring support program to help them understand the process of teaching. Especially if they’re going to teach in middle school! :-)