Her love of children and history put Rockford College senior Amanda Becker on the path to a career in education.
"I've always loved history because it's more about the people involved in history than just names and dates," said Becker.
Becker's dream is to teach in the Rockford school system where she earned her diploma, but it's a district that just laid off 400 teachers.
"It's a little discouraging as a future educator to find out that they're cutting here and they're cutting there. Teachers that are veterans in the field are even being cut," says Becker.
While the number of teaching jobs might be shrinking, students' interest in the field is growing. College advisors admit it's hard to find a teaching job if candidates are tied to one geographic area, but there are ways to get into the classroom.
"Subbing is often a very excellent way of getting noticed and being hired in a school when a vacancy occurs," said Dr. Debra Dew, Rockford College Director of Master of Arts and Teaching.
Advisors also try to steer teaching students to high-need areas like Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, or secondary math and science, but for some aspiring teachers, it's all about following your heart.
"I've been told that history teachers come a dime a dozen, but it's really a subject I like. I can't see myself teaching science or math when I'm not really interested in those fields, said Becker.